The Alpha isn’t new, though. We first clapped eyes on the device at IFA 2018. Nobody was allowed to touch it, though, and we weren’t really sure what it was capable of. Now, in Barcelona, the company is ready to share its basic specs and functionality. The four-inch, 960×192 OLED display is being manufactured by Visionox, a flexible screen specialist. The company says it’s the “largest wearable flexible screen in the industry” and is protected by a strong, heat-resistant polymer called Polyimide. The entire device is also water-resistant, though we weren’t able to test that inside a hotel.
The device runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset, an old piece of hardware that was finally replaced by the Wear 3100 last year. You’ll also find 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and a 500mAH battery under the hood, which Nubia says should last between one and two days on a single charge. The wearable has Bluetooth, WiFi and eSIM support, meaning you can theoretically text, call and browse the web without a conventional smartphone nearby. There’s even a 5-megapixel camera if you want to shoot selfies or awkward videos.
But wait, there’s more! The Alpha also doubles as a fitness tracker with basic sleep, exercise and heart rate monitoring. All of these features will be accessible from a “custom-made wearable OS” that supports voice commands, multi-touch and air gestures. “All of your information is perfectly organized and within reach. Infinitely customizable, intuitive, and visually striking, our new wearable OS is a whole new way to interact with what you care about most,” the company boasted in a press release. Finally, the wearable will support modular Nubia Pods that enhance its sound quality and battery life.
It sounds and looks like a Frankenstein machine. The Alpha will be sold in three different versions: a black, Bluetooth-only model for €449 (roughly $510 USD), a black 4G eSim variant for €549 (roughly $623 USD) and a 4G eSim alternative coated in 18-karat gold for €649 (roughly $737 USD). At least one of these models will have a staggered release worldwide in 2019.