As the craze of smartwatches picks up, with many companies including a new entrant Razer and those already known in the personal electronics market like Intel, Pebble and Qualcomm jostling for a place in the smartphone watch market, you wouldn’t be mistaken to think that smartwatches are typically supposed to be a companion device – a wearable piece of technology that is only efficient if it can connect with another, possibly larger and more powerful device. If you thought you have seen all about smartwatches at the CES, you should get to know the Neptune Pine, a bulky and different kind of smartwatch that claims to be ‘the true Android smartwatch’ and not just another wearable companion device.
With 2.4 inch display, the Neptune Pine is possibly the largest Android smartwatch yet, surpassing all the others already in the market or already hinted which often have displays ranging between 1.2 and 1.6 inches. If you are still not getting the picture, the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch that works with Note 3, S4 and other Galaxy devices has a 1.63 inch 320 x 320 pixels resolution. Neptune Pine’s 2.4 inch screen is 108% larger than Galaxy Gear’s screen. It may seem ridiculous for a device to wear on the wrist but practically, it isn’t.
If you are very conscious about keeping the weight of your arm low or you don’t want a watch talking up most of the space on your wrist, this may not be the smartwatch for you. However, if you need a watch that is actually independently ‘smart’ and functional, then the Pine is perfect because you can even type on its screen. The company made the screen to make it possible to type on and to have sufficient space for additional features including its front-facing VGA camera that users can place video calls on, three buttons – Menu, Home and Back – just like a typical Android phone’s and LED Flash (yes, it does have it). The bulky size (thickness) is also justifiable as the watch has ports and buttons on its sides including a power/lock button, microphone, Volume rockers and Micro-USB and Micro-SIM ports.
The Neptune Pine smartwatch runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS, although I read somewhere the makers don’t yet have the licensing required to install Google’s Play Store and Apps on the watch. How amazing would it have been if it was complete and could download apps from the Play Store off-the-shelf? Nevertheless, users have the option of side-loading apps to the device just as they would on a phone – copy .apk files to memory and install. Neptune is said to be working on its own play store where users can download apps from without the hassles of copying apk files to the device to install them.
Here are the core specs of the Neptune Pine Android smartwatch:
Processor: Dual- Core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
Operating System: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Memory: 512MB RAM, choice of 8, 16 or 32 GB internal storage
Display: 2.4 inch 320×240 QVGA TFT capacitive touchscreen
Cameras: VGA front and 5 megapixel rear, both with LED flash
Build: 66.0 x 53.5 x 14.2 mm 60.8 grams
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB 2.0, Micro-SIM, NFC (8GB only) and GSM (HSPA+ and WCDMA)
Battery: 810 mAh lithium polymer (up to 120 hours standby time)
If you look at it objectively, this could actually be the ultimate Android smartwatch – a device that can function effectively, even in place of a smartphone, and is small and light enough to wear. You can pre-order the Pine for $335 now on the product page http://www.neptunepine.com/ but there is no word yet on the exact availability timeframe.
Will you be getting one to replace or complement your Android phone?