Your next smartphone could wrap around your wrist.
Chinese phone manufacturer, Nubia, has released a prototype device that's part smartwatch and part smartphone. Going by the name of Nubia Alpha, its creators are billing it as the "world's most advanced wearable smartphone."
The wearable gadget attempts to make the sci-fi dream of a screen that wraps around the user's wrist a reality. Nubia Alpha, which was featured at the IFA 2018 conference in Berlin, uses the firm's proprietary 'Flex' screen, which is a large organic LED panel. The screen is situated inside a plastic case and a metal wrist strap that features traditional watch links.
It runs on an Android operating system, Engadget noted, and has all "essential functions of a smartphone to the user at their fingertips." So far, it has basic functions like the ability to make or take phone calls thanks to 4G network connectivity. It also tracks health data, such as your steps, can be used to control music, pay for purchases and it has a Find My Phone function in case you've misplaced your iPhone.
Nubia Alpha also has an onboard camera that can take selfies or be used to make video calls. Despite its somewhat clunky watch face, users have reported that the device still remains light and not too heavy when worn on a wrist. Even though the Nubia Alpha was put on flashy display at IFA, the ZTE spinoff didn't release any details about the device's specifications.
It's not yet known what the screen's resolution is, what kind of processor it uses, or its memory and battery life. The company says these things are likely to change in the next few weeks as it ramps up development of the Nubia Alpha.
What's more, the device is still in the early stages of development, according to the company. Still, it's aiming for the Alpha to be ready for launch before the end of the year in China.
It could also be ready for global release by the end of 2018. Nubia noted that the Alpha would likely be priced in the same range as smartphones that are currently in the market, so in other words, it could cost as much as $1,000.
The device currently can't run Android apps without each developer formatting their application for the Alpha's elongated display.
It comes the same time as Samsung and other smartphone makers have been teasing foldable phones. This week, Samsung indicated that its foldable smartphone could go on sale as soon as November. If Samsung does release a foldable phone, the event might serve as an indicator of whether or not consumers are on board with the flexible screen trend and, in turn, devices like the Nubia Alpha.