Vivo Nex Dual Display Test: Our Complete Review – Smartphones


Introduction
    After a particularly original design in mid 2018 with the Vivo Nex S telescope camera, the Chinese manufacturer comes back with another conceptual smartphone, the Vivo Nex Dual Display. As the name suggests, this time it's not a camera coming out of the hinge, but a smartphone with two screens, one in the front and one in the back. What to convince to use? Check out our full review of the Vivo Nex Dual Display.
The Vivo Nex Dual Display
Our video tutorial

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        Model
                                    Vivo Nex Dual Display
                    
            Version of the OS
                                            
                            Android 9.0
                Interface
                                            
                            Funtouch OS
                Screen size
                                            
                            6.39 inches
                Definition
                                            
                            2340 x 1080 pixels
                Pixel density
                                            
                            403 dpi
                SoC
                                            
                            Snapdragon 845 at 2.7GHz
                Processor (CPU)
                                            
                            ARMv8
                Graphics Chip (GPU)
                                            
                            Adreno 630
                RAM memory
                                            
                            10 GB
                Internal memory (flash)
                                            
                            128 GB
                MicroSD
                                            
                            Yes
                Camera (backpack)
                                            
                            1:12 megapixel sensor, 2 megapixel sensor
                Camera (front)
                                            
                            12 megapixels
                Video recording
                                            
                            4K
                Wireless
                                            
                            Yes
                Bluetooth
                                            
                            5.0 + A2DP + LE
                networks
                                            
                            LTE, HSPA, GSM
                Supported bands
                                            
                            2100 MHz (B1), 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3), 2600 MHz (B7), 700 MHz (B28)
                SIM
                                            
                            2x nano SIM
                NFC
                                            
                            No
                Ports (Inputs / Outputs)
                                            
                            USB Type-C
                Geolocation
                                            
                            Yes
                Drums
                                            
                            3500 mAh
                Dimensions
                                            
                            157.2 x 75.3 x 8.1 mm
                Weight
                                            
                            199 grams
                Colors
                                            
                            Blue
                Price
                                            
                            634 €
                
                                    
                        Product sheet
                                            
                                This copy has been lent to us by the retailer PhoneDroid which proposes the smartphone in France.
Design
With the Nex S, Vivo tried an original approach to offer a smartphone with a 6.59-inch screen without border or notch. The camera for selfies was indeed housed in a mechanical part, which lifted on demand, emerging like a periscope, when the user needed it. For its Nex Dual Screen is however another solution that has adopted Vivo. Like the Nubia X, the smartphone has indeed a single module photo, back, but two screens. To take selfie photos, simply return the smartphone while observing in the secondary display.
The back of the Vivo Nex Dual Display
In use, it necessarily results in a smartphone with a design for the least atypical, with no border and especially no notch. On the front, there is a large screen of 6.39 inches that occupies 91.63% of the surface of the device. Only the bottom edge, half a centimeter, is slightly wider than the others. It is also in front that we will find the fingerprint reader, positioned in the very heart of the screen, as on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro or OnePlus 6T. We will come back to it. Finally, there is also on the front face the call speaker.
The notification LED is on the back of the smartphone. In the shape of a circle, it surrounds the large photo module composed of a double sensor or a TOF camera module allowing the capture of 3D models. If the fingerprint reader is positioned on the main screen, on the front, it is on the back that we will be able to benefit from facial recognition. Still on the back, we will find the second screen, 5.49 inches this time. Smaller, however, it displays wide borders at the top and bottom, while adopting a ratio 16: 9 classic. At the bottom of the display, we will find a NEX logo, while at the top, we will see that the photo module blends into the screen with a slight relief. A rather strange choice, but that does not interfere with the use.
                  
On the lower edge of the Vivo Nex Dual Display, there is the main speaker, the dual SIM drawer – without the possibility of extending storage – and the USB-C. The 3.5mm jack connection to connect a headset is positioned on the top edge. Finally, on the right, we find the classic power key and volume buttons and left … the other power key. It is indeed possible to turn on the screen that you want by pressing the right slice regardless of the way you hold the smartphone. A good way to switch from one to the other if you want, even if we will favor the main screen most of the time.
Overall, the grip is rather easy with both hands, the smartphone is heavy enough to use with its weight of 198 grams. Its format makes it quite difficult to understand with one hand, especially small. One can question the relevance of having two screens, especially in terms of solidity. A shock on the front or rear will be able to break one of the two displays and even if Vivo incorporates a bumper in the box of the smartphone, it will protect the edges, but not both sides of the Nex Dual Display. Too bad also that the smartphone does not benefit from an IP waterproofing certification, which has become the norm on this price range.
Screen
Special feature of the Vivo Nex Dual Display, it has two screens, not one. One could be fearful about the quality of the secondary slab proposed by Vivo on his smartphone, especially considering the implementation made by other manufacturers on this type of design. The Yotaphone for example also offer secondary screens, but in electronic ink.
The main screen of the Vivo Nex Dual Display
Nevertheless, Vivo did things well on its Nex Dual Display. If the first screen, 6.39 inches, uses a Super Amoled technology with a definition Full HD + (19.5: 9) for a resolution of 403 pixels per inch (dpi), the second is of the same order. It goes from a 19.5: 9 ratio to a more traditional 16: 9, but Vivo has retained Super Amoled technology and Full HD resolution, with an image density of 401 dpi.
In both cases, in use, we observe screens that clearly tend towards blue. Nevertheless, they are very bright with a pleasant use, even in full sun. Above all, the Amoled allows to enjoy infinite contrasts, since the black pixels are simply extinguished. Here are our measurements at the probe for each of the two screens in standard mode:
Main screen
Infinite contrast
Maximum brightness of 488 cd / m²
8300K Temperature
Secondary screen
Infinite contrast
Maximum brightness of 435 cd / m²
8300K Temperature
In both cases, we note a very good management of brightness and contrast. Nevertheless, it should be noted that by default, the color temperature is clearly above the actual white light, that of the sun, at 6500K. The options of FunTouch OS, the interface of Vivo, nevertheless allow to activate the "adjustment of the temperature of the colors". Once the option is activated, even without changing the slider, it reaches a temperature significantly more than 6600K.
The rear screen of the Vivo Nex Dual Display
All in all, even if one would have appreciated a better default setting of the white balance, it is clear that the Vivo Nex Dual Display offers an excellent display. Better still, it offers an excellent display on both screens.
Software
The Vivo Nex Dual Display is provided natively with Android version 9.0 Pie and the security patch of December 2018. The device is offered natively with an updated version of Android, a point that we can not but welcome . However, in terms of the user interface, we can only regret the integration of Funtouch OS, the same as for the Vivo Nex S and was "the most disturbing point of the phone," as we indicated during our test.
FunTouch OS interface
FunTouch OS, even here in version 4.5 – against 4.0 for the Nex S – does not look like anything we know about Android and is actually inspired by the interface of older versions of iOS.
Slide your finger from the top of the screen down, you will see notifications organized in the same way as on the Apple system. No trace shortcuts quick settings, for this you have to slide his finger from the bottom of the screen upwards. We end up with a panel displaying the last four open applications, volume, brightness and ten shortcuts. It is undeniable, we are dealing here with a copy of the control center of the iPhone.
                  
It's even worse on the side of the application "Settings". Composed of 38 different entries, it is impractical without going through the search bar. The menus are confusing, look like each other and we really do not know which way to go to find this or that parameter. This number of 38 entries may seem anecdotal, but when you know that there are only 9 on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 or 15 on the Huawei P Smart 2019, it's still huge. We hope that in the future, Vivo will follow the path of Samsung and Huawei, two manufacturers who tended, until recently, to offer far too many menus.
This interface is all the more damaging damaging Vivo belongs to the group BBK Electronics, the same who owns Oppo and especially OnePlus. We would have appreciated that for the global version of its Nex Dual Display the manufacturer takes over the OxygenOS interface of his cousin, both rich and clear.

We will quickly go to the launcher that can not adapt to offer an application drawer, since it can be manually modified by installing a third launcher. We will regret translations for the less random in the menus. We get to know each other, but talking about "Rank" to discover the evolution of autonomy is clearly not the most intuitive choice.
Finally, last but not least, we regret that the smartphone is only compatible with the level of Widevine L3 and that its management of DRM does not allow for example to read Netflix content, Molotov or myCanal in Full HD.
Management of two screens
Since the Vivo Nex Dual Display offers two screens, the FunTouch OS system logically offers some adaptations to take advantage of it.
As soon as you go from one screen to another, you return to the home screen on the secondary screen. It is not two separate smartphones, but rather a single smartphone, with the same applications available on both screens. This is also not without some problems, especially because of the ratio differences between each screen.
                  
With a 19.5: 9 front panel and a second 16: 9 display on the back, applications have a hard time adjusting. If those of Vivo have no problem to switch from one to another, it is much less the case of third-party applications. On the second screen, Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps or Instagram will for example display black bars on each side to resize the application to 19: 9 on the 16: 9 screen. Pity.
Note that it is possible to switch from one screen to another in two different ways: by pressing the slice button positioned to the right of the screen on which you want to go, or by activating the gesture. It is indeed possible to move from one screen to another by sliding three fingers from one side of the display to the other. In use however, difficult to see a real interest. In any case, we prefer to go through the larger screen, more comfortable for reading, even if the secondary screen remains correct, as we have seen.

Note that Vivo offers some features to enjoy its second screen, as the possibility of drawing on a display that will display on the second. The Chinese manufacturer also communicates about using the touch screen on the back as triggers in the shooting games, but we could not find an application taking advantage of this feature. The main interest of this second screen is still selfies.
biometrics
In addition to the screen unlock code, the Vivo Nex Dual Display offers two biometric options to unlock the smartphone. Be careful though, unlike a Samsung Galaxy S9, a OnePlus 6T or a Huawei Mate 20 Pro, there is no choice. If you want to unlock the main screen, you will necessarily go through the fingerprint reader. If we want to unlock the secondary screen, we will necessarily go through facial recognition.
                  
Like Huawei or OnePlus, Vivo has integrated the fingerprint reader directly into the screen of his smartphone. The fingerprint reader is pretty good and the unlocking is particularly fast. If it takes almost half a second to unlock the OnePlus 6T or the Mate 20 Pro, it takes just 200 ms for the Vivo Nex Dual Display. A time as fast as on a classic fingerprint reader, integrated on the back or below the screen.

On the back of the smartphone, it is precisely that we will find facial recognition. This is activated as soon as you press the smartphone's standby button to wake it up and is rather fast. It should be noted that Vivo relies here on its 3D TOF photo sensor to enable 3D facial recognition. We tried to deceive the smartphone with simple photos without him being caught.
audio
As we saw earlier, the Vivo Nex Dual Display includes a headphone jack on the upper edge and a speaker on the lower edge. If it offers a speaker for calls, it is not used at all for playback of multimedia content. The smartphone offers two screens for display, but when it comes to sound, it is indeed mono.
The headphone jack of Vivo Nex Dual Display, on the upper edge
On speakerphone, the smartphone emits a rather correct sound volume without necessarily being very powerful. Hardly enough to cover a conversation between two or three people. And it's pretty good as the sound quality is average. At maximum volume, the sound of the speaker saturates, regardless of the song, in the treble as in the bass. Note also that the bass are absent subscribers. In short, we will do without the speaker to listen to music.
Listening to his music with headphones or wired headphones, we note a much better management of sound quality. Vivo communicates on a "Hi-Fi mode" supposed to bring depth to the sound. Activated by default, it is true that the mode offers a particularly warm and encompassing sound, with good spatialization. However, this is not a true "high fidelity" mode, since the bass is well put forward, but it remains preferable to the standard audio mode – that can be activated via the countless parameters of the smartphone – with which the its slightly drier, with no real depth.

Note that the Hi-Fi mode is only available for wired headsets, since it goes through the DAC of the smartphone. For Bluetooth headsets, the conversion of the digital signal into a sound signal is provided by the headset itself. Note, however, that the smartphone offers several Bluetooth audio codecs, such as aptX, aptX HD, AAC or LDAC.
Photo
At the rear, the Vivo Nex Dual Display is equipped with a triple sensor. In main camera guide, we find the module IMX363 from Sony, to capture 12-megapixel shots at f / 1.79. The secondary camera is a 2 megapixel f / 1.8 used for portrait mode or to capture more light in low light. Finally, on the right, we note a third sensor. This is a TOF 3D mode – time of flight – used to scan objects or faces in 3D. we will come back to it later.
The photo application
Vivo's basic integrated photo application on its Nex Dual Display is particularly feature-rich, but can be confusing. It offers seven basic modes: professional, panorama, night, editing of the face by AI, take a photo, videos and adorable selfie RA (sic).
Professional Photo Mode will allow you to change the ISO speed, shutter speed or white balance. For its part, the "take a picture" mode will allow you to switch to automatic mode … or almost. Again, many options are built in, to add a background blur effect, filters (the most suitable for shooting can be selected automatically) or a timer.
                  
In a rather intelligent way, Vivo has also integrated a "mirror" function to its photo application. Specifically, while you want to take a picture of someone, the function can also display the shooting preview on the back screen. A good way for the subject to visualize his pose, to revive if necessary, or to suggest you to change the framing.
You'll also find other features, such as automatic or manual flash or HDR activation, an embellishment mode or, more anecdotally, examples of poses to inspire you during your shootings.
When the photo application is used on the back screen, either by launching it directly from the secondary screen or by switching with the selfie button, it undergoes a slight redesign, but retains all of its features .
Photo quality
By day, the Vivo Nex Dual Display offers photos of very good quality. The colors are generally respected, even if the smartphone will tend to go in hues warmer than what is observable to the naked eye. However, we can regret a too artificial HDR, which will tend to over-illuminate the theoretically shaded areas. Too bad also that the contrasts are sometimes too accentuated, as on cars in the road photo or the detail of some moldings on the arch.
Overall, if the Vivo Nex Dual Display can cause too artificial photos, they have at least the merit of putting their eyes on it, as on the sunset shots below.
                  
               
The night
Traditionally, low light is the poor relative of smartphones and what distinguishes a high-end mid-range. In this area, the Nex Dual Display confirms its smartphone status to more than 700 euros. At night, the photos are particularly bright and can even see the clouds in the sky. The management of strong light sources, such as streetlights or photo door entry is assured by the automatic HDR mode and the photo is not obstructed by a bright halo.
Nevertheless, we can emphasize a noise sometimes too present, which is noticeable around the details of tree branches in particular. Some are particularly sharp while others look more like a slurry of pixels.
                      
Portraits and selfies
For portraits, the Nex Dual Display is also doing very well. It will be recalled, since this is the very principle of the smartphone, that the same camera is used for selfies and for portraits of another subject.
Even indoors, as long as it has a decent brightness, the Nex Dual Display manages to capture skin texture and facial hair, even if it spoils heavily in low light. The colors are also rather respected. Outside, however, the smartphone will tend to offer a slightly reddish hue, not necessarily the most flattering.
Finally, the portrait mode, with background blur, is also a good success, especially since the Nex Dual Display allows you to change the focus a posteriori, both for the opening and for the point of focus. Note that another mode can gray the background to highlight the subject of the photo. A function that allows to see some failures of the detection of plans, like the office of Manu, partly remained colorful.

3D TOF mode
Quite anecdotally, the TOF 3D photo sensor is used for only two functions on the Vivo Nex Dual Display. The first, as we have seen, is the unlocking by 3D facial recognition. However, the sensor is also used on the photo application.

To use it, you will have to go into the "IA face retouch" mode, then press the "+" button. The smartphone will then ask you to tilt your head left, right and up. He will draw a 3D model of your face that is quite scary in itself. Unfortunately, it is not possible to export it to use as an avatar in a video game for example. No, the only interest here is to allow the smartphone to understand the features of your face to automatically propose, when taking selfie, to change the size of your forehead, the distance between your eyes or the shape of your lips. You had been warned, it's pretty anecdotal.
performances
With a Snapdragon 845 chip backed by 10 GB of RAM, the Vivo Nex Dual Display is logically one of the most successful smartphones of the moment. If one can doubt the interest of mounting to 10 GB of RAM on a smartphone, it is clear that this is one of the first models on the market to offer such a RAM, with the OnePlus McLaren Edition or the Black Shark Helo. It may nevertheless be regretted that the device offers only 128 GB of storage, without the possibility of mounting to 256 GB. If the capacity will be sufficient in the vast majority of cases, the Vivo Nex Dual Display does not propose a slot for a card microSD to extend the storage.
In use, Vivo's smartphone obviously behaves very fluidly. It does not suffer from any slowdown in menus, web browsing or multitasking, and is doing well in mobile gaming. For example, Fortnite launches automatically in an "epic" configuration, at 30 IPS. These are the most demanding settings on Android. In game, the smartphone gets off hands and we get to top 1 without any slowdown provided you have the necessary skill, which is clearly not the case of the author of this test.
Vivo Nex Dual DisplayVivo Nex SOnePlus 6TSamsung Galaxy Note 9Huawei Mate 20 (perf ON)
SoCSnapdragon 845Snapdragon 845Snapdragon 845Exynos 9810Kirin 980
AnTuTu 7.x295 417276 481297 132241 932300 645
PCMark 2.08 1838 3858 6415 1359 276
3DMark Slingshot Extreme4 7334 6294 7383 3554 254
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Graphics5 2325 1625 2573 6674 261
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Physics3 5483 4003 5212 5844 228
GFXBench Car Chase (onscreen / offscreen) 30/35 FPS34 / 35 FPS32 / 35 FPS26 / 28 FPS29 / 32 FPS
GFXBench Manhattan 3.0 (onscreen / offscreen) 59/83 FPS59 / 82 FPS59 / 83 FPS57 / 75 FPS60 / 87 FPS
Sequential read / write731 / 193 MB / s727 / 248 MB / s736 / 202 MB / s822 / 194 MB / sec833 / 196 MB / sec
Random read / write32,9k / 29,4k IOPS37k / 30k IOPS35,4k / 5,6k IOPS34,3k / 5,4k IOPS40k / 41k IOPS
Logically, the Vivo Nex Dual Display's performance is aligned with that of the Vivo Nex S and OnePlus 6T, both with the same processor. Whether for graphics performance, writing, reading or processor speed, Vivo's smartphone has nothing to envy the competition.
Autonomy
The Vivo Nex Dual Display has a battery of 3500 mAh, rather average of what manufacturers propose on the latest high-end smartphones. In use, we were able to use our smartphone in a mixed use, alternating between navigation, game, standby phases or listening to music, for 34 hours, then 49 hours. The difference between these two results lies particularly in the use I could have of the smartphone in the first days of testing. So I ran a variety of benchmark applications and played mostly at Fortnite, which alone was responsible for 40% of the battery usage. Unfortunately, Funtouch OS does not know how long the display remained lit during smartphone discharge cycles.
The USB-C socket of the Vivo Nex Dual Display
In any case, we could turn the smartphone for more than a day and a half, even with a rather intensive use. It must be said that despite the existence of two screens, they are almost never lit at the same time, with the exception of mirror mode for photos. They do not come to melt the autonomy of the device as one might have feared.
For charging, the Nex Dual Display comes with a fast charger of 18W (9V, 2A). Specifically, starting from a 9% charged battery, it took us 30 minutes to increase to 39%, one hour to reach 68% and an hour and a half to increase to 91% battery. In total, the battery of Vivo Nex Dual Display has been recharged from 9 to 100% in 1:58. A correct result, again in the market average.
Network & Communications
In terms of network standards, the Vivo Nex Dual Display is compatible with the 700 (B28), 800 (B20), 1800 (B3), 2100 (B1) and 2600 MHz (B7) bands for 4G, with LTE compatibility Cat. 16. Complete connectivity that should not be a problem for any of the four major operators in France. Note however that in the first days of our test, we had trouble hanging 4G antennas, but the concern seems to have been corrected through an update OTA proposed for the smartphone.
Regarding data and calls, the Vivo Nex Dual Display is also dual-SIM and allows a fine management of each of them for calls or data. If the calls go well in silent environment, we can blame a noise cancellation too important, as well as your interlocutor will hear your voice almost robotically.
The smartphone is also compatible with Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 a / b / g / n / ac), but also with GPS satellites, Galileo, Beidou and Glonass. Rather fast, the geolocation is done in less than one of five seconds on Google Maps in the city.
Prices, availability & alternatives
The Vivo Nex Dual Display is available in France for 769.90 euros. It is offered in a global version, 10 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, compatible with the 700/800/1800/2100/2600 MHz bands. Only one color is proposed, dark blue.
             Buy the Vivo Nex Dual Display
Where to buy the Vivo Nex Dual Display at the best price?
    
At this price, the Vivo Nex Dual Display faces several top-of-the-range Android smartphones, such as the OnePlus 6T, also available in a 10GB version in its McLaren edition, but also in the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 or Huawei Mate 20.

Photo gallery

    
    
        
            
                        Vivo Nex Dual Display Test The verdict
                    
                                                    
                                
                                After the first moments of astonishment, the Vivo Nex Dual Display proves rather effective. Its big screen with very thin border impresses and the smartphone is rather well designed, with nice finishes. However, we would have appreciated that it is a little less heavy and an IP waterproofing certification would not have been too much at this price.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                Whether front or back, Vivo offers good slabs on his smartphone. We may regret a temperature too cold colors, but they can be set in the settings. Above all, even for the secondary display, Vivo has done a good job by also offering a full HD AMOLED display.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                This is clearly the most negative point of the smartphone. FunTouch OS is clearly a brake on the use of the device. In addition to the very limited default launcher, the settings are particularly messy and the interface draws far too much inspiration from iOS. It's a shame.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                With a Snapdragon 845 processor and 10GB of RAM, Vivo's smartphone is logically doing very well in fluidity and performance. It is up to the competition at this price level and remains fluid even in the most demanding games. Too bad however that the storage of 128 GB is not extensible.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                With its 3500 mAh battery, the Vivo Nex Dual Display can easily hold use for more than a day. Without being exceptionally enduring, it is in the middle of the market. This is also the case with fast charging. Too bad, however, that it does not offer an induction charging system.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                Day and night, indoor and outdoor, the Nex Dual Display offers bright photos of good quality. If one can regret a lack of detail in low light or a lack of realism in the colors, remains that the treatment of the brightness is quite bluffing.
                            
                                            
                            
                    
                    
                            
                            
                
                    The Vivo Nex Dual Display is a good idea, well executed, but leaves a weird aftertaste, as if it were only a prototype. Of course, the performance is there, as the quality of the two screens or even the main camera, very effective even at night, but yet it is hard to believe.First Vivo's FunTouch interface suffers from the same defects that when we had tested the Vivo Nex S. Too confusing, too little customizable, too inspired – to say nothing else – iOS, it is clearly a major brake on the experience. The second screen is more like a gimmick than anything else. It is certainly very good bill, but after two weeks of use, we realize that it is used on very rare occasions, for selfies or for the mirror mode, when someone The Vivo Nex Dual Display is a good smartphone for 750 euros, but it struggles to stand out clearly from the competition. The only thing that stands out, the second screen, is primarily a gimmick, used as a compromise, like the notches on smartphones last year.
            
                            
                        Good points
                        Good quality screens
                                                            Very good performance
                                                            Photos that put your eyes on it
                                                            A very correct autonomy
                                                            (headphone jack)
                                                    
                    
                        Negative points
                        A much too much interface
                                                            A little heavy smartphone
                                                            Des photos bruitées en basse lumière
                                                            (pas de certification IP et pas de charge par induction)
                                                    
                
                    
            
    
        
    
                
    

        
                
    
    

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