The future is here, and Vivo is once again showing the smartphone world how it’s going to look. While the design trend this year is clearly revolving around displays with notches and smaller bezels, Vivo is ditching the notch, the buttons and the external fingerprint readers, and putting everything into the display of the phone. Meet the Vivo APEX, a phone that’s all screen and boasts a 98-percent screen to body ratio, which Vivo is showing off at Mobile World Congress 2018 this week. Much like we saw from Vivo just a month ago at CES, the APEX sports an in-glass fingerprint reader, but this time around it’s got a larger touch area, nearly half the screen actually, and can even perform dual fingerprint recognition at once for extra secure unlocking. It’s not quite as instant as a dedicated fingerprint scanner just yet, but giving such a large area to read the fingerprint certainly helps with comfort and general usability in pretty much any situation.
The design is beautiful in its simplicity; all screen on the front, and all glass on its flat back, with nary a bezel to be found. In fact you may be wondering where the front-facing camera might be housed, right? It’s right up top, and it pops out the minute you press the button on the camera software. It’s a brilliant mechanism that keeps the camera protected and off the design of the phone, since it’s really only something you might use every so often. Of course the downside of this design would be lack of facial or iris recognition features, but having an in-glass fingerprint scanner certainly helps take those needs off the table. There’s even a 3.5mm audio jack on the bottom next to the dual speakers and USB Type-C port, flying in the face of some of the sillier trends in the industry.
Vivo’s UI is still heavily-inspired by iOS, but features some excellent full-screen navigation gesture that keep those pesky software buttons off the face, just as we saw with Oppo’s excellent gestures on the R11S. You can always enable the software buttons if you’d prefer too While Vivo is still stating this is a concept phone, just like the ones we saw at CES, it’s clear the company is working toward making these more than just a concept device, and one that’s squarely aimed at shaping the future of smartphone design.