Categorized | Crowd Funded

There! On Your Wrist! It’s a Watch! No, It’s a Phone!

Posted on 10 December 2013 by Patrick Kansa

 

Neptune-Pine (8)

Over at aBlogtoWatch, we’ve been covering quite a few different smart watches as they’ve hit the market, or at least been introduced to the public. All of those watches quite literally require a connection of some sort to your phone for the fun features to be activated. The folks over at Neptune are looking to change that dynamic.

They’ve launched their Pine smartwatch on Kickstarter, and it’s gotten quite a lot of positive press and attention (and the backer numbers prove that out). When I first saw the watch, it seemed to me like it was an oversized watch, in terms of what we’ve seen on the market to date.

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Reading through all of the specs, and re-evaluating the pictures, though, I’ve come to a different conclusion. This isn’t a large watch. It’s actually a rather small cell phone that happens to be able to be wrist mounted. That being the case, it is still very “Dick Tracy” in nature, so I thought it worthwhile to bring it to your attention.

Powered by Android, this device can do everything your phone can – make calls, send text messages, surf the web (3G and wifi), and have apps installed. You want it to be your workout companion? It’s ready to do that as well. It has built-in GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, pedometer, and digital compass functions. That means it can track all of your movements, and it’s ready to integrate, out of the box, with RunKeeper. And should you have some other device you need for tracking? Well, you can connect that to the Pine via Bluetooth 4.0.

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If that wasn’t enough, the thing has front- and rear-facing cameras, as well as a front-mounted LED so you’ve got, basically, a wrist-mounted flashlight. In short, this is a pretty crazy device if you’re thinking of it in terms of a watch. If you think of it in terms of a phone, though, it’s pretty standard fare for devices these days.

Then again, this thing is a good bit smaller than anything you’re going to find today; battery life seems about the same as other devices on the market today as well. In terms of the average watch guy, this probably isn’t going to hold much interest. For the person who’s been interested in smartwatches, or maybe is just on the market for a new phone, then things get a little more compelling.

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Why is that? Well, at a backer price of around $235 ($250 CAD is the lowest entry point now), you’re getting a lot of (little) phone for the price, including 32GB of on-board storage. If this is something that’s got you intrigued, head on over to their Kickstarter project and get your order in.  Just be sure to do it before the project closes funding on December 21, 2013.

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