The Qualcomm Toq smartwatch is now available for purchase from Qualcomm, though any new orders will have to wait at least a week before they ship.
As promised last month, the Qualcomm Toq is now on sale for $349, the same price as the Nexus 5, and $50 more than the Samsung Galaxy Gear. For the price users get a smartwatch that will work with any device that runs Android 4.0.3 or higher, though it works best with smartphones running Jelly Bean or KitKat. The Galaxy Gear only works with select Samsung smartphones, giving the Toq a larger potential market.
In addition to the wider functionality, the Qualcomm Toq has longer potential battery life than the Galaxy Gear. Qualcomm claims the Toq will last for about five days on a single charge thanks to its Mirasol display. Mirasol is a MEMS color display that’s similar to the E-Ink displays found in the Amazon Kindle and other e-readers, as well as the Pebble smartwatch. Mirasol offers longer battery life than LCD displays, and is easier to read in direct sunlight.
The Qualcomm Toq does lack the camera and microphone of the Galaxy Gear, however. Users can answer and decline phone calls with the Toq, but they still need to use their phone or a Bluetooth headset to talk. Like all smartwatches, the main use of the Toq is to display notifications on your wrist. It can display notifications like new emails and text messages, but can’t do much with them aside from reply to text messages with a few canned responses.
While the touchscreen of the Toq makes comparisons to the Galaxy Gear easy, its feature set is closer to the Pebble, which costs half the price at $149. The Pebble lasts about as long as the Toq on a single charge, and it just as easy to read in sunlight. To keep the cost low, however, the Pebble relies on physical buttons and taps for navigation instead of the touchscreen of the Toq and Galaxy Gear.
At the moment the Qualcomm Toq is available in black, and comes with a wireless charging station. There is also a white model coming soon, but it doesn’t have a release date yet.
Are the Toq’s features enough to justify the $349 price, or is the Galaxy Gear more enticing?