The journey to a bezel-less phone ends when you get rid of the ubiquitous front camera and other sensors that reside on the front of your phone. Apple forced us or was itself forced to compromise on having a notch on top as it tried to sweeten the deal by miniaturizing a Kinect into the small space of the iPhone X notch.

Still, the notch remains as an itch that needs to be scratched. But that didn’t stop other phone manufacturers from emulating the notch, admit it or not, because Apple had the guts to do it. In a previous article, I mentioned that Lenovo had a simple solution which it implemented on their Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 520 all-in-one PC. It works like a charm because the screen looks charming without the top and side bezels. I’ve also mentioned that Lenovo’s phones could do the same thing and have an edge on its competitors. Instead, Vivo decided to adopt it instead. Vivo now has a bezel-free, all-screen smartphone thanks to a pop-up camera on the top of the Vivo Nex phone.

The Vivo Nex’s solution may not be the most elegant to getting rid of the bezel, but it’s a start if you want a truly full-screen phone. The 8MP camera resides inside the top of the phone and pops up when needed resulting in a tiny square on top. It’s a rather nifty compromise to seeing an annoying notch, especially one that doesn’t do much on other phones. The notch is a kludgy solution at best until someone manages to overlap a display on top of a camera.

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The only disadvantage for the Vivo Nex is the introduction of mechanical parts on the phone, something all other phones are trying to get rid of. The protrusion has the potential to break apart if not handled carefully as well as reduces the phone’s waterproofing potential. The other bonus to this, especially for those very concerned with their privacy, is that the front camera cannot be hacked and be used to spy on the user unless it’s popped out. But if other manufacturers are willing to work with this new compromise, Apple’s notch will soon be a memory and another disadvantage that Android users can brag about. Apple, being obsessed with style, would be hard-pressed introducing any more mechanical elements to its phones. Apple might even proclaim that selfies are uncool and shed the front camera altogether. But that’s just a ballpark idea; Apple might just come up with something.

vivo nex camera images
Vivo Nex camera

To be completely honest, and call me a luddite if you will, all-screen phones will only make increase the monotonous look of smart phones. It’s already difficult to tell them apart when they’re not encased in flamboyant casings. I miss the good old days when you can tell an iPhone from an Android and a Blackberry. I kind of miss the fun of switching front cases of old Nokia phones. I honestly don’t mind the protruding antennae of old Nokia, Samsung and Handspring phones. Anyway, during this era of full-motion video which is very much appreciated, the more screen real-estate, the better, especially without annoying, worrisome notches.

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So what else is in the Vivo Nex? The Nex’s notchless 2244 x 1080 AMOLED screen measures 6.59-inches diagonal. It also features an in-display fingerprint sensor. The Nex doesn’t have a traditional earpiece but rather, it turns the display itself into a speaker through its glass-vibrating technology. Inside, the Nex boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 256GB of internal storage, 8GB of RAM, 4000mAh battery and a 12MP rear camera. The Nex also retains a headphone jack. These perks aren’t cheap, and the Vivo Nex is expected to cost almost 800 US dollars. Given the specs and the lack of notch, it’s not bad.

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