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This smartphone ditches a pop-up camera for two screens

But China's netizens aren't too impressed with the new Vivo NEX

This article originally appeared on ABACUS
Just half a year after it delivered a smartphone with a pop-up selfie camera, Vivo is prepared to launch a follow-up version of the NEX. But this time, it looks like it won’t have a hidden lens. Instead it might have a second screen.

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“What’s the next visual surprise?” reads the Chinese caption. (Picture: Vivo via Weibo)
The teaser, revealed in a Weibo post on Monday, matches with previous leaks suggesting that the new NEX will have a display on the back and a triple rear camera. The setup means users can take selfies with the rear lenses, eliminating the need for a traditional front-facing selfie camera. And just like the original NEX, the upcoming handset also has a nearly edge-to-edge front screen (and a narrow chin at the bottom).

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Vivo’s official teaser (left) seems to suggest there will be a ring that lights up on the back screen. (Picture: Vivo / Alex Feng via Weibo)
In a separate post that’s since been deleted, Vivo’s senior vice president Alex Feng revealed another look at the upcoming handset. You can see an illuminated ring circling two of the cameras. Some reports believe that it will light up in various colors while you’re taking a selfie -- something that matches the teaser.

The front display should come with an in-screen fingerprint sensor, just like its predecessor.

Vivo isn’t the first company to have a dual-screen handset. ZTE sub-brand Nubia already has one that went on sale last month. The design is one of the many creative solutions that phone makers have come up with to put as big a screen as possible on the front.
Before this, Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi have all explored the pop-up camera design, while Huawei and others are hiding the selfie camera inside a hole on the screen. Apple, meanwhile, is still clinging to the notch -- but for a reason: The Face ID module is large and runs far more often than the pop-up camera on the Oppo Find X.

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It might be an innovative solution, but Vivo’s dual-screen has drawn plenty of ridicule. Many seem to think it’s plain ugly.
“The two displays have different screen-to-body ratios,” one person pointed out. “I can’t even.”
Others think it’s impractical. One said, “It’s pretty pointless for day-to-day use. Plus, you have to worry about scratching or breaking [the screens].”

But some say they’re happy to see something different.

“Still better than all the identical smartphone clones out there,” one person wrote.

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