Nubia just confirmed via the Chinese social network Weibo that it will have new products to showcase at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona later this month. The original post includes the screenshot below and contains the tagline “Flex Your Life” along with the caption “The Future is Here,” suggesting that Nubia intends to showcase some form of a flexible device at the event.
Flexible display technology is likely to become a more prominent part of the mobile world this year, with numerous smartphone OEMs planning to introduce smartphones equipped with flexible screens at MWC and onward. Nubia, on the other hand, might have other plans for flexible displays, and all evidence so far suggests that the OEM’s main focus has been to develop a wearable boasting a flexible panel.
Nubia previously showcased a flexible wearable prototype at IFA 2018, called the Nubia Alpha, while a newer report from China indicated that the OEM intends to release a wearable product at MWC 2019. Now the teaser image shared by the official Nubia page on Weibo has confirmed that flexible display technology will be part of the OEM’s product portfolio at the event, but it remains to be seen whether the said product will be ready for the market or just another prototype model.
The OEM’s prototype model showcased last year was quite interesting, in that it featured a very tall and narrow rectangular flexible screen, running uninterrupted across the body of the device and both wrist straps. The Nubia Alpha teaser video launched at IFA 2018 (which you can see below) suggested that the final product could feature a camera and microphone, along with proprietary software created specifically for this odd form factor.
A glimpse at the conceptual software also indicated that the wearable should offer access to contacts, a music player, as well as fitness-related applications. The video also strongly suggested that the wearable could be marketed as something more impactful than a smartwatch and that it could potentially disrupt the smartphone market or even replace smartphones altogether.
Other OEMs are expected to showcase fresh products based on flexible display technology at the event in Barcelona, including Samsung and Huawei, but Nubia seems to be the only mobile manufacturer to have created a wearable device equipped with a flexible panel in the last year. In contrast, the rest of the OEMs with an interest in this particular display technology are likely to unveil foldable smartphones and/or smartphone-tablet hybrids. Samsung previously showcased a prototype foldable smartphone and teased the final product in a leaked official video, while Huawei could reveal a Mate-branded flexible phone later this month.
Having said that, Nubia’s take on this particular technology is quite interesting but it remains to be seen whether the company has the strength to become a trendsetter in the wearable segment. Nubia will attend MWC 2019 between February 25 and February 28 at #1C40, Hall 1. Time will tell what other products the OEM might have in store for the public and whether the flexible wearable has been readied for the consumer market.