Nubia came to Mobile World Congress to launch a new smartphone. But it’s not one that you expected. Nubia announced the Alpha, which is a wearable phone that goes on your wrist. For those times you don’t have a pocket and need somewhere to put your phone.
The Nubia Alpha takes foldable phones to a whole other level. It’s a pretty small smartphone, coming in with a 4-inch flexible OLED display, so that it can wrap around your wrist. Nubia says that this is about 230-percent larger than the traditional wearable display. Which of course means that Nubia had to do some special engineering to get this to work properly.
This is actually a smartphone that runs on a wearables processor. Nubia is using the Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset, and it does also have eSIM support along with WiFi and Bluetooth. This means that you’ll be able to do everything you can do on your current phone, on the Alpha. Of course, with this being a Snapdragon Wear 2100 smartphone, it won’t be as powerful as something running on the Snapdragon 845 chipset. But on the flip side, this means it will have better battery life than if Nubia used a Snapdragon 845 chipset in this product.
There’s only 1GB of RAM on-board and 8GB of storage. So there’s not a whole lot of space. This is meant to work solely as a phone on your wrist. Not meant for playing games, or scrolling through Twitter all day like you might do on a regular smartphone. This meant for those that want a watch, but also need a phone. And now users can get that in one device.
The wrist strap is actually plated in 18K gold, which does make it look pretty nice. It is also available in black or silver, and is made from anodized aluminum. So it is a pretty high quality watch/phone hybrid. Now the actual style may not look as good as some of the others out there, but you can’t say that this isn’t a unique product from Nubia.
Nubia did build in some air gestures onto the Alpha, allowing users to control the device without actually touching it. This is a good thing for those times that your hands might be dirty but you need to accept or reject a call. You can now do that without getting the Alpha dirty. The software on the Alpha is heavily customized, which makes sense. As you can’t just stick stock Android onto this device and have it run effectively.
The Nubia Alpha is a pretty unique device from the company. It’s actually not even that new. Nubia actually showed this off last fall during IFA in Berlin. The company left that show and refined the device a bit before showing it off again here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There’s still no price or release date for the Alpha, so it’s unclear when or if the Alpha will actually release. But this is a pretty cool concept from Nubia.