It's all in the wrist

Qualcomm Toq: Your Personal Command Center


On the elevator ride to the office this morning, did you reach into your pocket and pull out your phone? In the minute since you’d last checked it, had your hot date from last night texted you? Did @Barackobama follow you on Twitter? Any missed calls from a mysterious Beverly Hills area code? Didn’t think so.

Checking our phones has become an awkward social tic, one that the Smart Watch segment addresses with sleek wrist-mounted media mediators. Digital communications magnate Qualcomm seems like the company that would provide smartphone horologists-cum-futurists with the groundbreaking technology to outdo competitors. Instead, Qualcomm has gotten into the ring with their own Toq, which leverages the company’s innovations to create the most clever smart watch on the market.

The Toq puts you more efficiently on the grid than a well-played game of Battleship; it lets you wear texts, emails, calendar notifications and a huge variety of apps on your sleeve. The Toq is built around a slim Mirasol display touchscreen, which just happens to be one of Qualcomm’s greatest tech inventions. The proprietary display is crisp and easily read; it’s also much more efficient than comparable LED screens, improving battery life to multiple days (if you’re after the battery, by the way, look in the clasp). The Toq achieves its seamless aesthetic by eschewing ports or buttons — it charges wirelessly (guess which company is also a leader in wireless charging?) and both homepage control and brightness are controlled by tapping the wristband above or below the watch.

Designed better than the competitors? Check. But why exactly should you strap it on? Like all smart watches, the Toq places a command center (for Android phones) on your wrist. Whether you’re preoccupied with important work or just walking down the street, that’s one step closer to integrating your phone fully into your own life and not the other way around. The included wireless headsets converge us with the future writers and directors have envisioned for years: paired with the Toq, they can be used to take calls or listen to music from your phone, and controls for screening or picking a playlist, as they say in tennis, are all in the wrist. Wear it and boast proudly — because that follow from the President ain’t coming.