Companies are always hard at work on their next thing. Sometimes we get to see what that looks like, even in features made public, and sometimes it's all a mystery until the big reveal. For Apple, Animoji are just the first step in whatever the company is working on in terms of augmented reality (AR) features. And remember Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge? That was a consumer product that was showing us the way of what Samsung was working on with its AMOLED displays and design.
And then there are the truly "visionary" devices. The concepts that envision what a smartphone might boast a couple of years, or even further, down the timeline.
That is what we got to see with the Vivo Apex this week. It's a smartphone that builds on at least one feature that Vivo has already launched (the in-display fingerprint reader), and also introduces a couple of other ideas. One of those is very unique, and the other is one that has seen the light of day before from other companies.
The Vivo Apex is a smartphone that takes the minimal bezels idea to its ultimate realization. A handset that has bezels on the top and sides that measure in at only 1.8mm, and only 4.3mm on the bottom. It is a lot of display. And to reach that point, there were some concessions that had to be made, and some revolutionary thinking, too.
The concession is that there isn't an easily accessible front-facing camera equipped in the Vivo Apex. But it also led to the revolutionary part: A selfie camera that actually emerges from the body of the phone. It slides up when you activate it, taking about 0.8 seconds to pop into place.
This is a pretty fun idea to consider. It's going to come down to the vision of a company, and how small they want the bezels to be. The other major companies out there appear to want to keep the front-facing camera as it is, even making notches to compensate. But if the idea is to reduce bezels to almost nothing, then there won't be any room for the selfie camera. Vivo's working on a way to address that potential future.
The Vivo Apex is a pretty awesome concept phone, and it will be fun to see if the company has any intention of developing the handset into a consumer-ready device in the near future. I can't help but think the pop-out camera won't be a "must buy" type of feature for a lot of smartphone owners out there, but maybe it's something that can catch on over time.
Or maybe we'll just always have to make a little bit of room for the front-facing camera.
What do you think of the Vivo Apex and the pop-out camera idea? Is this something you'd like to see get developed and refined? Or are you perfectly okay with how the selfie cam is being handled right now from the likes of Samsung, LG, and Apple, even as bezels continue to shrink? Let me know!