So Vivo sent me the newly released Vivo NEX 3 and asked me to check it out.
At first look, it looks… awesome actually. And the spec sheet doesn’t disappoint either, so let’s dive in and do a complete walkthrough on it.
If you aren’t familiar, a complete walkthrough on the channel is where I try and go through every single feature I possibly can on a new device so you guys are better prepared should you be in the market to go buy one.
With that said, there is a lot to go through so let’s get started with the design.
As I said, it looks pretty sick honestly and feels surprisingly premium. The first thing you’ll notice about the NEX 3 is the new Waterfall FullView Display as Vivo calls it and it’s got thinner bezels than even the Note10 does which is nuts.
This screen has an 85-degree curvature, a 99.6% screen to body ratio and Vivo claims a 0mm bezels on the sides when looked at dead on.
That screen is a 6.89-inch FHD POLED display that can hit 600 nits of brightness and has support for HDR10 content.
A neat little touch they added to the device to make some use of those curved edges is a side ambient light. So think of this as your new notification light. They can be customized to display differently depending on whether you have an incoming call, notifications, or even move to music if you wanted.
Another thing that is fascinating about the design is that, because of how far the screen curves down I imagine, they ended up removing all the physical buttons on the device. Like all of them.
The volume and power buttons are actually just touch-sensitive areas on the right side indicated by a small rigged area of the frame. You tap and hold this to turn it on and off (almost squeezing the phone really) and do the same slight above and below it for volume up and down.
You can also customize this or even add an onscreen option you swipe on to then be able to adjust the volume if you prefer.
Another way they kept the front of the device basically all screen is by putting the front-facing camera at the top as a popup camera like we’ve seen a few other manufacturers do now, but this also has a flash tucked inside next to the camera instead of using the screen for light as other phones do.
Moving around the device, we also, seemingly miraculously nowadays, have a headphone jack at the top next to the pop-up camera.
And on the bottom, we have our USB Type-C port, dual SIM card tray, and speaker.
The speaker, which also utilizes the headset speaker to create a stereo set, gets pretty loud (see video for the sound test).
The USB port next to it, by the way, is also capable of fast charging the 4500mah battery using what Vivo calls Super FlashCharge which utilizes a 44W charger that is included with the phone. Using this, I managed to get the phone from 0-67% in 30 mins.
Under the hood, the device has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus chip (the top chip they make) paired with 8GBs or 12GBs of RAM and a 256GB storage option on the model I have here which is their 5G model, but they do also sell an 8GB/128GB option on a non-5G model.
Which brings us to the rear of the device and the triple camera setup they have back here in a setup that reminds me of the old Lumia phones, and I mean that in a good way.
We have a 64MP (not a typo) main camera and not the 48MP camera that is a ton of high-end smartphones.
Now, a couple of benefits of this camera is first that you can have high-resolution shots if you need them (9216×6912 to be exact, which is just crazy) but the sensor also bins the .8-micron pixels together to create 16MP images with much larger 1.6-micron sized pixels that can then gather more light and produce a better low-light image.
In addition to this, the sensor is a larger 1/1.72″ sensor compared to a 1/2″ sensor of most cameras right now on smartphones giving it a bit of an advantage in capturing more light and also potentially have more natural bokeh without having to use the portrait mode.
Now, besides that main sensor, we also have an ultrawide 13MP camera with an aperture of f2.2 that can capture more in the photo (and here’s it compared to other ultrawide cameras out, as well).
And we have a 13MP f2.48 2x telephoto lens for closer up shots, as well.
Now, this setup might sound familiar to people as it is the same essentially as the new iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max (the Vivo NEX 3 has much higher megapixels, and faster apertures on paper at least).
Unfortunately, I can’t put them head to head though as I don’t have the 11 Pro yet but subscribe to the channel and ding the bell to be notified for videos on those as they should be coming next week.
That camera also is capable of shooting up to 4K video at 60fps and here’s what that looks like, as well.
Now diving into the camera a bit (keeping in mind it’s still pre-release software), the modes we have are:
- Night: This takes multiple long exposure shots and stitches them together to create a much brighter image.
- Portrait: Which uses software to try and blur the background behind your subject.
- 64MP: Which is a dedicated mode to take a full 64MP image if you need that resolution.
- Pano: Our standard panoramic mode that stitches multiple photos together to create a wider one.
- Live Photo: Takes a short video before and after the shutter is pressed that can be played back in the gallery while viewing the image.
- Slo-Mo: Let’s you take slow-motion videos.
- Time-Lapse: Let’s you take fast motion videos.
- Pro: A mode for those that want to control the ISO, shutter speed, etc manually. One side benefit though is that you can actually set it to take 64MP images and also RAW in this mode if you turn that on in settings.
- AR Stickers: Let’s you place stickers that adjust to your perspective while using them.
- Fun Video: 15 or 60-second video app of some sort that kinda feels like it’s a Snapchat/TikTok type of thing?
The NEX 3 and NEX 3 5G FunOS 9.1 running on top of Android 9.1 but since this software isn’t finished, I can’t really dive into it very much. Instead, there are a few things I’d like to point out about it.
Firstly, it does not include any Google apps: no Play Store, no Google Maps, Gmail, etc. and has the Chinese equivalents preloaded instead. Thankfully though, if you want those services it’s pretty easy to install them yourself (at your own risk of course) by going online and simply searching for “Play Store APK” and trying a bunch of them out until you find the latest version that’ll work for this specific device.
I managed to get it to work and will do a detailed tutorial for anyone interested in how a bit later on the site and channel.
Since I had to record this before the press event I don’t have pricing or availability information. But, you can head to their site and the pricing and availability should be listed there by the time you’re done watching this video.
Let me know what you guys think in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to my weekly email newsletter for more tech. As always, thanks for reading.