2018 may have been a pretty sedate year for phones, with many flagships including the Galaxy S9 and iPhone XS trotting out essentially the same design for a second tour of duty. But as we move closer to 2019, phones like the Oppo Find X and this wonderful, new dual-screen device suggest things could get a lot more interesting real soon.
Created by Chinese smartphone company Nubia (which is partially owned by ZTE), the Nubia X solves the problem of where to put the selfie cam on an all-screen phone by dodging the question entirely. That’s because instead of using the main 6.1-inch LCD screen and a front-facing camera to take selfies, you can simply flip the phone around and use its rear camera and 5.1-inch secondary 1520 x 720 OLED screen on the back to frame up your shot.
This solution might sound like overkill, but in some ways, it’s a much simpler overall design. Cameras are quickly becoming much more difficult and expensive to make than screens, and by only including one module on the back, it gives phone makers the ability to focus more on delivering a single, high quality photography experience.
On top of that, with the prevalence of so many phones designed with glass panels in front and back, the Nubia X shouldn’t be much more fragile than a typical handset. Also, that extra display can be used for way more than just selfies. Nubia says its rear, always-on display can show off your favorite art or be used as clock, or it can double as a full-on second display with access to all your standard Android screens and apps.
Inside, the Nubia X’s specs look pretty solid as well—featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, 6GB/8GB of RAM, up to 128GB of storage, and a sizable 3,800 mAh battery. And because there’s no room in front or back for a traditional fingerprint sensor, Nubia opted for an in-screen fingerprint reader like we’ve seen on the OnePlus 6T and Huawei Mate 20.
Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any plans to bring the Nubia X stateside quite yet, but between this, multiple bendy phones in the works, and the rebirth of Palm coming up, companies are really starting to put the fun back into phones again.