Nubia’s wearable smartphone is a preview of our flexible OLED future

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Probably the most attention-grabbing prototype at IFA this 12 months was the Nubia Alpha, an Android-based gadget the corporate payments as a “wearable smartphone.” The Alpha tries to understand one of many enduring gadget desires: having a sensible gadget with a show that wraps across the person’s wrist. I checked it out at IFA in Berlin this previous week, and, properly, it’s nonetheless on the tough draft stage of improvement, however Nubia is assured it’ll have it able to go on sale in China earlier than the tip of this 12 months. If issues work out, world distribution may additionally occur across the similar time.

The demo models at IFA had been behind glass, and it took a variety of cajoling to persuade Nubia to even let me contact one. I used to be capable of lay it on my wrist, however I wasn’t allowed to shut it up solely, therefore the semi-open place in these photographs. The stunning factor was that, as cumbersome because the Alpha appears, it’s actually fairly mild and tolerable on the wrist. I consider followers of huge watches will discover this chunky beast enticing, whereas the remainder of us ought to positively be being attentive to the technological development it represents.

The elongated OLED panel of the Alpha sits inside a metallic watch strap and a plastic case with a selfie digital camera connected. Its software program at IFA was solely working a demo loop exhibiting primary features like train monitoring, accepting cellphone calls, controlling music, and, amusingly, a Discover My (different) Telephone perform. With Samsung teasing a foldable cellphone for later this 12 months, Huawei diving into the identical race, and now this Nubia prototype, our flexible-screen future is wanting nearer than ever.

Nubia is cagey about disclosing any additional specs resembling decision, processor, reminiscence, or battery life, however the firm did inform me that it intends to cost the Alpha wearable at across the similar value as a smartphone. That’s going to make it a tricky promote: the Alpha can’t run Android apps with out every developer adapting the software program for the extra-tall show, and the skills it has proven to date don’t actually rise above these of a contemporary smartwatch.

Images by Vlad Savov / The Verge

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