Monsters from Asia: vivo X5Max, the world's thinnest production phone


It's hardly news now, but we'll say it again: Android manufacturers are dead-set on their ambition to bring impossibly thin devices to the market, regardless of the cost to user experience. We've seen what incredible trade-offs are involved with sub 0.2-inch (5 mm) phones like the Oppo R5, but handset makers obviously see a niche for such design-centric pieces nevertheless.

The vivo X5Max is one such device, but it offers an even thinner, 1.87-inch profile (4.75 mm), and unlike the Oppo R5 (which is a sister company to vivo), it features a 3.5 mm audio jack. But that number is only for the sticklers for details, as the X5Max actually measures just 0.15 inches (3.98 mm) at its thinnest point. Incredible, especially considering that vivo has used metal in the construction, and the X5Max is every bit the premium device that the company is revered for.

So how did vivo do this? Well, the company isn't likely to ever share all the details of the process, but we were told that they're using a specially designed motherboard that's only 0.067 inches thick (1.77 mm), and screen assembly and speaker box that measure in at 0.05 inches and 0.09 inches (1.36 / 2.45 mm) respectively. 

Surely, that leaves little room for anything resembling powerful internals, right? Not quite, for vivo has fitted within an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel selfie snapper, a 2,000 mAh battery, and even a dedicated Yamaha YSS-205X chip to handle audio output (vivo is well loved among audiophiles). The device runs on Android 4.4.4 KitKat, with the company's proprietary Funtouch OS 2.0 skin on top.

So how much for the razor-thin vivo X5Max?

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