Just when Google is trying to make Wear OS feel less like an Android phone on wrist, ZTE-owned Nubia wants to do the contrary. The Chinese manufacturer unveiled a wrist-wearing prototype device with a smartphone-size screen at the ongoing IFA 2018 in Berlin. Called Nubia-α (Nubia-Alpha), the company’s touting it as a “wearable smartphone” and claims it to be capable to do pretty much everything a normal handset does.
The Nubia–α concept device has a flexible display wrapped around a portion of a metallic wristband. The screen is big enough that you can easily call it a smartphone. The concept device, as you can see in the video below, equips a camera and microphone to the side of the screen. There are buttons on either side of the screen, and pogo pins on the back for charging. There also appears to be a speaker towards the upper end of the screen.
The device comes built-in with 4G technology for making voice calls. You can also take snaps, and make video calls, although that seems like a terrible idea given the position of the camera. Add to that, the device can also track your fitness, and pay for purchases with a tap.
Apart from what was there to see, Nubia declined to disclose any further details about the device. The company says they might change over the next few weeks. However, the company did promise to share more details before it releases the Nubia-α in Q4 this year.
In its press statement, Nubia said that the watch-cum-smartphone is a “real style statement,” which is a bold claim. Apart from a big screen, which gives you plenty of space to interact with apps, contacts, and other menu items, there’s nothing really here that makes a statement. The device, however, is intriguing as proof that a curved screen can work. Curious to see how it behaves to rigorous real-world usage.