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Neptune announces the Duo, a standalone smart wristband and a "Pocket Screen"
Neptune, the folks behind the Neptune Pine, are back with an interesting wearable concept. It’s called the Neptune Duo, and it aims to fix all of your smartphone problems. If you’re unfamiliar with the company’s previous offerings, the Neptune Pine was a full-blown Android smartphone on your wrist. It featured home screens, an app drawer and everything else a normal Android phone has. Unfortunately, the concept fell a bit short, since the end product turned out to be incredibly bulky with a small screen. Though the Pine didn’t really work out, it was an interesting idea. So, in hopes to fix the problems with the Pine, the company released the Duo.
The concept behind the Duo, while a little farfetched, is pretty compelling. The “Hub” or the wearable itself, looks like a big bracelet that has a curved screen. It has a 2.4-inch curved display, a quad-core processor, a 1000mAh battery, 3G/4G connectivity, Wifi, GPS and NFC. The Hub is where Neptune hopes the majority of your interactions will take place. You can read and reply to messages, take phone calls and much more, directly from the watch. But what if your watch screen is too small for the task you’re trying to accomplish? That’s where the “Pocket Screen” comes in.
The Pocket Screen is basically a bigger Hub screen. It doesn’t keep any of your information saved on the device, and is meant to carry out the tasks that the Hub is too small to complete. The Pocket Screen has a 5-inch 1280 x 720 display, an 8MP rear-facing camera, a 2MP front-facing camera, and a microphone, speakers, and loudspeaker so you can carry out your normal smartphone-friendly tasks. It runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and has a 2800mAh battery, so you shouldn’t worry about losing a charge that quickly, especially if your watch is going to do the majority of the work. Neptune explains, “The Pocket Screen isn’t very smart, but it doesn’t need to be.”
Now, this isn’t the worst idea we’ve ever seen, and the Duo actually brings a new idea to the technology world. But don’t get us wrong, there is plenty that could use some work. First, the Hub is big. It resembles a will.i.am PULS, that isn’t exactly known for its great design. The Hub seems very uncomfortable to use, though we haven’t tried it, so we’ll need to reserve our judgement until we have one in-house.
The second, and arguably most interesting aspect of this device, is the Pocket Screen. Our smartphones do a lot for us. They hold information, allow us to make calls, and much more. And sometimes we don’t want to take our gigantic smartphones out of our pockets. That’s where wearables come in. Since our phones are already bulky, the last thing we want is for our wearables to be big and clunky. That’s why Android Wear and Pebble watches work so well, because they’re small enough to not notice them, but large enough to read text and get a few important tasks done without taking out your phone. But the Duo has it backwards, it seems. Not only do users need to carry around an average-sized smartphone-like device, they also need to carry a smart wristband that’s seemingly too bulky. To clarify, users don’t have to carry the Pocket Screen if they don’t want to, the Hub works just fine without it.
Interested in picking one up? The Neptune Duo costs $798 in all, but you can pledge a certain amount if you’re looking to save later. If you pledge $498 now, you’ll save $300 and pay nothing when the device ships. If you pledge $199 now, you’ll save $200 and pay $399 at shipment. Pledging $49 now will save you $100 in the long run, and you’ll need to pay $649 at shipment. If you’d rather pay nothing now, you’ll owe the full $798 when the device ships.
Be sure to check out the promo video below to see the Duo in action. What do you think of the Neptune Duo? Is this a good idea, or do you think it could use some work?