GEAK Watch

It turns out that GEAK, the mobile hardware company under Shanda, took a different approach from that of Pebble or Sony Smartwatch. The smartness of GEAK Watch, a smartwatch it launched today, isn’t that it can connect to smartphones but that it runs a ‘smart’ operating system — Android 4.1.

So you can picture it do a lot of what an Android-powered smartphone can do, connecting to the Internet through WiFi, playing videos, GPS navigation, etc. But what it can do now is limited given apps for Android phones cannot be compatible with its customized system and its 1.55 inch screen.

Now the watch displays weather conditions and forecast, news and online chatting messages. Its capabilities also include tracking your workouts and save the history for you.

Nevertheless, it has something in common with Pebble and the like that a GEAK Watch can be connected to a smartphone. So that, for instance, you can take a picture with the watch and save it in the phone.

The watch would alert you to incoming calls or messages received by the smartphone. You can reject a call by clicking on a button on the screen but cannot take the call or call back with the watch. GEAK team think that a watch is a watch and shouldn’t do what a phone is supposed to do — doesn’t sound convincing to me. We know some Android-powered smartwatches out there do support voice calls — some are enabled by customized SIM card.

It seems none of the built-in applications shown at the launch event today is from a third party. We expected to see Sina Weibo messages shown on the watch screen, but it didn’t happen. The lead of GEAK Watch did say that third-party developers were welcome to build applications for it but didn’t mention anything about the operating system.

The watch is sold for 1999 yuan — the same price for a typical Xiaomi phone.