Hands-on with the Android-powered i’m Watch smartwatch

Daniel Bader

January 13, 2012 2:48pm

I was walking around some of the more esoteric booths at the Venetian Hotel, reserved for spillover exhibits and smaller companies, and I came across a plush white carpet and expensive-looking showcases. Inside were buxom Italian ladies modelling i’m watch, “the first real smartwatch.”

What is it? Firstly, it’s made in Italy. An Android-powered Bluetooth-enabled watch with a 240×240 pixel 1.54″ multitouch screen, 64MB RAM and 4GB internal storage. Without mentioning Android anywhere (that I could find) it’s clear the i’m watch is using a custom build of Froyo without acces to the Android Market. Instead, the company provides what it calls “custom apps” for the interface, which tethers its internet connection with Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian, bada and Windows Phone devices. The 454Mhz IMX233 Freescale processor does most of the legwork, with “integrated mixed signal analog audio with a 1.5W Mono speaker amplifier, a stereo headphone DAC with 99dB Signal-to-Noise ratio and stereo ADC with 85dB Signal-to-Noise ratio with integrated amplifiers,” according to the spec sheet.

How does it work? Once an internet connection is tethered, it works much like a tiny smartphone: you can listen to music, check the weather, tweet, and take calls with the built-in microphone. It has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB connector for charging and transferring files.

While the design is admittedly stunning, with a brushed aluminum build (on the base model — there are two higher tiers that use premium materials such as titanium) at $329 for the base model (which has multiple colours) and $389 for the 128MB model it encroaches upon “Are You Kidding Me?” territory.

With the upcoming Sony SmartWatch coming in at $149 it’s hard to recommend the i’m watch to anyone but the rich fashionista. That being said, I am neither of those and am still intrigued, so I suppose that’s saying something. Perhaps there’s some nice Android hacking potential… Ice Cream Sandwich anyone?

If you’re interested in pre-ordering one, head on over to the i’m Watch site.

  • shaggyskunk

    Yeah, I can see it already…. apple is going to claim a patent issue on the “I” in I’m …..wonderful!

  • Mike

    Where are the pictures of the “buxom Italian ladies”?

  • davy jones

    No no, i’m watch. You are getting it all wrong. The reason people have stopped buying watches is because they have the time on their cellphones not android.

  • systemsoundbar

    Gloryfied calculator watch

  • shaggyskunk

    ABC, Yeah but too bad they’re kind of so, so. Can’t Vegas do better..

  • kenypowa

    This will work great with Iris (it works surprising well)

  • Hammam

    Well. I am really not down with having to plug my watch every day or two to charge it on top of having to do so for my phone. Watches are now for style and gadgets can be stylish, so if it wasn’t for the battery, cool idea.

  • George h

    Well to late with it the chiness came out with a smart watch phone all ready no need to conect to the phone on your pocket 😉

  • iOS

    This looks so similair to the iPod nano. Yet another Android based company ripping off Apple design.

  • Phil

    Beware if considering ordering – every release date has been missed. No device has shipped. Possible scam.

  • Mannan

    if i want purchaser it so what,s method and from where i can purchase it & right now i,m in Karachi Pakistan

    your Brother Mannan