Pop-up cameras in a smartphone? Well, marriages may be made in heaven but on Earth, smartphones are definitely leaning towards cameras, introducing sliding structure that nearly mirrors the way a semi-DSLR camera works.
Chinese smartphone player OPPO did it first with "Find X" earlier this month and now its arch rival Vivo (when it comes to camera technology) has brought "NEX" into the country with a retractable selfie camera.
Vivo has equipped NEX with high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage for Rs 44,990.
Here is what we think of the bezel-less device.
Talking about the major USP -- the 8MP pop-up selfie snapper -- it did take some good selfies.
Once we switched to the selfie mode, the retractable camera popped out beautifully with a robotic sound (that can be turned off too) and yes, it is not fragile or flimsy but sturdy and can withstand accidental scratches and dents. It will retract if not in use.
We were also able to click some wonderful shots with NEX's 12+5MP rear camera outdoors. Images shot in low-light conditions were not bad either.
Ditching the trend of "notched" devices -- that shot to popularity after Apple introduced the iPhone X -- the Vivo NEX sports a 6.59-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED screen, making it a true all-screen flagship device.
Like most top-of-the-line of flagship smartphones of 2018, the NEX sports a gorgeous glass sandwich design. The rear is glossy and has a cool mesh pattern with a slight curve.
What makes it truly innovative and futuristic is the 6.59-inch Super AMOLED display with a full HD+ resolution. Vivo has also done away with front speaker grill, thus, giving NEX a neat, all-screen look.
The screen here doubles as an earpiece, using Vivo's "Screen SoundCasting" technology wherein the speaker system is inbuilt, as part of the screen display with no visible apertures or speaker mesh.
This feature is similar to what we have seen in high-end OLED TVs.
The fingerprint sensor, like the Vivo X21, is integrated into the display and it is better and faster this time.
The re-engineered ambient light and proximity sensors also work beautifully through the display.
The display is bright, vivid and big enough to render 91.24 per cent screen-to-body ratio to the smartphone. Viewing angles under direct sunlight was a pleasure too.
The smartphone packs in 4,000mAh battery which was good enough to last a day and a half on a single charge.
What does not work?
While the "Screen SoundCasting" feature in the phone sure is futuristic and lets users have a completely bezel-less experience, we had to place the smartphone carefully against the ear to be able to hear the other person properly in noisy environments.
The device is not water resistant which means it would be a bit difficult to freely carry it to the pool or when it is drizzling.
The AI-powered dual-rear shooter misses out on optical zoom.
Conclusion: Vivo sure deserves appreciation for turning a concept phone into a mass production device and manage to deliver an almost bezel-less experience. We would recommend the phone to those looking for an innovative flagship smartphone which also packs a hefty battery -- and a unique pop-up front camera.
(Krishna SinhaChaudhury can be contacted at email@example.com )