Vivo Apex 2020 concept phone hides 16-megapixel selfie camera under screen

Vivo's new phone has a curved waterfall display, 60-watt super-fast charging and a notch-killing in-screen selfie camera.

Sareena Dayaram Senior Editor
Sareena is a senior editor for CNET covering the mobile beat including device reviews. She is a seasoned multimedia journalist with more than a decade's worth of experience producing stories for television and digital publications across Asia's financial capitals including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mumbai. Prior to CNET, Sareena worked at CNN as a news writer and Reuters as a producer.
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Sareena Dayaram
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In a first for Vivo, the company says underneath its display lies a 16-megapixel selfie camera.


The Vivo Apex 2020 concept phone has a dual-lens camera setup with 16-megapixel selfie camera inside the display. This marks the first time Vivo has unveiled a so-called under-screen camera, effectively killing any need for a notch. It appears to be identical to the under-screen camera technology debuted by  Oppo , which is owned by the same parent company. But Oppo never released a phone using the camera technology that people could actually buy, and Apex phones aren't made for production either. 

The Apex 2020 phone has a 6.45-inch ultra-curved display that bends at an angle of up to 120 degrees on both sides, resulting in an ultra-narrow bezel and a futuristic aesthetic. Like the 2019 incarnation, ports and physical buttons are nonexistent, instead that latter is replaced with virtual pressure-sensing buttons. 

The main rear camera sensor is a massive 48-megapixel periscope camera that offers between 5x to 7.5x continuous optical zoom. In comparison, the iPhone 11 Pro Max offers 2x optical zoom and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has 4x optical zoom. Huawei's P30 Pro offers 5x zoom, though its upcoming P40 Pro is speculated to have an astonishing 10x optical zoom. 

Vivo says it's embedded a gimbal-like structure into its main camera, which it claims has a 200% increase in performance over OIS systems. That should allow for smoother video and better night-time photography due to its slower shutter speed. However, it's tough to tell whether the technology lives up to the press release, since we didn't get a chance to even see the Apex 2020 first-hand, let alone use it, after organizers pulled the plug on MWC 2020.


Vivo teases its Apex 2020 concept phone ahead of its official unveiling on social media.


The Apex 2020 also includes 60-watt wireless charging, which the company claims can charge a 2,000-mAh battery in 20 minutes, though Vivo didn't specify the size of the Apex 2020's battery.

Like Vivo's previous Apex concept phones, the Apex 2020 won't go into production, but it does offer a glimpse into how Vivo sees the future of phone design. It also shows how far Apex hopes it can push the limits of its hardware. For instance, the Apex 2018 that was unveiled at MWC two years ago introduced the pop-up selfie camera to the world, and it ultimately appeared in Vivo's flagship Nex S a few months later. 

Quick specs

  • Display: 6.45 inch, 120-degree curved waterfall display
  • Rear camera: 48-megapixel periscope sensor, 5x to 7.5x continuous optical zoom
  • Front camera: 16-megapixel in display camera
  • Fast charging: 60-watt wireless fast charge
  • Processor: Snapdragon 865 with X55 modem
  • Storage: 12 GB RAM + 256 GB internal storage
  • Weight: 169 grams (5.9 ounces)
  • Colors: Black and white