Launched last year in the US, Qualcomm’s smartwatch compensates for missed design points with battery life
Last week, Uplinq, Qualcomm’s leading developer event, took place in San Francisco. In this edition, all the press received the smartwatch Toq. Announced at Uplinq last year, it is more for a reference product, made to experience and exploit the potential of this wearable, than an end product; However, it went on sale last year and today costs about $ 250.
Since I received it, I ran to charge your battery and since then I have not taken it from your wrist to tell you how to use the smartwatch with the longest battery life on the market.
I will start talking about the battery itself, since it is through it that you start to use the Toq. It comes without load and you need to leave it at the base for about two hours so you can set it up. The charger is wireless – in fact, one of the strongest trends for the next few years, the conference said. Simply plug the base into an outlet and fit the watch into the holder.
The charger is a canister that opens at 180º and can charge both the Toq and Bluetooth headsets that are sold separately. It is because of them that there are two spaces on the right side.
After the battery is charged, it is necessary to adjust the wrist strap. It comes very long and without being attached to the clasp. It is necessary to measure the ideal size for your wrist, to cut in the right marking, to stick the pin that will lock it to the clasp and, finally, to fit the pin in the clasp. This process is quite annoying: the clasp hole is quite small and the strap that is attached to the strap looks like it refuses to back up enough to fit.
If you have cut a little and want to be fair, you need to remove the pin (you can do this with a tip of a paper clip), measure again, cut, reposition the pin and suffer to fit it again.And if you cut too much … There is not much to do.
The bracelet could be more user-friendly to the end user. A simple zipper, such as that used on belts, for example, would be a better option.
Once the drama of the bracelet is solved, it’s time to download the Toq application, where you make all the settings, customizations and firmware updates of smartwatch. Just follow a step by step and your Toq is paired and ready for use.
Getting The Smartphone Out Of Your Pocket Or Backpack Just To Know What Time It Is Is A Great Waste Of Time.
As a good smartwatch, Toq tells you when there is something to see on your smartphone, such as texting, calling, and other notifications you choose. He keeps an eye on your appointments and lets you know the weather, how your actions are, and track your steps as a very simple fitness watch.
It also performs basic clock functions such as stopwatch and display the hours. As sarcastic as it may sound, and I swear it’s not, seeing the wrist hours was what I liked most about Toq. It is that (re) discovered to be extremely useful and pleasant to be with this information in the pulse; Picking up the smartphone from your pocket or backpack just to know what time it is is a great waste of time – now with the pardon of the pun.
The same can extend to the notifications: reading messages straight on the clock eliminates that crazy curiosity of when the cell phone vibrates in the pocket and you can not catch it. It is much less invasive to take a quick look and respond later, or send an automatic message with few touches.
The most customizable parts of Toq are those of the clock layout and menu. There are from simple digital watches to others that display the time in full, or that bring other information such as calendar, weather, and date. To switch between the selected ones, just slide your finger over the silver strip of the display. As for the menu styles, they change only the design, without changing the position of the icons. Some options can be seen in the gallery above.
The Toq’s display is always on, and yet Qualcomm guarantees about a week of battery life.The reason is the Mirasol technology, a kind of colorful e-ink that saves a lot of energy.This feature also makes the screen visible even in low-light environments: simply wiggle the wrist toward the light, even if it is small, and you will be able to see it.
If it is a total pitch or bad to see in the dim light, Qualcomm has placed a light to illuminate it. The sensor to activate it sits on the bracelet at the top of the glass. Just tap this region twice to turn it on or off.
Another sensor sits below the display and acts like a Home button. By touching this part, the clock layout gives way to the menu with all the possibilities of the Toq shown in icons.In the smartphone application, you can configure some of the functions for quick access with “swipe”; So you simply drag your finger to show notifications, music control, daily physical activity, and other information.
Toq had its API released in February this year, but I have not found any app that makes a different or creative use of the watch, only a few – to read the RSS feed, view emails or reply messages with ready answers. None of that is exactly interesting. Ready messages, for example, can be created in Toq’s own app – but strangely, they only serve SMS, making these other apps meaningful.
The smartwatch also received an update that gave it the Toq Talk feature: with Nuance technology (the same as Siri’s), it recognizes words, allowing you to “dictate” a response in English to the clock and send it to From it. But again, only for SMS.
The point at which Toq makes me more upset is the visual. Although it has personality – you can easily recognize it from other OEMs – it’s a prototype. The display measures 1.55 inches and, while comfortable to see, is huge in fine pulses. The rubber strap, despite the fabric-like texture, is also not the prettiest for an accessory that, as was said in a debate on wearables at Uplinq, needs to be “either fashion or invisible.”
In male pulses, however, it is not as “coarse” as it is in females. And the white version, which I saw on the wrists of some company employees at the event, seems more delicate.
It is also good to make the caveat that it is a product of reference, that is, what matters most in Toq is what it does, not its visual; This second part should be left to the companies that decide to adopt their technologies.
Qualcomm has partnerships with everything that is technology company and it seems strange that all the smartwatches released so far do not enjoy the best idea of Qualcomm for a wearable, which is the screen. You can understand that the intention of the manufacturers is to have beautiful images on your wrist, even because they should help make this new product seductive to justify its high price while still trying to find out everything so that it can serve.
However, it is this wonderful screen that ends up undermining another important point: the battery. That’s why smartwatch screens are usually turned off and can be turned on by pressing a button or turning your wrist to see the time – a common gesture, but one that can be avoided. Down a mountain bike, for example, I could see the time quickly in the Toq without losing my attention on the track. I know this is a very specific situation, but it is a real one.
At a Uplinq round table, some professionals mentioned that it will be interesting to look back over five years at the early days of smartwatch, where everyone – companies, developers and the end consumer – is trying to find out what the “killer app” That thisgadget is as indispensable as a smartphone is today. So far, it’s been the fitness side, but for those who do not play sports, are notifications views enough?
I confess that I use Toq now more by custom than by the promise to make my life easier.After so many days with him on the wrist, it has become a habit, but when I forget to put it back, I do not miss it: I can stay for a long time without seeing notifications on the smartphone, losing calls, or remembering where my cell phone is Something that even Toq helps me a lot: it can make the device play so you can find it). But I know that not everyone is like this; For those who can not stay away from the smartphone, investing in a smartwatch now makes more sense. For the rest of us, it’s worth following the market and seeing what that area can still bring us advantages.