PINE64 announces the PineTime, a US$25 smartwatch
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The PineTime piqued our interest for a few reasons. Firstly, it will run on an open-source OS, which will probably be ARM Mbed or FreeRTOS-based according to a recent PINE64 tweet. Secondly, it reminds us of a more refined Pebble Time, the last release by Pebble before it filed for insolvency in 2016. Finally, PINE64 claim that it will sell the PineTime for US$25, for which you will also receive a charging dock.
PINE64 announced the PineTime on Twitter, where it has also published a photo of an engineering unit. The company will use an existing watch body, which it claims is a mix of a zinc alloy and plastic. PINE64 decides the internal hardware though, with it opting for a Nordic nRF52832 SoC that includes a 64 MHz ARM Cortex-M4 processor, along with support for Bluetooth 5, ANT, NFC and 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. The PineTime will even have a built-in heart rate monitor too.
PINE64 stresses that the PineTime is a Linux smartphone companion rather than a dedicated smartwatch. However, we would be surprised if the PineTime were PinePhone exclusive, for example, considering that the company is all about open-source hardware and software. Moreover, the PineTime is a side-project, so do not necessarily expect the device to come to market as quickly as other PINE64 products have. PINE64 is looking for ARM Mbed and FreeRTOS developers too, should you be one who is interested in smartwatch development.