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Nubia Alpha ‘wearable phone’ brings flexible displays back to their roots

There are more uses for flexible displays than just folding from a smartphone into a tablet. Some of the earliest concepts for the tech included wrap-around screens that would offer open up more design possibilities for wearable devices.

With the announcements of the Huawei Mate X and the Galaxy Fold stealing the limelight, today’s announcement from Nubia brings us a little closer to what many saw as the original vision.

The Nubia Alpha wearable phone is a smartphone/smartwatch hybrid that has emerged from its announcement as a concept at IFA last year, and is now a lot closer to reality.

The device runs on a new custom-made OS, which enables complete freedom from a smartphone, and has a thin, four-inch 960×192 OLED display.

Unfortunately, it runs on the now-ancient Snapdragon Wear 2100 platform, rather than the newer Wear 3100 device, which may make it a non-starter for some. However, the 500mAh battery brings between 1-2 days of battery life, while also offering Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a 4G eSIM.

Related: Best of MWC 2019

Of course, the wearable form factor means you’ll only get 1GB of RAM, while the 8GB of storage should be enough for a few apps and playlists. If you’re to inclined to snap a few selfies, there’s also a 5-megapixel camera on board.

Naturally, as a wearable device, there’s a fitness tracker on board with the ability to chart the heart rate, as well as sleep and movement. There is a certain degree of water resistance too, but it isn’t clear where the wearable is suitable for swimming. With the screen being a little finicky, the Nubia Alpha also benefits from voice commands, air gestures and multi-touch.

The company says it is planning to release the device at some point in 2019. The basic Bluetooth and Wi-Fi model will be priced at €549 (around £476), while a 4G enabled version will have an 18-karat gold coating and will cost €649 (about £562).

Does this seem like an interesting use for a flexible display to you? Or just another gimmick? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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