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Vivo's new 5G concept phone has no ports, no seams and no bezels

Taking unibody design to the extreme, the refreshed Apex has all of 2019's buzziest specs.


The Apex 2019 concept.


Vivo has given a very 2019 makeover to the Apex concept phone it first unveiled last year. The new version has a minimalist design with no openings or bezels, and supports 5G, the next generation of cellular technology, which has the potential to increase connectivity speeds significantly. The prior incarnation of the Apex evolved into the Vivo Nex, which debuted last July.

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The new Apex will be among the first wave of phones -- which will also include the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S10 -- to come equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855. In addition to the usual performance boost, the new chip is partnered up with the company's X50 modem that will connect phones with the super-fast 5G network launching in the US later this year. In addition to the brand-new processor, the Apex will also have 12GB of RAM.

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Vivo says the phone's "Super Unibody" design includes an edge-to-edge display made out of "Curved-Surface Waterdrop Glass." Remarkably, it has no physical buttons, no USB ports and no speaker grilles. The company, which has been at the forefront of integrating biometric security into smartphone displays, says that users can unlock the new Apex by touching anywhere on the screen. The phone's display will illuminate the pixels around the fingertip to provide additional light for the sensor. Sounds cool.


To support its super-streamlined aesthetic, Vivo has also developed a new user interface that leverages capacitive touch and pressure sensitivity; it sounds similar to the UI Apple introduced on the iPhone X in 2017. In the place of a USB port, a magnetic connector will support charging and data transfer. And -- get this -- the Apex's vibrating display will somehow double as a speaker. 

Last year, Vivo made a splash at Mobile World Congress with an earlier version of the Apex -- a concept phone with a 6-inch OLED edge-to-edge display, an unusual front-facing camera that popped out of the body of the phone and a vibrating display. 

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We'll see in person how far Vivo has come with the Apex 2019, when it shows it off at MWC in Barcelona next month. There's no word yet on availability date or price.