As smartphone makers inflame to maximize screen space on the front of the phone, there is a continual dubiousness of what to do with the front-facing camera. Companies like Samsung alternate a large portion of bezel along the top of the device for components like the camera, while myriad and more smartphone makers have followed Apple’s lead and sculptured a notch out of the top of the screen.
Chinese smartphone maker Vivo is launching a coat of arms with another solution: a pop-up camera lens. The camera is recondite most of the time, but open the camera app and the front camera will mechanically awaken out of the top edge of the device.
At Mobile World Congress, Vivo showed off a “concept” phone with this property called the Vivo Apex. It had a nearly all-screen front, pop-up camera, and an in-screen fingerprint reader. It appeared like something that wasn’t mass producible and was mostly procured for attention at a crowded smartphone show. A few months later, though, and the crowd has reworked the concept into the Vivo Nex. Vivo claims the Nex will in truth be for sale in China for ¥4,498 ($700).
$700 gets you the premium version with a Snapdragon 845, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and a 4,000mAh battery. The exhibit—which, remember, doesn’t have a notch—is a 6.59-inch OLED panel with a 2316×1080 motion. There is even a headphone jack. There’s also a cheaper (~$600) Snapdragon 710 variant.
While just now a pop-up camera would probably be enough to earn our attention, the Vivo Nex also has an in-screen fingerprint look over. Vivo has been beating just about everyone to this unpreventable smartphone feature, with the first prototype demoed about a year ago. On the Nex, a unimportant area at the bottom of the screen can scan your finger with an optical sensor.
We don’t talk surrounding Vivo much, but it is owned by BBK, the same company that owns OnePlus and Oppo. In the past, Vivo has mostly been yet another anonymous iPhone clone maker that periodically makes headlines with “the world’s thinnest smartphone.” Even when shut from its sibling companies, Vivo usually ranks somewhere in the world-wide top five vendors. If it conceals doing more interesting things like this, we’ll have to pay sundry attention!