Straight-Up Android on a Smartwatch: Hands On with the Omate TrueSmart

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Tech

Odds are that Omate’s TrueSmart is not the smartwatch of the future.

It has none of the technology advancements that we’ve been hoping for, such as a battery-saving screen or an ultra-slim design, nor does it have the contextual awareness we might someday get from a Google Now smartwatch. It’s essentially an Android smartphone wrapped around your wrist.

But you know what? In a geeky, tech-obsessive way, it kind of works.

Omate’s TrueSmart became a Kickstarter hit last August, as one of the few smartwatches with a SIM card slot. This allows the watch to make and take calls and connect to the Internet without being tethered to a smartphone.

omatetruesmart2
Jared Newman for TIME

As such, it makes sense for the TrueSmart to be able to run any Android application. You can read your entire Gmail inbox, play some games, get turn-by-turn directions, search the web, take phone calls…

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