Most of the smartphones with flexible displays that have debuted so far take advantage of the new technology to transform from a phone into a tablet. The Nubia Alpha… doesn’t.

Instead it’s basically a smartwatch with a display that wraps around your wrist. But since it can make phone calls, snap photos, and shoot video, Nubia is calling it a wearable phone.

After introducing the Nubia–α concept last summer, Nubia has announced that the Nubia Alpha will be available in China this April before heading to Europe and North America later this year.

Prices are expected to start at around €450 ($510) for a Bluetooth-only model that you can pair with a smartphone. If you want a version with an eSIM that lets you use it as a standalone phone, you’ll end up paying at least €550 ($625).

But before you decide to replace your phone with this thing, you should probably know that this device has very watch-like hardware including:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of storage
  • 500 mAh battery
  • 5MP camera
  • Fitness tracking features.

It does support WiFi, Bluetooth, and 4G LTE (if you opt for the eSIM version). But it has a custom operating system that’s likely to limit its functionality.

That said, Nubia says the watch/phone can run for up to 2 days on a charge, which is a lot longer than most modern smartphones. It also supports maps, phone calls, video chat, text messaging, and you can interact with it by touch or using motion gestures (by waving your hand over the screen).

The Nubia Alpha’s hallmark feature is definitely the display: a four inch, 960 x 192 pixel flexible OLED display that bends when you slap the device on your wrist.

Whether that’s worth paying $625 for remains to be seen… and depends on how much you want to replace your phone with an underpowered watch with an unusual display.

via Android Police and GSM Arena

 

 

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3 replies on “Nubia Alpha is a wearable phone with a flexible display (or a fancy smartwatch)”

  1. I was reading an article the other day by newsweek (8/29/18) and statista (.com) (2/4/19): “Cellphones That Emit the Most and Least Radiation” and “The Phones Emitting the Most Radiation”, respectively.

    It’s a (somewhat) controversial issue. While there’s no agreed upon safe level (the cynical side of me always thinks there are strong lobbying effort$), 1.6 watts per kilogram is set as the upper limit. According to the article:

    “12 of the 15 handsets that emit the most radiation are produced by Chinese companies such OnePlus, Huawei and ZTE, alongside Xiaomi. Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 and the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact round out the list of phones that emit the most radiation.”

    I think this issue (if it’s even a serious one in the industry, idk) should probably gain more traction, discussion and testing now that wearables are becoming (or soon will be) commoditized. These things will be flush against the skin all day long…

    On the plus side, it looks like some companies make the extra effort to keep the levels extremely low (samsung does a really good job here based on the statista charts).

    1. Isn’t the radiation you’re talking about basically the radios on the phones themselves? I assume that if your wifi, 4G, bluetooth and everything are working correctly, it’s going to be radiating. I would also suspect that the devices showing lower levels of radiation with similar feature sets probably also show better battery life.

    2. It’s amazing to me the marketing that has gone into declaring “Radio power per size of device” as a measure of danger. How zany! While we could indeed study the effect of various electromagnetic frequencies on human bodies, we would be FAR more interested in distance and energy, not how heavy a phone is. You’re right to call it marketing! Thin and light phones will certainly top this arbitrary metric.

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