Hands-On

Vivo APEX hands-on: A true bezel-less smartphone?

You’ll never guess where the selfie camera is

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Earlier this year, Vivo wowed the world by unveiling the very first functioning in-display fingerprint scanner on a smartphone. This week, the Chinese brand made news once again with a concept phone like no other. Introducing, the Vivo APEX.

In between events here at Barcelona, we met with the team from Vivo to spend some time with the prototype everyone’s been talking about. Immediately you’ll notice the phone is all display. There are hardly any bezels, and there sure isn’t any notch.

And, it’s gorgeous.

This device is almost all screen — the most screen we’ve ever seen on a smartphone!

The bezels on this thing are almost nonexistent. The bottom bezel is 4.3mm, while the top and side bezels are 1.8mm.

Vivo says that if they reduced the bottom bezel to 1.8mm also, the phone would have a whopping 98 percent screen-to-body ratio.

Improving on their under-display fingerprint sensor, they’re now making a larger area on the bottom half of the screen. This whole space is now an area for you to unlock the phone, not just one spot like on the X20.

You can also set two fingers to unlock the device. What you see here is just a demo to show off what the phone can do, not actual software.

It can require two different fingerprints, instead of just one. It works with fingerprints from two different people also — it’s like needing two signatures to withdraw money from a joint bank account.

The APEX also boasts Screen SoundCasting technology which turns the display into a speaker. It uses vibrations on the screen to create sound.

To make space for all that display, Vivo had to find other places to put things like sensors, the earpiece, and selfie camera…

… yep, let’s see that again from another angle…

The highlight of this borderless smartphone is this unique camera placement. The front-facing shooter comes out from the top of the phone when the selfie mode is activated.

As to how all this technology will be applied to actual retail phones, we have yet to see. One thing’s for sure, though: Vivo is definitely pushing the bounds of smartphone technology and that is leading to innovations that we want to see more of in the future.

SEE ALSO: Vivo X20 Plus UD with under-display fingerprint reader is now official

Hands-On

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Hands-on: Best phone of 2018?

Huawei outdoes itself again

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In an industry where incremental updates are the new norm, Huawei manages to wow us again — barely a year after the release of the P20 Pro. The Chinese company is back with the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro which might just be the best among the best this year.

In this video, we go over the phones’ new designs, updated cameras, and new memory card format. We also go through the differences between the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro.

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Hands-On

Razer Phone 2 Hands-on

A pocketable gaming rig with flagship features

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Razer has improved last year’s model, and from the looks of it, we might just have a phone that not only gamers would want to use. This is our Razer Phone 2 hands-on.

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Gaming

Razer Phone 2 hands-on: Not only for gamers

All glass, all power

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Last year, Razer — the company known for gaming notebooks and peripherals — released a smartphone designed specifically for gamers, with features like loud front-firing stereo speakers, a brilliant display with fast refresh rates, and all the power to run your favorite games.

And just like that the gaming smartphone category was born.

This year, new competitors like the ASUS ROG Phone and ZTE Nubia Red Magic have cropped up. But Razer is back with an update! And from the looks of it, we might just have a phone that not only gamers would want to use.

At first glance, the Razer Phone 2 looks very much like last year’s model. It’s the same size, has the same boxy shape, and the same front-firing speakers on both its forehead and chin.

But turn it around and you’ll know it’s completely different. The 12-megapixel dual-camera setup (one has a 2x telephoto lens) is in a new place, and the back is now glass instead of aluminum.

In my briefing with Razer, I was told the decision on glass was to enable faster connectivity speeds — Gigabit LTE, to be exact — and to enable wireless charging.

Plus, they sell this wireless charging stand separately with cool RGB lighting underneath!

But you know what’s really cool? The Razer logo on the phone’s back lights up. Not just with Razer’s signature green, but any color of the rainbow! All of which can be managed with an app.

One thing that was really important to Razer this time around was to build not just a gaming phone, but also a flagship phone. So this year, they set out to improve the Razer Phone 2’s cameras.

The phone has got new Sony image sensors and better post-processing software, which are supposed to improve photo quality that, they say, should be able to compete with other flagships.

The camera app too has been updated — made simpler and easier to use. And for those who like it, there’s even beauty mode on the front-facing 8-megapixel camera.

Of course, all of what makes the Razer Phone 2 a great gaming phone is here.

The screen’s refresh rate is still a crazy 120Hz, but the panel has been improved further with even better dynamic range, whether you’re watching YouTube, an HDR movie on Netflix, or playing PUBG, which runs great on this device as can be expected from its pretty specced-up configuration.

This includes a high-end Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB of memory, 64GB of expandable storage, and a hefty 4000mAh battery. All these power what you see on the 5.7-inch IGZO LCD and its 1440p resolution. Keeping everything cool is Razer’s vapor chamber cooling system.

With the official case on

So, is the Razer Phone 2 your GadgetMatch? Of course, you’ll have to wait till we finish our full review to find out whether or not the Razer Phone 2 lives up to its hype. But from the limited time that I had with the device, I think it has plenty of potential.

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