Smart watches are everywhere these days. But of all the time-telling, wearable, connected devices, it’s possible that this new offering from Neptune may be the coolest one I’ve ever seen. Why? Because, unlike all the others, the Neptune Pine doesn’t need a smartphone to make it smart. All it needs is a micro-SIM card.
According to the product website, the Pine has a slot for you to insert your micro-SIM card, and once you do you can leave your phone at home. From there, the Neptune Pine can measure all of your health information, including heart rate, pace, calories burned, distance, and your position, meaning that this thing is probably jam-packed full of sensors (we don’t know because the founders didn’t get back to us.)
The Pine features quad-band GSM, 3D, 802.11 WiFi, a USB 2.0 connection, GPS and Bluetooth 4.0. Plus, it has a digital compass and FM radio built in. You can browse the web, check email, stay up to date with your calendar and even listen to your music library.
But even with all that connectivity, the Pine is still missing the very important camera function that’s so valuable within your smartphone. Or is it?
The Pine comes with a small 3.2-megapixel camera called the Recondite. I can’t imagine that the image quality is quite as good as the new smartphones on the market with 8-, 12- and 13- (!) megapixel shooters, but it’ll get the job done in a pinch.
Which is the idea, I think. No one wants to leave their phone home all the time. But the Neptune Pine is meant to be smart all the time, and work uniquely well if you’re going for a jog, or heading out on a special date with the lady love, or doing anything that makes you kind of wish you could leave the phone behind just this once.
The Neptune Pine runs Android 4.0, and doesn’t have an exact ship date. However, the $395 watch (which doesn’t include shipping costs) is promised to ship in the third quarter of 2013. Like many smart watches, this thing overpromises and I’m sure it’s going to under-deliver (if it ships at all) but why not marvel at its iWatch-esque charm while we wait for the Pebble to ship?