Vivo caught our attention at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 last month with a prototype phone that touted the world’s first in-display fingerprint sensor. Soon after showcasing the prototype, the company later shipped it as the Vivo X20 Plus UD in China, bringing the first smartphone with an in-display fingerprint sensor to market. It has now arrived at the Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona with another prototype that it’s calling the Vivo Apex. Not only does the concept device have the slimmest bezels you’ve ever seen on a handset, it also features a “half-screen” fingerprint sensor and even a pop-up selfie camera.
The front-facing fingerprint sensor is the first to go when manufacturers switch to a bezel-less display. They normally relocate it to the back but Vivo has already shown that an in-display solution can work, even if it’s a bit slow as we found in our hands-on with its CES 2018 prototype.
The selfie camera tends to get in the way as well and that limits the amount of bezel that can be shaved from the top. Vivo has devised a way around this which it has revealed with the Apex concept smartphone. The device has a retracting front-facing 8 megapixel camera that pops up on demand. It takes 0.8 seconds for the camera to complete its motion and enables Vivo to really stretch out the display to the very top.
Vivo says that this concept has a “half-screen” fingerprint sensor which basically means that the in-display fingerprint sensor now has a larger detection zone. It will allow users to just pick up the phone and unlock it without really having to put any thought into it.
It all seems to work on paper but Vivo doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to bring this device to market. The company is only saying that this device remains a concept and doesn’t even hint when we can expect some of the advancements it has demonstrated with this concept to appear in consumer products.