vivo NEX S

vivo NEX S

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6.5/10 (Expert Score)
Product is rated as #4 in category Vivo
so the vivo NEX S we've got to hand it to Vivo for stepping out of the box and delivering a fresh new smartphone design with an awesome bezel list Nautilus display, we also get great battery life, a loud speaker and the fast processing you expect from a flagship, it's not perfect though there's no waterproofing, the fingerprint reader can be frustrating and we expected more from the camera .
Battery Life
Value for Money
  • Good, if not really impressive, image quality
  • A lot of value-added features in Funtouch OS
  • Good audio quality
  • Very loud speaker
  • Great battery life, fast charging
  • Amazing 6.59-inch notch-free Super AMOLED display
  • Innovative and entertaining motorized selfie camera and under-display fingerprint solutions
  • Futuristic nearly bezel-free design
  • No 4K@60fps or 1080p@60fps video capture
  • The camera has noticeable issues with noise, especially in low-light conditions
  • Funtouch OS is badly organised, chaotic and difficult to use. Many features are not regionalized
  • Very unreliable performance on the under-display fingerprint reader
  • No wireless charging
  • No NFC
  • No expandable storage
  • No ingress protection rating

vivo NEX S

people took most of the smartphone industry by surprise when availing its apex concept phone and releasing it as a full-fledged product only a few months later .

the result the vivo NEX S, as a really innovative design but is any good as an actual daily driver, we are and this is our vivo NEX S review .

vivo NEX S Review

the vivo NEX S has a gently sloped glass back in an aluminum frame, from this¬†angle it doesn’t seem too out of the ordinary for a 20-18 phone, but flip it¬†over and you start to see what the buzz is all about .

a huge display takes up the whole front surface, with minimal bezels and no notch, part of what makes this possible is the innovative set up for the selfie cam, it sits inside of the body and pops out when you need it, sort of like the periscope of a submarine .

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unlike a¬†submarine though this device isn’t watertight, but the cameras up-and-down¬†motion is smooth and actually sort of fun, it even has some optional sound¬†effects .

the assembly feels sturdy and vivo boasts they can withstand up to 100¬†pounds of force, but probably better not to sit on it, there’s no earpiece taking up precious space on the front of the vivo NEX S .

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the¬†phone relies on an internal piece electric setup to generate sound for calls, and it doesn’t sound bad, another¬†futuristic feature aiming to shave off the bezels is the under display¬†fingerprint reader .

sadly is pretty slow compared to traditional readers and not too reliable, it feels bad to have to try multiple times to wake up your phone there is no face unlock feature available on the vivo NEX S .

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all of these¬†space-saving innovations have come together to allow for the vivo NEX S‚Äôs massive screen, it’s a 6.6 inch AMOLED with a 1080p resolution in a tone¬†19.3:9 aspect ratio .

even though it’s only 1080p and with 388 PPI, the¬†display still looks amazingly sharp and has punchy colors and really deep blacks, it isn’t too color accurate with no¬†options for making color adjustments .

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you’ll have to get used to the saturated¬†reds and yellows, maximum brightness in the default mode is just shy of 460 nets, and sunlight legibility is great, we’ve seen a few phone score higher but the¬†next s is perfectly usable in the Sun .

the screen also has an always-on display showing you the time and notifications, is convenient and can be customized in settings, not everything is next-gen on this phone and we saw have a 3.5 millimeter jack for headphones .

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volume is below average but there’s almost no¬†distortion, otherwise we have a single loudspeaker on the bottom next to the USBC port, a stereo setup would be nice¬†but tough to deal with this all screen design, in any case the speaker is pretty¬†loud and music has little to no Distortion .

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the vivo NEX S runs on a state-of-the-art Snapdragon 845 chipset and 8 gigs of RAM, as expected it runs great and there are no surprises and benchmarks, the phone keeps cool and it performs just as well as this flash of competitors .

storage wise the Nexus has either 128 or 256 gigs of internal memory depending on the model, this is an expandable though .

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now under vivos OS, it’s fun touch 4 / Android 8.1 Oreo and about as far from stock as we’ve seen in an Android phone, looking more like iOS¬†with a bunch of added features, you can navigate using the regular on-screen¬†buttons or opt to use gestures .

swipe up from the center to go home and swipe up and hold to open the task switcher, swiping up from the left side goes back, and swiping up from the right opens the control center .

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so yeah instead of having settings and quick toggles in the notification shade at the top here the house in the control center at the bottom, just like iOS, along with a row of recent apps .

the default app package is pretty huge on this phone, without Google Play services in China, people had to develop quite a few things by itself, some standard apps, at the phone app, album and video player work well but others like the browser are clearly not set up for a Western user experience .

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in¬†the Chinese ROM there’s a lot of other bloatware too, this has WIPO, Baidu¬†and Ally pay, there’s actually an entire folder just full of random apps .

even more stuff is hidden away behind the scenes as various services, thankfully most can be uninstalled swiping over to the left opens customizable panels which can display things like weather, news and reminders .

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as part of vivos digital assistant named Jovi, and like Samsung’s¬†Bixby it has its own dedicated Hardware button and no it can’t be remapped .

for now Jovi operates in Chinese, but is supposed to set alarms, make reminders for events and tumble and switch certain settings by voice control .

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it’s also¬†present on the camera, and can analyze the on-screen content and provide¬†searches, sort of like bixby vision, but speaking of dedicated buttons the smart¬†click feature is pretty convenient, you can map any custom feature or action to¬†a long press of the volume down button .

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one major issue we found with the OSS is¬†heavy security, which prevents you from side loading apps or a new launcher¬†without a complicated process involving a Chinese phone number, it’s really¬†stingy about permissions too,¬†sometimes asking you to authorize a new app every time you launch it .

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the vivo NEX S has a big 4000 million power battery and is pretty power efficient is¬†scored an excellent 101 our endurance rating and our proprietary tests, charging this large battery isn’t a¬†problem either with the provided 20 2.5 watt charger we went from zero to 50% in¬†half an hour, there is no wireless charging though .

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the vivo NEX S has the dual camera setup, though the 5 megapixel secondary camera is only used to provide depth in portrait mode, the main camera is F1.8 and 12 megapixels with dual pixel face detection autofocus and ois .

there’s a pro mode for still photos, we¬†can adjust ISO, shutter speed, white balance and manual focus, in daylight¬†photos come out okay, but we expected more out of a flagship device .

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noise suppression is quite heavy and resolve detail is rather low with some softness throughout the frame, but even in good lighting there is still some visible noise and dynamic range is surprisingly limited .

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clouds and shadows often get clips even with the AI driven HDR turned on, the portrait bokeh shots using both cameras all right but not all that impressive, the background is nicely out of focus though the edges around the subject sometimes end up blurry .

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in¬†low-light we again weren’t impressed with vivo NEX S, despite having OIS everything¬†gets particularly blurry and fuzzy and often even out of focus .

now on to the 8 megapixel selfie cam which has fixed focus while we applaud vivo for its cool mechanics the actual performance of the front-facing snapper is rather disappointing, selfies come out soft, with limited dynamic range .

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there’s some noticeable noise and shots often come¬†out overexposed, it has its own portrait mode too and the D focusing looks about¬†as convincing as that on the main cam .

video can be recorded in 4k or 1080p at¬†30fps there’s no 60 FPS option on this phone, the next s actually does a pretty good job here there is some noise and a¬†tendency to overexpose the quality is flash great, and the 4x ois grands¬†decent stabilization even in 4k .

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so the vivo NEX S we’ve got to hand it to Vivo for stepping out of the box and¬†delivering a fresh new smartphone design with an awesome bezel list Nautilus¬†display, we also get great battery life, a loud speaker and the fast processing you¬†expect from a flagship, it’s not perfect though there’s no waterproofing, the¬†fingerprint reader can be frustrating and we expected more from the camera .

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but¬†the future that could be a turn-off for users is fun touch OS, sure it provides a¬†lot of features but as current state it’s overwhelming and a bit chaotic, out¬†of the box users shouldn’t be expected to make a bunch of customizations bypass¬†security or sideload apps and files, just to have something that feels friendly¬†and usable .

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until vivo revises the OS or releases an international rom we can’t¬†really recommend this phone, but still it showcases a neat design that has us¬†hopeful for the future .

Update - 2019.02.15

Disclaimer : We can not guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct

Specification: vivo NEX S



2G bands

CDMA 800 / 1900 & TD-SCDMA, GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2

3G bands

HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100

4G bands

LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 17(700), 18(800), 19(800), 20(800), 25(1900), 26(850), 28(700), 34(2000), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500)


HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (4CA) Cat16 1024/150 Mbps






2018, June


Available. Released 2018, June


162 x 77 x 8 mm (6.38 x 3.03 x 0.31 in)


199 g (7.02 oz)


Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)

Display Type

Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors

Display Size

6.59 inches, 107.3 cm2 (~86.0% screen-to-body ratio)


1080 x 2316 pixels (~388 ppi density)

Operation System

Android 8.1 (Oreo); Funtouch 4


Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 (10 nm)


Octa-core (4×2.7 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)


Adreno 630

Memory Card Slot


Internal Memory

128/256 GB, 8 GB RAM

Main Camera

12 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.55", 1.4¬Ķm, 4-axis OIS, dual pixel PDAF, 5 MP, f/2.4, depth sensor, Dual

Camera Features

Dual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR, panorama


2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps

Selfie Camera

Motorized pop-up 8 MP, f/2.0, Single

Selfie Camera Video


Loud Speaker


3.5mm jack


General Features

32-bit/192kHz audio, Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic


Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot


5.0, A2DP, LE


Yes, with A-GPS, BDS, GNSS




2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go


Fingerprint (under display), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass


Fast battery charging 22.5W, Non-removable Li-Ion 4000 mAh battery


Black, Red


About 700 EUR

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