Vivo X21 and Vivo NEX Users Can Now Experience Android 9 Pie-based FunTouch OS 4.5 in Closed Beta


Before 2018, Chinese smartphone makers Oppo and Vivo were infamous for spending ludicrous amount of money on their advertisement campaigns and flooding the market with overpriced handsets that weren’t really ‘value for money’ propositions. In 2018, however, both the companies seem to have gone through a transformation of sorts. Apart from launching several innovative handsets, these brands also started issuing regular updates to their devices this year. According to GSMArena, Vivo has started testing Android 9 Pie builds for two of its most talked about handsets launched in 2018 – the Vivo Nex and the Vivo X21. Both these phones, if you recall, launched with Android 8.1 Oreo and an older version of FunTouch OS installed.

Let us check what the fresh update (still in alpha) brings to the table.

Vivo X21, Vivo Nex Android 9 Pie Update Details

As mentioned earlier, both these handsets came preinstalled with the then latest stable version of Vivo’s own FunTouch OS based on Android 8.1 Oreo at the time of their respective launches. The recently announced closed beta program also graduates FunTouch OS to a newer version. The GSMArena post goes on to add that this program is currently only available as an alpha release to a select number of users and that only a select few alpha testers will be selected for testing purposes. The company has also revealed that the alpha testing phase will be conducted in two different waves with the first wave already underway (starting December 24). The second phase is expected to live starting January 2.

Vivo X21, Vivo Nex Android Pie Update: What to expect

The new update is expected to bring several UI and feature enhancements to the handset. A new smart Voice Assistant called ‘Javi’ is also expected to be released. Then there is something known as the Smart Desktop which is basically a feed of cards that will show weather data and give shortcuts to several apps and features. There will also be a new app called iHousekeeper that is a memory cleaning tool. In case you are curious and wish to get access to this closed beta, you can download a registration APK from the link below and follow the on-screen instructions.

APK Link

Things to watch out for before you update

Note that in the current testing phase (alpha), the software tends to be very unstable and buggy. This phase would soon be followed by a beta testing period following which the final version of the software will be released for the device. For the same reason, joining this alpha testing program is only recommended for folks who can live with an unstable handset with a lot of potential bugs. It is also pertinent to note that Vivo had promised to deliver the Android 9 Pie update for these devices during Q4 2018. That looks unlikely considering the update is still in Alpha as of now.  

As for Oppo and Vico in general, while they still sell some handsets that cannot match up to their similarly priced peers from some other manufacturers, this was also the year the companies introduced several innovative handsets.  Oppo, for example, introduced the Find X which was widely praised for its innovative sliding camera mechanism. As for Vivo, this company came up with not one but two innovations. The first one was the innovative in-screen fingerprint scanner technology that first appeared on the Vivo X21. A few months after the X21 (Features) was launched, they launched the Vivo Nex (review) that had a pop-up front-facing camera at the top.