We all know that last Wednesday was a big day for Samsung, as the company officially announce a new phone, tablet and even a smart watch. But did you know that right around the same time, Qualcomm was also delivering its own press event in San Diego? It was there that the chip maker officially announced the Qualcomm Toq.
Like the Samsung Galaxy Gear, the Toq is designed as a companion device that syncs with your smartphones and other mobile devices. Where the watch differs is in the overall strategy.
Samsung’s Gear is all about power and performance, while the Toq is about low-power design and the use of mirasol display technology. The end result is a device that sips battery life slowly and does exceptionally well in bright light conditions.
The Toq will be available to potential buyers sometime in October for around $300 in the United States, but Qualcomm really isn't interested in pushing the Toq as a commercial device.
According to Qualcomm, the Toq should have enough juice to easily last 3-4 days with average use, and as long as week with light usage. Similar to the Pebble, the Toq also has a display that is always active and ready to go. In fact, the Toq doesn’t even have a power button on it!
Some of the Toq’s other specs include a generic 200Mhz ARM Cortex M3 processor, a 1.55-inch mirasol color display with a resolution of 288×192, an adjustable wrist band with integrated 220mAh battery, a backlight for dark area viewing, Bluetooth connectivity and a customized OS.
For those that don’t want to be burdened by conventional charging, you’ll be happy to know that the Toq wirelessly charges using Qualcomm’s WiPower LE technlogy.
So what exactly does Toq bring to the table?
We know that smart watches are designed to connect to your other mobile devices, but what specifically does the Toq do? Out of the box, the Toq is designed primarily for telling time and syncing various types of notifications from calendars to text messages and phone call logs.
There doesn’t appear to be any kind of app storefront just yet, though there are quite a few basic smart features built in already. Some of the Toq’s extended features include the ability to handle your music, look at stocks, and even relay weather information.
As time progresses, the watch will also likely add more features and apps. For those wondering, the color mirasol’s refresh rate should be more than capable of handling video, too.
Pricing and Availability
The Toq will be available to potential buyers sometime in October for around $300 in the United States, but Qualcomm really isn’t interested in pushing the Toq as a commercial device. The chip maker plans to only make a limited number of watches, somewhere in the tens of thousands.
Why keep the run limited? Somewhat like Google Glass Explorer units, the idea is that the Qualcomm Toq is more of an experiment than a true, mass market product. Beyond the initial run, Qualcomm has no plans to make further generations or batches of the Toq.
Ultimately, Qualcomm Toq’s purpose is to show consumers and manufacturers the potential of mirasol technology (- and to lesser extent, Qualcomm’s smart watch platform). This could mean that future smart watches similar to Toq could be built by Qualcomm partners, instead.
While the Qualcomm Toq is a pretty unique device, those interested in a more commercialized approach to the smart watch might want to turn their attention to the Galaxy Gear or the Sony SmartWatch 2. What do you think of the Toq, would you be interested in picking one up or not?