Blink Smartwatch Launched with Android-based Marvin OS Starting at Rs 12,999
Witworks, the Bangalore-based IoT firm has launched its flagship smart wearable device, Blink. While, for the most part, it is like any other mainstream smartwatch we see nowadays, Witworks is primarily boasting their new native operating system – Marvin OS which is built on top of Android and allows interacting through the touch-bezel and voice commands to get things done.
Marvin OS is Witworks’ custom operating system designed on top of Android 5.1 and has the ability to integrate third party services allowing Blink to run functions from barebone essentials such as playing music to accessing payment gateways. Most of these can also exist without a connection with your phone thanks to the 8GB of internal storage and dedicated sensors. To begin with, Blink allows tracking fitness activities, playing music, sync notifications, navigating to a destination, locating landmarks like restaurants and more. There’s a Timeline feature that intuitively shows your calendar appointments, to-dos reminders, and alarms on a single page, something which Pebble introduced with their Pebble 4.0 update. Additionally, you can read and reply to notifications through your voice and Marvin OS also features a unique authentication system that generates an offline ‘time-based’ OTP valid for 60 secs through which you can login without any internet connectivity. For interacting with interface’s various buttons and elements, you can swipe from the bezel or just tap to select something. This is something Samsung already does with its Gear series, however, in Blink’s case, the dial’s bezel recognizes touches instead of taking inputs based on rotations.
In terms of raw specifications, Blink features a 1.39” AMOLED display with a resolution of 400 x 400 pixels up front capable of screening 16.5 Million colors and is powered by a dual-core processor clocked at 1.2Ghz. There’s a 300mAh battery underneath that the company claims can provide life up to 2 days. Furthermore, it is backed up by 1GB of RAM, 8GB internal memory, and Bluetooth 4.0 with BLE for connecting your phone or bluetooth headphones. Blink flaunts a stainless steel body and has a scratch resistant Gorilla glass 3 (1.5mm thick) on top. The watch also comes with a speaker and a microphone with noise cancellation. It offers a wide array of sensors including a 9 axis motion sensor with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer.
Blink will be available for pre-order on September 30th starting at a base price of Rs 12,999 for the black classic model. It will begin shipping sometime in November. There are two color options to choose from – stainless steel black and stainless steel silver. You can, additionally, select three further models depending on your usage – “Sport” that comes with a silicon strap and is priced at Rs 13,499 for black color and Rs 12,999 for silver, “Classic” offers a leather strap and is priced at Rs 13,999 for the silver variant and Rs 14,499 for black, “Steel” which comes with a metal strap and costs Rs 15,499 for silver and Rs 15,999 for black. On the purchase of any variant, you also get a complimentary silicon band.
Blink currently is quite limited in terms of functionality and being a newcomer, justifying that price will be tough for Witworks. Asus’ Zenwatch 2, which is considered one of the best Android Wear devices available, can be purchased at around Rs 11,000 and for customers looking for something more fitness-centric, Samsung’s Gear Fit 2 or a Fitbit at a similar price might be a better choice. Although, given Blink’s ability to assist without a smartphone, premium aesthetics and intuitive bezel can attract some but then again, it all comes to down how well Witworks has managed to integrate the software with third-party services.
Commenting further on the launch, Somnath Meher, Co-Founder & CEO of Witworks, stated, “As we move into a connected future, smart wearables, especially watches, are at a very interesting stage. The technology is in place, and there’s enough awareness amongst consumers. But the lack of relevant use-cases, ease of interaction and genuine design-empathy have prevented them from taking off. With a blend of technology and design, we are looking to solve that and make smart-wearables ubiquitous.”