At a press conference during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, Nubia unveiled what is supposedly a finished version of its Alpha concept device that it first showed off during IFA in September last year. While it may look like a funky smartwatch with a strange, elongated screen, Nubia insists it's actually a smartphone that you can wear on your wrist. Because that's a thing we all want, obviously.
This "whole new breed of device" has a 4-inch flexible OLED display that is apparently 230% larger than standard wearable displays. Except you can't see all of it all of the time. Nubia is also calling it "panoramic," which (as I understand it) refers to a wide view surrounding the observer. So, if you take the thing off, turn it on its side, and then bend it back on itself and hold it in front of your face, I guess you could say it's panoramic. That must be what they mean.
All of the expected smartphone connectivity options are on board, such as Bluetooth, WiFi, and an eSIM for data. It's also got a 5MP selfie camera with "clever UI shortcuts" like tapping the screen to take a picture or long-pressing to record a video. The
watch phone is made from anodized stainless steel and comes in black or gold. The band of the latter is plated with actual 18k gold, you'll be relieved to learn. Crucially, the watch phone has a "unified internal structure" for a "sturdy, solid feel on the wrist." It's apparently waterproof, and the display portion is thankfully coated in a heat-resistant polyimide. Unlike most normal phones, this one promises up to two days of battery life. Just like the recently announced LG G8, a phone, the Alpha also has air gestures so you'll never even have to touch it.
I'm sure you're convinced by now that this product is a smartphone and not a watch, but allow me to disappoint you somewhat. The Alpha features the "powerful" Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage to go with its custom-made wearable OS. Oh, so maybe it is a watch after all. Take a look at the glorious video below if you want to know the answer to the following question: "Is hyper-dimensional interaction possible?"
The Nubia Alpha will cost a whopping €449 (~$510) for a bluetooth-only black model and €549 (~$625) for the eSIM version (so, one that actually functions as a phone). It's the gold-plated one we all really want, though, and that will go for €649 (~$740). The cheapest of those will be available from April in China, Europe, and the US, with the others coming later.
Flex Your Life - nubia unveils nubia Alpha, the world’s first commercially available
wearable phone with a flexible display
Barcelona, Spain – February 25th, 2019 - 8.00pm – After turning heads and being honored
with several “best of CES” awards at the Consumer Electronics Expo in Las Vegas -- with their
groundbreaking dual-screen smartphone (nubia X) and innovative gaming smartphone (Red
Magic Mars) -- the global mobile-technology company will unveil the nubia Alpha at MWC in
About the Nubia Alpha
A cutting-edge wearable device, the Alpha combines the best features of smartwatches and
smartphones for a whole new breed of smart device.
- An Innovative, Flexible Display
Thanks to a collaboration with Visionox, a leading producer of flexible OLED display solutions,
Nubia has innovated the largest wearable flexible screen in the industry (up to 230% larger than
standard wearable displays). Custom-engineered for brilliant visuals and durability, the
panoramic, 4-inch, wrap-around screen lets you see more, control more, and experience more.
- A Wearable Phone
With Bluetooth, Wifi, and eSIM technologies, the Alpha allows you to send texts, make calls,
and access the internet without the need for a separate smartphone device. The alpha can do
things that other wearables cannot. We’ve equipped the alpha with a 5-megapixel camera with
clever UI shortcuts, so you’ll never miss a moment. To take a picture, just tap on the screen. A
long press records a video.
- Premium, Solid Build
The Alpha is crafted from the most premium materials and available in both black and gold
colors. Constructed from anodized stainless steel, the gold variant features a band plated in real
18k gold. A unified internal structure means a sturdy, solid feel on the wrist. In regards to
durability, the Alpha is water-resistant, and the flexible display is coated in strong, heat-resistant
Powerful Hardware for a Smooth Experience
Powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 2100 platform, the Alpha provides a fast and
smooth day-to-day experience. It boasts 1GB of RAM + 8GB of onboard memory, enough
storage to hold over 1,000 songs, 2,000 short videos or 6,000 pictures. This platform provides
advanced mobile processing power, amazing connectivity, and impressive battery life. And
thanks to a 500mAh battery, a single charge will provide 1-2 days of regular use (or up to a
week of standby time).
- Innovative Software
An all-new, custom-made wearable OS improves ease of use with air gestures, voice
commands, and convenient multi-touch control. All of your information is perfectly organized
and within reach. Infinitely customizable, intuitive, and visually striking, our new wearable OS is
a whole new way to interact with what you care about most.
- Other Functionalities:
Features you’ve come to expect from smartwatches, like activity tracking, are built right in. You
can monitor and log your heart rate, sleep quality, exercise, and more. Set a custom watch face
and get all of your notifications in a glance, and stream music via bluetooth, right from your