After commercially releasing smartphones with in-display fingerprint recognition technology both in China and overseas, Vivo showed little reluctance to embracing the notch trend that’s been helping so many Android OEMs keep bezels in check.

But at the same time, the incredibly resourceful Chinese company was (not so) secretly working on a bunch of truly groundbreaking technologies allowing it to make no compromises in quest of the zero-bezel design.

The age of truly borderless phones is not yet upon us, although the Vivo NEX does come as close as humanly technologically possible to a handheld design with 100 percent usable screen real estate.

The notch-free “Ultra FullView” construction is made possible by an improved screen-embedded fingerprint sensor and an 8MP “elevating” front-facing camera that purportedly needs a little over a second to pop up from its hiding place.

The selfie shooter’s retractable motor is guaranteed to withstand over 50,000 activations, while the extra-large, extra-tall 6.59-inch FHD+ 19.3:9 Super AMOLED display also contains something called “Screen SoundCasting Technology.” That particular breakthrough eliminates the need for a traditional loudspeaker by sending vibrations through the actual display.

Even with all these innovations set aside, the Vivo NEX is an impressive ultra-high-end handset, powered by a Snapdragon 845 processor and equipped with a whopping 8GB RAM, as well as up to 256GB internal storage space.

The rest of the features include a sizable 4000mAh battery, respectable-sounding dual 12 + 5MP rear-facing cameras, Android 8.1 Oreo-based FunTouch OS 4.0 software, and advanced AI capabilities, all available for the fairly reasonable starting price of $700 (4,498 yuan) in China. That’s with “only” 128 gigs of local digital hoarding room, while the 256GB configuration is officially priced at CNY 4,998 ($780).

Finally, a Vivo NEX A variant with a slightly lower-end Snapdragon 710 SoC, 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, as well as no under-display fingerprint recognition, but the same pop-up front camera, Screen SoundCasting tech and razor-thin bezels, is set to cost the rough equivalent of $610 (3,898 yuan).

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