Vivo has announced a new flagship device called the Nex, a phone that the Chinese company claims “fulfills the bezel-less dream.” The Nex is based on Apex, the impressive concept phone we saw at Mobile World Congress in February. Like Apex, the Nex avoids the now-ubiquitous display notch by employing an elevating selfie camera that pops out from the top edge of the phone when required. This allows the Nex to achieve a screen-to-body ratio of 91.24 percent, Vivo says, though there is still a slight “chin” at the bottom of the screen.
Further contributing to the bezel-less effect is Vivo’s glass-vibrating “screen soundcasting technology,” which replaces the earpiece speaker, and it sounded pretty good in my experience with Apex. The Nex also uses an in-display fingerprint sensor, but unlike Apex, it doesn’t cover a large area of the screen. It sounds like the implementation is similar to the X21, which we found to be impressive in practice despite only working over a thumbprint-sized area. Vivo does say that its “third-generation” sensor improves on speed, which was a slight caveat with the X21.
The basic specs of the phone couldn’t be much more high-end: there’s a Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 4,000mAh battery, 256GB of storage, and a 6.59-inch 1080p+ OLED display. (There’s also a cheaper model with a Snapdragon 710, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.) The primary camera is 12 megapixels with an f/1.8 lens backed by a 5-megapixel f/2.4 module, while the pop-up selfie camera is 8 megapixels and f/2.0. Oh, and there’s a headphone jack. The Nex will be slightly hefty by modern standards, however, at 199g and 7.98mm thick, the design looks sleeker than the boxy Apex prototype.
Basically, the Vivo Nex is a bleeding-edge device designed for anyone who wants the most legitimately bezel-free phone possible at this moment in time. The obvious caveat is that it’ll only be available in China, priced at 4,998 yuan (about $780) for the high-end model, which is a lot cheaper than the 8,316-yuan iPhone X but more expensive than a local flagship like the 2,699-yuan Xiaomi Mi 8. But Vivo is actually making this thing, and that’s reason enough to dream about the notchless future. We’re looking forward to seeing how well it works out in reality.