China's Vivo is on a roll. The phone maker broke ground with its Vivo Apex, a concept phone that featured a pop-up selfie camera and underscreen fingerprint sensor. It then brought those features to retail in the beautiful Vivo Nex.
The latest V11 phone doesn't feature the same pop-up camera, but it does sport an in-screen fingerprint scanner. In fact, it bears a striking similarity the Oppo R17, one of the first wave of midrange phones sporting the tech -- no surprise, given Oppo and Vivo's close industry relationships. Both companies are owned by Chinese electronics giant BKK Electronics, which also owns OnePlus.
The Vivo V11 comes sporting a full HD AMOLED display that Vivo's dubbed "Halo FullView." It's got barely any bezels -- they're just 1.76 millimetres thick -- boasts a 91.2 percent screen-to-body ratio, and features the same water drop inspired notch design as the aforementioned R17.
The screen is bright even under the sun, and to keep your new phone scratch free, both the front and back already come with film protectors installed. I'm not a big fan of this since it gives the phone a plasticky feel, especially on the rear.
The in-screen fingerprint scanner is fast enough that I don't mind the lack of a physical button, and because it has a front 25-megapixel selfie camera, it can also do face unlocking -- you can choose either method to unlock your phone.
On the phone's rear are two cameras, a 12-megapixel and a 5-megapixel, that work together to let you shoot pictures in a wide variety of styles. They also use the onboard AI to do scene recognition. Backlit shots aren't a problem -- the AI will recognise the scenario and take multiple shots at different exposures and combine them into a single image for a more accurate picture. There's also an AI assistant to help you frame portrait shots, guiding you to position the camera to the best spot for taking a picture.
The camera works as advertised: Outdoor shots are fantastically sharp, and it even does a pretty decent job in dim conditions. The AI assistant for portrait mode tends to position the person in the center, though if someone is lying down it does adjust accordingly. I'm not too big a fan of the beauty mode, but it's a standard feature popular in Asia. The camera can flatten your cheeks, make your eyes look bigger and even slim down your nose in real time.
Vivo has not yet revealed pricing and availability, but it will launch the phone in China first, before rolling it out to other markets in Asia, such as Singapore and Hong Kong. We will update this hands-on when we find out more.