We’re looking forward to Samsung releasing the Galaxy Note 20 later this year, and nothing’s going to change that. However, that’s not to say our head can’t be turned by phones that promise to better some of its upcoming features, and of the already revealed Galaxy S20 too.
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That’s why we’ve been gazing longingly at the Apex 2020, the latest phone concept from Chinese company Vivo (via TechRadar). Vivo usually shows off its latest designs at Mobile World Congress, but since MWC 2020 was cancelled due to coronavirus worries, the launch has instead come now via the video below.
Included in its features is a 48MP “Gimbal-Stabilizing Camera”, which allows the main lens to remain steady despite the movement of the user’s hand. Some phones have optical image stabilization (OIS), for the same purpose, while many others use artificial image stabilizaton (AIS). But a gimbal design would be a step beyond these, at least according to Vivo.
The cameras can also auto-focus on a subject by tracking their voice, and remove unwanted people from the background of your photos with “Instant Photobomb Removal”.
At the same time, the Apex 2020’s telephoto camera has an optical zoom magnification range of 5x-7.5x. At minimum, this would equal the “Space Zoom” sensor on the Galaxy S20 Ultra or the telephoto camera on the Huawei P30 Pro, while the 7.5x maximum would offer the best zoom tech that anyone’s promoting right now.
Others come from the Vivo 2019 concept, for example the 120-degree display, beating any Samsung or Huawei edgeless panel. Also lifted from last year’s concept the portless design. There’s no seams or notches or even ports to be found, thanks to a promised 60W wireless charging (a wattage well in excess of any current wireless charger) and sub-display 16MP selfie camera. Of course this means we’re straying from what’s actually realistically achievable in smartphone engineering to fantasy, as the technologies that enable this fully enclosed design are still in their infancy.
The under-screen front camera is something that does seem closer to reality, thanks to efforts from Oppo and Xiaomi. Vivo does say that the Apex’s front camera does use some software tricks to improve the quality of the image taken through the display’s pixels however, which could lead to some odd-looking pictures if it became real.
About the only weakness from the specs is the tiny battery capacity of 2,000 mAh. That’s in some cases less than half of what flagship phones are releasing with this year, which means unless Vivo has some excellent app management, you’ll be relying on that 60W wireless charging a lot.
Of course this all assumes this phone will actually hit production. The Apex 2019 never made the transition from screen to product, so there’s an annoyingly strong chance that the 2020 version won’t either. It would be great if it did though, wouldn’t it?
In the meantime, Samsung can rest assured that its newly released Galaxy S20 Ultra is safe on top of the Android pile. With an amazing camera array, a super smooth 120Hz display and enough processing power for anyone, it’s well worth the steep starting price.