One of the head turners at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2018) was Vivo’s concept phone called Apex. The smartphone had everyone gasping for its truly bezel-less design, pop-up selfie camera, and in-screen fingerprint sensor which is actually practical to use. It appears the concept device is soon to mature officially on March 5.
Even as the company demonstrated the Apex smartphone as a concept unit at the tech expo, an event banner has surfaced online for a Vivo launch event in China. Now it is not clear if the banner mentions the product name, but it is widely believed by industry insiders that Vivo will indeed announce the Apex smartphone at the event, GSMArena reports. The event will be held at the Vivo Hangzhou Institute.
Vivo Apex takes the narrow bezel display to the next level by removing the camera sensor altogether from the front panel. The smartphone features the thinnest bezels ever seen on a smartphone, measuring 1.8mm. The chin of the phone is a mere 4.3mm. With a 98 percent screen-to-body ratio, the Vivo Apex uses a flexible OLED which is mounted directly to the flexible circuit board.
The company was the first to introduce the in-screen fingerprint sensor on its Vivo X20 Plus UD, but the mechanism is restricted to a specific point on the lower end of the screen. It essentially replicates the position of a traditional fingerprint sensor onto the main screen. With the Apex smartphone, Vivo is introducing a ‘half-screen in-display fingerprint scanning technology’. This allows more room for a user to unlock the device by tapping anywhere on the half of the smartphone screen. This makes the authentication more seamless and flexible as you don’t need to point to a pre-designated area.
While improvement in terms of the in-screen fingerprint sensing technology is expected to be the next logical step in this direction, the use of a pop-up camera in the Vivo Apex is another revolutionary element. For enhanced aesthetics, Vivo replaces the traditional front-facing camera with the rear camera which pops up to double as a selfie camera.
To use the rear camera as a selfie camera, you need to go to the camera menu and enable it. Once you do so, the rear camera rises from its place to capture selfies and retracts after use. The system takes about 0.8 seconds to pop out. Further thinning down on the size, the Apex smartphone uses its frame and display to conduct audio, a mechanism first experimented in the Xiaomi Mi MIX.
In terms of specifications, so far it is only known that the Vivo Apex is equipped with a 5.99-inch bezel-less full HD+ OLED display, includes the futuristic fingerprint sensor, and the rear/front camera has an 8-megapixel sensor. To those who first experienced the device, it came across as a half-finished product, with scope for improvement on the software side. It remains to be seen if March 5 will be the official product announcement or the announcement about a possible future date when the Vivo Apex might actually turn into a commercial product.