The Chinese are untouchable when it comes to the question of who can build the slimmest smartphone. And now, they’ve raised the bar yet again.
Vivo has now surged ahead of previous leaders Gionee Elife S5.1 (5.1mm) and Oppo R5 (4.85mm) with their new offering, the X5Max, which measures 4.75mm at its thinnest point. However, even the Chinese can’t solve the puzzle of shrinking the camera modules yet, as the f/2, 13-megapixel camera (which uses a IMX214 Sony sensor) on the X5Max actually adds almost 2mm to its thickness.
Vivo isn’t pulling any punches despite prioritising form factor. Actually, that’s a gross understatement, considering the heat that the X5Max is packing. It utilises an aluminium frame, and at its heart, a 64-bit, octo-core Snapdragon processor made up of four 1.7GHz cores and four 1GHz cores in a power-efficient, big.LITTLE configuration. The phone also sports 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, as well as microSD support for up to 128GB cards.
Other frills include: a 5.5in AMOLED display, and get this, a Yamaha YSS-205X audio processing chip (which supports Hi-Fi 2.0) for the purpose of KARAOKE. Yes folks, there’s a karaoke app built-in, just in case you're training for The Voice. It even supports dual SIM cards, both of which are 4G capable, but we’re not sure if there will be an international standard version.
And in keeping with Chinese preference for Apple-like UIs, the Funtouch UI is heavily skinned to look like iOS. Right now it’s based on Android 4.4.4, meaning that it won’t be able to harness its 64-bit architecture until Lollipop arrives. We’ll be really interested to find out how this phone fares in real world usage, as the battery has a capacity of only 2000mAh. Still, there should be plenty of time to show off this marvel to your friends before the modest battery runs dry.
Updated 18/3/2015: The super slim smartphone is available in Malaysia for RM1799. Do note that the Malaysian variant is slightly thicker at 5.08mm and has a bigger 2300mAh battery, but it will still barely show up in your skinny jeans' back pocket.