Vivo NEX 3S Review: Great Cameras, 5G Ultra Speed


Vivo officially released the new Vivo NEX 3S 5G flagship phone in Shanghai. This is the second commercial 5G mobile phone following the release of iQOO Pro 5G last year. It is also the first smartphone on the market with a waterfall screen design.

If the waterfall screen is simply understood, it is a curved screen with a larger curvature. With the effect of almost vertical 90 °, the left and right borders are visually eliminated, and the screen ratio is greatly improved.

After a lapse of six months, vivo has brought the second waterfall-screen smartphone, the vivo NEX 3S. From the name point of view, vivo NEX 3S is a regular upgrade version of vivo NEX 3, in fact, vivo NEX 3S is more internal changes, such as the upgrade of the new Snapdragon 865 processor, the upgrade of the new Funtouch OS 10 system and many more.

Vivo NEX 3S Appearance

In terms of appearance design, the vivo NEX 3S and vivo NEX 3 basically have no changes. The front is still an iconic waterfall screen. The 3.5mm headphone jack is reserved on the top. The virtual pressure-sensitive buttons are used on the right side, which simulates the real through a linear motor Physical pressing feel.

The vivo NEX 3S has a screen size of 6.89 inches and a resolution of 1080 * 2256. The display effect is the same as that of the vivo NEX 3. The highest maximum excitation brightness is up to 800nit. The display content of the screen can also be clearly seen under strong light. At the same time, The minimum brightness of the block screen can reach 1.9nit, which makes users’ eyes more comfortable when reading. Vivo NEX 3S screen also uses E3 material screen (Super AMOLED), the official said that it can effectively reduce harmful blue light radiation by 42%. Other aspects include support for HDR10, standard display P3 color gamut display, and DC dimming.

NEX 3S has a complete full screen, the screen does not have any openings and bangs, and the display effect is more complete. When you slide the screen left and right, the screen on both sides of the curved surface will flow like water, called a waterfall screen It really lives up to its name. Especially when you light up the screen, the visual effect is very amazing, as if only holding a screen in your hand, it feels like “touching the future”.

As for the anti-false touch, you don’t need to worry too much. Whether it is watching movies or daily browsing news and playing games, you have almost never encountered a false touch problem. It seems that vivo bent the screen on both sides. Touch is locked?


Of course, because of the curved-screen itself, the display content on the left and right sides is a bit off-color, but this effect is not significant. However, when holding the fuselage, the fingers will more or less obstruct the content on both sides of the screen. The solution of “screen surface display” is given in the NEX 3S system. You can manually select whether the application avoids the screen surface area display.

Of course, the waterfall screen of the vivo NEX 3S is the highlight, but there are some regrets and deficiencies. For example, the lack of high refresh rate is not a big problem if it was placed last year, but looking at this year, when the 90Hz or even 120Hz screen becomes the mainstream of the flagship machine, the lack of high refresh rate will make the vivo NEX 3S seems to be inadequate, especially After getting used to the 90Hz high refresh rate screen, it is difficult to return to the 60Hz screen.

Similarly, NEX 3S does not support dual speakers, but fortunately, the built-in HiFi chip (AK4377A high-quality audio DAC) can make up for this regret.

The color of the NEX 3 mobile phone released last year is a highlight, especially the “liquid Tianhe” color matching. The metallic silver-like bright silver will have a flowing effect like a liquid, which is deeply in my heart. On the NEX 3S mobile phone, vivo has added a new amber alcohol color scheme,

The overall color of amber alcohol shows a brownish-red bright effect, just like the Pu-er tea is diluted, and the center position of the fuselage starts to darken on both sides and extends to the position of the metal frame. Red is more neutral and stable, suitable for women, but also suitable for men.


The back of the NEX 3S is still the iconic Oreo three-shot design. The camera module slightly protrudes from the fuselage, but it is not serious. From the author’s personal aesthetic point of view, the design of the back of the NEX 3S is better than that of the vertical camera on the market. The round design language in this square is very in line with the oriental aesthetics. Very pleasing, with the most primitive symmetrical aesthetics, without aesthetic fatigue.

Next to the microphone opening on the top, you can see an oval button. In fact, this is another power button of the NEX 3S. When the pressure-sensitive button is not available, it can play a role of forcibly restarting and shutting down.

At the bottom is the familiar Type-C charging interface and the microphone, speaker, and SIM card slot openings.

Vivo NEX 3S Hardware

The biggest change of the NEX 3S is the upgrade of the Snapdragon 865 processor, which also means that the vivo NEX 3S is a smartphone supporting dual-mode 5G.

vivo NEX 3S also supports 5G bands such as n41 / n77 / n78 / n79 / n1. In terms of WiFi, vivo NEX 3S also supports the latest WiFi6 technology, supports dual SLA smart network acceleration technology, and achieves 5G + WiFi dual-channel acceleration.

First, we carried out a 5G speed measurement of vivo NEX 3S.

When we tested the vivo NEX 3 mobile phone on the campus where the located last year, because of the 5G network construction, although the mobile phone had a 5G network, it did not actually reach the ideal 5G speed. It near Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Station and got the fastest download speed of 408Mbps, which was half a year ago.

At the end of the company corridor, there is a very abundant 5G network signal. The vivo NEX 3S has measured the current speed of 950Mbps and the upload speed is 53Mbps.

At this speed, downloading a 1080P high-definition movie takes only a few seconds, and installing large mobile games such as “Peace Elite” and “Glory of the King” can be completed within ten seconds.

In terms of performance, vivo NEX 3S not only upgraded the Snapdragon 865 processor but also brought the industry’s fastest LPDDR5 memory + UFS 3.1 high-speed flash memory, fully releasing 5G performance.

First, we tested the running score of vivo NEX 3S.

In AnTuTu (v8.2.7) running score, vivo NEX 3S achieved a score of 589,000. For comparison, the vivo NEX 3 AnTuTu (v8.0.9) with Snapdragon 855 Plus runs at 487,000. In the Geekbench4 running score, the vivo NEX 3S achieved single-core 4286 and multi-core 13391. For comparison, the vivo NEX 3 equipped with Snapdragon 855 Plus has a single score of 3596 and a multi-core of 11180. In 3DMark, the results of the vivo NEX 3S benchmark tests were 7216 and 6700, respectively. For comparison, the results of the vivo NEX 3 equipped with Snapdragon 855 Plus are 6111 and 5436.

In the storage test, the sequential read speed of the vivo NEX 3S reached 1737MB / s, the sequential write speed reached 728MB / s, the random read speed reached 282MB / s, and the random write speed would reach 238MB / s. For comparison, the results of vivo NEX 3 using UFS 3.0 are 1459MB / s, 526MB / s, 269MB / s, and 240MB / s.

In terms of games, we tested “Asphalt” and “Peace Elite”. All three games had the highest picture quality and the highest number of frames. The actual game frame rate is valid, we only tested the Frame rates, such as the game entry interface and game settlement screen, which are not in the record range. “Peace Elite” game, the highest HDR can be turned on, and the frame rate mode is ultra-high (40FPS at full frame).

Game Test

In the ten-minute “Peace Elite” test, the vivo NEX 3S is basically stable at 40FPS throughout the entire frame. The overall frame rate fluctuation is very stable. In the frame rate fluctuation chart, there are only two large fluctuations visible to the naked eye. Around 0:38 seconds, the author just entered the game screen settings, and the second place was near 4:26 seconds (in the red frame). At that time, I took a screenshot operation. Excluding these two points, vivo NEX 3S basically runs the game at full frame.

It is worth mentioning that in the game, thanks to the design of the waterfall screen, vivo NEX 3S can also realize the curved screen touch function.

In simple words, when the game is on a horizontal screen, the curved part of the screen simulates the AB key of the handle (the blue part in the figure below) to achieve the game button effect of the handle. In the game, you can draw out the game magic box, and then find the “curve touch” function, but the AB key on the corresponding operation icon in the game, you can achieve the corresponding operation through mapping.

After turning on this function, through the vibration of the linear motor, each click can quickly feedback to the palm, realizing the simulated physical pressing effect, and finally liberating your hands, so that you will always be one step ahead on the battlefield. In the “Asphalt 9” game, I also chose the highest quality (60FPS) for testing.

Within two minutes of the game (one round), the frame rate fluctuation of the vivo NEX 3S basically remained between 57FPS and 61FPS, and most of them were stable at 60FPS. The final average frame rate was 59.2FPS, which was basically full.

CPU Core

It can also be seen from the CPU core map that when running Asphalt 9, the 8 cores are basically running in a very relaxed state, and the large core occasionally tops out, but not many times.

The vivo NEX 3S has a built-in 4500mAh battery. And vivo FlashCharge 44W ultra-fast flash charging technology, which is consistent with the previous generation vivo NEX 3. In terms of battery life, the performance of the vivo NEX 3S is slightly better than that of the vivo NEX 3. Of course, the latter’s battery life is already excellent enough.

I slightly regret that the vivo NEX 3S has not been upgraded to the 55W super flash charge of iQOO 3. Although 44W is not slow. It always feels a little less. In the charging test. The vivo NEX 3S can be charged to nearly 70% in the first 30 minutes. And takes 56 minutes to charge 100%.

There is no doubt that as a flagship phone, the performance of the vivo NEX 3S need not be worried. After all, dual-mode 5G + Snapdragon 865 + LPDDR5 memory + UFS 3.1. Represents the highest performance level of the current Android camp.

Vivo NEX 3S Cameras

The camera part of the vivo NEX 3S uses a 64M main camera + 13M wide-angle. Macro + 13M portrait (telephoto) triple camera, which is basically the same as the vivo NEX 3.

The main camera of the vivo NEX 3S uses a 64-megapixel large-size sensor (1 / 1.7), followed by a 120 ° ultra-wide-angle camera. This also supports 2.5cm super macro; the portrait lens supports 2x optical zoom and 20x digital zoom telephoto camera.

In terms of function, vivo NEX 3S adds the human eye tracking function, supports Vivo’s proud Hyper-HDR technology. And the overall dynamic range can reach above 12.3EV. In addition, NEX 3S is equipped with Super EIS video stabilization on both the main camera and the ultra-wide-angle camera.

The default output of the vivo NEX 3S is 16 Megapixels. The overall look and feel of the proofs are basically the same as that of the vivo NEX 3. The color style is still familiar to vivo. Light and dark details, even if the 64-megapixel mode is not turned on, the proofs can still be enlarged.

At the wide-angle end, the quality of this 13MP  ultra-wide-angle lens of the vivo NEX 3S is also good. To my surprise, the color performance of the wide-angle end. And the 1x and 2x telephoto proofs are basically the same, and there is no cause. The phenomenon of inconsistent color output caused by switching cameras (as shown below).

The performance of night shooting is also excellent. After turning on the Super Night Scene mode, the details in the dark part are significantly more, and the noise control is better.

Local magnification:

Because of the support of Hyper-HDR technology, in some bright and dark scenes. NEX 3S will also show a relatively good dynamic range performance. After HDR is turned on, the details of the branches and building parts outside the proof wall are significantly more. And the dark parts The overall brightness of the electric car has also been improved. And it still has good details after being enlarged.

In general, the camera performance of the vivo NEX 3S still belongs to the flagship echelon. Whether it is backlighting, night shooting, portrait, ultra-wide-angle can give you a satisfactory performance.

However, here I still want to say a few more words. The NEX 3S itself is very good in camera quality and everything is balanced. However, if compared with the flagships of friends and merchants, especially with those fierce stacking materials. And the first launch of a certain technology Compared with the flagships of friends and merchants. The camera of NEX 3S seems to lack such core competitiveness.


In other words, vivo NEX 3S has not yet achieved “people without me, people with me are superior. If you can move the telephoto lens on the X30 Pro, the vivo NEX 3S will be perfect. After all, in the current smartphone market, bucket photography is not required for mobile phone photography. Consumers are even more looking forward to the fact that the mobile phone of their choice has some core technologies or unique technologies.

Of course, considering that the Vivo NEX 3S is just a regular performance upgrade of the Vivo NEX 3. It is all within the scope of understanding.

On the APEX 2020 concept machine that vivo just released in February this year. Vivo has already proven its strength with only two lenses, so we are looking forward to it. And let vivo shine on the next generation of NEX cameras!


If six months ago Vivo NEX 3 Flagship Phone assume vivo 5G vanguard role, then vivo NEX 3S flagship phone is more like a bucket on a 5G experience, more, NEX 3S is an upgrade in terms of performance and experience 5G, Xiao The blessing of Dragon 865, the support of WiFi6, NSA / SA and multi-band 5G network will undoubtedly make the performance of vivo NEX 3S better.

As a 5G flagship, vivo NEX 3S has highlights such as high-value design. And waterfall screen but also has the disadvantages of high refresh rate and lack of dual speakers. If you consider the selling price (from 4998 yuan), compared to the previous generation NEX 3. Obviously the NEX 3S is more sincere. For those who are pursuing the ultimate full-screen experience. And prefer the cool waterfall screen design, NEX 3S is currently the most suitable choice.

With the advent of the 5G era, competition among mobile phone manufacturers is accelerating. The current vivo urgently needs a Snapdragon 865 flagship model to support its high-end market. A NEX 3S is not enough. Will come up with better and more extreme products.

Read Also: Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro Review: Everything That You Need To Know


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