We’re looking at a pretty busy launch schedule in the smartphone industry this week. As many as three devices will make their Malaysian debut in the next few days, including the Asus ROG Phone II, the Oppo Reno 2 series, as well as the Vivo Nex 3. The last one is particularly interesting: it’s a 5G smartphone.
Unlike most phone makers, which chose not to launch 5G versions of their smartphones on our shores – such as Samsung with the Galaxy S10 5G – Vivo is set to introduce the 5G variant of the Nex 3 here on 17 October. It’s an interesting decision, given that 5G network in our country is not fully established yet.
Nonetheless, 5G connectivity isn’t even the most interesting feature of the Nex 3: it’s the Waterfall FullView display of the phone. The waterfall moniker is a reference to the extreme curvature of the large 6.89-inch 1080p Super AMOLED screen. In fact, it’s akin to the Huawei Mate 30 Pro‘s ultra curved display, although it’s worth noting that the Nex 3 debut first.
Given the dual curved nature of the display, the Nex 3 doesn’t have traditional buttons. Instead, it has a static power button on the right side of the phone, which uses haptic feedback to simulate a button press. I managed to try it out in person, and it is surprisingly easy to activate.
For volume adjustment, all I had to do was to press on the top or bottom area of the power button to increase and decrease the volume respectively.
Vivo also claims that the Nex 3 has an impressive 99.6% screen-to-body ratio, thanks to the tiny bezels surrounding the display. On top of that, it has a 16MP f/2.1 pop-up camera too that is hidden behind the screen; there’s no need for any cutout on the display itself to make space for the selfie shooter.
Other specifications of the Vivo Nex 3 for the Malaysian market include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chipset paired with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of fast UFS 3.0 storage, a triple camera system (64MP f/1.8 primary + 13MP f/2.2 wide angle + 13MP f/2.5 telephoto), and an in-screen fingerprint sensor.
It’s worth noting that the Nex 3 also features a generous 4,500mAh battery with support for Vivo’s Super FlashCharge 44W fast charging tech.
Next, we have the Asus ROG Phone II, which is launching in Malaysia a day before the Vivo Nex 3 on 16 October. The ROG Phone II is easily one of the most anticipated gaming smartphones this year, and for good reasons too: it has a number of gaming-centric features that will surely appease the most demanding of mobile gamers.
One of these features are the AirTriggers of the ROG Phone II. These are two ultrasonic buttons on the right side of the phone that act as shoulder buttons when the phone is in landscape orientation, and they can be customised to “simulate screen touch in games.”
Basically, I can set these buttons to simulate screen touch anywhere on the display. In PUBG Mobile, for example, I can customise the left AirTrigger to zoom in on my weapon, and the right button to fire. With this setup, I can shoot my weapon while still controlling my movement and camera with my thumbs. This makes shooters far more enjoyable to play.
To top it off, the AirTriggers themselves are also very easy to activate. A quick tap is enough for the ultrasonic buttons to recognise my input, and never did they feel cumbersome to use. In fact, if I want to, I can make these buttons even more sensitive to my inputs in the settings menu.
Naturally, other hardware of the ROG Phone II are suited for a high-end gaming smartphone. It comes with a 6.59-inch 1080p AMOLED display with a fast 120Hz refresh rate, a Snapdragon 855+ chipset paired with 12GB of RAM, 512GB or 1TB of internal storage – the Malaysian market will only receive these two capacities – and a very large 6,000mAh battery.
Surprisingly enough, the in-screen fingerprint sensor of the ROG Phone II is also very fast, and its dual camera system (48MP f/1.8 main + 13MP f/2.4 wide angle) seems to be quite capable too. The front-facing shooter, on the other hand, has a 24MP f/2.2 sensor.
Last but certainly not least is the Oppo Reno 2 series. Set to be launched in Malaysia on 15 October – making it the first phone in this list to debut on our shores – there are three different devices in the series. While we don’t know yet if Oppo Malaysia is bringing in the full lineup, we do know the Reno 2 itself is making its way here.
Just like its direct predecessor, the Reno 2 features a unique motorised “shark fin” 16MP f/2.0 selfie camera, so it retains the sleek, all-screen design of the phone. It also has a slightly larger 6.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display than its predecessor’s 6.4-inch screen, along with a more powerful Snapdragon 730G chipset paired with 8GB of RAM.
Rounding out the specifications of the Reno 2 include 256GB of internal storage, a generous 4,000mAh battery, and a new quad camera system. It’s made up of a 48MP f/1.7 primary sensor, an 8MP f/2.2 wide angle shooter, a 16MP f/2.4 telephoto lens, and a 2MP f/2.4 monochrome sensor. Oppo says that this combination of sensors allow the Reno 2 to do 5x hybrid zoom.
It’s not often we see so many smartphones debut in the same week in Malaysia, and it will surely be an exciting time for those who are looking to get either a mid-ranger, a high-end gaming device, or a sleek-looking 5G smartphone. To recap, the Oppo Reno 2 series will be the first to be launched here on 15 October, followed by the ROG Phone II and Vivo Nex 3 on 16 and 17 October respectively.