Neptune Duo is an autonomous smartwatch with a twist. Rocks Lollipop, looks very interesting

Neptune Duo is an autonomous smartwatch with a twist. Rocks Lollipop, looks very interesting

Still not sold on smartwatches? The wearable gadgets are having a hard time to break through to the hearts of most users, as their appliance just doesn't seem to offer the value that would warrant a $300+ price tag. The main issues with most smart timepieces are that they have far too small displays to be useful for anything but notification checking (and we can already do that by pulling the phone out of our pocket), and that their "smart" functions need the watch to be tethered to a smartphone in order to work.

Now, Samsung and the less famous Neptune tried another angle by releasing their own smartphone-smartwatch mixes – respectively, the Gear S and the Pine. These are wearables that rock a smartphone-oriented operating system (in Samsung's case – Tizen, whereas Neptune used Android 4.1), larger screens, and are loaded with hardware, which would be likened to “entry-level” class, if it were on a handset. Said smartwatches can take a SIM card, connect to the Internet autonomously, make calls, and the Pine even rocks a front-facing and a “rear” camera!

These two devices, however, were met with another set of user-repelling features – to house a 2” display on the Gear S and a 2.4” one on the Pine, the wearables needed to be encased in rather large bodies, meaning they end up looking much bigger than we're used to seeing, plus – they still had rather small batteries – 300 mAh on the Samsung and 810 mAh on the Pine.

Well, here comes Neptune again, with a set of devices to remedy these ills, and possibly point to a new direction for wearables. The Neptune Duo is a smartwatch / remote combo kit, which turns things around – the watch is an autonomous unit – like the Gear S and the Pine – and, in this case, it's the “smart” one of the two. The remote is just a “dumb” screen, which needs to be connected to the wearable to function – it offers easier navigation through the interface, handset functionality, and cameras.

The watch is called the Neptune Hub, and has a 2.4” display. This time around, it's shaped more like a band, which helps with the device not looking too bulky (but still appears fairly large). It is powered by a quad-core CPU, supports LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and NFC, and comes with Android 5 Lollipop, which has been customized for the needs of the HUB's small screen, and will seemingly offer some interesting features – on the promotional video, we can see that the watch will support handwriting over the display, in order to be able to type messages.

The handset, called Pocket screen, sports a 5" 720p display, 8 MP LED flash-equipped rear- and 2 MP front-facing camera, and is equipped with all the speakers, vibrators, and microphones you'd expect from a phone – it's just that it's not a phone per se, rather – an extension for the Hub. It also has a 2,800 mAh juice box, and, if you are wondering why a companion handset would need such a large battery, here's the answer – you can use it as a portable battery for the Hub. Neptune boasts that, with the two devices' batteries combined, the user gets a total of 3,800 mAh capacity, which would, according to the company, last "a few days of normal usage on a single charge".

The Duo is scheduled to ship some time in late 2015, but Neptune is offering users to reserve a set right now. The retail price will be $798, but pledging a certain amount of money now will grant early birds a discount. Here are the reserve / pledge tiers:

  • Reserve for $0 – cost at shipment $798; no savings
  • Pledge $49 – cost at shipment $649; $100 savings
  • Pledge $199 – cost at shipment $399; $200 savings
  • Pledge $498 – cost at shipment $0; $300 savings

Have you been holding back on purchasing a wearable, waiting for an autonomous smartwatch to grab your attention? What do you think of this one?


source: Neptune

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16 Comments

1. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Surprise! Surprise! They did delivered my Neptune Pine. Might want to get their Neptune Duo. Hmmm...

2. Tejas9

Posts: 95; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Nice designs. For this market to catch up, it needs something groundbreaking which will make it more appealing.

3. drunkenjay

Posts: 1645; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

pretty stupid. you already have a phone and now you have another one?

8. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

No it is more like the reverse padfone. Instead of the phone being the primary device with the pad being a shell, this is now the other way around with the phone being a shell and the watch being primary. It is kind of stupid unless you get both for around $500 seeing as how a smartwatch plus shell shouldn't cost more than a full fledged smartphone. The phone's specs depend on the watch so it is going to be severely underpowered.

10. drunkenjay

Posts: 1645; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

i mean what is the point of it. its just a skin of a phone and you dont even need it unless its for battery charging. where are you going to carry that thing unless it's at your at home. my pockets are already full with a wallet and a phone, i dont need another phone lookalike to make my pants heavier. i am pretty much paying 200 dollars for something i dont need.

12. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I see why you're confused now. This concept means the only devices you'd have is the band portion, and the dumb display. You wouldn't carry a separate smartphone as well. These devices are meant to replace a standard smartphone and smartwatch. Basically, get rid of your current smartphone, pick up this smart band and a dumb display. The smart band will act as your smartphone for most things like making/taking calls, using voice commands to send texts and emails, etc. When you need a larger screen, you get out the dumb display, which is essentially a peripheral for the smart band. Again these two devices aren't meant to be used with a traditional smartphone, but to replace it.

4. mafflambo

Posts: 18; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

I don't get the concept?

5. B-power

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

You buy a phone and a smartwhatever. more money for them.

13. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

See comment 12.

6. Exempt1 unregistered

Seems pretty genius. Swaps the whole system around to a more user-friendly way. I like it

7. B-power

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

what is more expensive the phone or the smartwatch? Nice design, awesome idea, too expensive.

9. Firedrops

Posts: 254; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

they come together. The 'smartwatch' has all the processing components, the 'phone' is just a wireless, separate display.

11. B-power

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

I got that but what I ment was, wich product makes up for the biggest part of the price.

14. JakLee

Posts: 16; Member since: Jan 19, 2015

now this might make me actually taken notice of a smartwatch

15. GeekMovement unregistered

I like the design of that watch/band.

16. crazzyd77

Posts: 36; Member since: May 07, 2014

Very nice.

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