Are you interested in a smartwatch with complete phone functionality?Chase Bonar - Contributing Editor
To the tech enthusiasts in search of a reason to put down the Cheeto's and hit the treadmill: your answer awaits you. Come forth from the couch and embrace the technological prowess of the Neptune Pine smartwatch. As a tech enthusiast looking for a reason to exercise and doomed to a life of connectivity, this will suffice while on-the-run.
A recent survey conducted by Droid-Life asked visitors if they were interested in a smartwatch. Nearly 2,500 users said either "yes" or "maybe, just haven't seen the right one."
There are many ways to monitor your health while on-the-go but most fall short as a true replacement to a smartphone. Needless to say, the options for wearable tech are piling up. Between FitBit, the Pebble Smartwatch, Jawbone Up, and Nike and Sony's offerings, we have more motivation than ever to get in shape. But cameras and connectivity are where buyers of the Neptune Pine will see the clear advantages.
Plus, I can't wait to say "I got you on camera, Bigfoot." Now I shall tweet your existence.
Despite Neptune Pine emitting an old-fashioned calculator watch look and feel, it's shaping up to be a revolutionary way to stay connected while we are moving. It's also the "world's first independent smartwatch" and retains complete functionality just like any smartphone.
As the reader, you have every right to be thinking "Chase, why do we need this? Isn't Pebble's smartwatch the best?" What it boils down to is how connected you want to be. Where the Pebble offers an E-Paper display, limited push-notifications and apps, the Neptune Pine offers a full 2.4-inch 320x240 resolution capacitive touchscreen, a 5MP Recondite camera, a list of apps, and quad-band GSM connectivity.
The typical drawbacks of carrying your HTC DROID DNA or Apple iPhone 5 are avoided with a smartwatch. When I run, I use an armband and wrap the headphones around the back of my arm. It's the most comfortable way to travel with my smartphone but it's far from ideal. My body is lop-sided by the offset in weight and my smartphone is hard to see and even harder to navigate at that angle. Sometimes, I'm forced to stop just to find out how far I've gone or check the time. When you're in the zone, the last thing you want to do is stop. (Getting off the couch was hard enough.)
Fitted with a 2.4-inch display, Neptune Pine is a fully functional replacement to your smartphone (albeit in a smaller package). Neptune says that the 2.4-inch display can project a full QWERTY keyboard with keys "the same dimensions found on the Apple iPhone." Just imagine when people see you typing on your wrist and running (cue Vangelis - Chariots of Fire). With the weight reduction, you may finally hit 88MPH. (If you do, please bring back Google Glass.)
Here are the rest of the features of the Neptune Pine smartwatch: a 5MP Recondite camera, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 and headset jack, USB 2.0, a speakerphone, microphone, digital compass, heart rate monitor, and FM radio. Powering it all is a 1GHz single-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, and a built-in 800mAh battery rated at 5 hours of talk time and 120 hours of standby. It will also come in 8, 16, and 32GB configurations. The Neptune Pine runs on a modified version of Android dubbed Leaf OS and comes equipped with 17 core-apps including a phone.
So, what do you think about the Neptune Pine smartwatch? Is having a smartphone on your wrist worth the $335 for the 8GB model? To me, the icing on the cake is the camera and quad-band GSM connectivity. I'm ready to say "goodbye" to the brick on my shoulder and "hello" to that 4-second 40-yard dash. What about you, reader? Let me know what you think below!