Qualcomm is one of many device makers trying to cash in on the tech wearables craze this holiday season, following Samsung with its limited Galaxy Gear device and Sony's Smartwatch 2, which we will be providing with a hands-on shortly. Supposedly Qualcomm originally aimed to ship the first batch of its Toq smartwatch (pronounced "Tock") by mid-October, but that didn't happen. The company told AllThingsD that it hopes to have devices out before the holidays.
"We expect to make tens of thousands of these, not hundreds of thousands," Qualcomm executive Rob Chandhok previously said in an interview. "A success, for us, looks like our partners picking up and running with this. Qualcomm isn’t turning into a consumer electronics company.”
Back in September, Qualcomm said this smartwatch will be a limited edition, and will be accompanied by a "Premium Audio Edition" that features "the first truly" wireless stereo headphones. This special pair of Bluetooth headsets – one for each ear – will sit outside the ear canal for all-day wearability, and utilize a dedicated tweeter and subwoofer. Even more, calls can be placed with the connected smartphone using either earpiece. Qualcomm also plans to sell the headphones separately at launch.
"Toq's always on, always connected, always visible wearable technology [that] gives you a 'Digital 6th Sense,' telling you what you need to know, when you need to know it, with just a glance at your wrist or a whisper in your ear. Toq is a showcase for the benefits of the Mirasol display, WiPower LE and stereo Bluetooth technologies and highlights the experience that the wearable category can provide," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of Qualcomm.
The Toq smartwatch will allow consumers to manage smartphone calls, text messages, meeting reminders and various notifications from their wrist. The color capacitive touchscreen display will always be on, but won't cannibalize the battery: the watch will have "days" of life without needing a charge. This is no bull: I've been able to use Sony's Smartwatch 2 for a solid 24 hours and the battery is half-charged. The power draw is so low that these smartwatches do not need to be turned off.
"Recharging Toq is hassle-free, as it also is the world's first smartwatch to incorporate the Qualcomm WiPower LE technology, enabling a true "drop and go" charging experience," the company's press release claimed months ago.
We've reached out to Qualcomm to get an idea when this smartwatch will arrive, and if we can test drive one to see how it compares with others on the market.