As expected, Vivo’s latest concept device is the first smartphone to feature what the company is calling a Gimbal Camera.

That means the Vivo Apex 2020 has a rear camera with a gimbal-like design that the company says offers twice the performance of most smartphone-class optical image stabilization systems.

But that’s not the only thing unusual about Vivo’s new smartphone.

Unsurprisingly, the phone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor and a 5G modem. It also has a 6.45 inch display that wraps around the sides of the phone, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

But here are the things that make this phone… weird:

  • The Vivo Apex 2020 has no ports or buttons.
  • It supports 60W fast wireless charging.
  • The 16MP selfie camera is hidden behind the display.
  • The 48MP rear camera supports 5X to 7.5X optical zoom.

The wireless fast charging is handy… because it’s the only way to charge this phone with no USB port. And since there are no physical buttons, you’ll turn the phone on and adjust the volume using pressure-sensitive, capacitive touch buttons on the side of the device.

But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen port-free, button-free concepts, phones with hidden selfie cameras, or even phones with periscopic cameras for high-level telephoto zoom.

What is new is the gimbal — Vivo’s demo video shows how the camera lens stays still even when the rest of the device is shaking, enabling smoother video capture and less motion blur when snapping static shots.

Keep in mind that the Vivo Apex 2020 is still just a concept device — the company hasn’t yet committed to bringing it to market. And if history is any guide, I’d say it’s unlikely that Vivo will try to sell a phone without a USB port anytime soon. But history also tells us that some features which debut in Vivo Apex phones do find their way to commercial devices down the road. So I wouldn’t be surprised if phones with gimbal-style image stabilization are coming soon.


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3 replies on “Vivo Apex 2020 concept phone has a gimbal camera, button-free design, and 60W fast charging”

  1. Eww port/button free. What a nightmare for troubleshooting and in-pocket volume adjustment.

    1. Port-free and Button-free has some advantages. And maybe we should applaud this device, and have the mainstream (200M Annual) iPhone/Galaxy buyers have such a device. It is where they want to go, in the pursuit of ultimate “form over function” status device.

      But there needs to be a few devices out there for us power-users, enthusiasts, road-warriors, and developers. Something with buttons, ports, headphone jack, microSD, the works. We need a “function over form” type device that champions practicality, durability, longevity, and user control.

  2. I would have thought that the EU mandate to standardize chargers might have precluded a portless phone, but…
    a. For all I know, that may have only affected WIRED charging.
    b. Maybe this was in development since before that.
    c. Maybe vivo just doesn’t care about the EU.
    I still maintain that portless, buttonless phones are user-hostile abominations that regard you as little more than cattle. Putting the cameras on a swively disc doesn’t make that any less true.

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