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Vivo Apex 2019: all screen, no buttons, no ports 5G smartphone

China’s Vivo Apex 2019 has taken the concept of ‘no notches, thin bezels, virtually no ports or buttons’ to its logical conclusion as the phone is literally all screen on the front.

In the company’s vision of the future, it is already possible to make a phone without a single hole or button.

Vivo actually soft-launched the Apex 2019 in January, but the company has now brought the actual device to an event in Hong Kong (via The Verge).

Vivo’s Apex 2019 has no physical buttons, which have been replaced by pressure sensors which give haptic feedback when you touch them. The standard USB port has been removed and replaced with a Magport: a magnetic connector that clings to the back of the phone to charge it. There’s no SIM card slot — you have to use an eSIM instead. The phone’s screen doesn’t have a notch, and it has a new kind of fingerprint scanner, which lets you unlock the phone by placing a finger anywhere on the screen instead of a designated spot. There’s no speaker grille, either: the sound is delivered by vibrating the screen, a technology used in the original Apex phone as well.

Other specifications of Apex 2019 include: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 12GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, 5G connectivity and vapour-chamber cooling. It’s probably waterproof (no ports, remember), but Cnet notes that the company still hasn’t tested this out.

Still there is no word on pricing, but it could start to show up in Vivo’s mass-market phones.

Amazingly, it uses a magnetic power connector for charging and data transfer, with the inductive charger being flush with the rest of the phone.

User can snap a magnetic induction charger on the back of the device to charge, which works well, but doesn’t seem all that practical for daily smart-phone design.

User can press literally almost anywhere on the OLED display to unlock the phone. This has been one of the biggest issues with today’s in-display fingerprint sensors, which limit users to pressing a tiny area of the screen to unlock a device.

There’s a small dotted area that shows you where the power key is on the right side of the device, but user will have to feel around if you want to adjust the volume while the screen is off. Otherwise, there are some persistent virtual buttons that float on the right side of the display showing where the keys are on the phone, since you cannot physically see them.

The Vivo Apex 2019 looks beautiful and feels great to hold. It is made up of a solid piece of glass of varying thickness, dubbed Super Unibody. We’ve seen unibody designs before, but the complete lack of gaps on the sides of the Apex 2019 makes it truly stand out.

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