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A Closer Look At The vivo APEX 2019

The vivo APEX 2019 is unlike anything you and I have ever seen before. As far as minimalism goes, this is surely the ultimate minimalist modern smartphone in existence to date. The problem is there’s no way in getting it on your hands even if you are prepared to splurge top dollars on it. This concept phone is not one for sale.

Nevertheless, the APEX 2019 still elicits a great sense of excitement and curiosity for anyone who has had the chance to check it out. It was showcased to the local media in Malaysia recently and we were able to get up close and personal with it. For those who have read all about it, you already know the whole deal. This is a phone that does away with anything resembling a button, a port, a hole and just about any openings. It is a solid slab of almost uninterrupted glass. A minimalist’s dream come true indeed.

To make it even possible to work just like any normal smartphone would, vivo has to implement several technologies that are practically impossible just a few years back. The fingerprint sensor is  under its display, but instead of a small concentrated area we have seen in the likes of the vivo NEX to the recently-released V15 Pro, the entire display is one giant fingerprint scanner. The complete absence of a lock/power key and volume rocker is compensated with capacitive touch and pressure-sensing sides. The lack of any speaker grill and headphone jack means vivo had to use their Body SoundCasting technology that basically vibrates the entire display to produce sound. No USB charging port? No problem as it charges and transfers data through a magnetic MagPort power connector.

As futuristic as it may sound, the actual use case might not be as appealing. The pressure-sensing sides can be a hit-or-miss affair and at times a frustrating exercise of repeated attempts. The pursuit of a form factor completely devoid of any moving parts means vivo didn’t fit a pop-up selfie camera as a means to go full bezel-less, even if they could. The solution for a notchless screen then? It has no front-facing camera at all, so you couldn’t take any selfies with it. There is a reason why this is just a concept phone.

Inside, the APEX 2019 is a definite powerhouse. 12GB of RAM, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and 5G-ready make this one of the dream phones for any power purists, provided that it’s obtainable in the first place.

It might never see the light of the day, but the APEX 2019 offers glimpses of what future vivo smartphones (or smartphones in general) from now on might hold – just like how the APEX 2018 would later see its best assets transferred to subsequent consumer-level phones. Nobody can dispute the fact that vivo has been one of the most innovative and inventive smartphone makers to have emerged in the last year or two, and the APEX 2019 further corroborates the point. They aren’t afraid to thread the unbeaten path, and show the world their unconventional ideas – flaws and all.

One day we all might indeed be carrying button-less, port-less phones, and we would have the APEX 2019 to thank for for opening the path.


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