Concept phone hides bezels from view, showcases next-gen camera tech
Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is not happening this year, meaning phone makers are being forced to go online only to share their new ideas for the future of mobile communications. China's Vivo is the latest to do so with the curvy Apex 2020 concept, featuring a next level camera system.
"Apex is never a mere 'concept' or a glimpse of imagination," said the company's Harry Hong. "It's a creation that goes beyond any previous experience brought by mobile technology. Through Apex 2020, we are proud to see Vivo’s vision come to life as a technology company that continues to push the boundaries of mobile technology and explore what lies beyond the ordinary. It also showcases our ambition to achieve our aspirations step-by-step. Vivo will continue to put Apex’s innovative technologies into practice, allowing more consumers to be empowered by such technology."
That said, without the benefit of a show-floor demo, we will just have to trust Vivo that this phone has been made real and is not merely a top-spec digital dream.
As with the impressive Nex 3 that the company released last year, the Apex 2020 concept features a Waterfall FullView display, but goes further with a 120-degree edgeless 6.45-inch curved screen that effectively removes side edges and bezels from view. Physical buttons are gone too, replaced by virtual ones like the Touch Sense ones on the Nex 3.
There are no notches for the 16-megapixel front selfie camera to peer through, so Vivo has integrated it right into the display itself. The company claims to have increased the transmission of light above the "4-in-1 super-pixel photosensitive chip" by six times compared to other parts of the display, with image quality ultimately getting some algorithmic help.
The phone's 48-MP main camera module shuns hybrid optical/digital zoom for up to 7.5x continuous optical zoom, courtesy of a four lens configuration comprising two fixed and two moving lens groups. A periscope structure to the camera module means that the whole shebang is just 6.2 mm thick. Optical image stabilization is also on offer, which can be used for stills and video recording, and is said to offer 200 percent increased performance compared to traditional optical image stabilization tech.
The phone doesn't have any ports, so wireless charging is the name of the game here – the Super FlashCharge 60-W system is reported to top up the unit's 2,000-mAh battery in just 20 minutes. Now that's quick.
Storage, memory, processor and other key specs are missing from the announcement, which is to be expected for a smartphone that will never make it to production. It does offer a mouthwatering glimpse into where Vivo is headed though, and we can't wait to see such things make it into production devices.