I like my Apple Watch Series 5, but I'm also not exactly wowed by its design (or any other smartwatch's for that matter). This is where a new challenger has arrived, with a flexible and foldable design — and a bigger screen.
Meet the Nubia Watch, which wraps a 4.01-inch flexible AMOLED display around your wrist, packs its fair share of sports and fitness tracking features (including sleep tracking) and is currently well above its original Kickstarter (opens in new tab) goal of $10,000 — at over $53,000 at the time of publishing.
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The big perk of this super-long screen is that you get to see more data at once, so you're not scrolling as much. I only find this to be a problem on my Apple Watch when I want to see all of my current Activity data at once (and at a larger scale than my home screen complication shows them), but if you're the type to check email on your smart watch, I can see this being a big perk.
Of course, expect standard fitness tracking features, such as a pedometer, and tracking for your running, walking and freestyle workouts. It also tracks calories burned and your heart-rate, and will remind you to stand up so you're not sitting down all day.
There's also support for Facebook, Whatsapp and the Korea-based social network Line. The Nubia Watch also supports music, which you transfer through the Nubia Wear app to the Watch, but no Spotify support is mentioned.
Nubia also takes advantage of its watch's big screen with animated wallpapers, all of which look like something out of Tron: Legacy or Blade Runner 2049. See for yourself.
Nubia claims you'll get up to 7 days of battery life in its "power saving mode," but since you'd probably want to use all of the Nubia Watch's features, expect something closer to the "36 hours in daily usage between charges" that Nubia claims. I can only assume that estimate will be lowered the more you use its animated screens.
While it comes with a silicone wrist band, Nubia will sell you a Nappa leather strap for a more refined look.
We've already learned of a couple of annoyances, as noted by Sam Byford at The Verge (opens in new tab) (who's got the Chinese model around his wrist already). First off, he notes its screen "can be a little difficult to see outside, and there’s no automatic brightness adjustment." Secondly, the Nubia is on the chunky side, at 14.2mm. The Apple Watch 5 around my left wrist right now is 25% slimmer, at 10.7mm thick.
In terms of the internal specs, the Nubia Watch runs the not-at-all-new Qualcomm Wear 2100 processor, which is 4 years old, having arrived in 2016. There doesn't appear to be an LTE version, but Byford says it can work with an eSIM.
Nubia is a Shenzen-based brand that's been around since 2012 but has yet to make any splash Stateside, beyond their RedMagic gaming phones sold online.
In our Nubia Watch hands-on review, we were impressed by the watch's flexible AMOLED screen and reliable GPS. However, we found it to be a bit bulky, and that its software needs some more time in the oven before it hits stores.