Qualcomm has released the software development kit for its Toq smartwatch, which could be just the shot in the arm the limited product needs. The Toq's colorful Mirasol e-ink display, which is easily visible in sunlight, gives the smartwatch a real advantage over competitors. But without more compelling functionality, it struggles to justify its relatively expensive price point. Hopefully there's enough interest in the product for developers to flock to the SDK.
The Qualcomm Toq occupies this awkward space in the smartwatch race. Like the Pebble, it uses a display similar to e-ink that sacrifices fancy animations and responsiveness for battery life, only it manages to one-up its competitor by supporting more colors than black and white. Unfortunately, at $349, it's even more expensive than the already ludicrously overpriced Galaxy Gear. Yet for people who purchased one anyway, version 1.3 introduces new features and major bug fixes that should make using the watch a more pleasant experience.
If you've had your eye on Qualcomm's super-special Toq smartwatch, but couldn't bring yourself to pay for one that doesn't match your Colonel Sanders-style white suit, you're in luck. The limited-edition white Toq is now on sale from Qualcomm's online store for the same $350 price as the sober black edition. You can also find it on Amazon, but it's the same price and marked as "shipping within 1 to 2 months." Any takers?
There will probably be untold heaps of smart watches announced at CES, but Qualcomm isn't just sitting on the sidelines. It has dropped the price of its limited-run Toq smart watch by $50, but it's a limited time offer. The new $299 price tag puts it right in line with the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
The Toq plugs into your Android device over Bluetooth to deliver notifications and control a handful of functions.
The Qualcomm Toq is a limited run device, but it seems there are enough floating around that Qualcomm isn't handling all the sales itself. The Toq debuted on the Qualcomm site last week, but now you can buy the device from Amazon with free Prime shipping for the same $349.99 price.
The Toq is a little more expensive than the recently released Galaxy Gear, but it uses a color Mirasol screen for profoundly long battery life.
Samsung isn't saying exactly how many Galaxy Gears have been sold, just that it shipped 800,000. The Qualcomm Toq is going to be a much more limited in scope. Qualcomm is only going to make about 100,000 and now is your chance to get one. Yes, as promised, the Toq is on sale direct from Qualcomm starting today.
The Toq will be $50 more expensive than the Galaxy Gear at $349.99.
If you thought the Galaxy Gear was priced poorly, wait till you see Qualcomm's in-house alternative. In a press release issued Monday morning the monster chip supplier announced that its unique Toq smartwatch would be available starting December 2nd, AKA "Cyber Monday," from toq.qualcomm.com. The price? A wallet-straining $349.99, fifty bucks more than Samsung's watch and about twice the price of more budget-focused alternatives like Pebble. The Toq will only be sold in the US.
We were lucky enough to spend some time with Qualcomm's upcoming Toq smartwatch this afternoon, and I left impressed. The Toq's primary value comes in the form of a Mirasol display. Mirasol was demoed in "production ready" form in 2011 at CES by Qualcomm, but the actual products never came.
If you're not familiar, Mirasol is a full-color e-ink style display without e-ink's terrible refresh latency. As its name suggests, Mirasol displays actually get better in sunlight, as they refract incoming ambient light to make the display more vivid.