Qualcomm shows off its Toq smartwatch – nothing like the Galaxy Gear

qualcomm toqJust like buses… you wait for ages for a new smartwatch and then two turn up at once! Qualcomm has taken the wrappers of its Toq. Is it a threat for Samsung’s Galaxy Gear? Is it meant to be?

The Snapdragon chip maker has taken a very different tack on the whole technowatch thing.

The Toq is more a super Pebble than a wrist computer.

The Toq’s 1.5-inch display is a low-powered Mirasol unit. If you cast your minds back, you may recall that the Mirasol tech was originally designed for colour eReaders. This means that backlighting isn’t needed so much for it to look great in direct sunlight.

The capacitive touch screen minimizes to one swipable strip on the bottom when not in use to save power. For connectivity, it relies on Bluetooth.

Don’t be looking for Wi-Fi or data connection – that would just slurp more juice. As would speakers, a mic, or camera. Nope. None of that nonsense here.

What you do get, however, is an accelerometer – so it can theoretically do some basic fitness tracker stuff.

What all that skimping means is the Toq has a battery which Qualcomm claims will last for around two days! Yup, an always-on device equipped with a full-colour touchscreen display that will easily see you through a day-or-so. That is pretty amazing, if you ask me.

To recharge the Toq, when it eventually needs it, you sit it on its stand/carrying case that also doubles as a wireless charger. This uses Qualcomms proprietary WiPower tech of course.

You also use that charging haven to charge the two Bluetooth earpieces that team up to form a pair of wireless buds.

toq and buds

The Qualcomm Toq has been designed to be paired with an Android phone running 4.0 or higher. Through an accompanying Android app, users can control what notifications are routed to the watch; anything that lives in the notification tray is eligible.

From the device you can ping off one of a list of pre-written text messages, confirm calendar appointments, and pick up incoming phone calls.

Toq is very much intended to illustrate the possibilities of smartwatches to all the hardware companies looking to join in this new battleground, but it’ll also be made available to the public in limited quantities, with the possibility of a ramp-up if it really takes off.

So far there’s no information on availability or price, but you can go throw your email address at Qualcomm to show your interested and get first dibs on Toq news.

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