CNET First Look
Say hello with the Hot WatchThe new Hot Watch smartwatch takes calls hands-free, uses unique gesture controls, and is thin and stylish.
Hey, guys. This is Brian Bennett for CNET.com. And right now, we're taking a first look at the Hot Watch. So, made by PHTL Labs, this device is essentially a smartwatch that lets you see notifications such as Facebook alerts, e-mails, text messages, things like that-- that ordinary smartwatches do. But what is very interesting is that it will enable you to receive calls on the watch itself by using a inline directional microphone and speaker here on the watch band so you can basically just, you know, put it up to your ear like this when it's on your wrist and answer calls and take calls privately. You can also end the call by waving bye-bye. And that's pretty interesting. So, we're getting a lot of this new gesture-based controls of the phone function in the watch. And that essentially lets you interact with your phone without having to pick it up or take it out of your bag. Another interesting feature is you have this touch screen on the front which enables you to not only view all your messages and alerts, but you can also change the watch faces, you can draw, you know, letters on the screen virtually to enable different functions and abilities on the watch itself. Another thing that's very nice is that it connects to your smartphone, whether that's an iPhone or an Android device, through iOS and Android apps. And it connects via Bluetooth 4.0, so that enables you to have a very long battery life much better hopefully than other devices out on the market. It also has an e-ink style display here, similar to what the Pebble Watch uses. You can also download new watch faces and they say that you'll even be able to create your custom watch faces without having to be a programmer. There's basically going to be a watch face simulator that you can download, which enables you to create your own watch faces on your own without any training or anything like that. So, that's a very cool feature. Now, just looking at the Hot Watch smartwatch, you could tell it's very thin. It's only 8 millimeters thick, which is a very svelte-looking design. What we're looking at right now is a prototype of the Hot Watch. So, right now, the bezel and main watch area here will look very similar to the finished product, but the strap and the directional microphone and speaker here will actually be improved once the final model ships in the December timeframe. So, there's another feature on the Hot Watch which enables you to protect your phone in case someone tries to walk away with it or maybe you leave it behind. This feature is called "Never leave your phone behind." Essentially, it will send an alert to the watch to let you know that your watch has become separated from your phone. So, right now, the Hot Watch is available on Kickstarter as a project, but it will be shipping by December and hitting retail stores. The pricing for the watch will basically start at $169 and range all the way up to $249. So, there are gonna be four different models for the Hot Watch. And each different model will have a different build quality and different materials. So, on the high-end, you'll have titanium and leather bands, and on the lower-end, you'll have more rubber, plastic, or silicone, that kind of thing. But you'll have an option to buy them in a retail store hopefully after December. The company behind the Hot Watch has just been awarded a patent which enables all of the gesture controls and the call answer capability through the directional speaker. So, it's a very interesting product, it's definitely using a lot of advanced capabilities. I'm Brian Bennett for CNET.com, and this has been a first look at the Hot Watch smartwatch.