The Vivo NEX (Rs. 44,990), one of the most innovative Android smartphones to be released in the last couple of months, has a lot going for it when it comes to the unique design, the bezel-display and the flagship performance. But, is it the perfect flagship? Well, in order to find out we’ll have to take a granular look at each aspect of the smartphone, carefully testing and critiquing every feature. And that’s exactly what we intend to do. In this article, we’ll be focusing on the smartphone’s camera performance and take a look at how it stacks up against the competition.
Vivo NEX Camera Review
To begin with, let’s take a look at what exactly the Vivo NEX packs in the camera department. Much like most other flagships in the market today, the Vivo NEX also packs in a dual camera setup on the back, featuring a 12 megapixel f/1.8 primary sensor with dual pixel phase detection auto focus and four-axis optical image stabilization, along with a secondary 5 megapixel f/2.4 sensor for depth perception. The dual camera setup on the back of the device is complemented by a dual-tone LED flash which, more often than not, will be used as a flashlight. Up front, the Vivo NEX packs in an 8 megapixel f/2.0 selfie shooter with a rather innovative design. The camera remains hidden within the top edge of the phone until a camera app is opened and switched to the front facing camera.
- Performance in Good Lighting Conditions
The primary dual camera setup on the Vivo NEX performs reasonably well in good lighting conditions, delivering images that have ample amount of detail, high dynamic range, and great color reproduction. Just take a look at the samples below, don’t they look pretty good? The device also packs in an AI assistant called Jovi which automatically detects the appropriate scene and adjusts the camera settings to deliver the best picture each time.
- Performance in Low-light Conditions
Despite the fact that the Vivo NEX’s primary 12 megapixel sensor has a large f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization, the camera really struggles in low-light conditions. Shots captured by the device in low-light are often out of focus, which results in images that are blurry and have a lot of noise. More often than not, the images are also overexposed, which is why I was thoroughly disappointed with the low-light performance. For a smartphone priced at Rs. 44,990, the Vivo NEX leave a lot to be desired in the camera department.
- Portrait Mode Performance
The NEX’s 5 megapixel f/2.4 secondary sensor on the back is solely used for depth sensing and in daylight it’s capable of delivering great portrait shots with accurate edge detection and realistic background blur. However, much like the primary camera’s poor performance in low-light conditions, the secondary unit also struggles when it doesn’t get ample amount of light. Portrait images captured in low-light are straight up garbage as the device tends to blur the subject along with the background. I really wish Vivo paid a lot more attention to the device’s low-light performance, because that in itself would have elevated the smartphone to a whole new level.
- Video Recording Performance
The Vivo NEX is just about average when it comes to video recording. The dual camera setup on the back is capable of recording 4K video and in ample amount of light, the camera performs wonderfully. Videos captured are quite stable, thanks to the primary sensor’s optical image stabilization, and they contain a decent amount of detail with great color accuracy. Once again, the cameras struggle in low-light and the videos turn out so bad that I don’t even feel like talking about it. The Vivo NEX is also capable of capturing slow-mo footage in 1080p and 720p, however, the slow-mo footage has a lot of noise and blur, unless you’re capturing the video in bright sunlight.
The pop-up camera up front very closely follows the trend set by the rear camera setup, delivering decent photos in good lighting conditions and struggling in low-light conditions. The images have very limited dynamic range and they’re overexposed most of the times. Portrait mode images captured by the selfie camera are more or less just like the ones captured by the main camera, about average. One thing that really stood out was the monochrome background effect on the selfie camera which makes the background black and white, while keeping the subject in color.
Vivo NEX Camera Review: Doesn’t Live Up to Its Flagship Status
I had a lot of expectations from the Vivo NEX after using the Vivo V9 which had a decent camera. Considering the fact that the NEX is a flagship, I believed that the camera performance would be much better than the mid-ranger, but I was left disappointed. Honestly, the Vivo NEX has a lot going for it, the device has a very innovative design, it has a great Super AMOLED display, brilliant performance and amazing battery life, but the cameras are definitely not at par with other aspects of the device. In case you’re in the market for a new smartphone which has a great camera, then the Vivo NEX just isn’t for you. However, if you don’t really care about the camera performance as much, the Vivo NEX is a great device for the asking price of Rs. 44,990.