CNET First Look
Qualcomm Toq aims to reinvent smartwatches with a Mirasol displayLonger battery life and a sunlight-friendly reflective color screen: can these make Qualcomm's limited-run Toq watch a reference model for future wearables? We take a look at one of the first units.
Hi. I'm Scott Stein in Buy My Qualcomm Talk Watch, it's 11:42 AM. Qualcomm is in the Smartwatch business. And you may have heard about this around the time of the Samsung Galaxy Gear launch. But Qualcomm's release run for this watch is pretty small. The idea is more of a reference design for where smartwatches are headed according to Qualcomm. And the talk is more of a bare bone smartwatch that's built around the screen that is new and different and that they think will take smartwatches into a more battery-conscious direction. This is a Mirasol display. Now Mirasol has been kicking around for a while in the e-reader world. And what it is, is a reflective color display, more like what you'd see on e-reader but it does have the ability to show a bunch of colors. It does look very crisp and highly readable-- and that's Mirasol's advantage. It's like e-ink, it's very, very reflective. The Qualcomm Talk does have a backlight right on the top. You double tap and bring up. It sorta looks-- it's a side lighting and it looks a little more like an old-fashioned GameBoy Advanced with lighting than something like, you know, fancy backlit tablet or phone. The feature set is a lot like maybe a pebble, it's built largely around notifications. You can turn on notifications for any apps. You can also connect it with built-in apps for you've got stocks, you've got weather, you've got messaging and that's what's interesting is the Qualcomm Talk will light to give 10 responses directly from the watch and you can set those up on your phone. It's kinda useful. And it has a music player connectivity that can work with any app. On Android, now the Talk is only on an Android connectivity right now. It work with Android 4.0.3 phones or later and you've gotta have Bluetooth, of course. But it's not a restrictive as restrictive as some phones and watches that have, for instance, like the Gear that makes you go through a Samsung Galaxy family in order to use the watch. What else can it do? Well, if you're into the internet of things, this does connect with Qualcomm's all-joined but that's pretty in the weeds right now as far as what you would do for that as a normal human. It's not cheap. The Qualcomm Talk is $300 and comes with optional fully wireless stereo earbuds and a little fancy charge case that uses its own little contact chargers so you don't have to use cables. You put your watch right into it and there you go, wireless charging for your Qualcomm Talk. Because of its reflective low-power display, a low power processor and a battery tucked in to the watchband. The Qualcomm Talk should last for up to a week of use, which puts in a territory that only the Pebble Watch really matches. You have to cut this band yourself though, which is a little weird and it only comes in two colors, black and white. You might also have noticed that the touch elements are not only on the screen but they're also outside the screen on the face and even on the band to control some functions. Don't think of this as Qualcomm entering smartwatches. Think of this as Qualcomm trying to sell their technology into other manufacture or smartwatches in the future. This one is limited, so you may see a Mirasol display in another watch in the future. For now, stay tune for a full CNET review. It's an interesting if limited watch that's entering a very crowded market. I'm Scott Stein and that's a look at the Qualcomm Talk.