Disappointed by Samsung’s Galaxy Gear? Try the Omate TrueSmart instead

As I’ve admitted before, I am a big fan of smartwatches, and wrote a post back in April describing what my ideal smartwatch would be like. Despite ticking quite a few of the checkboxes, the Samsung Galaxy Gear ended up being a big disappointment for me.

What went wrong?

  1. An advertised 25 hours of battery life
  2. A price of $300
  3. Closed ecosystem that skips Google Play
  4. The look (God I hate those four bolts in particular)
  5. Phone compatibility still isn’t clear

Fortunately, if you really want to buy a smartwatch soon,  want to avoid the above problems* and don’t want to wait and see what Google might have in store, then I recommend heading to Kickstarter and checking out the Omate TrueSmart.

omate

The two big advantages for the Omate, in my eyes, is the fact that it runs what is pretty much vanilla Android and comes with Google Play on board. While I understand most apps aren’t going to work well on it, as I’ve shown before, a developer can support a smartwatch with not a lot of additional work by simply following the design guidelines.

The big feature, that I don’t expect to be matched by any smartwatch from a large company, is the fact that the watch can be used independently from a phone: it has a micro-SIM slot and you can choose between two variants, one with European (2100) bands or American (1900). It is also water resistant, and comes with a Sapphire Crystal Glass to make it scratch-proof.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Dual Core Cortex A7 – 1.3GHz
  • Omate UI 1.0 / Android 4.2.2
  • 1.54’’ TFT by LG display (240 x 240)
  • Multi-touch Capacitive Touch Screen
  • Connectivity capabilities:
    + 2G Quad Band: 900/1800/ 850/1900 GSM, GPRS, EDGE
    + 3G Mono band: 2 versions:
    you will be able to indicate which version in the Survey Form
    at the end of the Project)
    2100 (Europe) or 1900 (US)
    UMTS, HSDPA,HSUPA, HSPA, HSPA+
    + WiFi: IEEE 802.11b/g/n
    + Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS
  • Embedded 5Mpixel camera
  • Audio Speaker & Microphone
  • Memory: 512MB + 4GB + (expandable by microSD 8/16/32GB)
    + Optional upgrade from 512MB to 1GB memory (If you increase your pledge, whichever pledge it is, by $20, we would gladly thank you with the memory upgrade)
  • Micro SIM card
  • 600 mAh battery: up to 100 hours standby time
  • Messaging Hub: SMS/MMS/Email/SNS
  • G-sensor (Accelerometer), E-Compass, Gyroscope, IP67
  • Vibration alert
  • Full set of pre-qualified Android applications
  • Over-the-Air (OTA) system firmware update

The company has already hit its goal of $100,000 a few times over, standing at $623,165 from 2,911 backers so far with 11 days still to go. They still have 1600 regular and 552 developer editions available, both of which are for $199, and nearly 3000 “Merry Christmas Personalized Edition”, where you can have a message of up to 12 characters etched on the back for $229.

To fund Omate’s KickStarter, use this link.

*I know the look of the Omate isn’t that great either, but I personally prefer it over Samsung’s. Having said that, it is unlikely that you’re going to want to wear this with a suit, unless you’re OK with your nerdiness (I am).

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  • OmateTrueSmart

    Hi Phandroid, thanks for the thumbs up! It’s great to have your support and we won’t let you guys down! We’ll be here to anser your questions and listen to your feedback!

    • http://www.thenexttechblog.blogspot.com/ Christopher Ballenger

      How do you type on it?

      • Austin Cooper

        They have a video on their YouTube channel that shows typing on the stock android keyboard as well as on Fleksy. It may seem crazy, but it actually looks surprisingly easy to type on according to the videos.

        • Kyle

          I’ve used a normal keyboard on my motoactv and I can attest while you might be fairly slow it can be really accurate

          • Brian Nicolich

            At that point I won’t mind sharpening my T9 skills. If I want to write a paper, I’ll pull out my phone… The one in my pocket, not on my wrist…

      • Xander Coley
      • Brian Nicolich

        Very carefully. The are pushing voice to text and vice versa but they have swapped over to some special touch screen which can actually accurately detect what letter you are pushing. This is on a full QWERTY keyboard on a 1.5 inch screen. They have a video showing it is actually possible. But you don’t have to use the watch to type. You can pull out your phone and use it instead. It is not only a stand alone smartwatch but a companion watch like the Sammy and Pebble. A future stretch goal(comes included if they sell enough) is some new keyboard from some company called Flimsy, Floppy, or something like that. You can type really terrible and it knows what you want to say. You can also type anywhere on the screen with or without the keyboard. A bit trippy actually. They also have a cool vid of that.

    • DavidVarghese

      How does your smartwatch handle heat dissipation?
      I can imagine smartwatches such as yours creating a lot of heat, especially when you got some apps running.

      Also, can you type/use the smartwatch while in the shower?
      That would be awesome.

      Thanks

      • scoter man1

        In the shower, really man? Hahaha

      • melhiore

        ANY touch screen does not work under water…. Who would like to text in the shower???????

        • DavidVarghese

          It goes far beyond texting… If you know what I mean.

    • Steven Cannan

      Hello! Does it have a headphone jack? Could you possibly fit that in if not?

      • melhiore

        Does not to keep it waterproof. It has Bluetooth…

        • Steven Cannan

          Oh crap! Your right! Thank you! I didn’t think of that xD

  • Xander Coley

    This is the first time I’ve pledged on a kickstarter project (or any other crowd funding project). I must say the the Omate team are supplying loads of feedback (answers, updates, stretch goals) at an astonishing rate. If this is anything to go by I can highly recommend this project. That and it kicks the ass of the competition ;)

    • Brian Nicolich

      Me too! This watch is what finally pulled me in.

  • Fel Pe

    Samsung should take a good look at this watch. Yesterday.

  • DavidVarghese

    I definitely like this better than the Galaxy Gear since it’s waterproof and the design is better … and it runs nearly stock! Samsung really screwed themselves by making the Galaxy Gear a closed ecosystem… But if it runs Android, I’m sure other people can tinker with it and run stock Android on it.

    The only thing holding me back is the battery life. I don’t want to have yet another device to worry about to charge every night. Especially since I’m used to my watches lasting forever, or using solar power.

    Wake me up when smart watches can run on solar power.

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      hate to say this, but I guess from cryogenic sleep?

      • DavidVarghese

        If it can simply charge with solar power, I’d be happy. I’m assuming that doesn’t take much technological advancements to do that.

        • Raveesh Bhalla

          I hope at least the E-ink watches head into that direction soon, I doubt a color display one would be able to for quite some time. Having said that, these guys got one more thing right by making battery removable (and are throwing in an extra one if they raise $900K i believe

          • Del373

            Qualcomm’s Mirasol displays are looking good too. I hope more companies try the fast refresh color E-Ink direction as well.

        • Brian Nicolich

          That’s like asking your smart phone to charge on solar power. It is a computer after all, not a clock. But I must admit that would be nice.

    • blue720

      Wake me up when we can truly harness the electromagnetic spectrum

    • No_Nickname90

      Don’t forget. Phones used to last forever and now you’re charging them every night. At 1st it used to be charging them like once every 2 days. LoL!!

      Watches are becoming just that. Eventually you’ll be charging your watches every day. I for one would prefer less wires to have to worry about, but it’s oh well. That’s why I have a surge protector. =.P

      • Del373

        You’re not the only one who wishes for less wires, otherwise we wouldn’t have companies trying to develop a reliable wireless charging method.

  • JPB

    Still too big and boxy. Also kind of plasticky looking.

  • steveb944

    I’d just like to point out sapphire crystal is scratch RESISTANT, not proof. It can still scratch if you smack it with enough force. But overall that’s awesome because that’s what my swiss watches have.

    I like the features, but I see this more as a phone on your wrist, from what you wrote I don’t see any connectivity to devices to not have to pay a separate data and phone plan for a peripheral. I’ll be waiting till the holidays to decide on a watch.

    • Del373

      I imagine that without a sim card it works strictly as a support device for smartphones.

    • ari_free

      Ubuntu edge wanted to use sapphire

      • steveb944

        For the record I’d gladly pay up for any sapphire crystal phone. I’ve had a great experience with my sapphire crystal watches.

  • leocal79

    with all the money Samsung has they really screwed the pooch on this one. plus omate is ip67 and is 25 hours of battery life oh and it looks much much nicer. Samsung you are losing your touch lately.

    • Sean Royce

      Losing their touch? The Galaxy Note 3 was no slouch. Nor was their Galaxy note 10.1.

    • Balansi Kherwyn

      I don’t know if Samsung is losing their touch.. ask this instead.. how about Apple?

  • dandybuck

    21 comments before mine. I can’t believe 21 people are interested in such a thing. And I thought Google glass was ridiculous.

    • No_Nickname90

      21 comments just mean 21 people had something to say. Regardless if it was positive or negative.

  • TheKaz1969

    I still have my eye on an Agent smartwatch. Wireless charging is definitely something I am interested in…

  • omata

    El smartwatch perfecto es el aquel que no deriva directamente de la interfaz grafica de usuario de un smartphone. TIENEN que inventar una IU fácil y específica para las tareas que pudiéramos llevar a cabo con un reloj. Ningún producto hasta ahora cumple con eso, veremos que pasa con lo que traerá Apple. Esto será algo parecido a lo que sucedió cuando salieron las tablas basadas en Android, en dónde sus interfaces gráficas no se adaptaron y hasta el sol de hoy no lo han hecho de una manera convincente.

    • http://ubuntu-su.blogspot.com/ Kleverson Royther

      Estoy de acuerdo con cada palabra, pero creo que el Pebble Watch ha cumplido la cuestión muy bien.

    • PolarBear

      Tranquilo. Esas tablets de Android ya estan empezando a convencer. Recuerda esta frase: “Lento pero seguro”

    • supremekizzle

      Enchilada taco muy bien.

      • PolarBear

        Vete a joder a tu vieja, pero no aquí.

        • supremekizzle

          no, vete a la mierda a ti mismo . puta.

  • DavidB23

    Still ugly.

    • phatmanXXL [16,000+ posts]

      Wait untill Apple launches their watch. samsung will copy Apple yet again.

  • PolarBear

    Tizen OS, please remember that name.

    • Unorthodox

      I’ve been hearing this name for 2 years now, but catchy name still lead them nowhere. And I seriously doubt it will.

  • KingOliver

    Looks like something I can wear at the firehouse!

  • jman

    You might also check out the Hot Watch, also on Kickstarter. Not a great name but they have proprietary technology that uses speakers in the band that bounce sound waves off of your hand while cupped to your ear possibly eliminating the need for headphones…

    • Toasted_Cracker

      I bounced back and forth between the hot watch and the Omate for a while. I eventually decided on the Hot watch for the reason described above and also I feel it is the better looking of the watches that I have seen. I backed the Curve model on Kickstarter.

    • chris420o

      yeah this is actually a cool idea…something unique n dif as opposed to the rest these nonsense companies trying to push….that name though….

  • Alex Alexander

    Google Play? What kind of app can be found there for smart watch?

    • malcmilli

      not that i give a hoot about smart watches, but i’m sure some people might like pandora, spotify, instagram, navigation apps, shazzam, etc.

      • Brian Nicolich

        Plus all the exercise and navigation apps for sports and outdoors. I was considering a Garmin Nav watch till seen the Omate. Now those Garmins are a bit of a joke.

  • Jason Yuen

    I still fail to see why this smartwatch craze started. My phone is something I enjoy using and looking at. It’s an experience I look forward to every time I reach into my pocket. Why would I spend an extra $300 to reduce the amount of pleasure from the time I spend using my $700 smartphone?

    • Thomas Vales

      Right on, its a totally pointless device. I would love to see the clown executive that decided this would be the new crazy. Probably the same guy who convinced movie companies people wanted to see everything in 3D.

      • http://www.colossaldamage.com/ SuperMarino

        Some people really like watches. Anyway, if you do, but don’t like these brands of Smart, maybe try something like the Martian Watch at http://www.martianwatches.com/ . It is still a classic analog watch, but adds simple features from a small screen that let notifications be seen and gives simple voice commands such as “call” or “text”. It is still a $300 watch, but I think it makes the perfect companion device, while not taking away from the phone. And aside from the big square version, they have a circular one.

        • Jason Yuen

          I understand that people like watches. I myself own a few limited edition Ferrari watches that are worth a pretty penny, but I appreciate the watch for what it is and its precise and complex mechanical properties. Maybe it’s a different kind of appreciation than say for something utility like a smartwatch. But I don’t imagine the demand for such devices are that great. I could be wrong.

    • ari_free

      In order to be there before Apple. I think a lot of oem’s felt the same way about tablets and they lost a lot of business when Apple came out with the iPad since they didn’t have an alternative.

    • Canon User

      Because it’s something a lot of us want. We just want it done right.

  • Psybuster

    Any chance it’ll have WiFi Hotspot? Might grab one of these and just get a tablet instead of a phone if so.

  • FunkyBrewster

    Some dude on PC mag thinks this is a scam. After looking into these Image guys…I’m thinking something doesn’t add up either…this Le Pen CEO guy lol “design is s mindset” bs.

    “This is because Omate truesmart is the biggest SCAM on Kickstarter. There are NO videos of a working prototype (PCB, machined parts,dummy mold, SIMVALLEY watch demos DO NOT COUNT). If you look very closely and dig into this you’ll realize its the simvalley redesigned. They even mention they are “developers” for simvalley. Oops,should be your first obvious clue. They NEVER directly answer detailed questions (responding with vague “we are testing blah blah”. Their website/kickstarter looks like a 15 year old created it (mistakes everywhere) and they have teams (and “experts”) in Netherlands/France/China/Canada/USA…so who are they? This is a “go to market” funding soo umm everything’s done right?? SO SHOW US!! I feel sorry for all these suckers. Seriously when the watch ships you’ll be thinking “wtf is this”.

    • Brian Nicolich

      Well they already admitted they help designed the SIM Valley one. But SV didn’t want to fallow all the recommendations and now here they are making there own watch. Check the updates. Some of those pics can’t be faked.

    • Erik Jensen

      How much have Samsung pyed you for this scam?

  • supremekizzle

    The kitten on the bar sold it for me. Seriously though, the nexus watch is going to pwn all of these pieces of $hit coming out.

  • phatmanXXL [16,000+ posts]

    Thanks but I’ll be waiting for Apple’s smartwatch. Only Apple does it right.

  • sguyx

    Omate looks cheap, a watch that i had when i was a kid.. Im a bit disappointed to Gear: dont work with my note 10.1 and only 24h battery. Actually im not sure what to buy anymore. I didnt buy a smartwatch earlier because of waiting Samsung. But the Gear put me wordless. What the hell Samsung was thinking?

  • Joshhud

    while i love the color screen, it just sucks up too much of the battery. I am waiting for my Kreyos to get here, i dont want a watch that requires an additional data plan like the one above, i want an accessory. The real issue is that someone needs to spend time perfecting mobile batteries..

    • melhiore

      Use it as a companion device, no SIM required…

      • Joshhud

        Thats why i signed up for the Kreyos watch for $99… instead of $199

        • Brian Nicolich

          Fair enough. Some people want color screens and smart watches. Others might want black and white and half-smart watches.

  • mary782

    my Aunty Isla got a stunning yellow Suzuki Kizashi by parttime working online at home… see here w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

  • RealBhuiya

    does anyone else thinks it looks like a well thought out scam?