There are several big chip makers around the world who are racing to miniaturise their mobile handset chips in order to make them applicable for wearables. In the mean time however, they’re forced to co-opt smartphone processors in order to make powerful wearables, which is exactly what Qualcomm did with its Toq smartwatch.
Qualcomm’s Toq is an Android powered smarthwatch that uses a small, backlit, Mirasol LCD display, which allows it to be used in bright sun (it even gets brighter at that time to make it easier to see) and has a body that’s designed to be sleek and flush, with no ports and no buttons whatsoever. All interaction takes place through the touchscreen or through your smartphone.
Taking on some of the roles of your smartphone, the Toq can handle texts and calls, as well as letting you look through recent call activity and your contacts list. To remind you of important events, you can also sync your calendar with the watch, which will then update you when the time is right.
The Toq can also act as your remote control for music, linking up with the player in your smartphone to allow play, pause and skip functions. You can even go the whole way, by also buying the companion Toq wireless headphones, which charge without wires as well, so there really is nothing tethering you down.
Apps also increase the Toq’s ability, giving you access to activity tracking, weather, stock prices and even news. When you open up the Qualcomm Toq Smartphone app, you can customise what it is your smartwatch is capable of doing.
At the time of writing, you can buy the Qualcomm Toq for $230 (£140), which does price it above some of its competitors like the popular Pebble Smartwatch.
The main problem with the Toq, is it’s first generation. This is the first time that Qualcomm has made a smartwatch and while it’s a nice looking product with some good features, it’s not really pushing the boundaries of what wearables can be and chances are we’ll have to wait until Qualcomm has developed some specific wearable chips for that to happen.
I think the Toq is a good looking little product, but it’s hardly exciting. It’s got some nice features, but I think for what it costs, I’d probably look elsewhere first for similar function at a cheaper cost and wait until Qualcomm comes out with something a bit more evolutionary.