The fully-round display is beautiful. Apple’s squarish display is nice. But with most smartwatch displays coming in at under 1.4”, they’re hardly ‘immersive’. Enter then Nubia, a Chinese manufacturer best-known for their smartphones. They have launched a new smartwatch this week at MWC. It’s called the ‘Alpha’ and it’s packing a 4” display - enough to make the competition blush that’s for sure.
The 4” display is a flexible OLED panel with a resolution of 960 x 192. What that means is it literally wraps around your wrist. The ultra-wide aspect ratio is unique and so is the display concept itself. The OLED is built into a flexible resin strap and is designed to be bent 100,000 times. So yeah, it’s built to last and endure.
Because of that stonkingly large display, Nubia had to create a custom version of Android (not Wear OS) for it. The result is an operating system that’s familiar to navigate but not quite as slick to use as Wear OS. You swipe left and right to move between lists of apps and there’s also a few physical buttons to go home or back.
Interestingly, there’s ‘gesture control’ which lets you wave your finger over the display to navigate the OS. You can swipe left or right and up or down. Scrolling through apps this way looks like great fun and will keep greasy marks off the screen.
So what about specs? The Nubia Alpha has a 5-megapixel camera which is something we’re yet to see from mainstream manufacturers. The battery capacity is 500mAh which to be honest with you isn’t huge, but Nubia says it’s good for a 2-day battery life. The processor is last year’s tech, the Snapdragon 2100 CPU. You can have it with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi or with e-SIM support to piggyback off your smartphone’s 4G LTE.
Pricing and availability
April is launch month. In North America, the Nubia Alpha will be priced at $510 for the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi model and $630 for the e-SIM model.