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New Smart Watches Go In Different Directions

New York – New smart watches are emerging as either extensions of a smartphone or a replacement.

Hong Kong-based Connected Devices see its latest smart watch, the $149 Cookoo, as a phone extension, delivering notifications, caller ID, and smartphone-music and smartphone-camera control to the wrist in a watch-style form factor. The company’s second-generation smart watch works with iOS7 and Android 4.3 and up devices. It’s available on the company’s online store.

For its part, Montreal-based Neptune, fresh from a Kickstarter campaign, plans fourth-quarter shipments to non-Kickstarter backers of the Pine, which features built-in cellular voice and 3G data. The Android-based watch phone comes with embedded microphone and speaker but also enables phone calls through a Bluetooth headset.

 Pine’s price is $349 for the 16GB version and $449 for the 32GB version at the company’s online store. It’s already available to Kickstarter backers.

Neptune’s Pine is an unlocked GSM/HSPA+/WCDMA Android 4.1 smartphone that operates in four bands, including the U.S. 850/1900MHz bands. Its 2.4-inch 320×240 TFT touchscreen displays a QWERTY keyboard for messaging. It comes with 810mAh rechargeable battery and measures 2.6 by 2.1 by 0.56 inches.

The watch also features Wi-Fi, music player, front-facing VGA camera for video chats, and 5-megapixel main camera with 720p video capture. Both cameras have LED flash.

The watch doubles as a fitness tracker, thanks to GPS, pedometer, compass, and an app to track steps, pace, time, laps, and calories burned.

Talk time is up to six hours on 3G and 8 hours on 2G. Standby time is 120 hours. It offers uip to 10 hours of music playback. Performance specs include 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, and 16 or 32MB of storage for music and apps.

For its part, Connected Devices is offering a more traditional analog-watch look for its second-generation Cookoo, which offers a new design, sharper display, more functionality, new materials and new colors compared to its predecessor.

A digital display added to the face displays caller ID information. Icon alerts let users know when they have received email, a text message, or social-media updates.

The watch also triggers a connected smartphone’s camera, controls the phone’s music playback, and features a paging function to find the phone.

Low-power Bluetooth Smart technology enables the phone to operate on a conventional button-cell battery, which can supply power “for many months” and is user-replaceable.

The Sporty Chic collection features a soft-touch silicone band, and the Urban Explorer version features a nylon strap. The watches are available in multiple colors.