There are a huge number of smartwatches out there in a huge number of sizes, but not many of them are actually huge. For the most part, wrist-focused tech tends to keep the screen under 2 inches. If you look at the Chinese market, you can see some examples that deviate from this norm, but even they aren’t often all that big and normally run unmodified Android, unoptimized for wrist usage. If you’ve ever looked at one of those and wondered about perhaps throwing Smart Launcher on there and seeing how it held up, you may want to check out the Rufus Cuff, a wearable smartphone that Rufus Labs refers to as a wrist communicator that bears a striking resemblance to the wrist-worn computers often seen in science fiction. After a few years in development after a successful campaign on IndieGoGo, the Cuff is finally available for preorder.
The Rufus Cuff, sporting a 3.2 inch touch screen, runs a full version of Android 4.4 KitKat, optimized to run on the wrist. Thanks to WiFi, it can be used as a jumbo smartwatch, or let you check and react to alerts from a paired phone just as you would if you had pulled it out of your pocket. Sadly, there is no SIM card slot. The specs are a bit on the meager side, however, so don’t expect the performance or image quality to match whatever is in your pocket. The screen is only 400 x 320 pixels, and the front-facing camera is a 640 x 480 resolution that could be found on first-generation Androids or a high-end dumbphone. Video calls will end up looking a bit grainy on both ends, but will be at least possible on the relatively large screen. A GPS, accelerometer, compass and gyroscope are all on board for fitness purposes, but a heart rate monitor is notably absent. The whole show is run by a Cortex A9 processor from Texas Instruments, alongside 1GB of RAM, an 1,175 mAh battery and 8, 16, 32 or 64GB of storage.
The Rufus Cuff is currently available for preorder, starting at $299 for the basic 8GB model. While backers from IndieGoGo will get priority, all preorders will begin shipping somewhere in the July to August area. Additionally, thanks to a mishap with a part provider, the first few units, 70 percent of which are already accounted for as of this writing, will have a white bezel instead of a black one and will be dubbed the RC: ONE edition. The bezel will be black on all future batches, making the white bezel an early adopter’s badge of honor in this case.