The evolution of Augmented on the Sony SW2 brings together context-aware watchfaces, always on at a glance info, and truly hands-free alerts. The biggest (and a big one) downside is the < 24 hours battery life (due to the watchface). Hopefully Sony can make improvements in their next promising firmware update. I decided to look at the Qualcomm Toq as a possible alternative due to its claimed 3-4+ day battery life (with color).
Unfortunately the Qualcomm SDK is the current limiting factor – but the potential is certainly there. The Toq battery life is indeed very good (but still being measured). I am positive on the Toq overall due to the potential, but the current SDK does not allow images or watchface modifications by 3rd party developers so it still needs quite a bit of improvements before a comparable experience on the SW2 can be provided.
Some more info here.
Note if you update the Android Toq software, you may need to disable Augmented (under preferences-> more applets of the Toq app), then go to augmented on the android hit menu->Test notification until the option to add the applet back is shown (you may need to try this test notification a couple of times). This toggle will fix the issue.
Starting with the 6.8.1 version of Augmented, the Toq will be support with real-time alerts, cards for Weather, Fitbit and prior alerts and Tasker tasks (up to three) – Opening the card will trigger the tasker task. More cards may be added in the future and more functionality (as the SDK permits). However out of the gate the functionality enabled by Augmented on the Toq is already more than for the MetaWatch and MotoACTV.
6.9 brings customizable vibrations – bringing a new dimension to notifications only possible via Augmented for the Toq. Prior alerts separated into one per card is also new in 6.9.
- Toq Options:
Comparisons with the Sony SW2
The closest competitor to the Toq is the SOny SW2. The key advantage that the Toq has over the SW2 is battery life – I believe at least 2x (if not more) battery life than the SW2.
The SW2 however, has a richer SDK and hence more compelling use cases and configurability.
Some key areas where the Toq needs to improve:
- Real-time notifications do not automatically turn on the backlight – one must double tap on the top of the Toq to turn this on. At a minimum, make this configurable.
- The vibration is not (yet) configurable it is always only one pulse.
- The UI is a bit clunky, but I think the Toq is still trying to find it’s way in this regard.
- The music player only controls Google Music (not Spotify, Podcast players or Pandora).
- The charger is nice (wireless) but relatively big – especially for travelling.
- The non-adjustable strap is a limitation – but cutting it to size is very easy.
Things I like about the Toq:
- Battery life is the biggest advantage – one that the Toq needs to quickly leverage by expanding their SDKs quickly (especially with the newer watches on the horizon).
- Potential – I can see the potential – if I can do a similar experience of what I did with Augmented Smartwatch on the Toq – it could be a potential winner – I only need the SDK to enable a few things to do this.
- Reliable bluetooth connection – perhaps Qualcomm internal connections to their chips/drivers may have allowed them to do a rock-solid bluetooth connection – which I have seen with the Toq – it is the best yet vs all other smart-watches.
Toq or SW2 ?
- If you only want notifications then I suggest the Toq (not long ago this was my only use cases for smart-watches).
- However, I believe that a tightly integrated, context-aware, personalized, always-on watch-faces is another key use-case that is currently not possible with the Toq, in this case consider the Sony SW2.