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March 21, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 11:13am

Everything you need to know about the Omate TrueSmart smartwatch

Five things you need to know about the Android device.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

The Kickstarter-funded company that released the TrueSmart smartwatch in 2013 launched upgraded editions at Mobile World Congress in February 2014.

CBR tells you five things you need to know.

1. Design

Designed to be 30% lighter than Omate’s previous model, TrueSmart Elegance is made of aluminium instead of the original’s stainless steel and comes in two new colours: pink gum and bronze white.

There is also a luxury version called Sparkle, which is covered in a band of champagne-coloured Swarovski crystals.

Omate said the rest of the functionality remains the same as before. Running on the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, there is still a waterproof 1.54-inch touchscreeen display with sapphire glass coating and a 1.3GHz dual-core processor.

Other features include a 5-MP camera, a 600 mAH battery with up to 100 hours standby time, a speaker and microphone.

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2. Application

Most smartwatches launched to date such as Pebble Steel and the Meta smartwatch have been designed as Bluetooth companion accessories to a smartphone. But TrueSmart claims to be the "World’s first Android smartwatch 2.0," operating both independently from a smartphone, thanks to 3G capabilities, and as an accompanying device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

TrueSmart wearers can download apps from the Omate’s own Ostore, which currently has 50 apps, and other Android app stores. This way, it can notify users on phone calls, emails, texts and updates from their social media world without having to check their phone.

Omate claims the device, which stores as many apps as a smartphone, can also be used for voice calls, text messaging and message presetting, navigation, sport apps and trackers, music streaming services, weather data and calendar alarms.

Laurent Le Pen, CEO at Omate, told CBR the startup has started a competition called #TrueSmartHackaton to find the best apps in the market. A winner is selected every Friday and rewarded a free TrueSmart and Omate VID status.

"One of our latest entries is Osos designed by Cyril Preiss, one of our Kickstarter Developer backers. The app provides in one click your GPS location to your preset preferred contacts allowing them to know and locate when and where you are in danger," he explained.

"The best work happens when you know that it’s not just work, this app will save lives!"

3. Competitors

TrueSmart comes as the market for smartwatch technology grows increasingly competitive. In the next three years, it could skyrocket to $30-$50bn as hardware improves and sensors and batteries get better, according to a report by Credit Suisse.

The likes of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear 2, which boasts a better battery life than the Galaxy Gear, the $249 Pebble Steel, Fitbit and Sony’s SmartWatch 2 are all trying to stake a claim, while companies including Apple, Microsoft and Google are expected to jump into it soon.

Le Pen said: "Obviously, we do not have the nine figure marketing budget of Samsung and Sony but the TrueSmart is really a revolutionary device and we are focusing on the 250 million people in the world who practice outdoor sports."

"A year ago, when I set up Omate, our primary goals were to make the world connected through your wrist and make Android Wearable. A year later, Google has now officially embraced this idea by unveiling yesterday a dedicated version of Android called Android Wear."

4. What do people say about it?

Although TrueSmart is not available yet, the Android Community’s Robert Nelson said the watch was able to capture images of "fairly decent quality", while the charging cradle works well "but makes it difficult watch while charging."

He added: "It is on the bigger side, but it is far from the biggest watch we have seen. The construction feels solid and sturdy, and the display was bright and crisp. The display also appears to be rather responsive."

5. Cost

The TrueSmart Elegance costs $299 for Elegance, which is $50 more than the original with 8GB of onboard storage, while Sparkle costs $499.

Le Pen said the models are now available to order from the website and shipping will start this April.

"We have 15,000 pre-orders so far and it’s a big challenge to ship to 50 countries especially after our Kickstarter," he said.

On the B2B side, Omate has signed distribution agreements in Europe, USA, Russia, China, Taiwan and UAE.

"More importantly, we have been contacted by 20 mobile network operators, they all have samples and three of them are running internal Trial Runs. They are the largest GSM operators in the USA, Europe and Japan," he said.

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