Vivo recently launched the Vivo Nex 3 5G smartphone in Malaysia, said to be the first 5G smartphone in the country but, users won’t be able to use 5G yet.
The Vivo Nex 3 5G is a beautiful smartphone and feature rich. It has a huge 6.89-inch display, comes with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB storage and a 4500mAh battery with fast charging.
But here’s 3 main reason (and more) on why you don’t want to buy the Vivo Nex 3 5G smartphone.
There’s no 5G Networks yet
So the phone supports 5G but if you visit the Vivo Malaysia website, there’s no single mention on 5G. Full web screenshot here and here.
Consumers buying the phone right now are paying for 5G tech but they won’t be able to enjoy the 5G network yet. The Malaysian Government has yet to decide on the 5G frequency and its deployment standard. Vivo Malaysia on the other hand, does not even reveal the supported frequency for 5G on its Nex 3 smartphone.
Based on my research, the Vivo Nex 3 supports supports the following NSA 5G frequency: 2500Mhz and 3500Mhz.
The 3500Mhz is one of the frequency currently being trialed in Malaysia with limited spectrum since this frequency is also being used by Astro. Its unclear yet if Malaysia will be using this frequency for 5G yet. As for the 2500Mhz band, it is not being tested as it would interfere with current 4G networks.
Why pay for something that may not even work in Malaysia?
5G should be available in Malaysia sometime in late 2020 or later. If you wait for a year or more, the Vivo Nex 3 5G smartphone would be available at a much more cheaper price, if it works with the Malaysia 5G networks.
Waterfall Display. That’s something Innovative?
Vivo claims that the Nex 3 5G smartphone has a screen-to-body ratio of 99.6% but I believe touch are not responsive at the curved area on both side of the display.
The “waterfall” display is made by Samsung and ironically, despite the name of the display, the Vivo Nex 3 does not have any IP Rating for Water Resistance. Even Samsung’s older smartphones such as the Galaxy Note Edge and S7 Edge have this “waterfall” display. Are we seeing Samsung’s innovation here?
Also, the display appears to be easily scratched, no Gorilla Glass protection?
Note: Even the 64 megapixel main camera sensor on the Vivo Nex3 uses the ISOCELL Bright GW1 from Samsung.
There’s also no physical volume buttons on the Nex 3 making it a little bit awkward compared to 99% of other smartphones.
No Stereo Speaker(s), No Expandable Storage
Based on reviews I have seen, the single firing bottom speaker on the Vivo Nex 3 has poor quality and not loud. Seriously, what’s the point of shouting about great display when the one and only speaker on Nex 3 isn’t excellent? The speakers on Samsung Galaxy Note and the iPhone 11 are excellent speakers.
The Vivo Nex 3 5G uses the same super-fast UFS 3.0 type that is similar on the Galaxy Note 10, but the Galaxy storage performs better (almost 4x faster) based on results I have seen.
There’s also no expandable storage although 256GB is quite a lot (but you are also paying a lot at RM3899 for the phone).
Vivo talks about perfection but a number of things on the Vivo Nex 3 are not perfect.
The camera is not the best although its good, the display is not innovative, no Gorilla Glass, uses USB 2.0 (instead of USB 3.1), the battery does not have the highest capacity (although charging is super fast), the processor is one of the best but you can get the same processor at around RM1,000 cheaper with Xiaomi 9 Pro.
Instead of spending RM3899 for the Vivo Nex 3 5G, I highly recommend getting the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (12GB RAM + 256GB ROM) at RM3599 or the Huawei Mate 30 Pro (if you don’t need Google services) at RM3899. Perhaps Vivo thinks it is on par with Samsung and Huawei?
If you really want a 5G smartphone, wait for Xiaomi and Nokia as these smartphone makers won’t be charging you premium prices like Vivo, which is only a 10 year old company.
Disclaimer: This is an opinion.