“It has a pop-up selfie camera.” That was the only thing I heard when the Vivo NEX was announced, and all other features faded into the background. Seriously, my main excitement over this phone stems from the fact that it has a mechanical camera that comes out when you take photos with the front-facing camera.
How would it work? Why the technical maneuvering to make this camera happen? Would it break after the gajillion selfies I take in a day? These were all questions I needed answers to. So, it’s time for a quick review — and by quick, I mean I’m only tackling the key features. (You can read the full hands-on review here.)
What’s the deal with this phone anyway?
The Vivo NEX, to us mere mortals (your average non-techie consumer), looks like a typical smartphone. Until you have to scan your fingerprint and take a selfie, that is. Of course, a number of people have given praise to this handset for being the future of smartphones — and I can’t blame them. In a sea of identical notched devices, a camera with moving parts sounds oh so exciting.
You’ll realize that the hype is real when you finally get this baby in your hands. Anything that feels less than premium in my hands is a big no-no for me, and the NEX doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Unlike the previous midrange Vivo releases that didn’t quite do it for me, this handset has a good weight to it and you can definitely feel the glass build.
Sure, it comes in drab black, but if the light hits right, you can see colors of the rainbow. No, really:
It’s a nice lighting touch, though to be honest, it just looks more black in most lighting scenarios. I’m pretty disappointed I’m not the dazzling unicorn I thought I’d be by using this phone, but that’s just me.
Do we really need all that screen?
A 91+ percent screen ratio is a big deal in terms of measurement and smartphone hype, but it’s just a bunch of numbers to me. Admittedly, however, the wider screen experience is good — the obsession with a wider screen in a smaller phone body is understandable for people with smaller hands like mine.
Speaking as someone who hides the notch when I have the option to, the lack of screen obtrusion is refreshing. More screen means a literal bigger picture, which is great when being viewed on a massive 6.59-inch Super AMOLED screen. As much as I’d love to say that’s a problem for the small-screened population, it’s the lack of standard in screen ratios that’s the real culprit, so I’ll leave it at that.
How does the fingerprint sensor feel?
Hidden in plain sight is the fingerprint sensor. Yes, it’s in the display! You know where to scan your fingerprint because when the phone’s locked, the area of the screen where you’re supposed to put your finger lights up.
How does this new technology fare? Well, it’s decent. Compared to other fingerprint scanners which take less than a second to unlock with a slight touch from your finger, the in-display sensor on this thing is less sensitive and it takes longer. You’d have to hold your finger precisely on the correct area of the screen for a second or two.
Call me spoiled, but in a time of talking refrigerators, that two-second delay feels so long. Impressive as an under-display fingerprint sensor may be, anything longer than a second just feels so laggy to impatient old me, especially since the only two options to unlock this phone is via the sensor or entering a code (which is so 2010). The phone isn’t equipped with face unlock technology since, to get to the front-facing camera, you’d need the phone unlocked.
Vivo offers an alternative to all this in the form of the lower-priced Vivo NEX A, though, so problem solved. That version of the NEX has an actual fingerprint scanner — the usual fast one — on the back of the phone.
What’s taking selfies with a pop-up camera like?
First of all, I’d like to admit: Taking selfies with a pop-up camera is pretty cool. The reaction I get when other people see this moving part on my phone is priceless.
How it works is the camera pops up every time you flip the camera to selfie mode. The whole thing barely makes a sound, though there are options to add a sound effect every time the cam came out, but I refused to turn that on because who wants an alert every time a selfie is attempted? It’s a pretty smooth movement so once the novelty faded out, there were times I even forgot it was happening.
Forgetting that tiny protruding camera was actually what scared me. One too many times, I’d accidentally tap the selfie camera option and, without me noticing, the camera would come out. This happened in my bag, in my hands, or even on my cluttered desk, and every time I was scared I’d break this tiny moving part.
Sure, Vivo said they did drop tests and that the camera can pop up to 50,000 times (Chay did the math: That’s 137 years if you only take one selfie per day), but does that mean it’s Isa-proof? It did survive more than a week in my hands, but I don’t think that thing would’ve survived a solid drop if it so happened with the camera out. (Because let’s be honest, everyone drops their phones.)
The selfie camera on the NEX is pretty good and I love how its AI beauty mode is so subtle but effective. Of course, the beauty mode can still be too much at optimum settings, but who told you to amp up the filter that high, Brenda?
Additionally, the rear cameras are pretty good, too. Honestly, it’s a pretty capable IG camera. See for yourself:
For more photo samples, check out our 24 Hours at the World Cup with the Vivo NEX.
Do I likey?
Me likey what I’ve seen so far.
If you’re in the business of reviewing phones and gadgets, it’s easy to get bored with all the identical phones being churned out nowadays. That being said, it’s also easy to get carried away by something just by virtue of it being different.
Truth be told, this is one solid phone from Vivo. Honestly, it’s a flagship that I would totally use, even for just the selfie camera. But, on top of it being novel, I’m happy to report that it performs well, all things considered. Despite caveats, it’s a phone that pushes boundaries and dares to stray from what conventional smartphones are making.
And, don’t we all love that exciting wildcard? C’mon, live a little and take poppin’ (pun intended) selfies along the way.
No NBA on Free TV? Facebook to the rescue
Big deal for the basketball-crazy Philippines
Local television networks in the Philippines failed to reach an agreement with the NBA to air full games on free TV in the country. Fear not though as the NBA still sees the Philippines as a huge market and will live stream games on the official Facebook and Twitter pages of NBA Philippines.
There will be a live game on opening week which is from October 23 to 29. Starting October 31, live stream of games will be every Mondays and Thursdays.
“The Philippines is one of the world’s leaders in social media penetration and usage with over 17 million followers of the league’s social media accounts, making it an ideal platform to livestream NBA content. With NBA games on Facebook Watch and Twitter, we are empowering the digital lifestyle of our fans with the ability to enjoy the NBA anytime, anywhere,” says NBA Philippines Managing Director Carlo Singson on a report from ESPN5.
Here are the games that will be broadcast live during tip-off week:
Oct. 23, 10:30 AM — Los Angeles Lakers @ LA Clippers
Oct. 24, 7:30 AM — Boston Celtics @ Philadelphia 76ers
Oct. 25, 8:00 AM — Milwaukee Bucks @ Houston Rockets
Oct. 26, 10:30 AM — Utah Jazz @ Los Angeles Lakers
Oct. 27, 8:00 AM — New Orleans Pelicans @ Houston Rockets
Oct. 28, 7:00 AM — Portland Trail Blazers @ Dallas Mavericks
Oct. 29, 8:00 AM — Oklahoma City Thunder @ Houston Rockets
Got a favorite team? There’s always NBA League Pass
If that’s not enough for you, there’s always NBA League Pass where you have the option to follow just one team or if you’re a hoop junkie, get a subscription that gives you access to all of the games. Simply download the NBA App on the App store or Google Play and choose your preferred subscription.
TWICE, BLACKPINK part of Just Dance 2020 lineup
Dance to Fancy and Kill This Love!
To celebrate 10 years of making gamers move, Just Dance 2020 is adding some popular asian music to their lineup. In particular, hit songs from two of the most popular K-Pop girl groups today made the lineup — TWICE’s Fancy and BLACKPINK’s Kill This Love.
Joining those two tracks are these other chart toppers:
God Is a Woman — Ariana Grande
Skibidi — Little Big
Vodovorot — XS Project
Bangarang — Skrillex Ft. Sirah
Con Calma — Daddy Yankee Ft. Snow
Bad Boy – Riton & Kah-Lo
High Hopes — Panic! At The Disco
Sushi — Merk & Kremont
I Like It — Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin
Policeman — Eva Simons Ft. Konshens
Rain Over Me — Pitbull Ft. Marc Anthony
365 — Zedd & Katy Perry
Con Altura — ROSALÍA & J Balvin Ft. El Guincho
Fit But You Know It — The Streets
I Am The Best (내가 제일 잘 나가) — 2NE1
Old Town Road (Remix) — Lil Nas X Ft. Billy Ray Cyrus
Só Depois Do Carnaval — Lexa
Taki Taki — DJ Snake Ft. Selena Gomez, Ozuna, Cardi B
The Time (Dirty Bit) — Black Eyed Peas
Just An Illusion — Equinox Stars
Baby Shark — Pinkfong
Bassa Sababa — Netta
My New Swag (我的新衣) — VAVA Ft. Ty. & Nina Wang
Tel Aviv — Omer Adam Ft. Arisa
Ugly Beauty (怪美的) — Jolin Tsai
New and returning game modes
The new mode recently announced is the All-Stars Mode. This will allow the players to rediscover and progress through 10 iconic songs from 10 years of Just Dance, to unlock an exclusive song at the end.
Making a return is the Co-op mode which will let players to team-up to combine their scores. There’s also an enhanced recommendation system enables players to choose among a personalized offering of their most loved Just Dance content. In addition, players can create their own playlists to customize their Just Dance parties.
The other modes are as follows:
Sweat Mode: Players can exercise while having fun with the Sweat Mode! They can track their calories burned, time spent dancing, and keep themselves motivated with their dedicated sweat playlists.
Kids Mode: The dedicated Kids Mode allows the youngest players to enjoy it in full with 8 new kid-friendly curated songs, accompanying a fun dance experience tailored to kids’ needs.
Just Dance Unlimited: The Dance-on-demand subscription streaming service gives access to 500+ songs and more! Every copy of the game comes with one month’s access.
To make the game more accessible, there’s also the Just Dance Controller app. Players can use their smartphone to navigate in game, track and score their moves. Up to six players can play with their phones simultaneously. The application is available for free on iOS and Android.
If you’ve been looking for a game that you can play with friends and family this holidays, look no further than Just Dance 2020. The game will be available on PS4 Pro, PSR and the Xbox One family of devices on November 5, 2019.
Global Sources: Lovots
A robot meant to love and be loved
Feeling lonely? Here’s a robot who exists to love and be loved.
Meet Tomato and Wasabi. These Lovots (derived from the words Love and Robot) were developed by a Japanese startup called GrooveX.
They aren’t the typical robots that try to be an all-around helper. Its purpose is to stay cute, get your attention, interact with you, and make you happy. Emotional bonds with robots may seem implausible, but it’s difficult to ignore them. Especially with their kind, googly eyes that draw your attention.
Moreover, they laugh when you play with them, fall asleep when you cuddle and remembers if you were mean as if they have emotions.
While this may be shocking and groundbreaking, the creators of Lovot believe this robot can make an impact on relieving stress. For now, it’s too early to tell but one thing’s for sure: Lovots are here for you to love and they won’t leave you, unlike your ex.
Global Sources Consumer Electronics is the world’s largest electronics sourcing show bridging suppliers and resellers. For more information visit GlobalSources.com.
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