2019 might be the year of flexible mobile devices, but judging by some announcements from China this week, it seems to appear that we may also be expecting the disappearance of all holes and ports on smartphones. Vivo has announced the new Apex 2019 at a press conference in Beijing, and the phone is definitely unlike any other in the market today. There are no openings anywhere on the device, and Vivo even substituted the USB port with a magnetic connector at the back called a MagPort that lets you charge the device and transfer data. In addition, the Apex’s vibrating display will somehow double as a speaker.
Imagining a phone with zero input ports, no buttons and an (almost) bezel-free display with a full-screen in-display fingerprint reader and 5G connectivity is near impossible but the Apex 2019 pulls it off. The Vivo Apex 2019 technically might only be a concept right now but Vivo is apparently taking it to the Mobile World Congress in February.
The 5G-compatible smartphone is expected to be powered by a Snapdragon 855 chipset and will be available in two variants – 256GB and 512GB with a 12GB RAM support, equipped with Artificial Intelligent (AI) assistant “Jovi”.
Apart from the lack of ports and holes on the APEX 2019, another unique feature is it’s “Super Uni-body”. It is made of “Curved-Surface Waterdrop Glass,” with the ‘waterdrop’ referring to some extra thickness around the edges, which serves as an alternative to the more popularly found metallic mid-frame, while also offering a cool translucent look. The process of creating this glass uni-body with uneven thickness is a tedious one involving both heat bending and CNC machining, which is likely to be expensive.
The physical buttons on the device have been replaced by ‘touch sense’ technology that will bring capacitive touch and pressure-sensing technologies together. The company has been at the forefront of integrating biometric security into smartphone displays and claims that users can unlock the new Apex by touching anywhere on the screen. The phone’s display will illuminate pixels around the fingertip to provide additional light for the sensor, to aid the unlocking.
Even though the APEX 2019 is just a concept phone, Vivo still provided some information on its specifications which include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset with a 5G modem, an impressive 12GB of RAM accompanied by a whopping 512GB storage, and an impressive 12MP + 13MP dual camera setup on the back. Ironically, there is no front selfie camera on this device, which is funny given how the original APEX’s main selling point was its pop-up selfie camera.