The Realest Smartwatch Yet: Spice Mobile’s Smart Pulse

July 13, 2014 - Written By Phil Bourget

Flash back to November of 2013, when the Samsung Galaxy Note III and Galaxy Gear were released, and the advertisements for the Galaxy Gear were comparing it to the stand-alone wrist-worn communicators of television eras past and future, with spies and Jetsons alike using them?  And also, if you don’t mind, remember how it actually needed a phone to be useful in any way really.  And finally recall how that disappointment was increased when Samsung released the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit, and still none of them were a stand-alone medium of communication.

Flashing forward to the Google I/O developer’s conference in June this year, the Android Wear platform entered the market with two initial launches but three known smartwatches from LG, Samsung, and Motorola.  But, as with the Gear devices from Samsung before now, none of them have the capability to place a phone call on their own, to send a text message, without the companionship of a smartphone.  But let’s see this little ditty: here is the Spice Smart Pulse.

The Smart Pulse by Spice Mobile is the first real answer to the call, in both senses of the word, of smartwatch communication.  It is not only a partnering device, pairing via Bluetooth to your smartphone so you don’t need to take out the likely behemoth to place against your face, but it also can make calls on its own.  WHA? Yeah, the Smart Pulse has a SIM card slot, two actually, and can make and receive calls on its own, no phone needed.  You can also send and receive text messages, as well as use the browser to look something up rather pointlessly on the Internet.  Something to be aware of though: the operating system is Java-based, so it’s probably going to be a little clunky in the unique features it has and can perform.  And it can only pair with android devices.  So there are those two important specifics.  On to the specifications!

The little genius device has a 240 by 320 pixel display, with a widescreen, or landscape, positioning.  The processor is still unknown and unlisted by Spice Mobile.  The internal storage is also unspecified, but it has a 8 GB -friendly Micro SD card slot along with its two SIM card slots.   The battery is a surprising 420 mAh, giving three hours of talk time, or two days (yes days) of standby time.  The screen also is 1.5 inches diagonal, so it’s not too small to be useful.  Navigation is possible due to the three capacitive buttons (menu, home, and back) on the bezel below the screen.  The design is markedly identical (except strap-fastening technique) to the Samsung Galaxy Gear, the original, with the four screws on the front.  Unlike the Galaxy Gear, the Smart Pulse has a camera and FM radio, as well as the necessary speaker and microphone.

The Spice Smart Pulse went on sale exclusively through HomeShop18 in India on July 11. The match sells for, according to Spice Mobile, 3,999 Rs (Indian Rupees) which translates to just under $67 USD.  If you want a clunky-but-brag-worthy watchphone, then this might be for you.  If not, the capability is here now, so look out for any new watchphones.