Exetech achieved surprising success with their first smartwatch model, and as a stand-alone wearable they offer a perk that not even Apple has mastered.
Exetech was conceiving of its smartwatch back in 2012, when wearable technology was still in its infancy. Led by founder Fabiano Alfredo Zamuner, the company’s first smartwatch, the XS-3, was presented at an Italian exhibition of new electronics where it got plenty of interest. So much interest, in fact,t hat it hit the shelves in late 2013. The vast majority (90%) of the funds used to create the final product came from investors, while the final stages of production were achieved using money collected by a crowd funding event - a method that a number of smartwatch start-ups have taken advantage of. Unlike some of those other crowdfunded smartwatch start-ups, Exetech kept their promise and was able to fulfill the first 2000 orders in only a week. As a bonus, they’re still killing it by offering their innovative smartwatch to this very day. No longer an Italian based company, Exetech has since gone global and oversees its wearable gear out of London, where they are now known as Exetech Labs Ltd. Fabiano Alfredo Zamuner is no longer at the helm of the company, but Exetech continues to work on its next generation smartwatch, the XS+3. Now, you COULD wait for that to launch… OR you could find the original for sale on their site for a discounted price.
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What does Exetech have planned for the future?
Besides working on the new XS+ 3 smartwatch, the group of engineers continues to develop the features of its smartwatch. They aspire to be seen in the smartwatch market as a provider of high quality, well-designed smartwatches - and so far their aspirations have been spot on. Service is also an important part of their plan, so expect them to continue to improve on the customer experience, too.
How does the XS-3 from Exetech look?
Appearance wise, you might be taken aback by the XS-3, with a watch face that measures 5.08cm in height, making it a clunky pieceof tech to say the least. Not exactly a stylish wearable, it’s encased entirely in plastic and attached to a thick rubber strap. The touch screen LCD display is 3.91cm with only 240 X 240 pixels, which makes it difficult to see smaller icons and text. Navigation buttons will be helpful, and two can be found on either side of the bezel. These let even large fingers move through the functions easily. There is also a 2-megapixel camera on the right for those spur-of-the-moment photo opps. Interesting to note is the lack of a cover over the 420 mAh battery in the back which in turn covers the slots for a micro-SIM and microSD card. The lack of cover makes it easier to charge. The battery life of the XS-3 is around 18 hours, but this is when worn in standby mode only. If you intend to actually USE the watch (who doesn’t?), that number quickly drops and could even fall under three hours if you use GPS to find locations.
The XS-3 operating system
The XS-3 was conceived before the introduction of Android Wear, but it does run off of an Android 4.0 operating system. It utilises a dual-core MediaTek processor with 2GB of memory, which can be enhanced with the insertion of a microSD. Even though the smartwatch does run with Android, there is no need for connectivity between a mobile phone and the wearable tech. This is a stand-alone smartwatch, where you can insert its own SIM into the slot behind the battery and spend the day getting updates without your mobile phone in your pocket.
What can the XS-3 do?
Pre-installed on the XS-3 is GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. There are also g-sensor apps like Twitter and Facebook already there along with a fitness app. Once connected, you should be able to access the Google Play store and install more apps on the smartwatch to customise it to suit your needs. You will also be able to make and receive phone calls, send messages and browse the internet all right from your wrist. This sounds very close to what Android Wear lets you do, except with the Exetech smartwatch, the smartphone stays at home.
The Exetech XS+ 3
In February of 2014, Exetech announced plans for its next generation stand alone smartwatch: the XS+ 3. Developers are working on a customised version of an Android OS known as the Android Exceed. Once released, it will be interesting to see how their version compares to the newly launched Android Wear, which is supported by Google. According to Exetech, this new technology will improve the user interface and navigation of their smartwatch. There is no pre-order information yet, although the XS-3 has been slashed down to USD$199 due to an impending ‘new model’ release. Still available in white or black with silver, there seems to be a limited time left to own one of these pioneer smartwatches before the next wave takes over.