Neptune Announces The $800 Neptune Duo: Neptune Duo Watch Wants To Turn Smartphones Dumb
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Neptune Announces The $800 Neptune Duo: Neptune Duo Watch Wants To Turn Smartphones Dumb

Neptune Duo Watch Wants to Turn Smartphones
Dumb The smartwatch pool is growing like crazy,
but Neptune wants to change the way we think about the entire category. The company has
unveiled its $798 Neptune Duo watch, which comes with a “pocket-sized companion device.”
The latter acts like a dumber version of your smartphone, tethering to the smartwatch to
provide a full-size screen and extra battery life. Here’s how it works. The Duo’s wrist component,
aptly called the Neptune Hub, is a wide, flat, black band that stores all the guts a normal
smartphone would have, and it pairs with a “dummy” 5-inch screen that lives in your pocket.
The device’s creator, Simon Tian, said this setup is supposed to change the way we interact
with wearables by putting the main functionality on your wrist, rather than in a nearby smartphone. If this seems backward to you, then you’re
not alone. While it is true that current smartwatches struggle to run full applications on tiny
screens, Neptune is banking on the idea that people will want to do most of their mobile
computing on their wrists, and still keep a smartphone-esque device in their pockets. The Neptune Hub runs Android Lollipop and
has a built-in quad-core processor, a GPS, and support for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC and
3G/4G capabilities. Neptune says that you can make calls, send and receive messages,
and “glance at” notifications, all directly from the wristband. The Pocket’s 1,280 x 720-pixel
display features an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing shooter and
essentially acts as an external monitor for the Hub. It allows you to snap photos, type
emails and play games on a larger surface. Another quirk about the Neptune Duo is its
battery. You can use the Pocket’s 2,800-mAh battery to power the Hub’s 1,000-mAh battery
when you need a pick-me-up, and the company claims that both batteries together can last
up to “a few days” of normal usage. It’s not only unclear what “normal usage” means, but
also how long the Hub would survive on your wrist when you (inevitably) leave the Pocket
at home for the day. In 2013, Neptune debuted the Neptune Pine
smartwatch, which ran full Android but also added a lot of bulk to your wrist. The company
is pushing the envelope even more with the Duo, but it might be too much change at once
for consumers. We’re interested in getting our hands on a
Neptune Duo prototype to also see how comfortable the Hub is to wear all day, and how easily
you can interact with its curved surface. You can reserve the Neptune Duo now, and it
will ship later this year.

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