Most smartwatches have screens that are circles or rectangles. The Nubia Watch has… something else.
This unusual smartwatch has a 4 inch flexible AMOLED touchscreen display that curves over your wrist, allowing you to see more data at once, while also using the extra space for scrolling and other touch controls.
It’s available for pre-order for $179 and up during a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, and should ship in October. Eventually it’s expected to have a retail price closer to $400.
Nubia has been showing off wearable concept devices with flexible screens for a few years, and last year the company released the Nubia Alpha wearable smartphone with a flexible OLED display.
The latest version drops the smartphone features and focused on being a watch/activity tracker.
The Nubia Watch’s flexible display features a resolution of 960 x 192 pixels and it’s fixed to a stainless steel body that attaches to a silicone wristband. You can also pay $39 extra for a leather band.
The Nubia Watch features a 425 Wh battery that should last for up to 7 days on a charge, and you can pair the watch with iOS or Android phones via Bluetooth 4.1 using a mobile app that allows you to:
- Receive notifications
- Change watch faces
- Use calendar, weather, and clock apps
- Control music playback
- Use a find my phone feature
The Nubia Watch has an accelerometer and gyroscope for detecting movement, a heart rate sensor, and a pressure sensor. It has fitness tracking features including a pedometer, sleep tracker, and support for sports modes including running and walking.
For the most part, it seems like the Nubia Watch can do many of the things you’d expect from a smartwatch or activity tracker. But it runs a custom operating system rather than Google’s Wear OS, and as far as I can tell there’s no support for running third-party apps on the watch.
Also… no matter how many times the company tries to tell us that the watch is comfortable and attractive in the promotional video, I remain convinced that both of those claims are highly debatable.
I actually like it and the style. At the kickstarter price I would totally buy it but the proprietary OS means it functionality is most likely limited to just an activity tracker.
What I wonder is, if Tizen OS is open source. Why don’t smartwatch makers who are unhappy with Wear OS not opt for it? It has a variety of apps available, doesn’t it?
It looks over-the-top, and not in a good way.
And we know the software support, update, and hardware quality from Nubia. Oh, and you mentioned KickStarter. Yeah, hard pass.
Some people still don’t understand that a watch is a very important fashion item for men, and much less important for women (who have earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, etc etc). It’s not good enough to throw tech at the wall hoping something sticks, if you forget the fundamental point of the item. Which is why the original Huawei Watch is still a good device today, and latest Samsung Watch 3+ is the best out there.
I think that overall it does look cooler than many smartwatches, despite the graduation marks that probably don’t mean anything and nobody will ever develop software that lines up with them.
The problem is, I would break the screen astoundingly fast just using my keyboard with my wrist resting near the edge of the desk/laptop. Or cooking dinner. Or sweeping the floor. Or doing anything else where my wrist might run into literally anything.
If you’re after this exact look, probably better to just make/use a band for an Apple Watch that looks like that.
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