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Weekly poll: are hole-less phones the future or just a gimmick?

Weve joked about it before what if USB cables go the way of the 3.5mm headphone jack? Well, were not laughing anymore, Meizu and vivo were elbowing each other all the way to that particular finish line.

In the end the Meizu Zero was announced a day before the vivo Apex 2019. Besides being first, the Zero is more committed and uses wireless charging and data transfer exclusively, the Apex has pogo pins as a fallback (similar to the old Xperia Z phones).

Whether either phone will ever enter mass production remains to be seen. Okay, the Apex is certainly just a prototype, but last years Apex morphed into the NEX phones with some modifications.

Is this what the future will look like hole-less devices where the only thing in or out is electromagnetic waves? Or is this just a marketing stunt?


Meizu Zero
vivo Apex 2019

Meizu Zero vivo Apex 2019

Right now both phones avoid the issue of the selfie camera they just dont have one. A pop-up camera would go against their design philosophy and while a notch technically isnt a hole, neither company wanted one.

But assume that cameras will one day go behind the screen just like fingerprint readers did. Also, like it or not, many have gone with wireless headphones. Whats left?

Lets start with charging. The Meizu Zero boasts 18W wireless charging thats already faster than what iPhones and Galaxy S handsets are getting over a cable (those are only two of the best-selling phones on the market).

LTE and Wi-Fi ac are already pretty fast, 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will deliver multi-gigabit speeds. And yet its not hard to find a premium phone with USB 2.0 thats capped at about half a gigabit.


18W wireless charging for the Meizu Zero
The vivo Apex 2019 relies on pogo pins

18W wireless charging for the Meizu Zero The vivo Apex 2019 relies on pogo pins

Buttons are an issue too, we have to admit HTCs pressure-sensitive not-buttons took getting used to. Apples implementation of the unpressable Home button was better, but perhaps side-mounted buttons are harder to pull off.

Anyway, why all the bother? Honestly, were still not clear on what advantages a hole-less design has. Its cool in a way, but not enough to offset the potential issues. We havent even mentioned that piezo speakers sound off, not having card slots (having to rely on eSIM) and so on.

What do you think are those just minor issues that will be resolved making hole-less phones the future or it is all just a gimmick?