2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

First impressions: Qualcomm Toq smartwatch

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December 16, 2013

Gizmag goes hands-on to share our first impressions of the limited-edition Toq smartwatch

Gizmag goes hands-on to share our first impressions of the limited-edition Toq smartwatch

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When we put together our Smartwatch Comparison Guide, we had reviewed all of the watches save for one. But our review unit for that missing piece, the Qualcomm Toq, is now in hand. We have a lot more time to spend with it before publishing our Toq review, but these are our first impressions.

In setting up the Toq, my biggest surprise was that you have to actually cut the watch's band to fit your wrist. Setting up the band is a surprisingly complex process, as you wrap it around until it fits comfortably, cut the rest off, insert a pin, and squeeze it all into the clasp. It's only a one-time deal and isn't particularly difficult. But it is a little unusual to have to go through that much setup (not to mention permanently mutilating part of the band) before you can even use it.

Once you get the band set up, though, you basically have a custom form-fitting smartwatch. Just be sure not to gain lots of weight around your wrist, or you might be out of luck.

Once you cut (yes, cut) the band to fit, you have a custom form-fitting smartwatch

It's a very nice-looking smartwatch, if you ask me. Its band is sleek, the form factor is light (though the face is pretty big), and its colorful Mirasol display looks terrific. It's much sharper than the screens on rivals like the Pebble and Sony SmartWatch 2, and it looks great in direct sunlight. That low-powered screen should also help to deliver great battery life, though we haven't spent enough time with it to have much to say about that just yet.

Navigating the watch is a pretty unique experience. The Mirasol display is a touchscreen, but tapping on the band just below the screen also serves as a home button. Tapping twice above the screen toggles the screen's light on and off.

The Toq's Mirasol display looks terrific, and holds up nicely in direct sunlight

The watch is only compatible with Android smartphones, so iPhone users need not apply. I quickly and easily paired it with a Nexus 5, and was getting notifications in no time. As with other smartwatches, a vibration on your wrist alerts you to an incoming notification. The companion Android app lets you customize which apps to receive notifications from, and so far it doesn't look like there are any apps it won't support. With some of the other smartwatches launching with limited notification support, that's an encouraging sign.

Talk may be cheap, but apparently Toq isn't, as the watch rings up for a hefty US$350. But remember that a) that price includes a wireless charging dock (the only way to charge it) and b) this is a limited-edition product. Qualcomm thinks its hardware should be playing a leading role in the upcoming wave of smartwatches, and the Toq is its showcase product for OEMs. Based on my first hours with this gorgeous Mirasol screen, I'd say they're making a pretty convincing argument.

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
6 Comments

Like almost all the other 'smart' watches, this is a clever (and expensive) exercise in futility. If you need a phone on your person to receive texts, email etc., , why have the watch as well?

If you don't need a phone with some watches, then the limitations of the small screen and naturally shortened battery life the more functions that were squeezed in, it is still almost pointless.

How many situations are there where it is easier to 'consult' your watch than take your phone from your pocket?

Driving? NEVER! Jogging? MAYBE. Sport? SILLY! I rest my case.

The Skud
16th December, 2013 @ 05:14 pm PST

The Toq may not appear to be much above average but its mirasol display and battery in the band are definitely revolutionary energy and space saving ideas for smartwatches.

Smart Watch
16th December, 2013 @ 07:41 pm PST

The price might be on the high side but I can see it being useful since taking out the cell phone to check something is a hassel but being able to use the smart watch is much easier, IMO.

Usually these things come down in price. I think of it as the 'Walkman' principle. It was expensive when it first came out but comes down in price when other companies make similar products.

BigGoofyGuy
17th December, 2013 @ 05:40 am PST

Everyone is waiting for the iWatch.

Neil
17th December, 2013 @ 10:03 am PST

Neil -> iNot

Fran Firman
18th December, 2013 @ 10:39 am PST

No matter where on my person I put my phone, how high I put the volume, and no matter how high I put the vibration I always miss calls, texts, and email allerts. Well, until I bought a pebble that is. I held off on a smart watch because I thought they weren't 'smart' enough but in the end I just need something to flawlessly alert me of the data comming in through my phone without everyone else around me knowing also. I love my pebble and finally decided to get one when I decided how stupid it was to make smart watches smarter. A watch that does exactly what the pebble does AND measures heart rate and such would be nice though but smart watches seem to do one or the other and a lot of other crap tacked on.

exodous
18th December, 2013 @ 12:34 pm PST
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