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Orsto X3 Hands-On: A Smartphone and Smartwatch in One

by Brandon Russell | August 21, 2014August 21, 2014 5:00 pm PST

Smartwatches, am I right? They’re everywhere now, and seemingly every company wants a piece of the action. While no single company truly dominates the market, the most recent Android Wear devices have proved we have a lot to look forward to. But there’s still one very debilitating requirements that, in my opinion, makes smart watches unnecessarily redundant: they rely on the smartphone in your pocket.

With the Orsto X3, you get a phone and smartwatch in one.

Described as a device that embraces the 21st century, the X3 is a wearable that supports microSIM cards for standalone functionality. That means you can leave your iPhone 5s at home and do just about everything you normally would with a phone, but on your wrist. You can take calls, send messages and even use apps—Orsto says the X3 supports 1,000s of apps though, for what it’s worth, we were unable to properly get things running.

What’s immediately noticeable about the X3 is that it’s large—much larger than the G Watch and Gear Live, which both run Android Wear. That’s to be expected given the X3’s capabilities, but it doesn’t make it any less pleasant having such a big square protruding from your wrist. It doesn’t look particularly bad, and the watchband gives it a nice high-end look. But it’s not the most comfortable wearable we’ve come across, so bear that in mind.

The watch is based on Android 4.0 with an unmistakable Windows Phone look. The layout is tiled, though the deeper functions look as though you’re digging through an Android device, just on a much tinier screen. On the inside, the X3 sports a 1.2GHz dual-core chip, 500MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, a 1.54-inch LCD screen, a 5-megapixel camera and a 320mAh battery for the low base model. Additionally, the X3 supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, allowing you to hook up to external devices and networks.

As you would imagine, stuffing an OS into a watch makes the experience very cramped. Browsing the home screen is easy enough, but messaging is incredibly frustrating. The dialer is easy to use, however, but just know that there will be an enormous adjustment period if you plan on actually ditching your phone for the X3. I don’t know why anyone would, especially when the X3 retails for $580. You can pick up a OnePlus One for $299, or a Nexus 5 for $349.

Still, the X3 is a curious concept, and while it doesn’t quite fire on all cylinders, it’s a very brief look at what smartwatches of the future might look like. Check out the video above to see the Orsto X3 in action, and if you want to see more, let us know in the comments down below.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.

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