Vivo Apex 2019 is what phones will look like in the future, and it doesn't have a selfie camera

Vivo Apex 2019 is what phones will look like in the future, and it doesn't have a selfie camera
We recently told you about a duo of exciting concept phones from Chinese companies Vivo and Meizu. What made those stand out from other crazy concept devices by companies not popular in the West though, was the fact that those two are stacked with technology that is bound to actually become mainstream in the near future.

Today, we got our first look at the Vivo Apex 2019 – a concept smartphone that checks an impressively long list of things that it doesn’t have. Besides the practically non-existent bezels, Vivo Apex 2019 also doesn’t have a charging port, ear piece, speaker grills, or any other openings, seams, or any hard edges for that matter.

The Apex 2019 has a unibody design wrapped in glass, with uninterrupted, sleek edges lining the frame of the phone. Keeping up with this overarching theme, the phone doesn’t even have a camera hump – its back is completely flat! As for the front-facing camera, there isn't one. You read that right, this phone has two cameras in total – both of them on the back. So, how do you take selfies? Well, you turn the phone around and guide yourself by your reflection on the shiny back... of course!

At first, we were stumped by this idea, so we reached out to Vivo for a comment and that's what they got back to us with:

"We have not provided a specific front camera solution as we hope that people can focus on the concept device’s disruptive innovations that we mentioned in the press release."

All that said, however — as with any concept phone — we are most intrigued not so much by its looks, as we are by the tech inside. And more precisely, by the prospects of said tech trickling down into the mainstream. So, here are some of the most innovative new features that the Vivo Apex 2019 brings to the table:

Fullscreen fingerprint scanning

In-display fingerprint scanners may not yet be the norm on the majority of phones, but Vivo is already making the next step in this field. Initially, in-display fingerprint authentication was limited to a small area and were rather small. Naturally, this posed a bit of a problem, as you had to make sure that you were pressing on the right spot, which wasn’t made any easier by the smooth surface of the screen.

Traditional fingerprint scanners are designed in a way that offers tactility — be it by being receded into the panel or by having a small ridge around them — which allows you finger to feel your way around the scanner without having to look. In-display fingerprint readers offer no such convenience.

Vivo solves this problem by, well, allowing you to unlock the phone by pressing (almost) anywhere on the screen. To further facilitate the ease of unlocking, there’s also a “Fingerprint Light” feature that lights up the part of the display that you’re going to touch.

Unibody design with an in-display speaker and magnetic wireless charging

As already mentioned, Vivo Apex 2019 has a unibody design with no charging port (or any other openings). Instead, it has a MagPort – a small magnetic connector on the back that allows for both wireless charging and data transfer. It also addresses the issue of using a portless device while charging. Since the wireless charger is tiny (compared to what we’re used to) and effortlessly snaps onto the phone via the magnetic connector on its back, you can still comfortably hold and use it while the battery is juicing.

But what about the speaker? How do you hear anything when there’s no grill for the sound to come out of? Well, the Vivo Apex 2019 turns its display into a speaker! Using Body SoundCasting tech, the phone is able to transmit audio through its display by making it vibrate. This is something that we’re going to be seeing a lot more of in the coming months, as Samsung, LG, and other companies are working on their own implementations of this concept.

5G, 12 gigs of RAM, and Snapdragon 855

Aside from all the technological innovations that the Vivo Apex 2019 brings to the table, it is also a powerful phone (as if that’s surprising). This being Vivo’s first 5G phone, it is stacked to the brim! Under the hood, there’s the newest Snapdragon 855 CPU running the show, backed by 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage for good measure.

And what about battery life? Well, there’s no word on that from Vivo, but considering the specs of the phone, it better be good! The company is attending MWC this year and will have the Apex 2019 on-stage, so we are going to get some hands-on time with this interesting device then, and we’ll be able to answer some of the questions still surrounding it.



1. adecvat

Posts: 662; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Full screen FP No CHIN No hole Galaxy S10 completely destroyed

3. BCMWorld

Posts: 60; Member since: Mar 24, 2014

123 OK, but 4 u 4king kidding

8. Yousefjaber206

Posts: 118; Member since: Jan 09, 2018

There's a chin!

18. j_grouchy

Posts: 190; Member since: Nov 08, 2016

If people are going to get upset about a 1/8" chin...well I just don't know what to say to that.

16. maherk

Posts: 7054; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

There is a chin, and with the thick trim, it makes it bigger than the S10's chin, almost double the size.

24. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Here's the complete hands-on video in Chinese. It's virtually certain the fps and side buttons will be on the 2019 Nex. The Chinese are simply streets ahead in terms of innovation.

2. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Vivo has been on a roll for a while and this phone is impressive. I wouldn't be surprised if this goes into production in a few months like the Apex/Nex last year. The only thing preventing that would be the whether it's compatible with a regular sim instead of an E-sim only like the Meizu.

6. Nionx

Posts: 208; Member since: Oct 30, 2017

To keep with its unibody design I'd assume E-sim only. I'm actually surprised they didn't find a way to put the magnetic connection on the inside for all around uniformity

9. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1485; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

It has a pop-up camera so I imagine they will have a SIM tray cutout too.

14. midan

Posts: 3213; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

There's no pop-up camera, neither SIM tray.

17. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1485; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

The article clearly states that it does.

19. midan

Posts: 3213; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Well it's wrong information and they should fix it, maybe they meant other vivo phone with that line. Earlier Apex had that. Wouldn't it ruin the whole point with this device because the point with the device is to offer unibody design without any port or holes.

20. Milen_Y

Posts: 116; Member since: Jun 09, 2016

We got in touch with Vivo and they confirmed that the Apex 2019 has no front-facing camera. Yup, you just use the phone's reflective back and take selfies with the main camera!

21. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

That's fine for selfies. What about video calls? Anyway it's a concept so it doesn't really matter but it's totally impractical. This and the dual-screen version make the original Nex look better and better to be honest. The magnetic charger makes it a non-starter for me, run out of juice without the charger and you're done.

22. Vancetastic

Posts: 1866; Member since: May 17, 2017

Good point about video calls!

4. Nionx

Posts: 208; Member since: Oct 30, 2017

I like the innovation here. Not so sure about the unibody design though I'm sure its gorgeous. That all screen fingerprint display and display audio tech are the real standouts. Can't wait to see more mainstream adoption

5. Nionx

Posts: 208; Member since: Oct 30, 2017

MWC is going to be interesting indeed

7. skips

Posts: 490; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

if apple went completely wireless it wouldve been a riot here.

12. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

That's impossible with Apple. It goes against their nickle and dime business philosophy of selling 6 different dongles per device.

10. Ali888

Posts: 103; Member since: Apr 13, 2018

If it had android one i would take it

11. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

The stock android fanatics resurface. What's with you guys and the featureless, boring Android One? It makes zero performance difference these days.

13. bucknassty

Posts: 1395; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

might as well get an iphone if they dont want all the extra tweaks

15. Sparkxster

Posts: 1258; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Vivo and Meizu impresses again! The Apex 2019 and Meizu Zero are stunning devices!

23. monoke

Posts: 1206; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Wow they perfected that fps scanner out of nowhere! I admire the innovation and see how they can improve further upon it. I wouldn't buy it just yet but they're headed in the right direction. Good job Vivo!


Posts: 212; Member since: Aug 07, 2018

hmmm video calling will be interesting on this

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