Wearable devices behind smartphones in popularity

‘Nubia Alpha’ is a wearable smartphone with flex screen technology that allows it to be wrapped around your wrist.

A prototype of a wearable smartphone, ‘Nubia Alpha’, was recently launched by a Chinese smartphone company, Nubia Technology. The flex screen technology used in the phone allows it to be wrapped around the wrist. Functions like making and receiving calls, taking pictures, playing music and tracking exercise levels can be performed.

Wearable devices like smartwatches and fitness trackers were already popular among the newer generation. As the technology gains acceptance, Metrolife talks to experts to find out the pros and cons of wearable devices.  

Kuldeep Malik, director of corporate sales, MediaTek, India, feels that technological advances will soon allow all features of a mobile phone to be incorporated into a wearable.

“Wearable devices first came into the market in the form of fitness trackers. Then came location tracking with the help of 2G and 3G connectivity. The focus has now turned towards health; so such devices are now becoming an extension of one’s lifestyle,” he says.

However, he points out some limitations of these wearables.

“From working on excel sheets to sending out emails and creating documents, mobile phones these days have almost replaced the laptops. These activities are not possible on a wearable,” says Kuldeep.

Will such devices lessen one’s addiction to the screen? “It depends on the usage and one’s expectation. I don’t think wearables will be a substitute for mobile phones, even with additions like voice connectivity in the future.”

G Nivedith, tech and travel blogger and entrepreneur, says that even though ‘Nubia Alpha’ is the most advanced wearable smartphone prototype that he has come across, the information about such devices sounds good mostly on paper. 

“The device has a thin, tall and narrow display, which isn’t comfortable for reading, watching videos or viewing photos. One of the primary attractions of smartphones is the camera and Nubia Alpha does not have a rear camera as per the prototype. This might be a disadvantage. As of now, the battery is approximately 500mAh, which may not last a full day given one’s normal usage of internet,” he points out.

However, he is of the view that this is the way technology is going to evolve.  “Make things smaller in size so they seamlessly become a part of us,” he notes.

To wear or not to wear?

Given that wearables have smaller screen and font sizes, the chance of Digital Stress is higher.

The impact on an individual, whether he/she uses a handheld device or a wearable, depends on their usage.

The smartphone will always be more popular because of its convenience factor. 

Dr Anand Balasubramaniam, 
Senior consultant, cornea and cataract, Sankara Eye Hospital

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Wearable devices behind smartphones in popularity

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