Vivo announces Apex 2019, its first 5G phone without buttons, selfie camera, or USB port

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New Delhi | Updated: January 25, 2019 1:53:47 PM

Vivo Apex 2019 is also the company’s first 5G smartphone that will be ready for the next-generation telecommunications technology

Vivo Apex 2019 has been officially announced

Vivo on Thursday announced the launch its most futuristic phone yet in Beijing, China. Dubbed the Apex 2019, the concept smartphone forgoes everything that was potentially the hindrances in achieving a thin and bezel-less smartphone.

The Vivo Apex 2019 has no perforations, whatsoever – no USB port, no 3.5mm headphone jack, or even the front camera, which have been ditched in favour of a magnetic power connector called MagPort that will facilitate charging, data transfer, and audio output. It is also Vivo’s first 5G smartphone, which will support major carriers in China as and when 5G rollout begins.

Vivo Apex 2019 is a concept phone, much like the Vivo Nex with motorised pop-up front camera that was first revealed to the world as a prototype before entering mass production and subsequently commercial sales. This means that Vivo Apex 2019 will not be released into the markets as it is now. Vivo has said it will be attending the Mobile World Congress in February to showcase the Apex 2019, which is also when the smartphone will be ready for interactions.

The Vivo Apex 2019 will serve as a baseline for the upcoming Vivo smartphones this year that will borrow features. For example, the in-display fingerprint sensor first seen on Vivo X20 Plus UD has been retained on many Vivo smartphones.

Vivo is going for a minimalistic approach with the Apex 2019 that has no ports. But the functionality served by the ports will be achieved by a magnetic connector MagPort, which is similar to the MagSafe connector seen on old MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air models. However, there is no wireless charging available on the phone as of now.

Vivo says the Apex 2019 uses a new touch functionality called Touch Sense that “brings together capacitive touch and pressure-sensing.” This technology employs pressure sensor integrated inside the phone to detect the type of pressure the user is applying to respond with certain features. It is currently not clear how this technology works in the real world.

Talking about the sensors, the Vivo Apex 2019 also comes with a broad area for the in-display fingerprint sensor. The Vivo X20 Plus UD introduced the in-display fingerprint sensor but with a limited reception area. With Apex 2019, Vivo claims the user can tap the finger on ‘almost’ the entire display to unlock it. While Vivo demoed this technology earlier, it is now ready to be revealed to the public with Apex 2019. Xiaomi is also working on an advanced in-display fingerprint sensor that will make the use of the entire display real estate.

The Apex 2019 is also the company’s first 5G smartphone that will be ready for the next-generation telecommunications technology as it rolls out late this year starting with the US. The smartphone has been equipped with the Qualcomm X50 5G modem that was launched recently. The company says it’s using the Duplex PCB design, which essentially is stacking up the components to save up the space, as much as 20 per cent, on the motherboard for the 5G modules.

Vivo has given a dual camera setup on the rear of the Apex 2019, however, its technical specifications have not been announced. There is no selfie camera on the phone; not even the motorised pop-up camera first seen on Vivo Nex is available on the Apex 2019. On the absence of the selfie camera, Vivo says that it wants the users to focus on innovations on the phone rather.

Featuring a unibody design, the Vivo Apex 2019 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, has a whopping 12GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. Vivo says the Apex 2019 sports AI, IoT, AR, and VR capabilities out-of-the-box, however, their applicability remains to be seen. The Vivo Apex 2019 also carries the Body SoundCasting technology forward that enables the phone’s display to belt out the sound through vibration in the absence of the earpiece speaker.

Commenting on the unveiling of the Apex 2019, Spark Ni, Senior Vice President of Vivo, said, “With the goal of enhanced usability and simplicity at the core, APEX 2019 offers consumers a glimpse into the future of smartphone design and development. The Super Unibody design and Full-Display Fingerprint Scanning technology, among several other breakthrough features, make APEX 2019 a truly exceptional smartphone that demonstrates Vivo’s continuous exploration and pursuit of exceptional innovation for consumers.”

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