The Meizu Zero phone is an amazing piece of the future: a solid slab of glass and ceramic with no seams or holes that feels like the monolith from 2001. But it seems nobody gives a crap about these — at least for now.
The Chinese Android phone manufacturer failed to crowdfund its seemingly impossible 5.99-inch phone, which uses 18W wireless charging, eSIM, and touch surfaces that act like buttons to avoid any seams or openings.
The Zero got only 29 backers and raised $45,998 out of its modest $100,000 fixed Indiegogo target. Incidentally, the top-of-the-line $2,999 “Exclusive Pioneering Unit” sold out, while the $1,299 “Exclusive Engineer Unit” variant didn’t.
Seemingly ashamed by this failure, Meizu’s CEO Huang Zhang disavowed the crowdfunding effort as some sort of unauthorized marketing action, arguing that this was a pre-research project never intended for manufacturing.
Do people really not give a damn about holeless phones?
But corporate drama aside, is this indicative of consumers not wanting to have a zero-holes seamless phone?
It’s hard to tell. You can argue that the Zero didn’t get enough traction in the middle of a crazy new phone season that saw the dawn of the foldable phone, the Samsung Galaxy S10, and many new form factors.
Maybe Meizu doesn’t have the kind of muscle needed to attract enough people to bet on an experimental phone like this. Or perhaps if they had made it hole-less except for a 3.5-mm headphone jack, who knows? But most probably, the feature was just not worth the exorbitant price. Why buy this when you can grab an S10 or one of the many cool notchless phones out there.
But there’s no doubt that this is where the industry is headed: a completely holeless, seamless, wireless phone. Something that Jony Ive pointed at during the iPhone X presentation. Ive said that his holy grail was a phone that was a pure slab of glass in which the software took over a display devoid of any seams or distractions.
You can be sure that his team and Apple are working towards that goal. And so is Google, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Samsung, too. With technologies like 5G, Wi-Fi 6, high-speed wireless charging, reliable wireless headphones, and displays that work as speakers, this is all doable, practical, and logical.
And at the end, these phones won’t be experimental like the Meizu. Just regular flagships — the last step of the candy bar phone evolution, probably coming as soon as 2021.