Vivo NEX: A Novel Creation With A Few Misses


Vivo NEX is the company’s latest notchless pop-up selfie cameraphone that gives you the ultimate viewing experience. Nilofer Khan reports.

Vivo NEX

This year, the cellphone industry saw some extremely unique innovations. In a bid to compete with the changing trends, Vivo recently launched its flagship phone—the Vivo NEX. The device drew considerable attention because of its elevating selfie camera feature and its Ultra Full View display. Let’s see how it fares.

What’s it Got?
The Vivo NEX sports a 6.59-inch full HD+(1080 x 2316) Super AMOLED ‘Ultra Full View’ display with a 19.3:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC processor that is clocked up to 2.8GHz, and has 8GB RAM. The phone also features ample of choices for selfie lovers, such as AR stickers (there are several options within this), and a selfie light effect feature.

On the rear, the camera has a dual lens setup—a 12MP f/1.8 sensor and a 5MP sensor, 4-axis OIS, and dual-core tech for 24 million picture elements. The NEX offers various features and modes. You can shoot HDRs, panoramas, Live Photo, time-lapses and slo-mo videos. There’s also a Professional mode that gives you control over exposure, ISO (up to 3200), shutterspeed (32 secs to 1/12,000sec), white balance, and focus (AF and MF). However, the Professional mode doesn’t provide the option to shoot RAWs. There’s also a spirit level and histogram feature int he mode, that can be activated. The video recording options include 4K, 1080p, and 720p.

The Portrait mode is available on the front and rear cameras. On the rear side, users can control the amount of bokeh you want in the picture. This is facilitated by a slider that appears on the screen, after you have tapped on the subject you want to photograph. It lets you swipe all the way up to f/0.95 or swipe all the way down to f/16, depending on the depth you want to achieve. At f/0.95, the camera managed to create a bokeh by blurring out the entire background, without making the subject appear like a cut out. The Portrait mode, however, does not have the bokeh slider feature, when you switch to the front camera.

The front of the phone features an 8MP f/2 camera. Using the selfie light effect here, you can choose from Natural Light, Studio Light, Stereo Light, and Monochrome, when making self portraits. The effects managed to produce crisp images. However, at times, the images were not consistent enough. For instance, in the Monochrome mode, some parts of my hair had patches of colour.

I shot this image hand-held, and the details captured by the Vivo NEX are accurate. Photograph/Nilofer Khan

How it Performed
Initially, I thought the pop-up camera was a little gimmicky, but my perception changed, as I continued using the phone. For instance, when I attempted to make a portrait of myself in a moving vehicle at night, the camera performed quite well, considering the only source of light was coming from the street lights or passing cars.

At 6.59-inch, I found the phone to be a little cumbersome to photograph with. However, the overall performance of the camera is good. The images are sharp from edge-to-edge, and the colour reproduction is quite accurate. However, there is loss in details if you push the ISO beyond 800.

While my overall experience with the phone has been good, the one area where I struggled with is the lag that I faced when shooting moving objects. The camera would take an additional split second to capture the frame. Moreover, considering that the NEX is Vivo’s flagship phone, I would expect it to make it possible for users to capture action in the burst mode, when using the Professional mode.

The company has also provided P3 Colour Gamut for accurate colour reproduction. In this image, I only increased the contrast a little bit. Photograph/Nilofer Khan

In Conclusion
Undeniably, the Vivo NEX has pushed certain boundaries with the innovative pop-up selfie camera. But what it ultimately boils down to is if you want a phone with an ultra full view bezel-less screen. Priced at Rs. 44,990, it is quite expensive, and considering the phone doesn’t shoot RAW, I feel that’s a drawback for serious photographers. Moreover, there are phones like the OnePlus 6 that offer more features including the option to shoot RAW, but are also light on the pocket.

SPECIFICATIONS 12MP + 5MP f1.8, f2.4 rear camera, 8MP f/2 front camera, 8GB RAM, 128GB internal memory, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa Core 2.8 GHz, 6.3-inch display, 3260mAh battery, Rs. 44,990.
WHAT WE LIKE Vibrant, edge-to-edge display, good picture quality
WHAT WE DISLIKE Lag when capturing action shots, RAW shooting unavailable
WHY BUY IT Large screen, good details produced by the camera and battery performance.
CAMERA FEATURES 8MP front camera, 12MP + 5MP rear camera 24/25
IMAGE QUALITY Good reproduction of details, and colour rendition 24/30
VIDEO QUALITY Offers 4K video recording, time-lapse and slow-mo 12/15
HANDLING Good grip, its large size makes it a little difficult to hold in one hand 12/15
SPEED & RESPONSIVENESS Responses well, but with some lag 11/15


Tags: better photography, Cellphone Review, Vivo, September 2018, Vivo NEX