Neptune, a company that launched a massive smartwatch phone last summer called the Neptune Pine, is back with a new product. While the Neptune Pine was the world’s first standalone smart watch, it was mostly a smartphone strapped to your wrist. The company is now introducing Neptune Duo, a wrist-worn device that pairs with a dummy phone. In other words, Neptune’s idea is to reverse the way smartphones and smart watches work together.
“The current wearables space is best summarized as a master/slave relationship. The smart watch actually just proves you’re also a slave to your phone.” – Simon Tian, Neptune’s founder.
The Neptune Hub runs on Android Lollipop, and packs in the capabilities and power of a smartphone, with a quad-core processor, 4G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC. It also promises to recognize quickly scribbled handwriting written with a finger on the display. The curved non-flexible watch still looks too bulky, a little bit like the ugly Puls Smartband, but way cooler.
The Neptune Pocket is not a phone or smart device. It’s a large, 5-inch display with a battery that pairs with the watch and can remotely run apps. It can also serve as a juice pack for the hub.
All in all, the Neptune Duo is a bold, interesting concept. I really like the idea of reversing the wearable-first paradigm. At the same time, cramming all the important features in a smaller device will probably make it slower and drain the battery. After all, new report today suggests that Apple’s grand ambition for a far smarter Watch had to be scaled down because they couldn’t find the technology yet. For now, I think the Duo concept and its founder might be a little ahead of their time. Also, aesthetically, Neptune Hub is still too massive, despite being a great iterative next step on the journey that started with the Pine. Please, no brick on my wrist. Even a curve one!