What will the phone of the future look like? Take a moment to imagine a device that might not be even possible today: how would you design it? What features would you include?
These were the kind of questions that drove Nubia, a phone maker popular in China, to make a brand new kind of device that looks like it comes straight out of science fiction: the Nubia Alpha, a phone that you... wear on your wrist!
A smartwatch on steroids or a phone on your wrist?
And yes, it has a vivid OLED screen that wraps around your wrist and even a front camera for video calls. The company showed it for the first time at the IFA tech show in Berlin, but nobody got to actually try it on: the futuristic alien-device was enclosed behind a glass cube, so you could only watch it run a demo reel.
It is a concept gadget, sure, but one that is coming to real markets in about the same form that you can see in the pictures: Nubia plans on launching the Alpha by the end of the year, but is not ready to share further specifics just yet.
Our thoughts on it? Well, this new gadget really seems to live in an alternate reality: it's big and it looks clunky, unfinished and is nowhere near the fit and style we expect from a modern gadget, even a novel one like this here. Nubia is also saying that this, in their mind, will be the phone of the future, meaning it is meant to one day replace the phone that you have in your pocket already. It takes eSIM and you would be able to place and receive calls once it launches.
But we have quite a few issues with the idea behind the Nubia Alpha: for starters, this gadget has a tall and narrow display that you cannot read on or watch videos or photos comfortably, it doesn't have a rear camera and so much more. Also, at the moment it has a tiny 500mAh battery that will not even last you a day. Nubia says that it is working on using a bigger battery that it can put not just in the base, but incorporate in the band of the gadget, but let's be clear: battery life is our last concern here, we have far more questions about the actual form and functionality of this gadget.
Nubia Alpha: is this the future?
So how can we summarize this crazy, different new Nubia Alpha? A gadget that comes from an alternate reality? Alien technology that humans could one day master? It is all that and yet... it is terribly unfinished and raw. It well belongs in a phone maker's prototype lab, but out in the open market? Well, we have our doubts, but you tell us what you think: does this futuristic smartphone-watch excite you?