Vivo NEX S Review: Performance

By 03:41 Thu, 19 Aug 2021 Comments


Performance

It's pretty clear vivo set out to create a fully decked-out flagship with the NEX S. Granted, there is a pretty valid argument to be made in defence of the NEX A and its more value-conscious approach to internals. Then again, if you really want to create a noticeable splash and leave a lasting impression on the industry, you can't really have inferior internals muddy-up your overall presentation.


Vivo is keeping things pretty safe with the NEX S. Under the hood there is a Snapdragon 845 chipset. It is paired with either 128GB or 256GB of storage and a whopping 8GB of RAM. Still gruesome overmurder for a modern Android device in our view, but that's what a fully maxed-out configuration currently looks like. Coincidentally, we have the top-tier configuration in for review.

Starting with GeekBench and its pure Central Processing Units (CPU) workloads, there are small to no surprises to observe. The Snapdragon 845 inside the NEX S appears to be adequately cooled and properly powered to maintain its expected levels of performance. In single-core runs, we see it only lose out to the Exynos 9810 inside the Galaxy S9+ and the chart-topping Apple A11 Bionic.

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X

    4256

  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    4232

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    3771

  • Xiaomi Mi MIx 2S

    2468

  • vivo NEX S

    2466

  • HTC U12+

    2456

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    2454

  • OnePlus 6

    2450

  • Xiaomi Mi 8

    2431

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Snapdragon)

    2199

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    1987

  • Nokia 8 Sirocco

    1934

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    1915

  • Huawei P20 Pro

    1907

  • LG V30

    1901

  • Honor 10

    1894

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    1862

  • Oppo R15 Pro

    1612

Multi-threaded runs leave the vivo NEX S actually leading the Snapdragon 845 pack, but not by much. Definitely not enough of a delta to notice with any real-world task.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X

    10215

  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    10037

  • vivo NEX S

    9160

  • Xiaomi Mi MIx 2S

    9158

  • OnePlus 6

    9011

  • HTC U12+

    9001

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    8883

  • Xiaomi Mi 8

    8494

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    8466

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Snapdragon)

    8349

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    6784

  • Nokia 8 Sirocco

    6725

  • Huawei P20 Pro

    6679

  • Honor 10

    6591

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    6590

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    6428

  • LG V30

    6365

  • Oppo R15 Pro

    5809

The Geekbench 4 Compute test appears pretty similar, only with an even wider score gap. We have to wonder whether Geekbench isn't benefiting in some way from the ridiculous amounts of RAM, the vivo NEX S has at its disposal.

Geekbench 4 Compute

Higher is better

  • vivo NEX S

    12564

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    12440

  • Xiaomi Mi MIx 2S

    12360

  • HTC U12+

    12338

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    8193

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    7709

This is clearly what is happening with AnTuTu 7. Not only is the amount of Random-Access Memory (RAM) considered as a part of the final score calculation, but the actual memory chips could potentially be a bit snappier as well. We are kind of running off assumptions here, as to the quality and source of the Random-Access Memory (RAM) modules, but, generally speaking, solid state Random-Access Memory (RAM) gets faster, as the individual chips grow in capacity.

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • vivo NEX S

    287081

  • Xiaomi Mi MIx 2S

    270814

  • OnePlus 6

    264200

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Snapdragon)

    264044

  • HTC U12+

    263696

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    259244

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    246660

  • Xiaomi Mi 8

    217298

  • Huawei P20 Pro

    209884

  • Nokia 8 Sirocco

    209577

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    203119

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    201065

  • Honor 10

    200440

  • LG V30

    182374

  • Oppo R15 Pro

    146526

Again, while this could partially elaborate the chart-topping AnTuTu score, the extra points don't really translate to a snappier real-world performance. Unless, your concept of "real-world" involves aimlessly crunching integrals on your phone.

BaseMark Operating System (OS) 2.0 is a bit less generous towards the NEX S. It should serve as a fine illustration of our previous point. A few points more or less, here and there have small meaning outside isolated benchimprint runs. The takeaway here is that the Snapdragon 845 inside the vivo is just as powerful as the same flagship elegant Qualcomm chip found in its rivals.

The exact same logic applies to the Adreno 630 GPU as well.

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    85

  • vivo NEX S

    83

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Snapdragon)

    83

  • Xiaomi Mi MIx 2S

    83

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    82

  • Apple iPhone X

    81

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    74

  • OnePlus 6

    71

  • Huawei P20 Pro

    66

  • HTC U12+

    64

  • Xiaomi Mi 8

    64

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    63

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    61

  • LG V30

    60

  • Honor 10

    57

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    51

  • Nokia 8 Sirocco

    46

  • Oppo R15 Pro

    22

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • vivo NEX S

    59

  • Apple iPhone X

    59

  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    59

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    59

  • Xiaomi Mi MIx 2S

    59

  • OnePlus 6

    59

  • Xiaomi Mi 8

    57

  • Huawei P20 Pro

    55

  • Honor 10

    53

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Snapdragon)

    51

  • HTC U12+

    50

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    45

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    42

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    37

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    36

  • LG V30

    35

  • Nokia 8 Sirocco

    27

  • Oppo R15 Pro

    19

Again, we see the NEX S perform identically to the similarly-equipped competition. Still, it is fascinating to elaborate its apparent (even if often alphabetical) superiority in the on-classy screen tests, considering it seems to have a bigger resolution to drive.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Snapdragon)

    61

  • Xiaomi Mi MIx 2S

    61

  • vivo NEX S

    60

  • HTC U12+

    60

  • OnePlus 6

    58

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    55

  • Xiaomi Mi 8

    53

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    47

  • Apple iPhone X

    44

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    43

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    42

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    42

  • LG V30

    41

  • Huawei P20 Pro

    40

  • Honor 10

    37

  • Nokia 8 Sirocco

    34

  • Oppo R15 Pro

    15

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • vivo NEX S

    55

  • Xiaomi Mi MIx 2S

    55

  • OnePlus 6

    55

  • Apple iPhone X

    51

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    51

  • Xiaomi Mi 8

    50

  • Huawei P20 Pro

    37

  • Honor 10

    37

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Snapdragon)

    34

  • HTC U12+

    33

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    24

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    23

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    21

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    20

  • LG V30

    19

  • Nokia 8 Sirocco

    18

  • Oppo R15 Pro

    12

Yes, indeed, the more hawk-eyed among you might have noticed that due to its very tall, 19.3:9 aspect ratio, the vivo NEX has a few more pixels to serve than the likes of other FullHD+ devices, like the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S or the OnePlus 6.

That's just the problem with PR notations, like FullHD+. We have to wonder, what resolution actually merits some other nonsensical buzzword, like FullHD++. But, we digress and we definitely don't want to give anybody any colorful ideas. In reality, for most of these benchmarks, the vivo NEX S is actually running with a small navigation bar on the side. Coincidentally, one just wide enough to compensate for the higher resolution.

GFX 3.1 Car scene (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • vivo NEX S

    35

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Snapdragon)

    35

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    35

  • HTC U12+

    35

  • Xiaomi Mi MIx 2S

    35

  • OnePlus 6

    35

  • Xiaomi Mi 8

    33

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    28

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    25

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    25

  • Nokia 8 Sirocco

    25

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    25

  • LG V30

    24

  • Huawei P20 Pro

    23

  • Honor 10

    23

  • Oppo R15 Pro

    9

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • vivo NEX S

    34

  • Xiaomi Mi MIx 2S

    34

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    33

  • Xiaomi Mi 8

    33

  • OnePlus 6

    33

  • Huawei P20 Pro

    21

  • Honor 10

    21

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Snapdragon)

    20

  • HTC U12+

    20

  • Nokia 8 Sirocco

    15

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    14

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    13

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    13

  • LG V30

    13

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    13

  • Oppo R15 Pro

    7.6

This is a pretty normal situation to observe. And, like with the CPU, the takeaway here is that the Adreno 630 is performing as expected. Nothing more, nothing less.

Baseimprint X actually seems to give a more balanced report of the actual graphical prowess of the vivo NEX S.

Baseimprint X

Higher is better

  • HTC U12+

    44390

  • Xiaomi Mi MIx 2S

    44267

  • OnePlus 6

    44229

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    44097

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Snapdragon)

    44013

  • vivo NEX S

    43810

  • Xiaomi Mi 8

    43285

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    42134

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    40890

  • Huawei P20 Pro

    39945

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    39143

  • Nokia 8 Sirocco

    38476

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    37211

  • LG V30

    36704

  • Honor 10

    29435

  • Oppo R15 Pro

    20693

And for the sake of thoroughness, here is a Baseimprint ES 3.1 run as well, stacked up against the competing Apple Metal API.

Baseimprint ES 3.1 / Metal

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X

    1854

  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    1644

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+

    1481

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

    1268

  • vivo NEX S

    1208

  • Xiaomi Mi MIx 2S

    1179

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Snapdragon)

    1177

  • HTC U12+

    1177

  • Sony Xperia XZ2

    1176

  • OnePlus 6

    1164

  • Nokia 8 Sirocco

    876

  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (SD 835)

    875

  • Google Pixel 2 XL

    874

  • LG V30

    860

  • Oppo R15 Pro

    352

Not much else to say about the vivo NEX S and its performance, really. It is just as potent as any other current top-dog, name-brand or not. Despite its overcrowded nature, Funtouch Operating System (OS) also doesn't appear to adversely affect performance in any way.

Come to think of it, that does create a lot of sense given vivo's overly strict measures against misbehaving apps and background activity. Raw performance definitely won't be an issue, but battling the Operating System (OS) to allow your apps to run properly, when and for as long as you want, might just be.


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