Vivo XPlay 3S. Photo: AFP
The Chinese handset manufacturer has taken the wraps off the XPlay 3S, the first smartphone to boast a better-than-full HD display.
At 2560 x 1440 pixels, the 6-inch display is actually halfway towards 4K ultra-high definition. In fact it boasts a pixel density of 490ppi. If the phone were just a way of showcasing the display's resolution it would be impressive, but the Vivo XPlay 3S backs up the cutting-edge display with seriously flaghsip internal specifications too.
The phone features a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage space. In other words, the type of hardware found in Samsung's best phablet handsets. However, unlike the Galaxy Note III, the Vivo also uses premium materials for the handset's shell. It's made from metal, not plastic, is only 4.5mm thick and can be specified in a black or white finish.
Just like Apple's latest flagship phone, the Vivo also features a fingerprint sensor, but it is positioned under the flash on the phone's rear, rather than integrated into the homekey. In terms of photography, it has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, while surround sound is provided by DTS.
The only catch is that Vivo handsets are not currently sold outside the company's native China. Still, the fact that it exists should be enough to force other Android phonemakers, particularly Samsung and LG, to up their game.
And all is not lost. An executive from Vivo did confirm to tech site Engadget that it has big plans for the market beyond China in 2014. But for the time being, all of its efforts were focused on making sure the XPlay 3S is in the shops before the Chinese New year (January 31, 2014). The handset is expected to retail for CN¥3,498 ($580).