The vivo NEX A is essentially the same hardware as the NEX S aside from two notable changes - the fingerprint reader and the chipset. Oh, and the price tag, of course.
So, first change. The under display fingerprint reader is gone, replaced by a traditional reader on the back. It's a bit too high up for our tastes, but it is faster and less sensitive to the angle of your finger. All in all, a practical change in our mind.
Plus, the way the selfie camera pops out from the phone will still be enough to impress your friends. Externally, the phones look the same (other than the fingerprint reader on the back). The general design is a metal and glass sandwich, but vivo put some hot sauce on the back to spice things up.
The official name is lengthy and unhelpful, but essentially the back as many tiny triangles that catch the light as you move the phone and reflect it in different colors. It's an eye-catching effect, not as geeky as the transparent Xiaomi back, but more lively than Huawei's Twilight gradient back.
Here's how the colors change (this is the NEX S, but the NEX A looks the same):
The other change is in the processing power. Inside the NEX A is a Snapdragon 710 with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB storage. The 710 is basically a "lite" version of the 845 and is still plenty fast.
The vivo NEX S and NEX A go on pre-order tomorrow, June 13, and will be in brick and mortar stores on the 23rd. In other words, the future is now.
And it will cost CNY 4,500 for the flagship model (equivalent to $700/€600). Doesn't that make you look at mainstream Android flagships and wonder how they justify their $900 price when they don't have the bezels of the NEX (or have a notch) and don't have the UD fingerprint reader?
The NEX A will be CNY 4,000 ($625/€530), which we feel is much less enticing. Is saving $75 really worth losing the coolness factor of the fingerprint reader, not to mention the added performance of the Snapdragon 845?
Either way, we're glad to see a company stand against the price inflation that we experienced in the last couple of years. And to do it with a phone with unique features is a really impressive move from vivo.