Chinese manufacturer Vivo was expected to be the first OEM to show off a smartphone with an in-display fingerprint scanner. Right on cue, the company has unveiled a new handset known as the “Apex” during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This device comes with something known as a “half-screen” fingerprint scanner, which is a sensor located on the bottom half of the display. It actually utilizes about a third of the display and not the entire “half”. Users can tap this particular area on the display to unlock the device. To make it easier to recognize the scannable area, a small white box appears on the display. It doesn’t look all that great, but for a device that is supposed to make external fingerprint scanners obsolete, this is certainly a good start. One more feature that’s going to be talked about is the front facing camera. Since the bezels of the smartphone are extremely slim, Vivo has utilized a silo like system on top of the phone. So when you activate the front camera, it slowly slides up from the top. Hands-on impressions suggest that it also makes a minor noise as it opens up, and takes about a second. This isn’t the most convenient idea, but a necessary feature given the lack of bezels. The phone also lacks a conventional earpiece. Vivo is using a technology which vibrates the entire screen to make sure you hear the other person during phone calls. Initial impressions suggest that this isn’t the best workaround, but that it still works. Xiaomi uses a piezoelectric technology with its Mi Mix handset, which works very well. Vivo’s implementation, however, is different. Features like these are borne out of necessity and we’re very impressed to see it on an actual device. However, Vivo has mentioned that a phone like this may never see the light of the day, so we’re not getting our hopes up.

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