We are just one elusive step away from making a complete bezel-less display a standard on modern phones, but things have been that way for a couple of years. Every now and then, we do see some phones resort to extreme measures just to deliver on the seamless and notch-less screen promise, and the first commercial phone to do so was Vivo Nex (review) that solved the problem by placing the front camera in a pop-up slider. Vivo (Nex Dual Display Quick Review  हिंदी में पढ़िए)

Many slider phones later, Vivo is back with a rather more extravagant solution – to use two AMOLED displays, one each on front and rear – for the second iteration Vivo Nex Dual Display edition.

Recently I got the chance to spend some quality time with this uncanny device. In fact, all my friends and family members were really intrigued by merely looking at a secondary display on the phone, which is a rare emotion to evoke from my acquaintances accustomed to looking at all sorts of weird gadgets in my hands.

But once the novelty wears off, do two screens on one phone make sense? Based on a limited few days that I spend with the conventional phone, here’s my hands-on Vivo Nex Dual review.

Vivo Nex 2 Specifications

Model Vivo Nex Dual Display (Aka Vivo Nex 2)
 Display` Primary – 6.39 inches FHD+ ;(2340 × 1080), AMOLED Display, 19.5:9 aspect ratio.
Secondary – 5.49-inch FHD display; (1080 x 1920) resolution; 16:9 aspect ratio
Processor Snapdragon 845 chipset, Adreno 630 GPU
RAM 10GB
Internal Storage 128GB
Software Android 9 (Pie) with Functouch OS 4.5
Primary Camera 12MP+2MP+TOF 3D sensor
Front Camera NA
Battery 3500mAh, 22.5W Fast charger
Dimensions 157.19 × 75.3 × 8.09mm; 199.2 grams
Others Dual 4G VoLTE, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz / 5GHz) 2×2 MIMO , Bluetooth 5 LE, GPS + GLONASS, USB 2.0, in-display fingerprint sensor
Vivo Dual Display Price is CNY 4,998

Vivo Nex 2 India price could be approx. Rs 52,000/-

Vivo NEX 2 Review: Unboxed

The Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition box includes everything that you need to get started. As soon as you slide off the top cover, you will notice Vivo’s first dual-screen phone along will all other accessories. Here’s everything that you will find inside the Vivo Nex 2 box:

  • Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition handset
  • Dual-engine Charger (22W)
  • USB Type-C cable
  • Bumper case
  • Earphones
  • SIM ejector tool
  • User guide

ALSO READ: Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review

Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition Review: Design and Build Quality

Of late, almost all brands have warmed up to the idea of a glass-metal-glass sandwich, but Vivo’s screen-metal-screen design is something starkly unconventional, and surely a head turner. What’s the logic behind the choice? Well, the second display is primarily meant to facilitate taking selfies using the rear cameras. In fact, the Vivo Nex 2 has no dedicated selfie camera. But when you are adding a second screen, you might as well put it to good use. Which Nex 2 does. Kind of.

Also on the rear are triple cameras with an IR sensor and also a lunar ring light encircling them. The lunar ring can be customized to glow in various colors and also doubles as a notification light.

The front is all about the gorgeous edge-to-edge screen, and the aluminum rail on the sides and in between the two displays adds rigidity to the entire structure. Contrary to what we expected, the phone didn’t feel fragile in hands. Of course, Vivo also employs Gorilla glass protection on both surfaces and bundles a good quality case within the package.

Apart from an extra screen, the Nex 2 also has an extra power button, one for each display. On the right, you will find volume rocker accompanied by a power button which turns on the main screen, while the secondary power button which features on the left edge can be used to wake up the rear panel. There’s also an earpiece on both front and rear which means you can pick up or make calls from either side of the phone. The SIM tray, loudspeaker, and USB Type-C port get their place at the bottom while the 3.5mm headphone jack finds a spot up top.

All in all, the Nex 2 design is not conventional by any stretch of the imagination, still, we felt perfectly at home with day-to-day operations.

ALSO READ: Honor View 20 Review

Vivo Nex 2 Review: Displays

Let’s start with the primary one on the front. It is a 6.39-inch Super AMOLED screen that comes with 1,080×2340 pixels resolution. The screen is vivid, well-balanced and offers infinite contrast (theoretically). At 91.63 percent screen to body ratio, it gives you almost entire real estate of the phone to have an edge to edge immersive viewing experience without any notch. Even though Vivo is said to have sourced these OLED panels from Samsung, they are clearly not in the same league as the ones you’d see on Galaxy Note 9 or S9+. 

Switching from front to rear display is simple, you can either use three finger swipe gesture or push the respective side power buttons to wake screens. The secondary Full HD display is also an AMOLED panel and similar in terms of quality to the primary one, but it is smaller in size (5.49-inch) and has the old school 16:9 aspect ratio.

Apart from being a viewfinder for selfies, it also mirrors the viewfinder to the rear screen to give a live preview to the image subject, then there’s Paint Heart and V-mood that lets you use the rear screen as digital cue cards.

The Nex Dual Display’s secondary screen can also act as a game controller. You can shift some of the game controls to the rear screen which will give full screen on the front for action.  We have detailed all dual-screen applications of Vivo Nex Dual Display in the video below.

Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition review: Hardware and Software

The Vivo Nex Dual Display edition also holds its head high in terms of performance. The rig is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset. It also joins the elite list of 10GB RAM phones which means you won’t face any trouble with multi-tasking or gaming. We haven’t yet faced any trouble in performing day-to-day activities as apps run super smooth. Vivo has added 128 GB of internal storage.

 

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The software is once again the FunTouch OS and it continues to be an Achilles heel for otherwise impressive Vivo phones.

The new Nex comes running on Funtouch OS 4.5 which is based on Android 8.1 Oreo. The settings menu is clumsy. Notification panel and quick draw toggles all are inspired by iOS. There is no app drawer and everything is stacked on the home screen. The UI desperately needs a design overhaul if Vivo hopes to gain mass acceptance.

Vivo Nex Dual Display Review: Cameras

The Vivo NEX Dual Display edition comes with three cameras. However, all three of them are placed on the rear panel. The primary sensor is a 12MP f/1.8 shooter which is paired with a 2MP f/1.8 sensor. Both of them are assisted by a Time of Flight (TOF) sensor which capture 3D facial map for depth.

for both general shots as well as selfies. Rear cameras have traditionally been superior to front-facing options on smartphones, so it makes sense to leverage this advantage. Apart from that, there’s a lunar ring that emulates soft glow for selfies. And there are twine LED flashlights too.

So, how good is Vivo Nex Dual Display camera? Well, the initial impression suggests it is good enough snapper for most conditions. It manages to capture decent details in not so adverse conditions. There are AI mode and portrait modes as well. Due to a shortage of time, we couldn’t test out the Nex 2 camera at length and that’s precisely why we won’t be passing on any verdict.

Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition Quick Review and initial impressions

The Nex Dual Display further consolidates Vivo’s reputation as an innovative and bold smartphone brand. Adding an extra screen for selfies is an exciting and efficacious solution, but we don’t expect the trend to catch on or go mainstream anytime soon. After all, two screens on one phone bloat up the cost and can be a bit overwhelming. Having said that, the second screen on Nex 2 is not a gimmick, and the phone makes good use of the extra panel.

All in all, the Nex Dual Display doubles the fun and is easily the quirkiest phone I have used so far – the kind that keeps my job exciting.

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