Nubia Alpha hands-on review: a werable phone with a flexible OLED screen

Posted in Mar 3, 2019 in Reviews, no comment

Nubia officially released Nubia Alpha at the MWC 2019 conference on Feb.26, which is different from most of the mobile phones we have seen before. The Nubia α looks like a bracelet, but what makes it different is that the Nubia Alpha werable phone has a flexible OLED screen and it support different operation.

Nubia Alpha

Imagine that someday in the future, we will no longer need to take out the cell phone from our pockets to answer the phone, but directly click on the wrist to bring face-to-face communication with friends. Even the click is saved in the end. We directly use simple gestures to complete many complex operations. Is this technology-rich interactive experience not worth pursuing? In fact, these experiences are the current direction of Nubia. The new Nubia α is also the result of Nubian exploration for many years.

Unique design
In this year’s MWC conference, flexible screen is undoubtedly a hot spot. Up to now, we have seen many mobile phones with flexible screen design at MWC conference. The common feature of these mobile phones is to put a huge screen in the small fuselage as far as possible. Therefore, folding design has become an indispensable solution.

But Nubia adopted a completely different design concept. Although the Nubia α also uses a flexible screen, it is not a folding screen mobile phone, but a device defined as a “wrist phone”. It’s more like a smart wristband. If you see the real phone for the first time, you will be attracted by its unique appearance.

Although the shape of wrist machine inevitably makes people equate Nubia α with “smart watch”, but Nubia α is not just a smart watch, it is also very different from traditional watch in appearance design. For example, traditional watches mostly use circular or square dials, while Nubia α alpha uses a long flexible screen, which improves the display area and brings a unique experience.

According to official data, Nubia α uses a 960*192 resolution 4-inch flexible screen. Because of the characteristics of flexible OLED screen, Nubia α’s screen can extend to the position of wristband, which is quite different from smart watches in general.

Support eSIM
During the pre-heated publicity period, Nubia said it would release the smart terminal in conjunction with China Unicom. After the release of the product, we finally learned the mystery that Nubian α supports eSIM!

Officials say that Nubia α currently only supports China Unicom’s eSIM, so if you are a mobile phone user of China Unicom, you can look forward to the experience of using this wrist phone to make a phone call. However, eSIM can not be used to demonstrate the scene, so the actual experience is still waiting for the national version to appear for you to share.

There are many different ways of using Nubia α to make phone calls. For example, we can use hands-free mode to answer calls, or we can use Bluetooth to connect to headphones to answer calls. Either way, most users will have a familiar feeling. By the way, Nubia has also released a Bluetooth wireless headset Nubia Pods on the spot for 99 euros. It is estimated that this headset will come out in China in the future.

Gesture control function
In the field of smartphones, the interaction is also improving. The classic physical keyboard has been replaced by touch screen and virtual keyboard. How will we operate smartphones in the future? Perhaps touch operation is still a good choice up to now, but Nubia has offered us a different answer through today’s α release.

The new Nubia α carries the latest development of “α OS” in Nubia, which has a customized UI visual effect, minimizing all visual elements, making it perfect integration with the wrist machine. And the most interesting thing is that the way to operate Nubia α is totally different from the ordinary mobile phone. The whole process does not need to touch the screen, and the corresponding operation can be completed by directly making somatosensory gestures such as “sliding” or “pinching” on the screen.

In practice, this new way of operation does create a different experience. If you have used Leep Motion or Kinect before, you must be very familiar with this kind of somatosensory operation. In the process of sliding, the wrist machine will also emit “click click” sound effect, and there is even a “touch to the future” feeling in trance.

Excellent hardware and battery performance
For a “wrist machine”, it is crucial to find a good balance between hardware performance and endurance performance. In order to add more functions to affect the endurance, it is obviously contrary to the good user experience; and if the endurance affects the actual experience, it is also a loss-making thing.

Ultimately, Nubia α chooses a special-purpose 2100 processor for wearable equipment, supplemented by a 500 mAh battery, which can quickly recover through a magnetic adsorption wireless charger when it is powerless. According to official data, the standby time of Nubia α can be as long as one week, even for the daily use, it can meet two days, which is enough for a wrist machine.

In fact, Nubia α is a very functional product. It is enough to replace some of the functions of smartphones in daily use. At present, Nubia α supports independent voice calls, video calls, mobile payment, navigation, AOD screen display, etc. It is believed that with the iteration of product updates, Nubia α will create more unique new ways for us to play.

Conclusion
As a unique new type of smartphones and bracelets, Nubia α shows us its personalized characteristics and innovative design. Let’s look forward to meet it on the market as soon as possible.

Nubia Alpha

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