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Here, some wisdom, from forty years ago, that still rings true today. Wasn't it only a few years ago that, with the proliferation of cell phones and iPods, that the death of the wristwatch was supposedly upon us?
"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea..."
-- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
Stand back then, and hark the oncoming onslaught of behemoth devices headed for your wrists. The first few have already arrived, from Pebble, Qualcomm, and perhaps most importantly from Samsung. Rumor has it that Apple and others will follow.
Today Samsung released what may be best classified as a public prototype: the $300 Galaxy Gear. The hilariously thick and bulky smartwatch incorporates a 1.63 inch touchscreen display, which connects to Samsung's flagship smartphones (like the company's other announcement, the Galaxy Note III), reports The Verge.
The watch displays tidbits like weather, email, and text messages on your wrists, plus you can make phone calls via twin microphones. Hallelujah! No more taking my phone out of my pocket? How have we lasted so long without the ability to text by wrist?
Seriously though, unless you want to look like a modern day version of that 1980s geek (or present-day hipster) with a calculator watch, we'd wait until a thinner, lighter, less obnoxious looking version comes out.
Then again, it has an HD camera built in to the wrist strap! Imagine all of the perfectly legal photos you could take with such a watch that would be impossible with a phone. Oh wait.
The Toq, surely a nod to tick-tok, is Qualcomm's take on the smartwatch and it is, well, smarter. It uses a low-power color e-ink display, and the battery is located in the watch clasp, which should mean a thinner watch all-around. It also allows you to read and respond to (via quick preprogrammed blurbs) emails and text messages, reports Engadget.
Think of this like a Pebble smartwatch with a color screen.
Though it seems like a proof-of-concept device meant to promote the e-ink Mirasol screen technology, to us, it seems far more promising than the wrist albatross that is the Galaxy Gear.
Maybe you don't mind the supercomputer-on-a-wrist look. Vanity be damned!
Good news: you can have a no compromise cell phone watch that runs full-fledged Android. Though the screen sizes are pitifully small, and we can't imagine the battery life is very good, for the past few years Chinese manufacturers have been making fully-functional smartphone-watches.
Cue my theme music.
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