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Circuit Breaker

The Vivo Nex S’s pop-up selfie camera is making unwanted appearances

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A notch-less and bezel-less phone has one flaw: a creepy pop-up camera that emerges when unwanted

vivo nex s Photo by Sam Byford / The Verge

The Vivo Nex S smartphone caused a stir for doing away with bezels and notches in favor of a pop-up selfie camera that’s hidden in the top edge of the phone. Now users in China who have gotten their hands on the Vivo Nex S say the selfie camera is making surprise appearances when they’re casually browsing the web or other apps, and the effect is creepy.

As spotted by Abacus, a user on Weibo took a video of the selfie camera rolling out of a Vivo Nex S when you open a chat window in the secure messaging app Telegram. The video zooms in on the popped up camera at the exact time, suggesting that the user had encountered this weird surprise before and was recreating it for the video.

Others reported seeing the camera pop up when they used Tencent’s QQ browser or when tapping on the travel booking app Ctrip. Tencent explained on its support forums that the QQ browser uses the camera for QR codes and other features, so it prompts the camera to appear.

Tencent’s response suggests that apps that require camera access briefly interact with the camera, but since most phones don’t have pop-up cameras, the interaction isn’t noticeable.

We’ve reached out to Vivo for more information. Vivo told Abacus it was aware of the issue, but didn’t have a statement to share.