This year, by all accounts, was expected to be the year of the foldable phone. It still is, given how many companies seem to be working on them, but now it seems a new trend has kicked off. The phone that doesn't have any ports. Following yesterday's announcement from Meizu, Vivo has revealed it too has a phone without any ports or physical buttons.
Two phone companies have done it, and it's only a matter of time before other companies follow-suit. That's how things work, and this design will likely end up trickling upwards to the high-end phones in the near future. Provided, of course, these devices aren't total disasters. Then we have to wait half a decade for Apple to swoop in and act like it thought of this idea all by itself, and the trend will reinvigorate.
It's worth pointing out in this case, however, that Vivo's Apex 2019 is definitely a concept. In other words it's not likely to go into mass production anytime soon, and is mostly there to grab some attention while we're all paying attention. It's also a 5G phone, which means most people won't be getting very much out of it anyway. But, like the Meizu Zero, the only hole you'll find on the chassis is one for a microphone.
The phone itself is has a 'Super Unibody' all-glass design, featuring what Vivo calls the 'Curved-Surface Waterdrop Glass.' That basically means the curved glass envelopes the phone, but is thicker (and stronger) around the edges. Because, you know, people love to drop things and glass isn't known for its sturdiness. That glass also features capacitive buttons for volume and power control, and a full-screen in-display fingerprint scanner. That screen also functions as a speaker, because speaker grills are apparently too ugly for 2019.
Interestingly Vivo hasn't dropped USB connectivity with this, and is instead featuring something called 'Mag Port'. In other words there's a magnetic pin connector on the back, much like you'd use to connect tablets to keyboard accessories, which can be used for charging and data transfer. So no relying on a pure wireless system here.
As for the other specs Vivo is including 12GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, a dual 12 and 13MP camera system, and a 5G-capable Snapdragon 855. It's also eSIM-only, and there's no front camera. That's an interesting choice, seeing as how selfie cameras are supposed to be a big deal in China and the fact Vivo has made headlines for its pop-up camera systems in the past.
Vivo is bringing the device to MWC, which kicks off in a month's time, and despite the fact it's definitely not going to market I think it's safe to assume this isn't the last we've seen of hole-free phones in 2019. [Engadget]