Hands-On With The 'Bezel-Less' Vivo Apex Concept Smartphone – MWC 2018

We have seen quite a few interesting news coming from the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona thus far, and one of the most surprising ones comes from Vivo. This China-based company had managed to surprise everyone by showing off the Vivo Apex concept smartphone, as it calls it. The word ‘concept’ is there, but this is not just a regular concept, as Vivo brought a functioning model to the MWC, and is showing it off to attendees, us included, as we’ve managed to get some hands-on time with this futuristic smartphone.

Now, for starters, it’s worth noting that the Vivo Apex features a 98-percent screen-to-body ratio, which is the highest screen-to-body ratio on any smartphone, by far. The only bezel you’ll find on this device lies below its display, and it’s extremely thin, as the aforementioned percentage suggests. On top of having such a high screen-to-body ratio, the Vivo Apex also features an in-display fingerprint scanner, and unlike the implementation we’ve seen with the Vivo X20 Plus UD, about a third of this phone’s display is a fingerprint scanner, essentially. If you raise a phone, or power the display on by hitting the power key, you will be able to place your finger on a certain portion of the display in order to unlock it. As long as you’re within the highlighted lines, the phone will unlock. This is a considerably different implementation than we’ve seen with the Vivo X20 Plus UD, as with that phone, you needed to place your finger at the exact sport the phone highlights for you. It is worth noting that an in-display fingerprint scanner which is used here, Synaptics’, is a bit slower than regular, flagship, capacitive fingerprint scanners, and a bit less accurate as well.

The third interesting feature of this phone is its front-facing camera, as it is completely hidden until you opt to use it. Once you fire up the camera, and select the front-facing snapper, this phone’s selfie camera will pop up from inside. Vivo says that the camera comes out in 0.8 seconds, and that sounds about right from what we were able to gather. So, many of you are probably wondering where is the earpiece on this handset, as it is not visible above the display. Well, the phone entire OLED panel actually acts as an earpiece, and Vivo calls this feature ‘Screen Soundcasting’. The phone basically vibrates in order to make sound, and the sound output is not nearly as bad as it was on the first-gen Mi MIX, but the downside is… people around you will be able to listen in on your calls without a problem. A regular loudspeaker is placed on the bottom of the Vivo Apex, while a Type-C USB port lies there as well. There are two cameras included on the back of this phone, and they’re vertically aligned.

Vivo did not release much spec info when it comes to this phone, at this point, though we do know that it sports a 5.99-inch fullHD+ OLED display. Now, initially, it seemed like this phone will not become available anytime soon, but according to a recent report, Vivo actually started sending out invites for its launch event in China. If that info is accurate, the phone will become official on March 5.

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About the Author
Kristijan has been writing for Android Headlines since 2014 and is an editor for the site. He has worked as a writer for several outlets before joining Android Headlines, and has a background in writing about Android and technology in general. He is a smartphone enthusiast that specializes in Android applications, and that platform in general. Contact him at Kristijan. [email protected]