Vivo NEX 3 5G unveiled with huge waterfall screen, Snapdragon 855+ and virtual buttons

Vivo NEX 3 5G unveiled with huge waterfall screen, Snapdragon 855+ and virtual buttons
Last month, Vivo released a teaser for the NEX 3 revealing that the device carries a curved edge waterfall screen and a pop-up selfie camera. Today, we learned the rest of the story as Vivo officially unveiled the NEX 3 series, which includes 5G and 4G LTE variants. The phone carries a 6.89-inch POLED Waterfall FullView Display with an FHD+ resolution and the manufacturer claims that it offers a screen-to-body ratio of 99.6%. The edges on the waterfall screen can display a light show when music is being played or a call is received by the phone.

The Vivo NEX 3 5G is powered by the overclocked Snapdragon 855+, which includes a 15% bump in the performance of the Adreno 640 GPU. It also includes the Snapdragon X50 5G modem, which supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G networks. And the phone is equipped with the latest version of  Universal Flash Storage, UFS 3.0. This will allow the phone to open games and apps faster and users will be able to save some time when booting up the device. Are you taking notes, Google?

The NEX 3 5G features virtual buttons that use haptic feedback to replace physical buttons


The NEX 3 5G will be available with 8GB or 12GB of memory along with 256GB of storage. Round camera modules appear to be in this year as far as Chinese manufacturers are concerned, and Vivo calls its module the Lunar Ring Camera System. The triple-camera setup on back includes a 64MP primary camera with an f/1.8 aperture, a 13MP ultra-wide camera, and a 13MP telephoto camera. A pop-up 16MP selfie snapper helps the screen-to-body-ratio stay high. There is an in-display fingerprint scanner and a 4500mAh capacity battery keeps the lights on. Vivo's Super FlashCharge uses a 44W adapter to quickly replenish the battery, and Android 9 is pre-installed with Vivo's Funtouch OS 9.1 skin on top.


A Vapor Chamber Cooling System keeps the handset cool even during long periods of 5G use. Network speeds are enhanced thanks to the use of dual WLAN Acceleration technology. This allows two Wi-Fi signals to be used at the same time. And Vivo's Touch Sense replaces physical buttons with virtual buttons on the side of the phone. Using haptic feedback, the user will get a response from the device when a virtual button is pressed.


So far, Vivo has not released any pricing information or a release date. What the company did say was that the NEX 3 will be coming soon to Asia Pacific, Southeast Asia, and other markets. While it obviously is not heading to the U.S., it is important that smartphone enthusiasts in the states see the innovations that are taking place overseas. The company said in its press release that it has taken the lead in 6G R&D. According to Vivo, it has "raced ahead into the more challenging and unknown field of 6G. Although 5G commercialization has just kicked off, Vivo has realized that the future explosive growth of data and the wider application of AI technologies will bring the next wave of challenges in communication." What this means is that it has attended 6G seminars and created partnerships with certain universities that are engaged in what it calls "cutting-edge 6G technologies."

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22 Comments

1. VariableCheapskate

Posts: 173; Member since: May 29, 2019

Virtual buttons are something that will become very, very annoying down the pipeline.

2. OneLove123

Posts: 1189; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Nope, it'll be like virtual keyboard. I think it will do fine.

8. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Its not actually virtual buttons per se. It's more like htc's that can't be customized. It is not on the screen like most of these media houses say. It's built to the frame but not clickable.

21. oldskool50 unregistered

What? Don't you use virtual keyboards? The icons on the screen are virtual too. Having a virtual button for things like power and volume to me is a good thing. After all, how often you you change the volume or power off your device? And since navigation buttons have been virtual for quite some time, you should be use to it. So how is any other one gonna be any different? People - These OEM's need to do new things OEM - Does new things People - Complain and criticize the new thing before they even use it. People - Are never happy with anything. People - Can't make a darn thing, but complain about others. Well "people" if you don't like it, don't buy it and learn how to make your own. After all, you can buy every component that is inside almost any device. You can build your own mold and you can even make your own glass and you can make the phone be exactly what you want.

3. tiz_meh

Posts: 78; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

A gimmicky innovation lol. Yeah good luck fiddle around in the dark.

4. Poptart2828

Posts: 426; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

You don't need to fiddle around because where the haptic buttons are there is a different textured cut out signaling where to find them and press

22. oldskool50 unregistered

If it is onscreen, then that area can have an always on display that tells you where to press. Just liek it does when you want to unlock your phone. Do you fiddle around in the dark to unlock your phone? No. When you touch it, most for them light up something on the screen to give you a clue. Right? Why don't you think, before you rattle something totally stupid off the top of your head.

5. Poptart2828

Posts: 426; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

My next phone surely. Can't wait to try out the dual wifi connection working hand in hand.

6. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 730; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

If that pic is legit, there's no way the screen to body ratio is 99.6%. That bezel we're seeing alone would be more than .4%. I'm not one of those bezel Nazis or anything, but I don't appreciate being lied to.

10. TheOracle1

Posts: 2336; Member since: May 04, 2015

Simple mathematics given the way screen to body ratios are measured. The side bezels are completely eliminated and the screen extended a few millimeters beyond the sides and further than any previous phones. The area of the top and bottom bezels are small compared to the overall size of each side bezel. Btw, the waterfall screen sides aren't touch sensitive so no accidental touches. If I recall correctly, pricing is around $770 for the 8GB/128GB 4G LTE model, $800 for the 5G 8GB/256GB and $880 for the 5G 12GB/256GB. That would be about $700 less than the top of the line iPhone or Note 10. I would/could buy this phone but it's even taller than my NexS and I'm loving the NexS for now.

7. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1135; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Bring it on Vivo. I'm not gonna dismiss this as a gimmick. Even though this design is far from perfect and has it's own shortcomings, it's definitely a step forward in the right direction. Just imagine the potential of this few years down the line. Companies like Vivo are pushing the boundaries of innovation and also making it hard for Apple/Samsung/Google to sit on their asses. It'll push big players to take risks instead of giving the consumers same crap every single year.

9. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Potential of what actually? Those aren't actual virtual buttons but physical ones that aren't clickable. The cut-out for the button are clearly there.

12. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1135; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

I'm not talking about the "buttons" only. I'm talking about the concept as a whole. Let's wait for the initial reviews but the first gen NEX proved that it's just more than a gimick.

13. TheOracle1

Posts: 2336; Member since: May 04, 2015

The online reviews are already on YouTube. I'm very interested in the battery life. It's unfortunate that these phones don't have a wider release in Western markets because everyone who sees my NexS is blown away and they've never even heard of Vivo despite the company being the sponsor of the last World Cup and the IPL (Americans probably don't know what either of those tournaments are so you're allowed to Google or Siri them on your iPhones). Try BBK toowhilst you're doing that.

20. Poptart2828

Posts: 426; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

Agree. Everyone is blown away by the phone design of both my nex s and dual display. These devices are so radically different in terms of looks and function than anything sold in America. They also get awesome 4g lte signal as well.

16. SyCo87

Posts: 318; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

"Apple/Samsung/Google to sit on their asses." What are you talking about, it looks like a damn samsung s10!!!

11. foreverNOOB

Posts: 167; Member since: Jul 07, 2017

Vivo Thailand already started taking pre-order for Nex3 now, the very same day as the announcement event(Sep 16), actual in-store sale will start on Sep 30 in Thailand with the price tag at 24,990THB or around 810USD for 128/8gb 4G only variant.

14. TheOracle1

Posts: 2336; Member since: May 04, 2015

So you can almost get two 5G 128GB Nex 3's for the price of one iPhone 11 Max Pro in Thailand? Lol.

18. foreverNOOB

Posts: 167; Member since: Jul 07, 2017

Yeah, that's because Iphone 11 Pro Max's price in Thailand starting at around 1400USD. Side note: Iphone 11 also have the same price as Nex 3 at 810USD here, too.

19. TheOracle1

Posts: 2336; Member since: May 04, 2015

Same price as the base iPhone 11? Then it's the Nex 3 for sure if you live in Thailand.

15. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1135; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

I'll definitely try to get it if it supports all the required network bands.

17. hamaidx

Posts: 99; Member since: Apr 28, 2015

there's aplenty of videos of NEX3 review online and this guys posts just an rticle.. guess he doesn't want apple fans to feel low...

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