The PineTime is an upcoming smartwatch that’s designed to be a companion for Linux smartphones like the upcoming PinePhone.
Unlike most smartwatches, it’s designed to run free and open source software. And it’s also dirt cheap — the starting price of a PineTime watch, charging cradle, and wristband is expected to be about $25.
The folks at Pine64 first announced they were working on a smartwatch a few weeks ago via a series of tweets. Now they’ve added a PineTime page to their Wiki which includes more details about the hardware, software, and release schedule — although there’s a chance some things could change by the time the PineTime is ready for release.
First up, let’s talk about the timeline:
- Phase 1: Pine64 plans to launch a PineTime developer kit in October.
- Phase 2: The first watches could ship in the first quarter of 2020. But depending on how phase 1 goes, that date could slip to Q2, 2020.
- Availability: The PineTime will be offered for at least 5 years after launch.
The watch’s most distinctive feature will be its software (and its open nature — Pine64 will make it easy for users to flash alternate operating systems).
At this point, Pine64 says it’s hoping to support “various open source” real time operating systems “such as Zephyr, FreeRTOS, Mbed, or NuttX.”
As for the hardware, the company is still finalizing some key specs, but the case design is based on existing products, which helps explain the low price.
The watch body itself measures 37.5mm x 40mm x 11mm and weighs 38 grams. It features a a zinc alloy and plastic case with charging pins on the back.
As for specs, we’re looking at:
- Display: 1.3 inch, 240 x 240 pixel IPS (65K colors)
- Input: Capacitive touchscreen
- SoC: Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832 or nRF52840 (dev kit will have the former, retail unit may have the latter)
- CPU: 64 MHz ARM Cortex-M4F
- Memory: 512KB flash, 64KB DRAM + 8MB flash (possibly 16MB for final product)
- Wireless: Bluetooth 5 LE
- Sensors: Accelerometer, PPG heart rate sensor
- Battery: 170-180 mAh LiPo
- Charging: 2-pin, 5V 500mAh cradle with USB-A plug
- Other: vibration motor
The watch and cradle itself will cost about $23, while 20mm wrist bands will sell for $2 and up.