There are many interesting smartphones on the market, some more expensive than others. A few, like the Huawei Mate Xs or the Samsung Galaxy Fold, are really expensive but there are still many that can afford them and are more than willing to pay $2000 or even more for a smartphone. There are a few devices that, even if you have the money, you can’t buy them. These are concept smartphones that are available in prototype form for reviewers and the media, but will never reach stores in their current form. Here are three such smartphones that I am sure many would like to own, but can’t even if money is no object.
OnePlus Concept One
OnePlus’s first concept smartphone is very elegant, powerful and with an interesting feature that is unseen on other devices. It was made in collaboration with McLaren and it uses a special glass on the back that covers the cameras. When not in use, the glass turns black, completely hiding the cameras underneath and gives the phone an elegant orange and black look. When you want to take a photo, in under a second, the glass turns transparent to allow light to reach the sensors. The same glass is used in luxury sports cars to control the amount of light that enters the car through the glass roof.
The rest of the phone’s body is covered in orange leather, to give it that McLaren signature color. Specs-wise the phone is also powerful, on par with the OnePlus 7T Pro with a 90Hz QHD+ AMOLED display and a Snapdragon 855+. Not that it matters since the OnePlus Concept One is, like the name implies, a concept phone. A few lucky few had the change to play with it a little at events and tech shows, but buying it is not an option.
Vivo Apex 5G
For the past couple of years, Vivo has presented a few concept smartphones that are under the APEX series. These devices push tech further and include features and components that are not yet available mainstream but may arrive soon. The latest such device, the Vivo APEX 5G, is quite a head-turner. It has an elegant full-screen display that covers almost the entire front of the device, curves around the edges and has no notch. The device has an under-display selfie camera and uses a special speaker that directs sound thought the screen.
On the back, Vivo included a unique gimbal camera that has the most advanced optical image stabilization available on a smartphone. It is also capable of optical zoom up to 7.5x and the 48MP main sensor can take stunning photos. Again, the device won’t reach shelves and most probably you will never buy this exact smartphone, but most tech in the Vivo APEX 5G could reach consumer-level production and may come to smartphones in the next couple of years. Other cool features include 60W fast wireless charging and 5G connectivity.
Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha
Probably the most unique device on this list is the Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha concept smartphone. The company had multiple devices released under the Mi MIX series, all of which focused on offering the best screen-to-body ratio possible with the tech that was available at that time, without any compromises to other specifications. A few months ago Xiaomi presented their latest device, the Mi MIX Alpha, but unlike the others before it, this one won’t be sold to general consumers. Only a few such devices will be made which only some lucky-few will get the chance to own it.
The smartphone offers a screen that wraps around on both sides with only a small strip for the cameras on the back. With a 180% screen-to-body ratio, the Mi MIX Alpha is almost completely screen. There is no notch and no selfie camera. Instead, you can use the full 108MP main camera for this by rotating the phone. You see yourself on the back portion of the display. Everything in the Mi MIX Alpha is premium, with a ceramic back strip and sapphire covered lenses, one of the best camera sensor on the market and Snapdragon 855+ CPU paired with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage.
Is the phone practical, without any physical buttons for volume and with questionable palm detection for the sides? Not that much, but it does look interesting and will certainly attract many people when you will place it on the table at a restaurant. I assume that this is just an intermediate step to Xiaomi’s foldable phone, who’s prototype we saw in videos before.