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 Vivos 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 doesnt 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 couldnt be much more high-end : theres a Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 4,000mAh battery, 256GB of storage, and a 6.59-inch 1080p+ OLED display. (Theres 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 itll 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.
Now 100% notch free. If Lenovo's failure to deliver a genuine full-screen display for the Z5 left you feeling burned, Vivo's flagship Nex could ease the pain. The Nex is making the transition from concept phone to retail product -- in China, at least -- and boasts an impressive 91.24 percent screen-to-body ratio. Nex runs on Qualcomm's state-of-the-art Snapdragon 845 processor, and backs it up with 8GB of RAM topped off by an Adreno 630 GPU. Tucked behind its 6.59-inch Ultra FullView display is a 8-megapixel camera that ascends whenever you summon it to take a selfie. We first laid eyes on the pop-up camera during this year's MWC. It pops out in under a second (or so Vivo says) and retracts once you've finished snapping. It basically eliminates the need for a notch, which is all the rage right now. Realizing the Nex's expansive, almost bezel-free look naturally demanded slight changes in other design components. In this case, the earpiece speaker is moved into the screen, and Vivo opts for an third gen in-display fingerprint scanner which helps to conceal the sensor beneath the display. The jury's still out on overall efficacy -- our test provided mixed results -- but early owners will be able to determine whether the fingerprint tech has improved since then. Regardless, Vivo's attempts at developing in-display fingerprint readers has paved a path which other smartphone makers are likely to follow.