As smartwatches go, Exetech XS-4 is certainly among the most feature-rich pieces of wearable tech. Of course, in this field, manufacturers need to distinguish themselves as much as possible from the competition in order to survive.
Most smartwatches were designed as smartphone companions, but carrying two devices that achieve similar functions gets tedious at some point. Because of that, smartwatches that double as smartphones seem to be the ideal solution, especially since they are more affordable than flagship phones that get paired to watches using proprietary software. Exetech XS-4 is supposed to be the ultimate hybrid between smartphones and smartwatches, but whether that claim stands remains to be seen.
In October 2013, Exetech showcased the XS-3 smartwatch/phone hybrid, but that specific device wasn’t exactly successful. The horrid battery life was one of the main drawbacks of the previous iteration, but Exetech promises to solve that issue in the XS-4. The smartwatch comes with two batteries, a 450mAh one and another rated at 800mAh. Exetech XS-4 also features a small photovoltaic panel that solar-charges the battery, thus eliminating the need for power sockets all the time.
Also, the manufacturer improved the waterproofness of the smartwatch, which also a problem of the previous version. Come to think about it, smartwatches are not of much use if a bit of rain or a day at the pool ruins them.
In terms of software, Exetech will run Android 4.4 KitKat. The only app incompatibility issues may be determined by the small resolution of the screen. After all, the 1.54″ AMOLED display only has a resolution of 240×240 pixels, so typing text messages might be a challenge. The internal memory of the XS-4 is of only 2GB, but it can be easily expanded using a microSD card of up to 32GB. An interesting aspect is that the smartwatch features a GPS sensor, so in theory it could be used with fitness trackers without having to carry the smartphone.
Exetech started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, and supposing that people back the project with €35,000 (approximately $48K) in the next 30 days, the XS-4 will enter mass production. Backers who offer €169 ($233) or more will get an XS-4 smartwatch-phone. There is also an Indiegogo limited edition costing €299 ($412), but that price is hardly justified by a silver-plated plaque on which the owner’s name is engraved.