Vivo’s first Apex phone unveiled in Feb. 2018, was the first functional phone with nearly no bezels and a pop-up selfie camera. It was just a concept, but it was way ahead of its time, with countless manufacturers later ditching various display-obstructing elements from their phones, one by one.
Two iterations later, Vivo is still working to perfect its vision of a bezel-less, hole-less phone. The Vivo Apex 2020 takes the concept a step further with a 6.45-inch display that bends at a 120-degree angle on both sides — a more extreme version of what Vivo has done with its Nex 3 smartphone. And, just like on the Nex 3, physical side buttons are replaced by pressure sensors.
Another focus of Vivo on the Apex 2020 is the 16-megapixel main camera, which is quite different from anything I’ve seen on a smartphone so far. It achieves a 5-7.5x “continuous optical zoom” by combining fixed and movable lenses, which is how the camera can continually zoom and focus at the same time.
The zoom itself is achieved with a periscope-type design, which we’ve seen on phones from Vivo and Oppo. It’s hard to say how well all of this works in practice, but we’ll know more when the technology inevitably trickles down to some of Vivo’s mass-market models.
The Apex 2020’s secondary, 48-megapixel camera features a “gimbal-like structure” which should be twice as effective as a traditional optical image stabilization system, according to Vivo. This system also allows for enhanced night photography, the company says.
And if you’re wondering where the selfie camera has gone, it’s under the display. We’ve been hearing about this tech for a while, but Vivo says it has managed to improve it with an innovative screen pixel layout and circuit design. The selfie camera has a 16-megapixel resolution.
The Apex 2020 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor and comes with 12/256GB of memory, and comes with Android 10. The phone has no ports or holes of any kind, but it comes with Vivo’s Wireless Super FlashCharge 60W technology, which the company claims is faster than traditional wired charging, and can recharge a handset with a 2,000mAh battery in 20 minutes.
Other features of note are voice tracking auto-focus, instant photobomb removal on photos, and the third generation of Vivo’s Screen SoundCasting tech which eliminates the need for speaker grilles by turning the display itself into a speaker.