There will soon be another new smartwatch available to pick from if you’re weighing your options for holiday buying. Qualcomm on Monday announced that its Toq smartwatch will become available on December 2 for a hefty $349.99.
I know. $349.99 is quite a chunk of change, especially when you can pick up a Pebble for $150. Even the Samsung Galaxy Gear can be had for less than $300. But Qualcomm is billing the Toq as a “limited edition” device – more a proof of concept to show off the technology rather than Qualcomm’s plan to dominate the smartwatch industry.
Like many other smartwatches, the Toq is focused on delivering smartphone notifications to your wrist. The real innovation here is Qualcomm’s low-energy Mirasol display. This allows the screen to always be on, and uses ambient light to keep the screen readable even in bright sunlight. I got a chance to try it out last month and it worked really well. And Qualcomm SVP Rob Chandhok spoke about the smartwatch, and the internet of things in general, at Gigaom’s Mobilize conference last month.
The Toq only works with Android smartphones, and will interact with a companion app from Google Play. It uses wireless charging via Qualcomm’s new WiPower LE standard, and special editions of the watch will come bundled with various headphone setups.
Still, $349.99 is a lot for a smartwatch, especially when the Pebble offers similar base functionality, along with a slew of apps and iOS compatibility, for less than half the price. It’ll be interesting to see how the Toq fares, and whether Qualcomm’s Mirasol display technology catches on.