Date: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014, 09:50
Category: Accessory, Android, Hardware, Wearables
People were pretty disappointed to hear that Apple wasn’t planning to introduce or speak about any new hardware at WWDC, so an iWatch may still be a ways off…or a complete surprise. With no signs of an Apple smartwatch on the horizon, other companies are trying to get the jump on the watch market. Among the contenders is Qualcomm’s Toq Smartwatch. The Toq (toke…tock…not sure) so far only works with Android devices and presents a set of the typical features we expect from a smartwatch such as access to calendars, calls and texting, notifications from social services, music control, etc.. Information-wise, it doesn’t provide any more than a Pebble, but it does have some other nice features.
The Toq has a color screen, but Qualcomm claims it uses far less power than competing color displays due to its patented Mirasol technology. The Mirasol display uses a reflective technology to make it easy to see in daylight, so it doesn’t require a constant backlight to be read. It’s also a touchscreen which removes the need for buttons on the watch. Qualcomm claims a battery charge life of around 2 days, which doesn’t seem bad for a color touchscreen. Speaking of charging, the Toq is ‘wireless’ and using Qualcomm’s WiPower tech which charges just by setting it on it’s charging base, which also wirelessly charges the optional Bluetooth headphones (which don’t seem to be available for purchase yet). The base can also be folded up to act as a case for the headphones and for traveling. This is a lot better than dealing with a USB charging cable like most smartwatches have.
Besides the touchscreen for input, the Toq also incorporates a version of Nuance’s voice to text capabilities (the same tech that Siri uses) called “Toq Talk”, which allows you to compose text messages. Here’s there promo video for it.
You can buy the Toq on Amazon which is currently $199.99 (down from the original 249.99) with free shipping, in either black or white. I’d be tempted to get one if I had an Android powered device, but I’ll probably just hang onto my Pebble until the iWatch makes an appearance. What do you think, is this a serious iWatch competitor? Is it the best smartwatch on the market currently? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.