No buttons, no ports, the all-glass Vivo Apex 2019 is the purest smartphone ever built

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A triumph of minimalism, the Vivo Apex 2019 concept phone is, in many ways, what the iPhone should have become. Pure and pristine in every sense, and made completely from glass (something Apple even patented in 2014) with no trims or embellishments, barring the cameras, the Vivo Apex 2019 is quite literally flawless. It ditches the buttons and the ports (completely functional details, if you think about it) and puts aesthetics on a pedestal. Obviously, this raises a few questions… like how do you insert a sim-card, or bootload the phone without physical buttons, or even wire-charge the phone, but that’s not something Vivo is really concerning themselves with immediately, given that the Apex is just a proof-of-concept at the moment, intended at showcasing Vivo’s vision for the future of smartphone aesthetics. Oh yeah, the future has no notch too, so a big thumbs up there.

The front of the Apex 2019 is perhaps just as eye-catching as the back, with a full edge-to-edge screen and a minimal bezel. There’s no notch, but there’s a slight hint at the phone having a chin, which is where I surmise Vivo’s planning on putting their front-facing camera. The phone also comes with a full-screen fingerprint sensor, eliminating the need for an extra blemish/sensor on the phone’s otherwise-pristine body. Flip the phone on its back and it literally has two cameras, a flash, the branding, and a barely visible set of magnetic connector points that I suspect will be for modular attachments like a jack or physical buttons or perhaps a SIM to eSIM converting device. Who knows. Let’s just focus on basking in the beauty of this perfect, unblemished, piece of smartphone purity. Ahhh…

Designer: Vivo

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Probably one of the companies that are daring to be different, Vivo’s going guns-a-blazing into the smartphone war. With all smartphones practically looking the same today, Vivo’s mantra is simple. Push boundaries, grab eyeballs, and make enough sense to let your idea appear to be genius. Their Apex concept was arguably the first to ditch the notch and have a moving camera, and the company was also the first to introduce in-screen fingerprint reading. All this was to push the display to its absolute edges, with nothing obstructing it whatsoever. The newly leaked Vivo Nex 2 manages to make that a possibility, with no notch and absolutely no front-facing camera.

The perceived genius, however, of the Nex 2 is that it has only one side with the camera, the back. However, the back also comes with a display of its own, so you’d use the same camera as both the front-facing camera with the back-display, and as a regular camera with the front-display. Around the camera (a dual-lens one, at that) is an LED ring that works as a rather quaintly different notification light as well as a ring-light for your selfies, allowing you to take better portraits than the ones with the powerful flash.

The genius of the Nex 2 is that it can be easily used pretty much any way you see fit. The phone comes with an in-screen fingerprint sensor on the front, and Vivo’s been experimenting with 3D facial scanning too, so the back of the phone would use facial unlock, giving you the ability to take your phone out of your pocket and use it with either side facing up. Stroke of genius or just really weird innovation from the east? Time shall only tell!

Designer: Vivo

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