Vivo Apex 2020: Top 5 features of port-free, bezel-free concept phone

For a brand that hasn’t yet launched to the wider market outside of China, Vivo has been making waves over recent years with its Apex concept phones (such as the future-thinking 2019 model).

For 2020, following the cancellation of Mobile World Congress, the Vivo Apex 2020 shows face a little later than planned, but that doesn’t make it sound any less impressive. Here are the top five features this concept phone pushes to the fore.

Unibody design, no openings

An idea that first began with the Apex 2019, Vivo has been pursuing the idea of a portless, zero openings phone for some time. The Apex 2020 continues with this theme, delivering an all-in-one unibody design.

‘But what about the charging port?’ we hear you ask. Vivo’s current idea is for a magnetic clip-on charger that will recharge the battery, while over-the-air transfer of images and files, using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, is already common practice.

Waterfall display, no side bezels

That singular body is further achieved by a screen that almost wraps around it. We explored the idea of a Waterfall Display in 2019, which the Apex 2020 takes to the next level with its so-called ‘120° FullView Edgeless Display’.

The important part of that title is the 120-degrees: it means the sides of the screen bend to such an acute angle that, face-on, you can’t see any side bezel whatsoever. The screen ‘spills’ over the sides, like a waterfall’, giving an immersive view.

The display is a 6.45-inch panel, so very much in keeping with today’s large flagship devices, but that’s as much as Vivo is giving away in its press release for now. We assume it will be OLED, but there’s no mention of refresh rate (don’t let that ‘120’ on the main image confuse you – that’s to do with the angle, not the refresh), resolution and such like at this stage.

In-display camera, no notch/pop-up/punch-hole

Here where things get really interesting. There’s no notch, no pop-up camera, no punch-hole to disrupt that screen-dominant design. Instead Vivo, much like Oppo announced previously, will use an under-the-screen camera, negating the need for any breaks to the visual design. 

When the Apex 2020 becomes a consumer reality – usually with some adjustments, granted, but it’ll likely be the NEX 4, or similar – it’s likely to be among the first phones to market with an in-display camera.

True 5x-7.5x continuous optical zoom

That’s not all on the camera front. The Apex 2020 integrates a ‘four-group lens combination’ – with two groups fixed and two groups movable – which can handle focusing and zooming at the same time. This periscope zoom design means the Apex 2020 can move its lenses to acquire 5x to 7.5x zoom, but not the digitally acquired hybrid zoom of most current flagships, rather genuine optical zoom – and from a phone that’s just 6.2mm thick!

Furthermore, the main camera is suspended on a gimbal-like structure within the device, which means it’s kind-of floating. That should help to make for much smoother, steadier video capture – even better than current optical image stabilisation (OIS) systems, Vivo claims, with up to double the counter for hand movement. 

60W FlashCharge super-fast charging

Although there’s no physical ports, the Apex 2020 does come with fast-charging equipped. 60W FlashCharge, no less, which is much like Oppo’s Super VOOC technology.

In the Apex 2020 that means a 2,000mAh cell can be recharged from zero to full in just 20 minutes. Granted, most flagship phones have batteries double that capacity these days – but there’s nothing stopping Vivo putting two such cells in the phone, which charge simultaneously, meaning a true 20 minute recharge cycle could be possible.

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