Nubia's new smartwatch is the weirdest we've seen in a while

Nubia Watch
Nubia Watch (Image credit: Future)

Chinese tech company Nubia has a new smartwatch, and it's probably the weirdest-looking one we've seen this year. The new device is called the Nubia Watch, and its huge curved screen gives it an eye-catching appeal.

Nubia just launched the device via a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, where it costs $399 (roughly £300, AU$550) although there are early-bird pre-order discounts. According to the campaign page, the first batch of Nubia Watch will be released October 2020, although a wider retail launch will likely be later.

Tech fans might recognize the Nubia Watch as a relative of the Nubia Alpha launched last year - that was another curved-display-smartwatch that looked similar. We only gave it two and a half stars out of five - user interface bugs and limited communication options make it hard to love, despite its novel design (and the fact it had a camera).

Hopefully the Nubia Watch will address some of the problems we had with its predecessor, and if it does, it could be a novel smartwatch worth buying. We've been testing the Nubia Watch for a week now - that's not enough time to give a decisive verdict on the device, but we'll sum up our first thoughts in a mini-review below.

One-minute Nubia Watch review

In our opinion, the Nubia Watch is a better smartwatch than the Nubia Alpha - it doesn't have bugs, there's notification handling, and it's not as big or bulky either, thanks to the lack of a camera.

Nubia Watch

Nubia Watch (Image credit: Future)

This isn't a huge reimagining of its predecessor though. There are the same four workout modes (which seem pretty accurate from our initial testing), the same limited app pool (although we used a Chinese model, and Nubia told us there will be more apps on the global release), and the same user interface design and layout.

Well, there are different watch faces available on the Nubia Watch, which fixes a big Alpha problem we had.

You can't reply to notifications on the Nubia Watch, so the device is missing out a key function that other smartwatches have - similarly music handling only works for tracks you've downloaded to the watch, which seems rather limiting in the age of music streaming, and you can't view workout history on the device.

So the smartwatch certainly isn't perfect, and while we can already tell it's going to get a better review than its predecessor, we can't say for sure how much better our coverage will end up being. Well, unless software updates change anything major.

Look for our full review in the coming weeks, so you can find out if the Nubia Watch is a smartwatch you should consider buying, or if maybe its novel looks aren't matched by impressive software.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.