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?
- An advertised 25 hours of battery life
- A price of $300
- Closed ecosystem that skips Google Play
- The look (God I hate those four bolts in particular)
- 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.
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.
- 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
- 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).