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Is the Neptune Pine the future direction for smartwatches?

gadgets Updated: Sep 02, 2013 12:42 IST
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Available for pre-order now ahead of its official release in December, the Canadian-designed smartwatch offers a host of smart features and doesn't need to be tethered to a smartphone.

Priced at $335 with 16GB of storage and $395 for 32GB, the Neptune Pine manages to squeeze a mobile phone, web browser, dual cameras and a host of fitness trackers -- including a pedometer, GPS and compass for calculating steps taken, pace, time, number of laps and routes taken while training -- into a tiny 2.4-inch touch screen form factor. It even has a pulse and heart rate monitor.

Powered by the Android operating system, the Neptune Pine supports 2G and 3G, can connect to a wifi network and tether via Bluetooth 4.0. In other words, it really is a wrist-worn smartphone.

The specs look pretty impressive as do its features, which include a full on-screen Qwerty keyboard interface. However, how practical it will be to use these features remains to be seen. Interestingly, Neptune is quick to highlight that many of its features can be activated via voice command and that the watch can be removed from the wrist and combined with a mount so that it can be used as a point of view camera (it supports 720p video).

"The Pine is easily the most versatile piece of wearable tech on the market right now," said Aaron Wilkins, Neptune's Chief Technology Officer. "Technology has only recently reached the critical point where a device like this is not only technically feasible, but also elegant and practical."

Whether or not the Pine will be the key to unlocking the potential of the wearable computing market remains to be seen but the company deserves praise for managing to pack so much into a tiny device without sacrificing aesthetics. The watch is available in black or white and comes with a set of headphones as standard.