Last September, vivo officially unveiled its new NEX 3 flagship phone in Shanghai, the second commercial 5G phone last year after the iQOO Pro 5G, and the first smartphone on the market with a waterfall screen.

Waterfall screen simple understanding, is a larger curvature of the curved screen, with the help of almost nearly vertical 90 degrees effect, visually eliminated the left and right border, to achieve a huge increase in the screen ratio.

Half a year later, vivo brought its second waterfall-screen smartphone, the Vivo NEX 3S. In terms of name, vivo NEX 3S is a regular upgrade of vivo NEX 3, in fact, vivo NEX 3S is more or more internal changes, such as upgrading the new Dragon 865 processor, upgrading the new Funtouch OS 10 system and so on.

So what about the vivo NEX 3S experience? Let's take a closer look at this product through this review.

Part 1: Appearance

In terms of design, the vivo NEX 3S and Vivo NEX 3 have basically little change, with the iconic waterfall screen on the front, a 3.5mm headphone hole on the top and a virtual pressure button on the right, which simulates a real physical press feel through a linear motor.

Pressure button on the side of the body

The vivo NEX 3S screen measures 6.89 inches and has a resolution of 1080 x 2256, consistent with the vivo NEX 3 in terms of display, with a maximum excitation brightness of up to 800nit, and can see the display of the screen in bright light, while, The screen has a minimum brightness of 1.9nit, making it more comfortable for users to read. The Vivo NEX 3S screen also features an E3-material screen (Super AMOLED), which officially says it can effectively reduce harmful blue light by 42%.

The rest includes support for HDR10, support for standard display P3 color gamut display, and DC dimming.

Still a familiar pop-up prequelast

Vivo NEX 3S has a complete screen, the screen does not have any openings, Liu Hai's blocking, the display effect is more complete, when you slide the screen left and right, the surface parts of the two sides will flow like water, called the waterfall screen. Especially when you light up the screen for a moment, the visual effect is very amazing, as if holding only a screen in hand, there is a "touch the future" feeling.


As for the anti-mistouch aspect, we also need not worry too much, through the IT home experience, vivo NEX 3S whether it is watching movies or daily browsing news, playing games, almost no mistouch problems, it seems that vivo put the two sides of the screen bending part of the touch to lock the lock?

Of course, because of the surface screen itself, the display on the left and right is a bit of a color, but the effect is not very large. Instead, when holding the body, the finger more or less blocks the contents of both sides of the screen, the vivo NEX 3S system provides a "screen surface display" solution, you can manually choose whether the application avoids the screen surface area display.

Of course, the vivo NEX 3S waterfall screen is the highlight, but there are some regrets and shortcomings. For example, the absence of high refresh rate, if put in last year, this is not a big problem, but look at this year, when 90Hz, or even 120Hz screen becomes the flagship mainstream, the absence of high refresh rate will make the Vivo NEX 3S appear to be inadequate, especially after getting used to the 90Hz high refresh rate screen, It's hard to get back to the 60Hz screen.

Similarly, the NEX 3S does nout dual speakers, but the built-in HiFi chip (AK4377A high-quality audio DAC) can make up for this regret.



Last year's release of the NEX 3 mobile phone color matching is a bright spot, especially the "liquid Tianhe" color, metallic bright silver will flow like a liquid effect, it is simply deep into my heart. On the NEX 3S phone, vivo has added a new amber alcohol color scheme, which IT House has also received.

Amber alcohol color overall rendering brown ish bright effect, just like Pu'er tea after the dilution, and the center position of the body began to be like a dark gradient on both sides, all the way to the metal border position, amber bright in the hand, this red is more moderate and stable, suitable for women, also suitable for men to use.

The back of the NEX 3S is still the iconic Oreo triphoto design, with the camera module slightly bulging on the body, but not serious. From the author's personal aesthetic point of view, NEX 3S back design is better than the current market color vertical column camera design, this square has a circle of the design language is very in line with the Oriental aesthetic, on the other hand, the circle is very pleasing, with the most primitive symmetrical aesthetic, will not produce aesthetic fatigue.


Next to the microphone opening at the top, you can see an oval button, which is actually another power key for the NEX 3S that can force a restart to restart the shutdown if the pressure button is not available.


At the bottom is the familiar Type-C charging connector and Yang and microphone, speakers, SIM card slot openings

More pictures:








Part II: Performance and 5G

The biggest change in the Vivo NEX 3S is the upgrade of the Dragon 865 processor, which also means that the Vivo NEX 3S is a dual-mode 5G-enabled smartphone.

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


First, we did a 5G speed measurement of the vivo NEX 3S.

Last year, when we tested the vivo NEX 3 phone in the campus where it is located, the mobile phone did not actually reach the ideal 5G speed despite the emergence of 5G network because of the construction of the 5G network. It home was then tested near Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV station, and achieved a download rate of 408Mbps, which was six months ago.


Six months later, the campus where IT home is located is already basically covered by 5G networks, the company corridor has a very abundant 5G network signal, vivo NEX 3S measured 950Mbps of the current speed, upload speed of 53Mbps.

At this rate, it only takes a few seconds to download a 1080P HD movie, and a large hand tour such as Peace Elite and King's Glory can be completed in ten seconds.

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

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


The Vivo NEX 3S reached 589,000 runs out of runs by the Rabbitohs (v8.2.7).

For comparison, the Vivo NEX 3 Rabbit (v8.0.9) with the Dragon 855 Plus ran 487,000.


Geek bench 4 runs, vivo NEX 3S achieved a single core of 4286, multi-core 13391 results.

For comparison, the Vivo NEX 3 single core with the Dragon 855 Plus is 3596 and the multi-core is 11180.


In 3DMark, the vivo NEX 3S benchmark results were 7216 and 6700, respectively.

For comparison, the Vivo NEX 3, which features the Dragon 855 Plus, has a score of 6111 and 5436.


In the storage test, vivo NEX 3S has a sequential reading speed of 1737MB/s, a sequential write speed of 728MB/s, a random reading speed of 282MB/s, and a random write speed of 238MB/s.

For comparison, the vivo NEX 3 with UFS 3.0 scored 1459MB/s, 526MB/s, 269MB/s, and 240MB/s.

In terms of games, we tested "Wild Racing" "Peace Elite", testing, all three games have turned on the highest picture quality and the highest frame number, and in order to ensure that the actual game frame rate is effective, we only tested the game frame rate, such as the game entry interface, game settlement screen is not within the record range.

In the Peace Elite game, UP TO HDR HD, frame rate mode is ultra-high (full frame 40FPS).


In the ten-minute "Peace Elite" test, vivo NEX 3S basically stabilized on 40FPS, the overall frame rate fluctuation is very stable, in the frame rate fluctuation chart, the larger fluctuations visible to the naked eye are only two, the first is 0:38 seconds, when the author just entered the game screen settings, the second is 4 : 26 seconds (inside the red box) near, when the author took a screenshot of the operation. Excluding these two points, vivo NEX 3S basically runs the game full frame.


It's worth noting that in the game, the vivo NEX 3S can also realize the touch function of the curvescreen thanks to the design of the waterfall screen.

Simply understood, is the cross-screen game, the screen curved part of the analog handle AB key (the blue part of the image below), to achieve the game button effect of the game. In the game, you can draw out the game box, and then find the "curve touch" function, the AB key on the game's corresponding action icon, you can map the corresponding action.


With this function on, through the vibration of the linear motor, each tap can quickly return to the palm of the hand, to achieve the simulated physical press effect, and ultimately free your hands, so that you always move on the battlefield.

In the Wild Racing 9 game, the author also chose the highest picture quality (60FPS) for testing.


In a two-minute game (one game), the frame rate fluctuation of vivo NEX 3S is basically between 57FPS and 61FPS, mostly stable at 60FPS, and the final average frame rate is 59.2FPS, which is basically full frame.


(Click to see the larger picture)

Through the CPU core diagram can also see, in the run of "Wild Racing 9", 8 core is basically very easy state of operation, the large core occasionally rushed to the top, but not many times.


(Click to see the larger picture)

The Vivo NEX 3S has a 4500mAh battery built in and vivo FlashCharge 44W ultra-flash charging technology, consistent with the previous Vivo NEX 3. The vivo NEX 3S performs slightly better than the vivo NEX 3 in terms of battery life, which, of course, is good enough.

Let the author slightly regret that the vivo NEX 3S did not upgrade to iQOO 3 55W super flash, although 44W is not slow, but always feel less. In the charging test, the vivo NEX 3S can be recharged to nearly 70% in the first 30 minutes, and it takes 56 minutes to fully charge 100%.

There is no doubt that as a flagship phone, the performance of the Vivo NEX 3S is not to worry about, after all, the dual-mode 5G-Dragon 865-LPDDR5 memory-UFS 3.1 represents the highest performance level of Android.

Three, camera

The camera section of the vivo NEX 3S features a 64M main camera with a wide angle of 13M/macro plus 13M (telephoto) three-camera, which is basically in line with the vivo NEX 3.

The vivo NEX 3S features a 64-megapixel large-size sensor (1/1.7), followed by a 120-degree ultra-wide-angle camera with 2.5cm super macro support, and a 2x optical zoom for the portrait lens, a 2x digital zoom telephoto.

Functionally, the vivo NEX 3S includes the eye-catching feature, supporting Vivo's proud Hyper-HDR technology, with an overall dynamic range of up to 12.3EV. In addition, the NEX 3S features super EIS video stabilization on both the main camera and the ultra-wide-angle camera.

Let's take a quick look at the sample:

(Samples are compressed)

Ultra-wide angle



Vivo NEX 3S default output is 16 megapixels, the overall look and feel of the sample is basically consistent with vivo NEX 3, color style is still familiar with the vivo taste, rich color, saturation slightly higher, the picture is very hierarchical, has a wealth of light and dark details, even if not turn on the 64 megapixel mode, The sample is also able to withstand amplification.

At the wide-angle end, vivo NEX 3S this 13 million ultra-wide-angle lens quality is also good, let the author is surprised that the wide-angle end and 1 x sample, 2 times the long-focus sample color performance basically remains consistent, and there is no change camera resulting in inconsistent color output phenomenon (see figure below).

Ultra-wide angle




More samples:


Ultra-wide angle



Main camera


Main camera

Night shoot performance quality is also excellent, after turning on the super night mode the details of the dark part significantly more, noise control is also better.

Local amplification:

Because of hyper-HDR technology, in some clear and dark scenes, vivo NEX 3S will also show a relatively good dynamic range performance, after opening HDR, the pattern of branches and building parts outside the wall details significantly more, and the overall brightness of the dark electric car also increased up, Magnification still has a good detailed performance.

Contrast Group 1:

Local amplification:

Contrast Group 2:

Local amplification:

Overall, the vivo NEX 3S's photo performance still belongs to the flagship echelon, whether it is backlight, night shooting, portrait, ultra-wide angle can give you a satisfactory performance.

However, here the author still want to say more than two sentences,vivo NEX 3S itself photo quality is very excellent, all-round balance, but if compared with the flagship of friends, especially with those piles of ferocious, motionless first of a certain technology of the friendly business flagship,vivo NEX 3S camera seems to lack that point of core competitiveness. In other words, vivo NEX 3S has not yet done "no one has me, people have me superior". If you can bring that telephoto lens on the X30 Pro, the vivo NEX 3S will be perfect. After all, in the current smartphone market, mobile phone photos do not need bucket performance, consumers are more expect ingress with their choice of mobile phones in the photo, there are some core technology or unique technology to increase.

Of course, given that the vivo NEX 3S is just a general performance upgrade for vivo NEX 3, it's all understood.

Vivo has proven itself with only two lenses on the APEX 2020 concept machine just released in February, so we're looking forward to vivo shineonon on the next generation of NEX cameras!


If the vivo NEX 3 took on the role of vivo 5G pioneer six months ago, then the vivo NEX 3S phone is more like the bucket flagship on the 5G experience, and more,vivo NEX 3S is an upgrade in performance and 5G experience, the addition of the Dragon 865, WiFi6, NSA/SA and multi-band 5G network support will undoubtedly make vivo NEX 3S perform better.


As a 5G flagship, vivo NEX 3S has highlights such as high-value design, waterfall screen and so on, but also has a high refresh rate, the lack of dual speakers, can be said to have a choice. Of course, the vivo NEX 3S is the perfect choice for those who prefer the cool waterfall screen design for those who are looking for the ultimate full screen experience.

Taking into account the price (from 4998 yuan), it is clear that the NEX 3S is more sincere than the previous generation of NEX 3.

5G era, mobile phone manufacturers to accelerate the competition, the current vivo, is the urgent need for a Dragon 865 flagship model to support their own high-end market, an NEX 3S is not enough, we also look forward to the next vivo will come up with better, more extreme products.