It seems like foldable phones and in-display punch hole cameras are not the only technology innovations that are being introduced to smarphones in 2019. Vivo has recently revealed their Apex 2019 concept phone which showcases a seamless unibody that excludes any ports or buttons in favour for a sleek curved glass design.
It's also interesting to note that Vivo isn't the only phone manufacturer to debut such concept . Meizu, another Chinese smartphone company, recently unveiled the Meizu Zero - a smartphone also featuring a seamless unibody concept. The major differences between the two - as far as we know - is that both phones features different hardware and cosmetic design.
Back to the Vivo Apex 2019 - it is clear that the concept is going for a heavy minimalist design and prioritises a higher screen-to-body ratio. Rather than relying on cables to charge the phone or to transfer files, it uses a rear-mounted magnetic connector which charges the phone and manages file transfers wirelessly. Conventional wireless charging could finally be a norm if Vivo greenlights this concept for their upcoming phones. Also, it may be time to finally embrace Bluetooth audio devices as the Apex obviously lacks any ports or headphone jacks.
Internally, the Apex 2019 is Vivo’s first phone to have 5G and utilises Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem. The phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 256GB of internal storage, and a whopping 12GB of RAM. While renders of the phone did feature a dual camera setup on its rear, Vivo has not disclosed any information regarding them due to the conceptual nature of the phone. A selfie camera is also absent, and judging by the seamless design, its doubted that the Apex would feature a pop-up camera.
To solve the button-less approach, the Apex 2019 features Vivo's Touch Sense which uses a combination of pressure sensors and capacitive touch sensors to emulate a button press on the phone's frame. A very interesting concept, but we have our concerns on how efficient it could be. Vivo have also included an improved in-screen fingerprint scanner which is no longer confined to single point or area of the screen. Rather, a user can unlock the phone using their fingerprint anywhere on its screen.
Other innovations include the Apex 2019's speakers which are implemented on to the screen itself via Body SoundCasting. This method helps enable the seamless design by vibrating the screen to act as a speaker, removing the need for speaker grills. Since a SIM card tray is absent, it is presumed that, like the Meizu Zero, the Apex will utilise eSIM technology.
All-in-all, the Vivo Apex 2019 is certainly ambitious, but do keep in mind that even though it will be featured at Mobile World Congress (MWC) next month, the phone is only intended as only a concept. Any plans for an actual consumer version of the phone or even its technologies to be implented in Vivo's upcoming phones are yet to be heard officially from the company itself. Until then, we're looking forward to what else the Apex 2019 has to showcase during MWC.