backtop


Print 57 comment(s) - last by Jakeisbest.. on Sep 11 at 2:06 PM


  (Source: AnandTech)
Qualcomm boasts five times the battery life of Samsung's device, plus more vibrant display

Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KSC:005930) announcement of the $300 USD Galaxy Gear smartwatch was met with mixed reactions yesterday.  Many questioned the appeal and utility of the form factor in general (why carry one more device?).  They backed these criticism, pointing to a long history of poorly selling smartwatch designs, such as the ones Seiko (Holdings Corp. (TYO:8050)) sold in the 1980s.

Others still weren't entirely dismissive of the smartwatch, but took issue with Samsung's choice to use a power-hungry 800 MHz Exynos core, a decision that reduced battery life to a day at best.

For that "on the fence" segment, Qualcomm, Inc.'s (QCOM) announcement of the Toq (pronounced "Talk") smartwatch may interest you.  

Toq
Qualcomm Toq smartwatch [Image Source: AnandTech]

Here's a quick rundown of what is known and announced with Toq:
  • Price: $300
  • Release Date: Q4 2013
  • Processor: 200 MHz Cortex M3
  • Display:
    • 1.5-1.6 inches
    • Mirasol (E-INK like display) 
  • Battery:
    • Large
    • In a separate band component
  • Battery Life:
    • Max:     5 days
    • Typical: 3 days (moderate to heavy use)
  • Wireless:
    • stereo Bluetooth (serial, Alljoyn)
    • charging (WiPower LE case -- drop the watch on its case to charge)
  • Other: Water resistant
Like Samsung's Galaxy Gear, Toq acts as a second screen for your smartphone, allowing you to scan texts, emails, control music, without the "herculean task" of taking your smartphone out of your pocket.  But unlike Samsung, Qualcomm is looking to make the device cross platform, with iOS support coming (according to Engadget).


Qualcomm CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs comments:

Toq's always on, always connected, always visible wearable technology gives you a 'Digital 6th Sense,' telling you what you need to know, when you need to know it, with just a glance at your wrist or a whisper in your ear. Toq is a showcase for the benefits of the Mirasol display, WiPower LE and stereo Bluetooth technologies and highlights the experience that the wearable category can provide.

The highlight of the watch is its Mirasol display, a special reflective display technology Qualcomm has been developing.  First announced in 2012 Mirasol was inspired by the chemistry of butterfly wings and consumes significantly less power than traditional LCD screens.  Like E-INK it is sharp and crisp outdoors (like a pritned page) where even backlit LCDs can look washed out.

Mirasol
Don't tell PETA about how many butterflies must have died to make Qualcomm's latest display.

Combined with the low-power processor, Qualcomm is promising a much better battery life than Samsung.  While not traditionally a device maker, Qualcomm says it made the device as a proof of concept for the Mirasol technology.  Rob Chandhok, president of Qualcomm Internet Services and Qualcomm Innovation Center, told CNET in an interview, "We're not trying to be a consumer electronics company, but we do want to make a statement about what we think features and characteristics of successful wearable computing [are] going to be."

The Qualcomm smartwatch isn't shipping until Q4, and will only ship in limited quantities this year -- so Samsung (and Apple, Inc. (AAPL)?) may have the lead in bringing product to the market.  But the Qualcomm watch certainly brings some unique features to the table.

Sources: Qualcomm, AnandTech, CNET, Engadget



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Useless
By JPForums on 9/6/2013 9:56:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I like that the battery life is good for 3-5 days. Not long enough IMHO ...
I agree that 3-5 days isn't enough. If I'm going to wear a watch, I don't want to have to constantly worry about its battery level. I suppose I'd settle for a weekly charge, though I'd really prefer monthly.
quote:
The display tech I am a little on the fence about. e-Ink type displays are absolutely horrible at refresh speeds.
It's a good thing that its not e-Ink. What Mirasol has in common with e-Ink is that it is a reflective display technology. That said, how fast do refresh rates need to be for a device like this. While I'd prefer better response times, even e-Ink would be fast enough to show me a text message, caller info, or the time.
quote:
The Toq has one glaring omission compared to the Galaxy Gear -- the missing camera. That omission combined with the identical $300 price as the Samsung offering pretty much negates the value factor of the Toq.
With all due respect, I can't see the camera in the Samsung offering as useful for anything outside of espionage. There just doesn't seem to be enough room for proper optics and the form factor doesn't exactly scream control either. Even if it were perfectly usable, I'd still prefer a device like this that has a display that is readable in outdoor lighting conditions over one with a camera. Mirasol does seem to fit this better than an actively lit display.
quote:
Gorilla glass would be good on these, but sapphire would be far better.
I totally agree here, but it probably won't happen until the traditional watch manufacturers decide to make smart watches.


RE: Useless
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/6/2013 8:05:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
With all due respect, I can't see the camera in the Samsung offering as useful for anything outside of espionage. There just doesn't seem to be enough room for proper optics and the form factor doesn't exactly scream control either. Even if it were perfectly usable, I'd still prefer a device like this that has a display that is readable in outdoor lighting conditions over one with a camera. Mirasol does seem to fit this better than an actively lit display.


Thanks for the sensible replay.

The camera (appears to be on the band with the Samsung gear) doesn't look really any less capable than some of the 5MP cameras usually popped on the back of smart phones. Application wise I would find it less obtrusive to take a picture or video with the watch simply by holding up your arm toward the subject, framing it in the display and tapping to take the shot or control the video (you do have to hold your arm up and look at the watch's display). Seems a little less obtrusive than holding a phone up in your subject's face. Would be useful in situations where you don't want to look like a dweeb holding up your camera for a picture. It really is not just for espionage or locker-room spying.

Cost-wise, I can see a camera, wifi, active screen and higher-end processor in Samsung's (also overpriced) watch costing more to include. Simply building around a reflective-technology screen and a bigger battery really can't justify the Toq's $300 price tag. I would say that watch is worth $200 (and the Samsung valued at $250) max.

Don't get me wrong here. I really see no market need for a device like Samsung's Gear watch - especially with a $300 cost. I find the Toq more acceptable, but I find the price even less acceptable for what you get than Samsung's.


"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki