Devices > Emerging Devices Blog

Nubia Introduces Wrist Wrap-Around Phone

by Ville-Petteri Ukonaho | Feb 26, 2019

Wrist wrap-around phones are not a new concept. Different vendors have showcased such devices since 2008 when Nokia introduced the Morph concept to the world. Since then wrap-around devices from Lenovo and e.g. Moxi have been showcased.

Nubia Alpha is the first of its kind. A phone that by Nubia's definition is: "a smartphone that you can wear on your wrist." That is a bit misleading but clearly shows that Nubia is not considering the device as a smartwatch but a full fledged phone. Nubia is actually selling the device in two variants: bluetooth only (smartwatch) and with 4G (phone) which makes defining the device a bit difficult in reality.

Nubia Alpha has a 4" Visionox made flexible AMOLED display with a resolution of 960x192, a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and a 500mAH battery. On top of that it also has the usual connectivity features Bluetooth and WiFi with sensors such as heart rate monitor. Device has a 5MP camera for imaging and the 4G connection is done with eSIM.

Operating system is not Android but Nubia's own proprietary OS which debunks the idea of the device being a smartphone but rather a feature phone. Nevertheless an interesting newcomer to the markets. Device has all the needed software for e.g. browsing on the web or listening music etc so the 4G version does not need a tethered smartphone at all unlike the bluetooth only version. Theoretically one could live with just the 4G version as only phone.

Pricing is quite high at premium smartphone level which makes us believe this device is not going to be a huge seller. Bluetooth-only model costs roughly US$510, 4G eSIM variant roughly US$623 and a 4G eSIM variant coated in 18-karat gold roughly US$737. Quite expensive for a smartwatch/feature phone.

This year at MWC 2019 a lot is happening, new categories of devices popping up and it is too early to say if these new categories will actually attract crowds but one thing our clients can be sure of is that EDT is constantly following the markets and reporting of all new interesting developments timely.

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