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Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition first impressions: Wild experiment or the future of smartphones

Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition first impressions: When I held the Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition for the first time, I found it to be identical to the original Vivo NEX.

Even as companies race to launch a true bezel-less smartphone, getting rid of the notch, Vivo has come up with its ambitious Nex Dual Display Edition which comes with dual screens, eliminating the need for a Selfie camera. Vivo has been visibly grappling with the selfie problem and the original Vivo Nex tried to address it with a pop-up camera.

The high-end smartphone is already out in China and we got our hands on the Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition to check out that huge 6.39-inch Super AMOLED screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 10GB RAM, and the triple camera setup.

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Here is our first impressions of the Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition.

Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition first impressions: Dual Displays

When I held the Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition for the first time, I found it to be identical to the original Vivo NEX. The front is entirely dominated by the 6.39-inch 19.5:9 aspect ratio Super AMOLED screen and has an impressive 84.7 per cent screen-to-body ratio. The edge-to-edge display looks great and it’s amazing for watching videos, looking at photos, or browsing the web.

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Flip the device, and you will notice yet another screen but a smaller 5.49-inch, 16:9 Super AMOLED panel flanked by three cameras on the rear. Frankly, it’s not the first time we are seeing a secondary display on the rear. Remember the YotaPhone launched in 2014 with an e-ink display? In recent days, Nubia too has launched a phone with dual displays.

The smartphone also features a Lunar Ring which is useful in different scenarios.

Yes, the second screen might solve the problem of how to compose the perfect selfie, but is there more use for it? That’s the question that matters and although it would be too early to find the answer, I do want to share my take on a dual screen phone design. It is a mixed feeling, but I give full credit to Vivo for designing a phone like this.

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Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition first look: A high-end smartphone with dual screens

Vivo says the secondary display can also be used for multi-tasking with apps. The rear screen can also be used as a touchpad while playing same games like PUBG Mobile, similar to a PlayStation Vita.

Still, the biggest issue with a dual screen phone design is the lack of purpose. Everytime I pick up the Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition, I get confused whether it’s the front or rear side of the phone.

The phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor which may appear sold, especially when the Snapdragon 855 has been announced.

The primary function of a smartphone is to make calls and send messages easily. If you had to figure out which is the front or back each time, it kills the simplicity of a smartphone.

Apart from using the rear screen for a camera use, I see no real benefits for a user, at least not yet.

Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition first impressions: Design and build

It’s still a beautiful device though. The frame is made of aluminum, and it has a glass back and front. The bottom of the Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition is where you will find the speaker grille, Type-C charging port, and a SIM slot.

Vivo says the secondary display can also be used for multi-tasking with multiple apps.

On the right side of the device is the volume rocker and below that, a power button. On the left is again a power button that wakes up the secondary display. There is also a headphone jack on the top of the phone, which has become a rarity these days.

Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition first impressions: Flagship specs, in-display fingerprint scanner

The phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor which may appear old, especially when Snapdragon 855 has been announced. However, I have no issues with the Snapdragon 845 processor it is undeniably fast.

The bottom of the Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition is where you will find the speaker grille, Type-C charging port, and a SIM slot.

The device is further paired with 128GB of internal memory and 10GB RAM. The phone ships with a 3,500 mAh battery, which I think is a bit small, given the fact that the Nex Dual Display Edition has two displays.
In comparison, Huawei Mate 20 Pro comes with a 4200mAh battery.

Everytime I pick up the Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition, I get confused whether it’s the front or rear side of the phone.

Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition comes with FunTouch 4.5, which is based on Android 9.0 Pie. The software ran perfectly in my brief testing, though I would like to add here that this isn’t a final build for the Indian market.

Moreover, the NEX Dual Display Edition also features an in-display fingerprint scanner. I found it to be reasonably fine, but not perfect.

Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition first impressions: Cameras

The Nex Dual Display Edition has a 12MP primary camera with a f/1.79 aperture, along with a secondary 2MP f/1.8 camera for measuring depth data.

There’s a third lens with an f/1.3 aperture with a TOF (Time of Flight) 3D module. The latter lens can be used for 3D mapping. It creates a 10,000 point map of your face, which it can recognise from up to 3m away, for quickly unlocking the device.

Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition has a 12MP primary camera with a f/1.79 aperture, along with a secondary 2MP f/1.8 camera for measuring depth data.

Yes, this phone is missing a front-facing camera. The rear-camera setup fills the gap of a front-facing camera, instead. The smartphone also features a Lunar Ring which is useful in different scenarios. It can flash a soft glow to get a selfie, or it can change colours to alert you of different types of notifications.

While I did not get to spend much time taking photos, I was not disappointed with the image quality.

Let’s look at some sample shots below

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Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition camera sample. (Image resized for web)Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition camera sample. (Image resized for web)

Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition first impressions: Early verdict

Keep one thing in mind before you even consider a dual screen phone. Do you really want it? If it’s worth the money for you, then it’s fine. Vivo isn’t saying much on the release of the Nex Dual Display Edition in India. But if it gets launched here, expect it to cost over Rs 50,000. In China, the Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition retails for 4,998 Yuan or approx Rs 52,586.


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