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3
Sep

Apple Heart Study Ends for Some Early Participants Ahead of January Completion Date


Over the weekend, Apple informed some users who signed up to its Apple Watch Heart Study that their contributions were complete.

An app notification thanked them for their participation and asked them to complete an exit-survey about the study, which first launched in November 2017.

The study in collaboration with Stanford Medicine was offered to anyone in the United States who was 22 years older with an iPhone 5s or later and an Apple Watch Series 1 or later. Atrial fibrillation, a common form of heart arrhythmia that is covered in the study, can indicate serious medical conditions like heart failure and stroke.

Participants were instructed to download and install the Apple Heart Study app and wear their Apple Watch. When an irregular heart beat is detected, a consultation with a Study Telehealth provider from American Well is offered, with some people asked to wear an ePatch monitor for up to seven days for further investigation.

Apple closed the study to new participants at the beginning of last month. In a prior announcement, Apple said the study would not end until January 1, 2019, but it looks as though the participants who received the notifications over the weekend all enrolled early, suggesting that data collection is winding down over stages as the end date approaches.

Rumors have suggested that 2018 Apple Watch Series 4 models will include enhanced heart rate detection features that could improve the smartwatch’s ability to detect diseases linked to higher heart rates and abnormal heart rhythms, but what form the enhanced heart rate features will take remains unclear.

Design wise, the Apple Watch Series 4 looks similar to the Series 3 models, but the display will be bigger, allowing more space for watch faces and complications, as confirmed last week in an image leaked by Apple.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4, watchOS 5Tag: Apple Heart StudyBuyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
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3
Sep

Skype Redesign Ditches Snapchat-Like Highlights Feature to Focus on ‘Simplicity’


Microsoft is to simplify the user experience of its Skype mobile and desktop apps, with the aim of returning the platform’s focus to core services like calling and messaging.

In announcing the decision in a blog post, Microsoft acknowledged that the Snapchat-style redesign it introduced last year “didn’t resonate with a majority of users” and had “overcomplicated” the platform, and said it hoped the new changes would make the service faster to learn and easier to use.

As a result, the Highlights and Capture features are being removed from the mobile app, leaving options for Chats, Calls, and Contacts at the bottom of the interface. Microsoft says users can download any Highlights they have posted in Skype until September 30, 2018.

Meanwhile over on desktop, buttons for Chats, Calls, Contacts, and Notifications are being moved to the top left of the application window, which should make more sense for veteran Skype users. In addition, contacts are being “updated for simplicity” to make them easier to discover.


Visually, Microsoft says it has “toned down” the range of the gradients available in the light and dark themes, and it’s also reintroducing the simplified Skype “Classic” blue theme, with subtle adjustments for contrast and readability.

Lastly, some decorative elements have been removed from the Skype interface to provide users with “a more elegant experience” that brings the focus back to content.

“This is only the beginning and you can expect many more updates over the next several months as we continue to simplify and improve the core experiences around calling, chat, and contacts,” said Skype design director Peter Skillman. “While we have plenty of work left to do, we hope you find these changes simplify your experience and bring you closer to those who matter.”

Tags: Skype, Microsoft
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3
Sep

Google plans crackdown on tech-support scams appearing in search ads


Google has made the astonishing revelation that in 2017 it took down an average of “100 ads a second” for violating company policies.

Of those, some were scams advertising bogus tech support services where callers ended up handing over large sums of money for “support” they didn’t need.

Ads delivered by Google’s search engine appear at the top of listings and can, in the case of scams, can show fake web addresses to trick the user into thinking they’re looking at information for a legitimate service.

Google has, for a long time, had systems in place protecting people from misleading, inappropriate, and harmful ads, but when it detects an increase in scams targeting a specific category, it tries to move swiftly to put more resources into eradicating those ads from its search results.

David Graff, director of Google’s global product policy, said in a blog post over the weekend that the company recently spotted a rise in misleading ads stemming from third-party tech support providers.

In a bid to stamp out the bogus content, Google is now restricting ads in this category globally.

“For many years, we’ve consulted and worked with law enforcement and government agencies to address abuse in this area,” Graff wrote. “As the fraudulent activity takes place off our platform, it’s increasingly difficult to separate the bad actors from the legitimate providers. That’s why, in the coming months, we will roll out a verification program to ensure that only legitimate providers of third-party tech support can use our platform to reach consumers.”

Graff acknowledges that these efforts alone won’t deter all bad actors from trying to get their ads into Google’s search results, but he insists that it will make it “a lot harder.”

He added that the web giant is constantly looking at ways to block such content, and that the battle is ongoing “to keep the online advertising ecosystem a safe place for everyone.”

Tech support scams

There are a number of variations on the tech support scam, but they often begin with the victim calling the number shown on the ad in the search results. The scammer might then ask for permission to access the victim’s PC remotely under the guise of trying to determine the issue with the machine. After that, the scammer will “discover” a security threat or damaging virus, or even upload one to the PC. The victim would then be persuaded to purchase the scammer’s support package, most likely at an inflated price.

In 2017, Microsoft said it received 153,000 reports from users who suffered at the hands of tech support scammers, marking a 24 percent increase on a year earlier.

If you think you’ve been targeted, contact your bank to block any payments, then try uninstalling any software that was installed as part of the scam. Finally, run a virus scan on your computer to make sure it’s clean.

Most ads that show up on search engines are legitimate, but if you have any suspicions then take a moment to run an additional search to cross-check any contact information while also researching the results that show up immediately below the ads.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Could Snap save the internet from fake news? Here’s the company’s secret weapon
  • The best smartphones of 2018
  • What is Google Pay? Here’s what you need to know
  • JBL’s Link Bar lets Google Assistant find and play whatever you want to watch
  • BenQ’s curvy new QHD display for gamers supports AMD’s FreeSync 2 tech



3
Sep

Every pixel is precious[#acpodcast]


ifa-2018-banner-messe-berlin.jpg?itok=i5

We’re live from Berlin, Germany! Andrew Martonik, Alex Dobie, and Michael Fisher (aka Mr. Mobile) are here to bring you all best announcements from IFA 2018, including an all-new Wear OS interface with some very interesting smartwatches from Casio, Skagen Falster, and Diesel.

From there, it’s a slew of new phones — BlackBerry KEY2 LE makes its debut at only $399, while the Sony Xperia XZ3 goes the opposite direction as a high-end device. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! To wrap things up, the gang talk about Lenovo’s Yoga Chromebook. It’s a whole lot of laptop for $599.

Listen now

  • Subscribe in iTunes: Audio
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  • Download directly: Audio

Show Notes and Links:

  • Google debuts all-new Wear OS interface with Google Assistant feed, coming to watches in September
  • Casio’s new rugged WSD-F30 Wear OS smartwatch has improved dual-layer display, smaller case
  • The new Skagen Falster 2 and Diesel Full Guard 2.5 are truly gorgeous smartwatches
  • BlackBerry KEY2 LE hands-on: A $399 ticket to the hardware keyboard party
  • Sony Xperia XZ3 hands-on: Damn fine hardware, with potential pain points lurking
  • LG G7 One hands-on: The G7 sold its soul for great Android One software
  • Motorola One and One Power hands-on: I get it, you think they look like an iPhone X
  • Huawei Mate 20 series will launch October 16 with next-gen Kirin 980 chip
  • Huawei has four wild new P20 Pro colors — including leather backs and MORPHO AURORA
  • Huawei unveils EMUI 9 based on Android 9 Pie, beta applications start today
  • The Nubia Alpha is the weirdest wearable at IFA 2018
  • Lenovo Yoga Chromebook hands-on: $599 gets you a whole lot of laptop

Sponsors:

  • Ziprecruiter: The smartest way to hire. Try ZipRecruiter for free. That’s right FREE!

3
Sep

Microsoft has decided to end the Surface Plus lease program


If you were interested in Microsoft’s Surface Plus program, we hope you are already enrolled because the company has decided to end the service roughly a year after it launched. The company announced the decision via an FAQ that, sadly, didn’t give us much information as to why it decided to end the program. The FAQ merely says that Microsoft decided to end the program after “much thought and consideration.”

The service, which launched last year, allowed customers to lease a Surface device for 24 months. At the end of those 24 months, the device became theirs to keep. In addition, users had the option of upgrading to a new device after 18 months.

On the bright side, those who have already enrolled in the program will still receive all of the benefits of membership. They will be able to continue on their monthly payment plan with the option to upgrade at 18 months or they can simply make all 24 payments and keep their current Surface device. One change that is existing customers will have to deal with is that starting in October, they’ll need to contact Microsoft support directly as the Surface Plus site is shutting down.

As previously noted, Microsoft didn’t give us much in the way of information surrounding its decision to end the Surface Plus program. However, it’s worth mentioning that the program has received some less than stellar reviews from customers. A post on Reddit discussing the merits of the program said that the plan was worth it for the zero-percent financing,  but warned that Microsoft and Klarna had issues with communication.

Several of the users within the thread also warned against the 18-month upgrade, cautioning users that they’d probably be better off simply selling the device after 24 months if they wanted to get a new Surface.

One other point of contention seems to be Microsoft’s choice of Klarna as its business partner. On Microsoft’s support site, there are posts from several users saying they were rejected for the program despite having excellent credit scores. One user even claimed that Klarna lied to him about running a credit check on him, after receiving confirmation from Experian that no such check occurred.

Regardless of the issues, the loss of Surface Plus remains disappointing as it offered a way for people to get a Surface without having to spend so much money upfront.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Microsoft Surface Laptop review
  • Microsoft is digging itself a hole by giving away free Surface Docks
  • Microsoft Surface Go review
  • My Surface Book 2 is sleek, fast, innovative — and I hate it
  • Microsoft Surface Book 2 15-inch review



3
Sep

Acer Predator Helios 500 review



Research Center:

Acer Predator Helios 500

Many of today’s popular gaming laptops, like the Razer Blade, seem almost ashamed of their heritage. Yea, they can game, but they seek to blend in with a sleek, elegant exterior and thin profile. Acer’s Predator Helios 500, though, lets its freak flag fly. It’s unapologetic as a gaming laptop, both in look and capabilities.

Acer knows its target audience and offers two configurations of this 17-inch behemoth, starting at the $2,000 base model. Our $2,500 review unit came with an Intel Core i9-8950HK processor, a GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. If you can’t spend that much, the Helios 300 has a GTX 1060 and starts at just $1,500.

Whatever configuration you opt for, Acer has brought together the right ingredients to cook a meaty gut-bomb of a gaming feast.

For the unapologetic gamer

High-end gaming hardware has trended towards subtle designs as of late, but not everyone wants or needs a sleek, nondescript laptop to play games. Some gamers want a laptop that screams its gaming credentials. Others are fine paying less for a thicker, larger laptop with equivalent (or better performance). Whatever the reason, Predator Helios 500 is certainly cut from a different cloth than many of its peers.

This 17-inch laptop has the angular panels, flashing lights, and layers of chrome we’ve come to expect of the Predator brand. It takes a careful eye to distinguish the Helios 500 from the likes of the Predator 17, 17X and Helios 300. There are a couple of small differences between the models, but the key to decoding Acer’s messy glut of brands and names is to know that the Helios laptops are the only models which have been updated in 2018 so far.

That said, we like the admittedly small changes Acer has made for the Helios 500. The red LEDs have been replaced by blue, and silver has been (almost) completely removed from the chassis. Would we prefer a less ostentatious logo, smaller bezels, and sleeker panels? Definitely. The Predator Helios 500 isn’t a looker. Still, for those who want a in-your-face gaming laptop, the Helios 500 fits the bill.

The Helios 500 is not a thin or light laptop, and it doesn’t pretend to be.

Similarly, the Helios 500 doesn’t pretend to be thin or light in any sense of the word. Weighing in at 8.8 pounds, don’t expect to throw this in your backpack and not notice. Compared to the competition though, it’s actually a bit lighter than the Alienware 17, the king of bulk.

The Helios 500 measures in at 1.5 inches tall with the lid closed, which is thicker than two Razer Blades stacked up. In other words, the Helios 500 is not portable in the slightest, so look elsewhere if portability is a deciding factor for you. The good news is that if you do need to lug it around, you can pretty much guarantee it’ll handle the transportation thanks to its bulky chassis. We did notice some flex in bend in the lid, but everything is as sturdy as a $2,500 laptop should be.

Riley Young/Digital Trends

Acer has smartly moved some of the video output ports, like HDMI and DisplayPort, making them both easier to find and out of the way. On the sides, the Helios 500 has a standard array of three USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, and an ethernet jack. It’s all the connections a gamer would ever need, complete with options for futureproofing accessories and powering external GPUs through Thunderbolt 3.

Ready to mash some keys? This is the keyboard for you

Predator’s unchanged design over the years means the good parts have hung around as well — and the keyboard is one of those. The keyboard provides decent travel for fast typing, and the layout is comfortable. Quick controls are hidden in the function row that gamers will appreciate, such as on/off toggles for Wi-Fi, the screen, and touchpad. You also get six programmable buttons above the function row that open up PredatorSense, Acer’s proprietary thermal control software, by default.

Animations and response times feel incredibly smooth.

The keyboard is backlit with RGB lighting, though it’s lit in zones rather than individual keys, like on the Razer Blade. In addition, Acer still hasn’t included multiple levels of brightness for the backlighting. It’s on or off. That’ll be an annoyance for gamers who play in the dark and need to see their keys without being blinded.

Under the keyboard you’ll find a high-quality touchpad that’s good enough for general use (gamers generally don’t use touchpads in games). It’s made of glass, though tracking isn’t as smooth as many other laptops. We also found the tap-to-click functionality to be overly sensitive, resulting in skips down the page while scrolling or accidentally dragging browser tabs. Fortunately, it uses Windows Precision drivers, so two-finger scrolling and four-finger swiping worked as expected.

Lightning fast refresh rates

The Predator Helios 500’s display puts it ahead of laptops like the Alienware 17 R5, which lacks the contrast and color accuracy of the Helios 500 has. The inky blacks of the Predator’s display make the bright colors of a game like Fortnite pop.

The Helios 500 has a 144Hz display, which means it can display framerates of up to 144 frames per second. A game like Fortnite, which the Helios 500 can play at up to 144 FPS, will look ludicrously fluid. The animations and response times feel so smooth you’ll swear you’ve become more skilled. This isn’t the only gaming laptop with a 144Hz display, but it surpasses the Alienware 17 R5’s 120Hz refresh rate. Throw in G-Sync to keep those frames free of tearing or stutter, and you have a display that does everything gamers ask.

A six-core speedster

You may have read controversies involving Core i9s in MacBooks, but rest assured the ultra-fast, six-core processor was made for laptops like the Helios 500. These are the fastest processors we’ve tested in a laptop, and that’s not wasted on the Helios 500. Geekbench scores are off the chart compared to Core i7-powered gaming laptops like the Razer Blade or Digital Storm Equinox. The same is true in more practical testing such as 4K video encoding. This Acer zips through any task you throw at it.

Fortunately, Acer bundles that with some equally fast and plentiful storage. There are two configuration options available. You can buy a SATA HDD with either one or two terabytes of space, paired with either 256GB or 512GB of PCIe NVMe solid state storage. Both the RAM and storage are accessible and expandable, ensuring you can upgrade this machine down the road.

More graphics power than you probably need

The Helios 500 comes with an overclockable Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, a powerful and smooth graphics card. It’s plenty enough to handle the 1080p display and spits out beautifully smooth gameplay. Unfortunately, the Helios 500 doesn’t offer an optional GTX 1080. You’ll have to opt for last year’s Predator 17X if you want that. Still, in our testing, there weren’t many cases where we felt limited by the 1070. That’s thanks to the laptop’s advanced thermal system, which includes five heatpipes and some large fans.

Its advantage is demonstrated in our 3DMark benchmarking, where it scored 10 percent higher than the Razer Blade or Digital Storm Equinox (both of which use the Max-Q version of the same GTX 1070).

The Helios 500 shines in 1080p gaming, making the most of its components. The Helios 500 even matched the Alienware 17 R5’s framerates across the board, despite its lesser graphics card. With settings maxed, the Helios 500 earned 139 frames per second (FPS) in Battlefield 1, making great use of the high-refresh display. Civilization VI and Deux Ex: Mankind Divided didn’t run quite as well, but still looked and played beautifully on the Helios 500.

You won’t want to leave home without the power adapter.

The only situation where you may want to splurge for a gaming laptop with the GTX 1080 is if you’re hooking it up to a high-resolution monitor. The games we tested look great at 1440p, but it’s here where the Alienware 17 R5 and Razer Blade Pro start to take a noticeable lead in framerates

High resolution gaming isn’t out of the question, however. If you want to plug into a 4K monitor, you’ll see respectable framerates in Fortnite or Battlefield 1 — and wow, do those visuals come alive. With settings maxed, the games were playable at around 30 FPS. Even 60 FPS is possible if you’re willing to play with detail settings a few notches below the maximum.

Battery life

The Helios 500 doesn’t make any strides in battery life. As with most gaming laptops, let alone 17-inchers, you won’t want to leave home without the power adapter.

In our testing, the Helios 500 lasted just under five and a half hours in video playback and two hours and eleven minutes in web browsing. That’s like other gaming laptops, unless you’re comparing it to the Razer Blade, which proved much better. Part of the problem is no doubt the inclusion of G-Sync, which fixes screen tearing, but prevents the laptop from switching GPUs to save battery.

Our Take

The Predator Helios 500 is a compelling mid-range gaming laptop that delivers fast framerates to justify the high-refresh display. Though it’s not the most extravagant, and certainly not the most portable, the Predator Helios 500 sits at fantastic balance of value and performance. It’s the 17-inch gaming laptop to beat.

Is there a better alternative?

The best alternative we’ve tested is the Alienware 17 R5. Both are top-of-the-line gaming laptops, but unless you plan on gaming in 1440p or 4K, the Predator Helios 500 offers a better value and a higher-refresh screen.

Acer Predator Helios 500 Compared To

Dell XPS 15 9570

Alienware 17 R5

Razer Blade Stealth (2018)

Acer Predator Helios 300

Alienware 15 R3 (2017)

Asus ROG G752VS-XB78K

Acer Predator 17 X GX-791-73FH

Asus ROG G751JY-DH71

Origin EON 17-S (2014)

MSI GX70

Asus G750JX-DB71

Samsung Series 7 Gamer 700G7A

Alienware M17x R4

Maingear eX-L 17

Alienware Area-51 m9750

If you’re looking to spend a bit less money but like the vibe of Predator, Acer also offers a 17-inch Helios 300, which features a GTX 1060 and starts at $1,500. Dell also has a 17-inch version of the affordable G3 Gaming Laptop, which uses the same six-core processor, along with a GTX 1060.

How long will it last?

Despite the upcoming release of Nvidia’s new RTX 2000 GPUs, the mobile versions haven’t yet been announced. Even if they were, the components in the Predator Helios 500 should last you many years in gameplay, given how long it will take for developers to begin utilizing the new tech. The same can’t be said about the thick bezels and slightly outdated design, but that won’t have a tangible effect on longevity.

Fortunately, Acer provides a two-year parts and labor warranty for its Predator laptops. This is a huge bonus given that one-year warranties have become the norm for laptops.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you want a gaming laptop that makes fantastic use of its components, the Predator Helios 500 is a great choice.

3
Sep

Day goodbye to highlights: Microsoft goes back to basics with Skype redesign


In a recent blog post, Microsoft offered a look at the new face of Skype. If we had to sum up the basics of Microsoft’s new strategy for Skype, it would be back to basics. Over the past several years, Microsoft has added a lot of new features to Skype. Some of them were well-received while others simply didn’t catch on. With this new update, Microsoft is looking to trim some underused offerings and focus on Skype’s core communication features.

Goodbye Highlights

One of the features that we’ll have to say goodbye to is Skype Highlights. According to the blog post, the Snapchat-like feature “didn’t resonate with a majority of users” so it, along with Capture, will be removed. If you have any Highlights that you want to save, you’d better act fast. Users will have until September 3o to download their Highlights before the feature is permanently removed.

A simple clean UI

The removal of Highlights and Capture both serve a larger purpose aside from simply deleting unpopular features. One of the clear goals of this update is to simplify Skype and clean up the UI. On the mobile front, this means that the app will only have three buttons at the bottom of the app: Chat, Calls, and Contacts.

On the desktop side of things, the Skype team is looking toward Legacy Skype for inspiration. They are moving Chats, Calls, Contacts, and Notifications icons to the top left of the window.

The team says that it is hoping these changes will make the app easier to navigate while maintaining the core communication features that users expect from Skype.

Beyond that, Microsoft is making a few changes to the app’s customization options. In addition to a new Dark theme, the company is also introducing a Classic mood with Skype’s standard light blue color scheme. The blog also mentions that the team has decided to remove some of Skype’s decorative options in order to keep the focus on the areas of communication and “getting things done.”

If you want to check out Skype’s new look for yourself, it is currently available on the desktop and mobile apps.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • SMS Connect will allow you to use Skype to text from your PC
  • Skype introduces read receipts, but don’t worry, you can disable them
  • Cloud-based call recording is coming to Skype, but will you use it?
  • How to record a Skype call
  • How to link Instagram to Facebook



3
Sep

Say goodbye to highlights: Microsoft goes back to basics with Skype redesign


In a recent blog post, Microsoft offered a look at the new face of Skype. If we had to sum up the basics of Microsoft’s new strategy for Skype, it would be back to basics. Over the past several years, Microsoft has added a lot of new features to Skype. Some of them were well-received while others simply didn’t catch on. With this new update, Microsoft is looking to trim some underused offerings and focus on Skype’s core communication features.

Goodbye Highlights

One of the features that we’ll have to say goodbye to is Skype Highlights. According to the blog post, the Snapchat-like feature “didn’t resonate with a majority of users” so it, along with Capture, will be removed. If you have any Highlights that you want to save, you’d better act fast. Users will have until September 3o to download their Highlights before the feature is permanently removed.

A simple clean UI

The removal of Highlights and Capture both serve a larger purpose aside from simply deleting unpopular features. One of the clear goals of this update is to simplify Skype and clean up the UI. On the mobile front, this means that the app will only have three buttons at the bottom of the app: Chat, Calls, and Contacts.

On the desktop side of things, the Skype team is looking toward Legacy Skype for inspiration. They are moving Chats, Calls, Contacts, and Notifications icons to the top left of the window.

The team says that it is hoping these changes will make the app easier to navigate while maintaining the core communication features that users expect from Skype.

Beyond that, Microsoft is making a few changes to the app’s customization options. In addition to a new Dark theme, the company is also introducing a Classic mood with Skype’s standard light blue color scheme. The blog also mentions that the team has decided to remove some of Skype’s decorative options in order to keep the focus on the areas of communication and “getting things done.”

If you want to check out Skype’s new look for yourself, it is currently available on the desktop and mobile apps.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • SMS Connect will allow you to use Skype to text from your PC
  • Skype introduces read receipts, but don’t worry, you can disable them
  • Cloud-based call recording is coming to Skype, but will you use it?
  • How to record a Skype call
  • How to link Instagram to Facebook



3
Sep

Security cameras, cold brew coffee makers, and more are discounted today


Whether you’re looking for new tech gear or household items, we’ve got you covered.

We found plenty of great deals today that include big discounts on the Logitech Circle 2 security camera, a KitchenAid cold brew coffee maker, the Corsair K70 mechanical keyboard, and more!

View the rest of the deals

If you want to know about the deals as soon as they are happening, you’ll want to follow Thrifter on Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter, because missing out on a great deal stinks!

3
Sep

The Nubia Alpha is the weirdest wearable at IFA 2018


You’ve seen smartphones; you’ve seen smartwatches; but today at IFA 2018 I got to see … well, something in between.

The Nubia Alpha (or nubia-α if you wanna be proper about it) comes to us from the same folks who made the Red Magic smartphone that’s capturing the eyeballs of the gaming crowd. Nubia was spun off from parent company ZTE back in 2014, and besides making gaming phones it’s apparently busied itself building products straight out of an alternate sci-fi future. The Alpha takes the form of a thick wristband and bulbous center body, with a flexible OLED panel wrapping around the wrist. Running on that panel: a heavily customized build of Android (Nubia wouldn’t say which version), under which hums a 4G LTE radio and a CPU of similarly indeterminate origin. Also here: an embedded speaker, a camera for video calls, and a sensor to tell it which way is up (so you can wear it on either wrist).

Given all the unanswered questions during my hands-on, and the fact that I wasn’t even allowed to touch the thing, it’s an open question whether Nubia will hit its intended Holiday 2018 launch date. But products like the Nubia Alpha are part of the reason I still love trade shows like IFA 2018; they’re an opportunity for manufacturers to come out with crazy concepts that give us a preview of what our mobile-tech future might (or might not) look like. For a closer look at that possible future, check out the hands-on above – and subscribe to the YouTube channel if this kind of weirdness is in your wheelhouse as well.

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