vivo NEX S

vivo NEX S

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RishiGuru, 12 Jan 2020Few days ago received the Jan, 2020 security update on my Vivo N... moreWaiting for the same :(

Few days ago received the Jan, 2020 security update on my Vivo NEX (Vivo NEX S in China). Still running on Android Pie. Anybody knows the Android 10 timeline of this phone?

Pakalini, 12 Dec 2019Who are you?:oI as previously said, I am a music lover.

Lately, I have made quite a few discoveries related to my beloved Meizu 16th (Meizu 16 in China) and find it to be quite a potent device when music is concerned. Any one interested in Vivo NEX for its music prowess should also take a serious look in the Meizu 16th. After going through some translated Chinese website performing detailed tear-downs, it got reveled Meizu 16th is using the highest quality flagship audio codec available from Qualcomm.

Headphone audio through 3.5 mm audio jack: Meizu 16th uses Qualcomm Aqstic WCD9341 audio codec. This is a dedicated audio chip from Qualcomm and is their flagship audio codec since 2017. In Meizu 16th, WCD9341 is responsible for audio playback through headphone jack, audio recording & voice assistant functions. With a dynamic range of 130dB & distortion of -109dB during audio playback the WCD9341 is right up their with ESS Sabre ES9218P of LG V40 & Cirrus Logic CS43199 of Vivo NEX, at least objectively.

However in real life even if these objective measurements are very close to ESS & Cirrus Logic, there is still remains a certain gap that Qualcomm had to fill up to even come close to the very bests in the audio industry. Qualcomm knew about this fact and for sometime was trying bridge this audio performance gap that remains between their flagship audio codecs and full blown custom solutions from revered brands like ESS & Cirrus Logic.

Hence Qualcomm partnered and further tuned their flagship WCD9341 under the guidance given by an extremely talented group of audiophiles known as "Golden Ears". Qualcomm was then able to create custom digital filters which creates the final sound signature which are generally adored by most audiophiles. ESS for example have sound signature which can be best described with words like pristine, neutral, clinical & accurate. Cirrus Logic belongs to a different camp and its sound signature is more humane, lush & musical. Each self proclaimed audiophile belongs to any one of these camps and some cases like me loves both.

Coming back to Meizu 16th audio performance through 3.5 mm audio jack, I will say it maintains more of a neutral style like that of ESS solutions found on LG flagships. The 16th maintains excellent resolution, especially in the middle and high frequency ranges, even better than NEX. However the 16th is relatively weak in terms of driving force and overall dynamics of a song when compared with ESS implementation like LG V30/ V40 or Cirrus Logic implementation like Vivo NEX.

Qualcomm WCD9341 actual true competitor is AKM with its AK4376/ AK4376A audio chip lineup. Smartphones like Vivo NEX 3, Vivo X21, Vivo V5 Plus uses AKM lineup as it is a more cost effective solution. The WCD9341 is better than AKM in terms of details and separation while the AKM is more lush & musical. WCD9341 sound signature is more like ESS while AKM sounds more like Cirrus Logic. Personally I like the sound signature of ESS the most hence I prefer the Qualcomm WCD9341 more over AKM AK4376. If reference needs to be made with other phones I will say Meizu 16th sounds almost the same like Samsung S9 or S9+ (Qualcomm version) as both uses WCD9341.

The WCD9341 & AK4376 will easily drive any audiophile grade earphones through the headphone jack and even some low impedance audiophile grade over the ear headphones like Philips SPH9500. However if you wish to drive 600 ohms uber expensive planar magnetic open back headphones, my advice is you better stick with the ESS Sabre ES9218P (Quad DAC) found in LG V30 & LG V40.

Summary: Meizu may not have used the expensive DACs from established names in HiFi industry, but took ample care during the implementation of Qualcomm's flagship audio codec and provide it with a robust power supply to properly feed the WCD9341 when maximum audio performance is required through headphones. Hence Meizu 16th does not sound as anemic as OnePlus 6 even though both uses WCD9341. This can be attributed to Meizu past legacy in audio as a maker of portable audio players. Same goes for the stereo speaker setup.

RishiGuru, 25 Nov 2019I am a music lover, and sound quality run in my veins. Hence whi... moreWho are you?:o

Anonymous, 25 Jul 2018Can you tell me if selfie camera and rare camera is good as comp... moreI am a music lover, and sound quality run in my veins. Hence while purchasing a phone the audio quality through 3.5 mm audio jack and its ability to drive audiophile grade headphones/ earphones becomes very important criteria to me. I simply dismiss any phone that does not come with an ever so convenient 3.5 mm audio jack, like the latest OnePlus.

Almost always I have seen when it comes to audio quality in modern smartphones, and by that I mean the analog audio output through the 3.5 mm audio jack it is the LG or Vivo flagships that prevails. These flagships have dedicated Digital to Analog converter (DAC) audio chips with built it powerful headphone amplifiers that comes alive when the HiFi mode is enabled. These dedicated audio chips perform all the magic of converting our digital audio files (mp3/ flac) to pristine analog signals that headphones operates on. The way the digital audio signal is converted to analog audio signal decides the final audio quality and this is where dedicated audio DACs in phones wins big time over phones using in-built embedded audio codecs found in Qualcomm/ HiSilicon/ Exynos/ Mediatek SoCs.

As of now I have walked through four type of solutions:

1) ESS DACs: These are undoubtly the best & most expensive audio solutions available for phones. The ESS Sabre ES9218P audio chip better known as Quad DAC to the rest of the world is an integrated DAC + headphone amplifier chip. Almost all LG flagships be it LG V30, LG V40 or LG G7 comes with Quad DACs and the audio quality is simply heaven on earth. Not only these LG flagships have the best audio quality over headphone jack, they are capable to drive audiophile grade over the ear headphones of upto 300 ohms impedance with relative ease. I own a LG V30+ and it is one of my tools to attain audio nirvana through headphones.

2) Cirrus Logic DACs: Almost as good as ESS solutions, with more emphasis on the human vocal range while being tad less detailed. My Vivo NEX (NEX S in China) comes with Cirrus Logic CS43199 DAC paired with three Analog Devices SSM6322 headphone amplifiers and the sound quality through headphone jack is nothing short of being magnificent. What is more interesting is that every DAC manufacturer have its own sound signature, hence playing back the same song on LG V30+ and Vivo NEX provides very different experiences with same headphones. Whereas V30+ sound signature provides a crisp, detailed, incredible instrument separation on a vertically narrow sound-stage, the NEX with its Cirrus Logic DACs produces lush, warm, textured sound with super wide sound-stage on a horizontal plain. Vocals just shine on NEX. If you hear Norah Jones on a NEX, it feels like you are in her live concert, but if you hear the same song on V30+ it will start picking every nuances of her breath while she is singing the song and reveal micro-details of the song. I love my NEX too.

3) AKM DACs: AKM are the most cost effective dedicated DAC solutions in smartphones that provide tangible audio quality improvement in headphone audio over using audio codecs found embedded in SoCs. The AKM AK4376/ AK4376A/ AK4377A can be found on many mid to high end Vivo smartphones like Vivo V5 Plus, Vivo X21 & more recently the Vivo NEX 3. The AKM dacs have a sweet, smooth, velvet like sound signature more reminiscent to Cirrus Logic sound signature. However the sound quality is not as good as the other two mentioned above and also it does not have the power to drive big headphones, you have to stick to earphones only.

4) Audio codecs in SoCs: Every smartphone SoC be it Qualcomm/ HiSilicon/ Exynos/ Mediatek comes with its own inbuilt audio codec. A part of this audio codec is responsible for the analog audio through 3.5 mm audio jack. High end audio solution on smartphones like in LG V30+ or Vivo NEX does not use the SoC in-built audio codec while their HiFi mode is turned on and provides and much superior audio experience using dedicated DACs. However 99% of smartphones in the world does not implement dedicated DACs and use inbuilt codec of the SoC to save cost. The truth is very few people truly cares about sound quality and as such the manufacturers does not give much emphasis on it. In such scenarios the SoC used in the phone becomes very important and deciding factor for audio quality through audio jack.

A phone like Meizu 16th uses Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 845 SoC which uses audio codec of much higher quality than the one found on my Nokia 7 Plus which comes equipped with a mid range Snapdragon 660 SoC. Secondly, it not only the audio codec quality that comes with the SoC is important, but also the audio tuning done by the smartphone manufacturer to provide a pleasant sound signature. Meizu for example used to make portable music players before they ventured into smartphones and still today makes some good quality headphones & earphones. As such Meizu as a company understands sound quality and knows how to extract the maximum out of the Snapdragon 845 audio codec used in 16th.

At the end of an extensive audio session of music listening with Meizu 16th side by side with LG V30+, Vivo NEX & Vivo V5 Plus I was pleasantly surprised just how much the audio codecs have improved over the years at-least on flagship SoCs. I have read news Qualcomm is trying really hard to close the audio quality gap to dedicated DAC solutions and the SD845 is a proof of a big improvement. Together with Meizu's extensive expertise in audio field the 16th providing a very well tuned and balanced sound signature with sound quality to match my Vivo V5 Plus which comes with AKM AK4376 dac. While V5 Plus still had a slight advantage of a more lively sound and reveling more micro-details the 16th was near there losing out slightly. Also I was impressed as the 16th was as loud as my V5 Plus so it can drive any earphone (not headphones) with ease.

The Cirrus Logic & ESS solutions are still way superior. And perhaps Meizu & Asus are the only two companies that are extracting the maximum from SD845 audio codec as of now. In the end I must admit I am pretty comfortable to hearing songs over earphones on my Meizu 16th on the move, but for critical listening I will still prefer to go back to my LG V30+ or Vivo NEX.

Thunder , 22 Sep 2018Please tell me Vivo nex S have screen protection? Like Gorilla ... moreThe Vivo NEX (NEX S in China) is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the back. While nothing is mentioned regrading protection used on Vivo's website, you can finds these details on Corning's own website.

Returning to NEX's protection, both versions of glass used have its own pros & cons. While Gorilla Glass 5 applied over the display is more resilient to accidental drops over Gorilla Glass 3, it is more prone to scratches.

The older Gorilla Glass 3 used on the back of NEX being harder than Gorilla Glass 5 is less susceptible to scratches but more prone to breaking under accidental drops.

In the end Vivo applied the right kind of protection where needed, as you place the NEX more on its back which needs to be more scratch resistant that the front.

shekar, 20 Jun 2019have you received pie update for vivo nex, so far i have not received I have received Android Pie long before on my Vivo NEX (Vivo NEX S in China). Last week received another OTA software update that enabled a key feature I was looking for long time.

The OTA update was of 169 MB size, with following new added features:

1) Addition of Super Night mode in camera app. I took some pics after this update in night
and all photos at night mode came out very good with drastically reduced noise & more brightness. Very happy with this new cool new feature in camera app.

2) Updated Oct, 2019 android security patch.

All in all this update was worth it for the Super Night mode inclusion which definitely gives a boost in terms of low light photography.

After the software upgrade:

Android Version: 9
Android security patch level: 01-Oct-2019
Vivo ROM: Funtouch OS_9
Software Version: PD1805F_EX_A_6.8.6
Compile time: 26-Oct-2019

Drivefast71, 29 May 2019I got this phone a couple weeks ago. Absolutely amazing phone. T... moreSimply blown away with amazingly fast charging speeds my Vivo NEX (NEX S in China) was able to achieve with the supplied 22.5 watts wall charger sporting Vivo's propriety FlashCharge tech.

Today I performed the battery charging test of my Vivo NEX and below are the results:

Wall Charger Standards: Vivo FlashCharge
Wall Charger Rating:
5V/2A = 10 watts
9V/2A = 18 watts
10V/2.25A = 22.5 watts

USB: 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
Phone powered off: NO

Battery (Typical Capacity) -> 4,000 mAh

0 to 25% -> 1000 mAh -> 12 mins
0 to 30% -> 1200 mAh -> 15 mins
0 to 50% -> 2000 mAh -> 25 mins
0 to 57% -> 2280 mAh -> 30 mins
0 to 75% -> 3000 mAh -> 41 mins
0 to 80% -> 3200 mAh -> 45 mins
0 to 90% -> 3600 mAh -> 60 mins -> 1 hr
0 to 95% -> 3800 mAh -> 73 mins -> 1 hr 13 mins
0 to 98% -> 3920 mAh -> 90 mins -> 1 hr 30 mins
0 to 100% -> 4000 mAh -> 94 mins -> 1 hr 34 mins

The charging speeds of Vivo NEX beats any smartphone that comes with Qualcomm QC3.0 hands down. The charging speeds from 0% to 90% are just insane and takes just 1 hour. From 90% to 100% the phone start doing trickle charge to save the battery, slowing down charging speeds drastically. Vivo NEX also beats my long standing battery charging speed champ, the Honor View 10 with its 18 watts wall charger having propriety Huawei Quick Charge tech.

Kranthi, 02 Nov 2019It did not support wide l1 support to streem high quality videos... moreCorrect.

I have checked and DRM Info app revealed Vivo NEX to support only widewine L3, which translates to no HD streaming content over Netflix or Amazon Prime videos. Chinese manufacturers have a tendency to skip global certifications as they are accustomed to do so in China. It was when the Poco F1 widewine L3 fiasco became a media cry all Chinese manufacturers sat up at took notice. Later on all their high end phones started supporting widewine L1 at hardware level. Same goes for microUSB to USB Type-C port transition in recent smartphones.

That said I have seen reviews where many Chinese phone manufacturers having added L1 support at hardware level was still not able to play HD content on online streaming apps like Netflix. It remains to be seen whether the hardware level support is enough or the manufacturers all need to register their phones to the online streaming app services so that the streaming app can recognize the phone, trust it and then play in HD resolution.

On the positive side while running the DRM Info app, I found Vivo NEX display has full HDR support as well as support for 100% PCI wide color gamut. The NEX display seems to be of very high quality and eclipses my LG V30+ is every aspect except for V30+ quad HD resolution as NEX is limited to FullHD.

  • Kranthi

RishiGuru, 02 Nov 2019I was in hunt for the Vivo NEX (better known as Vivo NEX S in Ch... moreIt did not support wide l1 support to streem high quality videos poco is having thatKranthi

Iresh, 11 Jun 2019Got Android Pie. Vivo Version 6.6.10(3.24gb) .. Downloading....... moreAs shared on my previous post, I purchased the Vivo NEX (better known as Vivo NEX S in China) during factory clearance sale and hence as expected came with Android Oreo with pretty old Mar, 2019 android security patch. In India we only get the 8 GB RAM & 128 GB ROM version and below was the software version on first boot:

Android Version: 8.1.0
Android security patch level: 01-Mar-2019
Vivo ROM: Funtouch OS_4.0
Software Version: PD1805F_EX_A_1.10.1
Compile time: 27-Mar-2019

On selecting software update from phone settings received a hefty 3.27 GB OTA upgrade with following new features:

1) Android 9
2) New Funtouch UI
3) System wide Dark Mode.
4) Game Box
5) Shortcut Center
6) Ability to tweak settings of system apps

After the software upgrade:

Android Version: 9
Android security patch level: 01-Aug-2019
Vivo ROM: Funtouch OS_9
Software Version: PD1805F_EX_A_6.8.3
Compile time: 29-Aug-2019

The good news is Vivo NEX being a true flagship will receive Android Q globally as its beta version is already available for the Chinese ROMs.

I was in hunt for the Vivo NEX (better known as Vivo NEX S in China) for almost an year now and ultimately the opportunity arrived during the this year's Diwali sale. The NEX was unveiled in India as on 19th Jul, 2018 and I was patently waiting for the factory clearance sale from Vivo which arrived as on 12th Oct, 2019 and I immediately grabbed the phone.

I bought the NEX at INR 22,674 ($319) which is a hefty 50% discount of the initial online launch price at INR 45,000 ($633). Offline the phone was selling as high as INR 48,000 ($675), hence if you consider the offline price I received 53% discount. Amazingly just six days after I ordered online the NEX went out of stock on Vivo official store which is exactly 1 year, 3 months from unveiling in India. Last date of availability was 18th Oct, 2019 with unit price of INR 25K on the official store with no offers applied. Now few sellers on Amazon India have the old stock and are selling them at very high price of nearly INR 30K.

I was able to get 50% discount on NEX at online PayTm Mall as an Vivo authorized seller was selling them at INR 26,499 for stock clearance. During the Diwali sale, PayTM provided an instant 5% wallet cash back of INR 1,325 which reduced the price down to INR 25,174. Further an additional instant 10% discount of INR 2,500 was available on certain credit cards which even lowered the price to crazy INR 22,674 ($319). To have such an innovative & futuristic true flagship phone like Vivo NEX at such a low price was on itself an unbelievable experience.

Coming back to the phone, this is no ordinary flagship with just bells and whistles. This is Vivo's first attempt to create a true flagship that is going head on with other flagships from long standing revered market established brands like Samsung S9+, LG V40 & Huawei Mate 20 Pro to name a few. To establish its name as a top tier smartphone manufacture Vivo has to go the deep into the innovative route with incredible attention to detail. The amount budget, engineering effort, built quality & over-engineering that went on designing the NEX was undoubtedly 3 to 4 times more than with any other Vivo phones. And I can assure the NEX is a true innovative flagship after using the phone for few weeks now.

More on the phone later.

Will vivo nex ( 1805 ) get Android Q?

  • Okan

Drivefast1971, 18 Jun 2019Got Pie update first week of June. FunTouchOS also updated at th... moreHi there,i am about to buy Xiaomi Mi 9T pro but ever since Vivo nex s came out,i became a fan of it.Now in the tech side şts little behind.Do you still like it? I see that video recording is 30fps and not Snapdragon is the performace?

  • Anonymous

Samail, 27 Aug 2019So are we getting Androud Q update in future??Android Q before the end of the year normally

  • Samail

So are we getting Androud Q update in future??

  • Iresh

Received minor update for vivo nex india funtouch 6.7.1 (after pie update).
Stability and power consumption related update.

  • shekar

Iresh, 11 Jun 2019Got Android Pie. Vivo Version 6.6.10(3.24gb) .. Downloading....... morehave you received pie update for vivo nex, so far i have not received

  • Amit I am From India

Not received pie update till now..

  • Drivefast1971

Got Pie update first week of June. FunTouchOS also updated at that time. Both are really nice updates. This phone is awesome. New England, USA.