Qualcomm’s Experimental Toq Smartwatch to Sell for $350

The Mirasol-powered watch arrives on December 2.

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Qualcomm Toq

If you want to be on the forefront of smartwatch technology, Qualcomm is charging $350 for the privilege.

That’s how much Qualcomm’s experimental Toq smartwatch will cost when it launches on December 2. It’ll be available directly through Qualcomm’s website for U.S. customers only.

Much like other smartwatches on the market now, Toq will act as an extension of your smartphone (Android-only, for now). It can show notifications from smartphone apps, accept or reject phone calls, fire off canned text messages and display widgets for weather and stocks.

As my colleague Harry McCracken reported, Qualcomm doesn’t see Toq as a mass-market product, but as an experiment that shows off the company’s Mirasol display technology. Mirasol combines a full color display with low power consumption, making it ideal for a smartwatch. Qualcomm claims that Toq can last for five days on a charge, and the screen stays on at all times, unlike Samsung’s AMOLED-powered Galaxy Gear.

It helps that Qualcomm has built in some other power-saving measures, such as a backlight that you can turn on manually in dark rooms and the option to use a touch-sensitive strip instead of the full touchscreen. The battery is built into the wristband to reduce the bulk of the watchface, and users can recharge the watch by dropping it into a wireless charging dock.

Smartwatches haven’t taken off, partly because the technology isn’t good enough yet, and partly because simple apps and notifications aren’t enough to convince people that they should start wearing watches again. Virtual assistant software such as Google Now could help make a stronger argument, while new display technology such as Mirasol will lead to better-looking hardware. Qualcomm’s hoping some tech enthusiasts will pay to see all the pieces fall into place.


Another smart watch to launch this week is the Z-Watch from SmartQ Devices -- SmartQ won a distinguished 2013 CTIA E-Tech Award for the world's first tablet with a built-in DLP projector and is now offering an innovative smart watch that compares to both the Sony's $200 Smartwatch 2 and Samsung's $300 Galaxy watch, but is priced about the same as the Pebble watch (which sells for $150).

One of the first sites in the U.S. the SmartQ Z-watch is available through is TabletSprint --

The SmartQ Z-Watch includes a color touch screen display with 240x240 resolution that offers much higher resolution than the Sony watch. The Pebblewatch in comparison only offers a monochrome black and white screen. The Z-Watch also featuresĀ  Bluetooth 4.0 with BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) providing for much better battery use compared to Bluetooth 3.0 on Sony's watch model, which is less energy efficient.

The Z-watch runs on Android O/S and does a great job to sync calendar and contacts with an Android phone and displays incoming calls and texts, with the ability to decline a call or answer the call to your phone; and to text reply from the watch with pre-formatted messages.

It also featuresĀ a standard MP3 player to easily replace an iPod type device and works with standard and Bluetooth wireless headsets -- and it also easily replaces Fitband or similar health-watch devices, with a fitness App with walking and running tracking and weekly and monthly stats; and also offers Sleep Monitoring.

The Z-Watch features one of the newest processors specifically for wearable tech gear with the best in energy-efficiency and a full 1GHz in processing power -- in comparison, both the Pebble and Sony watch have slower processors that max out a 180MHz; the Z-Watch offers the longest in battery life with a 300 mAh battery - the Pebble offers only 130mAh and the Sony only 140mAh.

With the SmartQ Z-Watch priced at $149, it offers much more than the Pebble watch in the same price category, with features that compares to both the Sony and Samsung watch models recently released (priced at $200-$300).

Complete details on SmartQ Z-Watch are available through TabletSprint --