[REVIEW] vivo NEX 3 5G – Well-rounded Smartphone with 5G Ready

vivo is one of the smartphones manufacturers that introduce new technologies that some might find it gimmicky but eventually, the features turned to be adopted by other brands and here to stay. vivo was the first to introduces a pop-up camera that eliminates notches to achieve high-screen-to-body ratio and also bring the first in-display fingerprint scanner smartphone.

The new vivo NEX 3 is based on the vivo APEX 2019 concept phone that has button-less design and extreme-curvation display which the company called it “Waterfall Display”. With this, the 6.89-inch display able to achieve 99.6% screen-to-body ratio. This set a new bar for smartphone manufacture to design an almost bezel-less display.

You may also check out our quick hands-on and unboxing video of the device

Design & Display

The NEX 3 is a huge flagship smartphone that made of glass and aluminium that perfectly amalgamate seamlessly. It feels premium, well built and solid on hand. The Samsung sourced 6.89-inch Super AMOLED display will not be disappointed. It has a resolution of 2,256 x 1,080, up to 800 nits brightness and supports HDR10+.

No notch or hole-punch camera, nor visible edge bezel as the screen wraps around on both left and right side. With the extreme-curvation, there’s no space for the volume rocker and power buttons. It features pressure-sensitive on the side screen that sends haptic feedback when you pressed it. The company didn’t really ditch the physical power button totally as there’s a back-up button off switch on the top of the phone if it’s needed in case of emergency.

Just like some other vivo smartphone, it has an in-display fingerprint scanner and the NEX 3 is impressively fast yet accurate.

You must be curious how’s the palm rejection for such extreme side curved display? The software has an in-built algorithm that smart enough to recognise as accidental touches.


The phone feels fast and smooth, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus and solid configuration of 8GB of RAM and 256GB USF 3.0 technology storage. It’s a one solid performer flagship smartphone 2019 just only lacking high refresh rate display.

Benchmark tests;

  • AnTuTu Benchmark – 386,806
  • Geek Benchmark – 752 / 2,696 (Single-core / Multi-core)
  • Andro Bench – 1,403 MB/s / 527 MB/s (Read / Write)

This is a well-rounded smartphone for working and as well as gaming. It even has a game assistant that provides optimization settings for best gaming performance.

I was surprised it only has a single down-firing speaker. The sound output was just alright and it could be blocked easily when holding the device in landscape.


The rear camera setup is versatile combined standard zoom with a 64-megapixels GM1 f/1.8 aperture lens, 13-megapixels wide-angle f/2.2 at a 120-degree field of view and 13-megapixels 2x telephoto f/2.4 aperture. The front pop-up camera is a 16-megapixels f/2.0 sensor assisted by a soft LED flash which is very useful when taking selfie photos in a low-light environment.

The colours are pretty accurate and have great dynamic range. Low light photos are pretty decent.

Here are some photos were taken by vivo NEX 3 (5G)


It has a massive 4,500 mAh battery that pretty good especially juicing such huge display. The vivo NEX 3 supports fast-charging up to 44W but it only bundled with a 22.5W power brick which considers not too bad. I’m getting an average of 6 to 7 hours of SoT with normal usage.

5G Ready. Yay or Nay?

Yeap! This is the first 5G smartphone that made officially available here in Malaysia. Unfortunately, 5G networks are not ready commercially here in Malaysia. It’s good to have it but you are paying a premium that yet you can enjoy unless you are using it in 5G enabled countries like in Korea, China, US and few.

Personally, a nay for me as we are expecting more 5G enabled smartphone options and an even more affordable price tag when our country is ready with 5G networks.

Facebook Comments
vivo NEX 3 5G Review
  • Built
  • Design
  • Performance
  • Camera
  • Battery
  • Value


vivo NEX 3 5G is a well-rounded phone with 5G ready. It has a huge and beautiful display. Performance is almost top-notch just lacking high refresh rate display, at least a 90Hz and no stereo speaker.

The vivo NEX 3 5G is a future-proof smartphone that you can buy now but you are paying a premium for something that’s not ready now.

You can purchase the vivo NEX 3 5G now for RM 3,899 at all vivo authorized stores and as well as major telco in Malaysia.