Last year Vivo showed off a concept Apex device with a 98% screen-to-body ratio and in-display fingerprint technology. This year it is taking the design a step further with the Vivo Apex 2019 concept phone, which has an all-glass body with almost no holes.
Vivo Apex 2019 has no holes, buttons and notch
Vivo revealed the Apex 2019 at a press conference in Beijing. Like the Apex phone showcased last year, the new model focuses on maximizing the screen-to-body ratio and slimming down the bezels. The handset has a curved “Super Unibody” glass design with no physical buttons, no notch and no port openings — not even a USB-C port. The handset comes with a rear-mounted magnetic connector called a MagPort, which can be used for charging and transferring data.
Since there are no buttons, the company is using its Touch Sense technology. The technology uses capacitive touch, pressure sensing and software to recognize touch inputs along the side of the frame and translate them into actions.
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Although we say the phone has no holes, it actually has a minute slit for the microphone below the screen. Still, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Vivo Apex 2019 looks like a slab of glass and metal with rounded edges and a seamless design.
In terms of specifications, the handset has Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem. The Vivo Apex 2019 is the company’s first 5G phone. The Chinese company claims it is using a new technique to free up 20% of the motherboard space for the 5G components. Such technology allows the company to keep the design intact.
Vivo used the Snapdragon 855 chipset in the Apex 2019, which comes with either 256 GB or 512 GB of internal storage and 12GB of RAM. The handset features a dual-lens camera setup placed on the top middle of the back. The primary sensor is 12 MP, while the secondary sensor is 13MP. There is also an LED flash.
No front camera, better in-display fingerprint scanner
Vivo hasn’t revealed other details about the camera, which is understandable because the phone won’t be shipping. The Vivo Apex 2019 is a concept phone, so it probably won’t hit the market. However, we may see some of its features in other phones from the Chinese company.
A point to note is that the handset doesn’t even have a selfie camera. It doesn’t have any add-ons like a pop-up module, which would hint at a front camera, or a second screen either. Vivo says it wants users to focus on the other innovative features in the Apex 2019 concept.
Like last year’s Apex phone, the Apex 2019 also comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor. However, this year’s fingerprint sensor covers more area, and the company claims users can press almost anywhere on the screen to unlock the phone. Vivo calls the technology “full-display fingerprint scanning.” The in-display scanner in last year’s Apex was called “half-display” technology.
The Apex 2019 also has Vivo’s soundcasting technology. Such technology enables the display to work as a speaker, thus offering a better audio experience. The Apex 2019 handset needed such technology because it has no holes, ports or buttons.
“With the goal of enhanced usability and simplicity at the core, APEX 2019 offers consumers a glimpse into the future of smartphone design and development,” Vivo Senior Vice President Spark Ni said.
Vivo confirmed that it will be attending the Mobile World Congress this year. The Chinese company also said that it would display the Vivo Apex 2019 at the event, which is scheduled for February in Barcelona. Going ahead, there is a good chance we will see a Vivo flagship based on the Apex 2019. After all, Vivo did launch the NEX S, which was based on the first Apex concept phone.
Another similar device
Vivo announced the Apex 2019 just days after another Chinese company, Meizu, revealed its first device. Interestingly, Meizu’s device also has no ports or buttons. However, Meizu’s phone ditches USB-C connectivity in favor of 18-watt wireless charging. The handset also doesn’t feature a SIM tray, instead supporting eSIM.
Meizu’s phone has no physical volume controls or power buttons; rather, it uses virtual buttons. Further, the handset sports a ceramic body and comes with an IP68 water/dust resistant rating. As far as specs, it features a 5.99-inch AMOLED display and is powered by a Snapdragon 845 chipset. It sports a rear camera with 20-MP and 12-MP lenses and a 20-MP front camera.