Chinese smartphone maker Vivo’s new Nex smartphone is missing something that all its competitors have: a “notch.”
And that’s a good thing. The lack of the divisive notch means more screen space on the phone’s big, bezel-free display.
Many smartphone makers starting with Essential Phone (yes, before the iPhone X) have strived to give their smartphones edge-to-edge displays, but few could figure out how to deal with the problem of the notch.
The notch is where a smartphone’s earpiece, selfie camera, and various sensors are located, and smartphone makers can’t cover those items up with a display. The result is an intrusive notch, a necessary evil that interrupts the screen from becoming a fully bezel-free design.
Vivo, however, worked around the problem.
Check out how Vivo solved the “notch” that divides opinions in the smartphone world:
To get rid of notch, Vivo hid the selfie camera inside the phone itself.
It pops out from its enclosure whenever you want to take a selfie.
As a result, it has an astounding 91.2% screen-to-body ratio compared to the iPhone X’s 83%, as measured by GSM Arena.
As for the earpiece, Vivo is using the screen itself as the speaker.
Vivo’s “Screen SoundCasting” technology transmits audio waves through the display itself. Vivo says that it’s even better than the traditional earpiece that uses a tiny speaker, saying the technology “enhances sound quality with more powerful bass, and softer, smoother treble.”
Vivo is using a fingerprint sensor hidden underneath the display.
You won’t find a fingerprint sensor around the back of the Nex phone by Vivo, and there’s no space for a traditional fingerprint sensor on the front, either. Instead, Vivo is using an in-display fingerprint sensor that’s completely invisible.
Vivo didn’t elaborate where the other sensors are.
Missing from Vivo’s details are the location of other sensors, like the light sensor that dims the display when you’re in a dark environment, or turns the display off when you put the phone to your ears.
The Vivo Nex will only be available in China, but it should be an inspiration to smartphone makers who sell phones elsewhere.
The Vivo Nex offers an ingenious solution for a true edge-to-edge display – with only the slightest hint of a bottom bezel, or “chin.
Personally, I’m not too bothered by notches on smartphones. But phones sure look better and more impressive without it. And considering how little I use the selfie camera, hiding it away makes perfect sense.
For the selfie-takers out there, I haven’t tested the Vivo Nex to see how quick – or slowly – the selfie camera pops out of its hiding place. If it’s slow, it might not be ideal. But that will only matter to Chinese smartphone users who pick up the Vivo Nex.
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