Two Chinese smartphone vendors last week unveiled two devices that offer designs that aren’t available from Apple or Samsung, as well as features that the iPhone XS or upcoming Galaxy S10 don’t have. These are the Meizu Zero and the Vivo Apex 2019 — both concept devices meant to highlight what the smartphones of our dreams may look like in the not too distant future.
These designs, however, make several compromises, which explains why they’re not necessarily useful right now. That’s why neither Meizu nor Vivo announced plans to mass-produce the handsets. However, the former is ready to manufacture the phone… if you’re willing to pay the price in advance.
We already explained why no-button, hole-less smartphone designs do not make sense for the time being, as we need several technologies to be finalized before smartphone vendors can truly embrace such designs. Having no ports, a phone like the Zero requires wireless charging to work. Meizu says that it developed a special charger ready to deliver wireless charging speeds superior to anything from the competition.
Also, data transfers have to be done wirelessly, via Wireless USB connectivity, as USB-C cables do not work with the phone. As for wireless service, you have to make sure your favorite carrier supports eSIMs, otherwise, the phone will have zero cellular connectivity.
Finally, these devices need protection, but, because they have no buttons on the sides, accessory makers will have to craft special cases so that you can actually use the virtual buttons on the sides. And accessory makers don’t usually create products for devices that are still in the concept phase.
However, if $1,299 is burning a hole in your pocket, and if you’re willing to wait until April, then you can preorder an “Exclusive Engineer Unit” of the Zero over at Indiegogo. There was also a single $2,999 “Exclusive Pioneering Unit,” but it sold out almost immediately. The campaign has just started and has 31 days to raise $100,000. At the time of this writing, nearly $20,000 has already been pledged.