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Nubia Watch hands-on: 4-inch flexible display offers a glimpse of our wearable future

Apple, Samsung, Garmin, Fitbit, and other folks compete for handle of your wrist with square and round smartwatches with shows more compact than two inches. The Nubia Observe presents a one of a kind alternative for wearables with a huge 4.01-inch AMOLED flexible display screen.

The Nubia Observe is additional of a bracelet than a observe simply because the two.5mm large display screen covers the top of your wrist and then wraps down possibly facet, midway down on my wrist. Thus, it is bulkier than other smartwatches but not as huge as numerous conventional watches I’ve found on wrists. It really is additional of a notion wearable than something simple for day to day don.

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The Nubia Observe is at the moment on Kickstarter with just above a 7 days left in the campaign. At the time of this short article, it had additional than $188,000 pledged, far exceeding the $10,000 goal. There were being even now some $199 pledges accessible with a great deal of $229 openings. The comprehensive retail rate will be $398.

Requirements

  • Screen: 4.01-inch 960×192-pixel resolution flexible AMOLED (244 PPI) built with Schott glass
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Have on 2100
  • Storage: 32GB of internal storage for up to two,000 tunes and masses of topo maps and exercise data
  • Drinking water resistance: IP54
  • Connectivity and sensors: Bluetooth 4.1, GPS/GLONASS/BEIDOU, optical HR, compass, accelerometer, gyroscope
  • Battery: Up to seven days with 425 mAh battery
  • Dimensions: 41 x fourteen.two x 125mm and ninety eight grams

An extension piece for the silicone band is integrated in the package deal, connected via a fast-release pin, that I applied to healthy my wrist. The authentic band piece is for more compact wrist measurements.

The little, magnetic charging puck has a microUSB port with an integrated USB-A to microUSB cable to charge up the Nubia Observe.

Hardware

The most putting feature of the Nubia Observe is the 4.01-inch extended flexible AMOLED touchscreen that wraps about your wrist. A 1/two inch on each conclude of the band flexes and adjusts to match the curvature and sizing of your wrist. The relaxation of the display screen is flat on the encounter and then curves down at each conclude of the top, with the body keeping it rigid as it transitions from the encounter to the facet of your wrist.

Hues are vivid and lively on the display screen with apparent text. The touchscreen is responsive and performs in conjunction with the solitary hardware button on the proper facet of the Nubia Observe to access and handle applications and configurations.

The observe sides and again are built of aluminum and stainless steel product with a large-high quality healthy and finish. The Nubia Observe feels like an highly-priced piece of jewelry, but can be purchased at a realistic rate through the Kickstarter campaign.

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An optical heart rate sensor is identified on the again and is applied with a dedicated heart rate app when doing the job out and when sleeping.

Observe software

The very first issue you see on the huge gorgeous display screen is the observe encounter and this is just one location the place Nubia put in some time on enhancement. 30 watchband encounter selections are accessible to pick from with each supplying a one of a kind search and some with numerous forms of data. You can also down load additional selections from the Nubia Have on app or upload your favourite picture and generate your personal tailor made observe encounter, whilst I could not get this element of the Nubia Have on app doing the job on this examination unit.

Another way to present off the display screen is by choosing a marquee that offers a dynamic display screen. For illustration, a matrix impact can be picked out with tailor made text. This is additional of a demonstration of the technological know-how with very little practice use.

Swipe down on the observe encounter to access fast controls. Modest icons are current to toggle steps these types of as GPS, Bluetooth, elevate-to-wake, brightness stages, electricity-help save, and additional.

Swipe up on the display screen to look at your notifications. The notifications that will seem on the Nubia Observe are managed in the smartphone app.

Swiping proper or left, as very well as urgent in on the solitary button, will open up the app launcher. Huge icons are current for phone calls, messages, sports, health, heart rate, configurations, barrage/marquee, compass, routine, clock, lookup cellular phone, and new music.

Offered activity modes include things like outside walking, indoor managing, outside managing, and a free work out. I tested the outside managing method a handful of instances above the previous pair of weeks. Whilst managing the display screen will present calories burned, heart rate, velocity, distance, and period. The extended display screen will help you see all of this data at as soon as with no the need to have to scroll. Presently, only metric data is offered so I had to accomplish some conversions in my head to relate to my usual coaching metrics.

The Nubia Observe will also track your steps, heart rate, and nightly slumber, which seem when you open up the health app.

To use the new music app and stream new music to Bluetooth headphones you need to have to transfer MP3 files specifically to the observe. There is no integration with any new music services so this capacity is of minimal use in present day entire world of subscription new music selections.

Smartphone software

The weakest backlink in the Nubia Observe encounter is in the smartphone software. The observe software is fine for fundamental notifications and health data, but there is almost nothing you can do with this data past look at it on the observe and in the app. Even then, viewing in the app is really minimal and is an location ripe for significant enhancement.

The smartphone app is named Nubia Have on and is accessible for the Iphone and Android smartphones. The key display, particular position, reveals your stage rely, heart rate, and slumber alongside with link position and Nubia Observe remaining battery percentage.

The other display screen, my configurations, allows you look at information of the observe, manage notifications, and manage sync, new music, and images (I could not get this to function at all).

There is no way to sync your captured health data to any services, these types of as Strava, or look at the data by 7 days, thirty day period, or other frequency. You are not able to look at the data to track trends, operate studies, or do much with it apart from look at it in the app.

Seeking at the fundamental pedometer operate and data, I could not look at anything at all other than the present-day working day. There are arrows at the top of the web page that reveal I could look at previous days, but this does not function in the app so there are clearly features that need to have function.

Daily usage ordeals and summary

The Nubia Observe is an attention-grabbing technological know-how demonstration for flexible shows and the hardware is much better than I expected. It is quite very well built, has a large-high quality search and feel, and has specifications that present it should stand up very well to the features.

When I went managing, it took a number of minutes for the GPS receiver to choose up a signal. This is expected the very first time you use a unit, but for subsequent operates in the exact location I even now finished up standing on the corner and stretching for rather some time right before I could commence monitoring my managing. The Nubia Observe appears to have carried out pretty very well monitoring my managing data, as in comparison to dedicated GPS sports watches, but I could not go again and assess all of the information later on simply because of the minimal software on the cellular phone.

Even with its sizing, the Nubia Observe is at ease and I slept with it for a number of evenings to track my slumber. I wouldn’t slumber with it just about every night if I wasn’t screening it out, but with the extended battery life, you could do it if it was at ease more than enough for you.

With some function on the software facet of points, the Nubia Observe could serve as a able wearable with a concentrate on supplying people today a achievable glimpse of the foreseeable future of wearables. If you can get if for about $two hundred, then you may well get price out of it, but it is not seriously a simple wearable prepared to consider on the likes of Fitbit, Garmin, Apple, or Samsung.