A lot has changed in smartphone technology since the beginning of this year. Over the past few months, cutting-edge features like fingerprint sensors and multiple rear cameras have become commonplace in phones. To generate attention these days, a brand has to offer something extra. The Chinese manufacturer Vivo is aiming for that X-factor with its new dual-display phone, which was unveiled earlier this week in Shanghai.

The Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition follows on the heels of the ZTE Nubia X, another dual-display smartphone launched in China in October this year. But Vivo’s product is very different from other handsets available in the market. It is an upgraded version of the Vivo Nex, the much publicised pop-up camera phone launched a while ago.

The highlight of the Nex Dual Display is, of course, the handset’s two display panels, front and back. “As Vivo’s premium line-up, the NEX series offers not only an extraordinary user experience to consumers, it also unleashes our imagination towards the future of design and development of smartphones. Combining a futuristic dual-display design and innovative technologies, NEX Dual Display Edition demonstrates Vivo’s continuous exploration and pursuit of exceptional innovations for consumers,” said Spark Ni, senior vice president, Vivo.

The phone has a 6.39-inch ultra full-view display, with screen-to-body ratio of 91.63% for the primary screen. As for the secondary display, it is 5.49 inches in size, with three rear cameras and a “Lunar Ring”, a new design feature created by Vivo. According to the brand’s official press note, “The Lunar Ring featured on the rear display creates a glowing band of colours which can signify notifications and even pulse with music.”

The Nubia X was the first dual-display phone of its kind, and it’s only natural that the Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition be compared to the former. In response to the Nubia X’s dual camera set in the rear, Vivo has equipped its phone with three rear cameras, one of which is fitted with a Sony IMX363 sensor that enhances image quality. These cameras are programmed with a specialised “3D Camera” feature that can bring out the minutest details in a shot.

Another area where Vivo scores more points is security. The Nex Dual Display offers a face-unlock option for users, in addition to the in-display fingerprint sensor on the primary panel.

One question to ask here is an obvious one: what use is a double display in a phone? Camera enthusiasts would surely find the feature worth the hype. The phone’s “Mirror Mode” links the primary and secondary displays, so that people on both sides of the camera can monitor the feed.

But this phone is mainly good news for gamers. The Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition can basically function as two phones rolled into one, which is to say that users can use both the touch screens simultaneously. This adds a new dimension to multiplayer gaming. In the near future, it’s possible that games would be designed especially for such dual-display phones.

In terms of the hardware, too, Vivo’s smartphone is a gamer’s dream. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor, and is fitted with a whopping 10GB RAM and 128GB ROM. The 3500mAh battery guarantees long intervals between charges.

The response of Indian buyers to dual-display phones is yet to be gauged. The Nubia X is slated to be launched in India in January next year, and there are still no updates on Vivo’s plans to introduce the Nex Dual Display Edition in the Indian market. But given the importance of India for Chinese smartphone brands, it’s more than likely that Vivo’s new phone would be coming our way sooner rather than later.