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Vivo NEX 3 5G – no mechanical controls and pop-up selfie camera

Vivo is a brand that is not well known in the UK but is big in China. A sister company of Oppo, Realme and OnePlus, Vivo is gaining a reputation for making good quality and value for money handsets with nice innovative touches. The Vivo NEX 3 5G is no exception to this. Shipping at around £560 it is towards the lower price end of handsets currently offering 5G.

So, what do you get for your money? The screen is a 6.89” Super AMOLED with a high 93.6% screen to body ratio achieved by offering a waterfall display that curves into the sides and a small bezel at the top and bottom.

It has a 1080p resolution and 363PPI density. The back of the phone is also glass and is all held together in an aluminium frame. Although this makes it a bit heavier than most other similar sized phones at 218g, it gives it a premium look and feel and so is worth the extra weight.

It is worth mentioning here that the NEX 3 has no mechanical controls on the sides for on/off and sound volume. Instead there is just ‘touch’ button on the right with a grooved face that allows you to control on/off and volume by applying slight pressure.

0 to 100% battery in just over an hour

Moving to the insides, it has a Snapdragon 855+ processor and is available with 8 or 12GB of RAM and 256GB of non-expandable memory. The NEX 3 5G is powered by a 4500 mAh battery with 44W fast charging that should get you from 0 to 100% in just over an hour.

There is a fast reacting under-screen fingerprint scanner as well as 3.5mm headphone jack. Sadly, there is one downward facing speaker and that supports 32 bit/192kHz audio output.

Neat motorised pop-up selfie camera

The main camera array is a triple one that contains all the lenses that constitute a good setup in 2020 (wide, ultrawide and telephoto) although it is missing a macro, which is becoming more common this year. The main lens is a 64MP f/1.8 wide. This is supported by a 13MP f/2.5 telephoto and a 13MP f/2.2 ultrawide. This combination produces great pictures in both strong and poor light.

On the front is 16MP f/2.1 wide motorised pop-up camera. This small and elegant unit not only ensures that the screen is notch or cut out free, but also has it’s own LED flash built in so that there is always enough light for your favourite pose.

Newer version available

Available in Black or Blue, as mentioned above the Vivo NEX 3 5G will set you back around £560 currently (April 2020). If this handset does interest you, it might also be worthwhile considering a slightly newer version the Vivo NEX 3S 5G that was released in March 2020.

There is not a great deal to choose between them but in the S you get Android 10 and Vivo’s own skin Funtouch 10.0 (as opposed to Android 9 and Funtouch 9.1). You also get the faster Snapdragon 865 processor and an extra colour – orange.

If you want the S you will have to shell out another £140. So, you will need to decide if you want to do that.



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