Meizu Zero minimalist phone has no buttons, no ports

Charging and data transfers are all done wirelessly and the screen is also the speaker.


Chinese phone maker Meizu has a bit of a reputation for creating iPhone-like devices. For its new flagship, however, it seems to have found inspiration elsewhere. 

The Meizu Zero looks remarkably like the Samsung Galaxy S9 from the front, with no buttons and a notchless, curved 6-inch AMOLED display, just a slim bezel at the top and bottom. Meizu didn't just remove the front buttons, though. It removes all the buttons. 

With a ceramic unibody design, the Zero is seamless with no buttons, speakers, USB-C port -- or any other port -- and, naturally, no headphone jack. There are two mic holes in the bottom, but that's it, and these don't stop the phone from being water resistant. Meizu used eSIM technology, like in the latest iPhones, so you won't find a SIM-card slot either. Charging and data transfers are all done wirelessly. 

The display actually pulls double duty as the phone's speaker, using Meizu's mSound 2.0 In-screen Sound Technology. Virtual side buttons with advanced haptic feedback let you control volume and turn the device on and off. And there's an under-glass fingerprint sensor for unlocking it. 

Meizu isn't the only company looking to leave buttons behind. On Thursday, Vivo reveled the Apex 2019, an updated version of its concept phone that has a streamlined aesthetic and supports 5G. Vivo says the phone has an edge-to-edge display with no physical buttons, no USB ports and no speaker grilles. 

Meizu didn't announce pricing and availability, but a representative assured me it is a real product that will go on sale. The company has dabbled with innovative designs before, with the dual-screen Pro 7

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First published Jan. 23, 8:31 a.m. PT.
Update, Jan. 24 at 9:58 a.m. PT: Adds information about Vivo Apex 2019.