Cutting corners: Removal of the headphone jack, charging port, SIM tray, and even physical buttons make the Meizu Zero a seriously minimal smartphone design. All of these cuts set the stage for other manufacturers to test the waters of how well a completely port-free phone will be received.
Once Apple dropped the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, plenty of jokes were made about how long it would be before a completely port-free phone was created. The time has finally come where a manufacturer has ditched even the charging port.
Meizu, a relatively small Chinese manufacturer has announced the Zero phone. Aside from the lack of headphone jack and missing charging port, Zero does not even have a SIM tray. Speaker grills are also absent from the phone, using the 5.99-inch QHD OLED panel to output sound. A fingerprint reader is also embedded on the front display.
The Zero is the closest we have ever seen to a phone with a completely clean exterior. Taking cues from the Essential Phone, there are no logos or obvious branding either. The only minor interruptions to the smooth design are the rear 12MP and 20MP cameras. Notice the front facing camera is tucked away neatly at the top without a notch. Additionally, there are two small holes in the phone. One contains a microphone, while the other is a reset button since there is no physical power button. Both are still sealed off to maintain an IP68 rating against dust and water.
Virtual buttons that are pressure sensitive are within the phone edges. This is quite similar to the squeeze feature created by HTC and Google.
Meizu claims to have developed its own 18W fast charging capabilities. For data transfer, a wireless equivalent of USB 3.0 is used. Bluetooth 5.0 is also standard, but certainly not ideal for large file transfers.
The launch of Zero is linked with how quickly Chinese carriers begin to support eSIM, but is intended for launch this year as soon as possible. It is not likely to see global distribution of this model, but it is a concept that could be replicated by larger OEMs.