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Nubia Alpha hands-on: bendable phone on your wrist


What’s up everybody, Jon Porter here from The Verge. We’re checking out the Nubia Alpha. It looks a lot like a smartwatch but it’s a little different
from what you come to expect rather than scaling
everything down to a tiny smartwatch screen, what Nubia’s actually tried to do is attempt to pack the
entire smartphone experience into something that’s small enough to fit onto your wrist. Have they succeeded? Let’s find out. (upbeat music) Now the key to making this work involves a couple of things. The first one that you’ve
probably already noticed is this screen it’s absolutely massive, it’s a four inch display and it’s it goes further than any
alteror I’ve ever seen. I kind of worked it out it looks like it’s got
an aspect ratio of about five to one that’s a resolution of 960 to one nine two pixels. In addition to that they’ve also put in what they call a air gestures where you can kind of wave your hand over the device and have back controls they don’t have to fill up the screen with quite as many buttons. Now having a screen that big obviously presents a few difficulties. This thing is absolutely massive it’s got a stainless steel band which means that it’s
quite heavy on the wrist. The screen is kind of curved around your wrist and the nice thing about it you can kind of swipe up and down to mean that the information is always pointed towards you
at any one point in time. But then compared to an Apple watch where it’s much easier just
to turn your wrist towards you to see the comparatively smaller screen I feel like it’s maybe solving a problem with its own creation. You might not have heard of
Nubia before they’re kind of a smaller Chinese manufacturers
it’s originally a subsidiary of ZTE and they have made traditional phones but kind of more recently
they’ve made these let’s call them statement pieces. There was a phone they did earlier this year late last
year which had two screens the idea being that like why put a notch on the front where you can just have a
second screen on the back and just use the rear
camera the entire time. And this seems like a a similar kind of lateral thinking approach
to the smartwatch problem. Now let’s talk specs. This thing is packing a
Qualcomm Snapdragon wear 2100 which was actually
Qualcomm’s wearable chip from back in 2016. It’s got one gigabyte of
RAM and eight gigabytes of onboard storage. Now one thing this smartwatch smart phone I’ll work it out at some point. One thing that it has is
a five megapixel camera which not a lot of other
wearables come with and it’s also on your wrist
which is a little bit weird but it does mean you can
film other people like that so long as you don’t get your finger in the way of the lens. So it’s got this massive screen and then you can do lots of things with it you could send messages, you can do voice calls, and then it defaults this t9 dialer which is lovely and retro and fun but actually writing a longer message is something you’d have to practice. Now this will come in a
couple of different colors and a couple of different versions. There’s black and there’s gold which would pay a small price premium for. But the two different versions are actually quite interesting because as well as a Bluetooth version
that pairs to your phone like a traditional smartwatch there’s also an e-sim version which you’ll be able to use as
more of a standalone device. Now if you want the Bluetooth model that’s going to set you 449 Euros in Europe when it will be available from April. But if you want to hold
out for the e-sim model that’s not coming to the West until q3 and it will cost you
an extra hundred euros so that’ll be 549 Euros. If you really want to splash out you can go for the gold model which also comes with
the e-sim functionality and will cost you 649 Euros and that’ll also be available in q3. Over the past 12 months we’ve
seen some pretty interesting ideas about combining
different form factors, we had Apple and Google kind
of tryna combine elements of like the tablet and the
laptop into one super device and it’s almost as though
Nubia kind of looked at this and went, what can we combine? And decided that the
smartwatch and the smartphone were kinda fair game. I mean, does anyone need this? Probably not. Does anyone want this? Maybe. But is it really cool? Yeah. Thank you so much for
checking out the Nubia Alpha smartwatch nwc 2019. Well we’ve also covered all of the biggest announcements you can keep up with them
by subscribing to us at youtube.com/theverge or just reading about them on
our website at theverge.com Cya guys.

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