Vivo may have just announced the most revolutionary smartphone ever. Well, to be honest, it’s actually a concept with a working prototype but that’s not the point. Revealed just recently at an event in Hong Kong, it is called the Apex 2019 and it has some of the most unique design elements and features ever seen on a smartphone. What might they be? Well, for starters, it is the first port-less and button-less smartphone.
When it comes to innovative designs and crazy features, Vivo isn’t what comes to our minds. This is mostly the domain of giants like Apple and Samsung. Yet, here we are. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer has decided that it also wanted a piece of the action. And by the looks of it, it looks like it has pretty much pulled it off.
The Apex 2019 concept has a completely clean look to it. As mentioned earlier, there are no ports, buttons, speaker holes or anything that breaks the seamless design. The chassis is molded out of a single piece of glass, which must’ve been a nightmare to make. So how do you operate it? For that, it uses a combination of pressure and capacitive sensors for you to turn it on/off and control the volume.
The power button is located on the right side and has a perforated pattern around it to indicate its position when the screen is off. For the volume, there is a virtual indication on the screen. However, it is only available when the screen is on. The buttons do seem weird at first but just need some getting used to. Once you get the hang of them, you’d notice that they work really well.
As far as the speakers are concerned, they exist under the display. Yes, you read that right. The screen vibrates for you to hear the sound of whatever is being played. And Vivo has pulled it off as the quality of the sound is better than most smartphones with traditional speakers. They are front firing too, which is always a plus point.
You may be wondering by now that if a smartphone has no ports, how do we charge it? Wireless Charging? Well, it does seem like a viable workaround, but no. Vivo has instead gone with a rather unconventional approach. The Apex has some contact points on the back that happen to be magnetic. This means it will need a special type of charger, which may have issues regarding availability if the phone were to go in production. This also means that the design is not “seamless” after all as the charging contacts disturb the overall flush look.
In fact, the back is the only part that is not smooth like the rest of the phone. In addition to the charging point, you get the dual camera setup and a single LED flash. They don’t, however, stick out and instead, are under the glass unibody. So you might be wondering where is the front camera then? Well, it doesn’t have any. It looks like Vivo hasn’t really come up with a clever plan to integrate the front camera in its design. I do hope it’s not a pop-up unit.
Saving the best for last we have the Fullscreen, In-Display Fingerprint Scanner. Yes, folks, gone are the days where you could only use a portion of the screen to unlock your phone via your fingerprints. Now you can place your finger virtually anywhere on the screen and the phone will unlock. This does take the usability of the fingerprint scanners on a whole new level. It also works fast and has a feature where you can use 2 fingerprints simultaneously to log in extra secure apps.
This does look like a pretty promising device. Unfortunately, however, this is just a mere concept. It will not go on sale and is made solely by Vivo to experiment how people react to these new features and design. All hope isn’t lost as Vivo will use some of the “well-received” features of the Apex on its future devices. If I had to root for one, I’d go with the fingerprint scanner!