Known as the Lutetia, Omate’s new timepiece takes a scaled-back approach to wearables, using a Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0 connection to push notifications for emails, incoming calls, social networking updates and more to the user’s wrist. Unlike Android Wear smartwatches or the upcoming Apple Watch, Omate’s device can connect with both iPhones (running iOS 6 and up) and Android smartphones (running version 4.3 Jelly Bean and up). Like the Moto 360, the Lutetia’s always-on transflective LCD display is almost completely circular, flattening out at the base of the dial.
While the upcoming Apple Watch will be offered in two sizes to cater for users with smaller wrists, the majority of smartwatches come in a single, fairly sizeable model. The Lutetia aims to combat this with a small stainless steel build that's more suitable for smaller wrists. The company says it's the first smartwatch designed exclusively for women, and it features a fashion-first look that echoes jewelry watches. The first batch of the devices will even receive limited edition status, with each wearable being engraved with a number 1-1000.
On the design end of things, and with the product’s target audience in mind, the Lutetia looks to be doing a lot of things right. However, there’s a bit of a hitch on the software side of things, with the new watch not opting for Google’s Now-centric Android Wear platform, but instead shooting for the LinkIt development platform from MediaTek Labs.
We don't mean to suggest that any device that doesn’t fall into the Android Wear, Samsung Gear or Apple Watch camp isn’t worth your time. But, on the other hand, app support is unlikely to match up favorably to any of those big name rivals.
That said, if you’re looking for a fashion timepiece that’s also capable of showing you notifications, and isn’t tied to just one platform, then the Lutetia could find a place next to Pebble Steel in the hearts of customers.
The Omate Lutetia will ship in silver, gold and rose gold variants for US$169. You can pre-order it now, with the first units expected to arrive in December.
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