Angel Smartphone Watch: It's All In The Wrist
Umeox Mobile has its own smart watch, which it showed off at the 2013 Mobile World Congress, but it's a little different than the I'm Watch or the Martian. The Angel by Umeox Mobile doesn't tether to a smartphone or other device via Bluetooth at all. Instead, this watch is a fully functioning smartphone, with a built-in speaker and microphone, Bluetooth support for headsets, microSD support and a SIM Card slot.
The touch screen isn't as responsive as those on high-end smartphones, as sometimes our swipes were interpreted as taps, but we were able to quickly adjust to the Angel watch's quirks. Aside from the tap and swipe confusion, the touch screen was quite accurate and we were able to type a phone number onto the small touch screen without any mistakes. But this watch doesn't just make calls, it can also play music and videos, display pictures, pick up radio signals and send and receive text messages.
Umeox doesn't yet see the Angel watch as a phone replacement. Instead, the watch serves more as a secondary phone. We were told that the watch phone is perfect for a weekend getaway when you want to leave your expensive smartphone behind. Users can simply remove the SIM from their daily phone, put it in the Angel watch and have most smartphone capabilities in a small device on their wrist. The battery is perfect for this use, as it lasts about two days between charges.
In addition to the functioning smart watch, Umeox Mobile also showed off two smart watch prototypes, one of which was designed by Luigi Colani, best known for his work with car manufacturers such as BMW, Fiat and Volkswagen. This prototype included a long, rectangular screen that folds down to wrap around the wrist as well and both watches included a strap that accounts for individual bones in the wrist.
Unlike the non-working prototype designed by Colani, the Angel watch is currently for sale in Europe and licensed to different carriers. The price on the Angel watch is extremely low compared to other smart watches we've seen, available from a German company for just 79 euros, or about $100, and may drop even further if the OEM decides to bring the watch to market itself. There's no word yet about availability in the United States, but budget smart watches could be a new trend as wearable tech grows in popularity in the very near future.