Thought the Galaxy Gear was expensive? Then you likely won’t be impressed with the Toq, Qualcomm’s first foray into modern wearable devices, which will cost a cool $349.
The Toq will be available on December 2, and, for $349, buyers will get a low-power Mirasol display, long battery life (several days according to Qualcomm), and the ability to receive notifications right on the wrist, for things like email or calendar. You won’t, however, get to make phone calls from your wrist, Dick Tracy-style, though you will be able to answer or decline calls, and read text messages and reply to them using a list of canned messages, such as “I will call you back”.
The big advantage that Toq has over the Galaxy Gear is the battery life of up to five days, with moderate usage. That’s possible thanks to the Mirasol display, which sips far less power than conventional LCD displays. In addition, the Toq lacks the bells and whistles present on the Gear, most notably a camera.
Samsung’s Gear is equipped with a more powerful processor and lets users take phone calls (via the connected smartphone), similarly to a Bluetooth earpiece. These features, however, come at the cost of having to charge the device every night.
Qualcomm hasn’t yet updated its website with more information on the availability of the Toq, but that shouldn’t take long. The device was initially supposed to launch by mid-October, but its release hit some snags. That’s probably not a major issue for Qualcomm, who insists that Toq isn’t meant to be a mass market consumer product, but rather an experiment to show how its technologies, primarily Mirasol, can be used in wearable devices.
One more thing to note – the Toq will be compatible with all Android phones running ICS and higher, unlike the Gear, which only works with a handful of Samsung’s flagships.
So, what’s it going to be? Toq or Gear?
Qualcomm Announces Availability of Qualcomm Toq Smartwatch
Smartwatch Technology Set to Transform Wearable Device Category
SAN DIEGO, Nov. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc., will make its Qualcomm Toq™ (‘talk’) smartwatch available to consumers on Cyber Monday, December 2, 2013. Toq is compatible with Android™ smartphones* and features proprietary Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Inc.’s Qualcomm Mirasol™ display technology, providing an always-on experience with multiple days of battery life and visibility even in bright sunlight. Toq starts at $349.99 and will be available through toq.qualcomm.com.
“The Toq smartwatch showcases key Qualcomm innovations, such as Mirasol always on low power display, AllJoyn interactions and WiPower LE wireless charging, that will define the emerging wearable category,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of Qualcomm. “Like a traditional watch, Toq displays information at a glance with no on/off switch. And paired with a smartphone to receive notifications and content, it allows the watch to seamlessly merge our physical and digital lives. Leveraging these and other industry-leading technologies, we and our partners will enable new product opportunities and consumer experiences.”
As previously announced, this limited edition smartwatch will leverage breakthrough technologies necessary to deliver compelling user experiences on wearable devices. Of note, Toq demonstrates the benefits of significant technologies, such as:
- Mirasol display technology – always on, always visible reflective display technology that utilizes ambient light to enable a crisp and clear viewing experience even in bright sunlight;
- Qualcomm WiPower™ LE technology – enables a hassle-free, true “drop and go” wireless charging experience; and
- Stereo Bluetooth audio experience – first truly wireless stereo headphones that sit outside the ear canal for all day comfort and wearability
Using Bluetooth® wireless technology, Toq allows consumers to accept/reject calls, view text messages and meeting alerts, and selectively receive notifications from their smartphone or AllJoyn-enabled devices directly from their wrist. Qualcomm will continue adding functionality to Toq through software upgrades. Consumers also will be armed with preloaded weather and stock applets from AccuWeather and E*TRADE. For more information about Qualcomm Toq, please visit http://toq.qualcomm.com.
*Android 4.0.3 and above, 4.3 Jelly Bean preferred