• Vivo's APEX: a Dystopian Future for Smartphones



    Vivo's APEX 2019 concept smartphone was announced in Beijing back in January, but for some reason is only this week making the rounds on western tech blogs. At first glance it seems like just another high-powered Chinese Android device:

    Near-bezel-less FullViewTM display
    Snapdragon 855 processor
    12 GB RAM / 512 GB storage
    5G modem

    But here, direct from the press release, is what makes it very different:

    Vivo’s first 5G smartphone offers an ultra-simple and uniquely recognisable design with Curved-Surface Waterdrop Glass and no openings, seams or bezels for a simpler user experience.
    Wait, did they just call us simple...?

    What's in it for the user when it comes to a design like this? It's waterproof, hopefully. And for the manufacturer? Less moving parts, less assembly required and therefore cheaper to produce. There isn't even a SIM slot for this thing—according to CNET it's compatible with eSIMs only.

    Which brings us to my big problem with this device. If you thought the removal of the headphone jack was user-hostile then Vivo's taking away of everything else is on a whole other level. It's not just that the power connector is proprietary (although that's also terrible) it's that there is no easy way to connect this thing to a desktop computer—making the APEX little more than an expensive toy. A piece of dumb consumer electronics. Unworthy of being called a computer itself.

    Fortunately, it's just a concept, and not at all guaranteed to represent the dystopian smartphone future for us all.

    Sources: CNET, Vivo

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    This article was originally published in forum thread: Vivo's APEX: a Dystopian Future for Smartphones started by acurrie View original post
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Breaking Good's Avatar
      Breaking Good -
      How often are you going to need to hard-wire connect a 5G smartphone with 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage to a desktop computer? And if you do need to connect it to a desktop computer, why not just use Bluetooth, WiFi or NFC?

      Does it have wireless charging? If so, you don't even need to connect it to a charging cable.

      What's wrong with an eSIM? You own the SIM. You can provision it onto any carrier you want.

      I'm not seeing the problem with this design. If fact, when Apple releases it in September 2022 everyone will call it "revolutionary" and "courage".
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      Quote Originally Posted by Breaking Good View Post
      when Apple releases it in September 2022 everyone will call it "revolutionary" and "courage".
      100% agree with you there.
    1. turbogeek's Avatar
      turbogeek -
      Quote Originally Posted by Breaking Good View Post
      I'm not seeing the problem with this design. If fact, when Apple releases it in September 2022 everyone will call it "revolutionary" and "courage".
      There is soft evidence users see problems with this design. Meizu showcased a similar idea at the same show, launched an Indiegogo campaign for a limited production run, then backpedaled hard after its spectacular failure with only 29 backers. The evidence is soft as it's impossible to determine exactly how much of the blame lies with the design, and how much with the price.

      If/when Apple releases such a beast, Apple will call it "revolutionary" and "courageous" - for iPhone, as they always do. Some fanboy parrots may repeat it, but far far from everyone.
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