A new combatant has entered the battle for your wrist. Joining the ranks of Samsung, Pebble and Sony, Qualcomm has announced its own smartwatch, called the Toq. The Toq, which will come in black or white, will be available in the fourth quarter of 2013, and will cost around $300.
The Toq has a Mirasol display, a technology introduced by Qualcomm in 2010. This technology’s low power consumption and reflective qualities allows the smartwatch to have an always-on full color touchscreen display that’s easy to view even in sunlight. Qualcomm is so confident in the Toq’s battery life, which it estimates at around 5 days–most color smartwatches will last a day–that the company didn’t include a power button.
When it does come time to recharge, the Toq will use Qualcomm’s WiPower LE wireless charging, the first smartwatch to incorporate this technology. The Toq will also have stereo Bluetooth 4.0, and a premium version of the smartwatch will be bundled with a pair of wireless in-ear headsets.
The Toq will sync with devices running Android 4.0.3 and higher (no iOS support yet), and wearers will be able to view calls, text messages, and other notifications from their wrist. The face of the Toq is relatively thin, but its battery is on the underside of the clasp, so it remains to be seen how comfortable it will be to wear.
Qualcomm will allow third-party developers to create apps for the Toq using its AllJoyn framework and 2net, another wireless technology used in health and fitness devices such as the BodyMedia Fit armband.
What remains to be seen is how the Toq will fare against other smartwatches such as the Samsung Galaxy Gear, which can make calls and will have 70 apps in its stable at launch. The Toq does have an accelerometer and a microphone but no speaker.
Although Qualcomm says it’s shooting for a limited production run on the Toq, we look forward to testing this smartwatch to see how well its Mirasol display works and how long it lasts on a charge.