[Update 3: Vivo NEX 3 hands-on video] Waterfall displays are the next trend for smartphone displays
OPPO grabbed the world’s attention when it launched the Find X last year. The OPPO Find X was a pinnacle of smartphone design as it took the idea of an elevating front-facing camera to the next level. Instead of using a pop-up camera, the smartphone used a moving assembly which was as wide as the smartphone itself and featured an advanced 3D facial recognition system (just like Apple’s Face ID) along with the selfie camera. The moving part popped out and retracted into a socket at the top of the smartphone, not just concealing the front camera but also the dual cameras on the back, giving the OPPO Find X a clean and polished appearance.
Now, OPPO is gearing up to make headlines with another design innovation. OPPO’s VP Shen Yiren Brian and OPPO’s official Twitter handle shared images of an upcoming smartphone (which looks like a finished product and not a prototype) to flaunt the “Waterfall’ display that is laterally curved and goes much beyond the edges. From the images, this display appears to wrap around the sides of the OPPO smartphone.
Ice Universe, the renowned leaker, also shared a hands-on video of the smartphone. Notably, since the display wraps around the sides of the smartphone, the power button is placed on the top. Curiously, unlike the Galaxy Note Edge, the curved part is not dedicated to app shortcuts or previews of incoming notifications but simply intended to stretch the viewing area.
OPPO "Waterfall Screen" mobile phone demo（1） pic.twitter.com/s3qEXCp6QS
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) July 29, 2019
Based on several reports by the Chinese media, the display has an aspect ratio is likely to exceed 19.5:9 and the curvature of the arc along the edges is 88º, that is close to perpendicular. The body is reportedly thinner than the OPPO Find X but that may not be the only feat that the company has achieved here. We don’t see a front-facing camera on this smartphone and perhaps, the most favorable speculation here is that OPPO may be using the under-display camera technology that it showed off at MWC Shangai earlier this year.
Interestingly, OPPO’s sister company Vivo might also be working on a smartphone with a similar design. Last week Ice Universe also leaked the “screen glass” for the Vivo Nex 3 and according to them, the display has an aspect ratio of more than 100 percent. If you’re wondering how that may be possible, the aspect ratio is calculated as the ratio of the active area of the display to the area visible in a 2D projection of the display (i.e. when you look at the display directly from the front. The almost right angle curvature hides the visible sone part of the display on the sides.
This is the biggest leak today！ This is the screen glass of the vivo NEX 3 (probably the name). It is almost 90° curved, the mirror of glass and glass forms the outline of the phone, it is very symmetrical and perfect. pic.twitter.com/mP5Q1159lA
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) July 25, 2019
Although we do see really thin bands above and below the display (presumably the display’s packing), the >100% aspect ratio sounds like a convincing bid from the images. Not only is it convincing, but it is also very exciting. However, the actual significance and their addition to the user experience are yet to put under the lens, so we’ll wait patiently until there’s a more detailed announcement from either OPPO or Vivo. For now, details about the commercial availability of the smartphone are limited but we’ll update you as and when we learn more.
Update 1: Vivo has officially teased the Vivo NEX 3
Waterfall displays are going to be the next trend for displays. After Oppo began sharing its work on these waterfall displays, displays which practically wrap around the sides of the smartphone, Vivo has now begun to officially tease its upcoming Vivo NEX 3 smartphone. The Vivo NEX lineup is known for its innovative approach to smartphone user experiences, and the Vivo NEX 3 will take that legacy forward with this waterfall display.
The Vivo NEX 3 is also expected to come with 5G support. We’ll hear more about this smartphone, and its waterfall display, in the days to come.
Update 2: Live images of the VIVO NEX 3 show off the waterfall display
The Vivo NEX 3 has been spotted in live images. These images show off its waterfall display that comes with a drastic curve around the side edges that completely cover it.
Further, we also see the camera setup on the phone. The rear camera module has a circular design with three cameras placed within it. The front camera is situated within a popup, but the popup appears to be rather wide, which may indicate the use of more than a single front camera.
Update 3: Vivo NEX 3 shown off in a hands-on video
If you recognized one of the people in the screenshots above, that wasn’t a coincidence. YouTuber Mrwhosetheboss has shared an unboxing and hands-on video of the Vivo NEX 3 shot after the device was officially shared with him.
While the video does not give out too many specifications of the device, we get an excellent look at the waterfall display on the Vivo NEX 3 5G. The display practically flows over to the side, such that you can still see objects displayed on the side screen more than what you could on a simple curved display. The Vivo NEX 3 5G also does not have side buttons, as the volume rocker and primary power button is integrated within the display on the side. Check out the video to see what we’re talking about.