Proving that Kickstarter dreams do come true, the Neptune Pine smartwatch, if you can really call it that, is now landing in some backers’ hands. Or in this case, wrists. Now all that’s left is to see whether this smartphone-on-you-wrist will be able to deliver all, if not most, of its promises to make wearing this really big removable smartwatch well worth your while.

Despite the almost ridiculous looking size of this device, the Neptune Pine’s goal is both simple and admittedly appealing: put all the functionality of your smartphone in your watch, no holds barred. No limited Tizen or toned down Android Wear. You’ve got it all, packed in a pager-sized box that you can also detach from the strap to use as a regular, albeit tiny, smartphone. Despite naysayers scoffing at both concept and design, the Kickstarter campaign was able to net more than 2,800 backers and eight times its $100,000 funding goal. And now, it is shipping out to prove those disbelievers wrong. At least in theory.

Some backers have already received their units and, unsurprisingly, there’s already a root method and a way to install Google Play services on the smartwatch. The Neptune Pine would not, of course, meet Google’s certification requirements so it doesn’t have access to Google Play. No problem with Android vibrant and sometimes overzealous community. A method now exists to be able to install that, commonly known as gapps in the ROM world, on the smartwatch, opening the doors to even more apps and features. There is also a rooting method, but that is separate and independent from flashing gapps.

The Neptune Pine is like the anti-thesis to the now established notion of a smartwatch, putting everything including the kitchen sink into a package that’s half watch, half smartphone. Given how limited the Neptune Pine is in terms of retail numbers, at least compared to the strengths of the likes of LG and Samsung, it will be hard to tell if this indie smartwatch was right all along. Are you one of the believers who have put their money down for the Neptune Pine? Have you already gotten yours and how are you finding it? Let us know! In case you’re now interested in actually buying the device, you can still put in a pre-order of $349 for 16 GB of storage or $449 for 32 GB.

SOURCE: Neptune Pine Ninja
VIA: SlashGear

  • bedwa

    I’m loving it myself. I’m actually trying to download CM source to port CWM to it for easier backup and recovery, but it comes with ADB root in both userspace and recovery by default. Very developer friendly. šŸ™‚

  • kyle

    Love it! It was a huge relief to be able to root it so easily and really bring it to life. It’s an amazing little device for sure.

  • RudeReality

    I would say the only thing keeping the Pine from becoming the ‘next big thing’, no pun intended, is the availability. Once people see the option of replacing their handheld device with a superb wrist worn wonder machine, they will be beating a path to Neptune’s door. Samsung has already proven that bigger can be better, to the chagrin of those scoffing at the unit’s large size at launch- expect this to be a similar outcome, if supply can keep up with demand. Soon, everyone will be looking Star Trek sheik, with a fully functional computer on their arm. Do you want to be a leader or one of those simply wishing for unburdening their pockets and purses from handheld hell? Who do you want to be?

  • JoeyG

    Got my Pine a few days ago…I’m not sure how I feel about it now that I have it.
    I am a gadget geek and a major wearables junky…so I have done some legitimate comparisons with the Pine against all the other great wearables in the market today.

    – It’s pretty basic when it comes out of the box…you need to install the Google Play Store to really appreciate any other potential benefits. However, the process for installing the Play Store requires you to be pretty tech-savvy. The Pine is definitely not for the everyday average smart device user.
    – There have been so many smart watches released over the past year that it seems the Neptune is not as cool as it appeared to be when we were backing it on Kickstarter a year ago. The smart watches available today look nicer and have a lot more functionality…and are much cheaper. The Neptune may have lost it’s momentum as it took so long for it to finally ship out to customers.
    – The Pine is fairly cool, but I can’t imagine something so bare-boned being the replacement for a Galaxy or iPhone…aside from wearing GIANT phone on your wrist, the Pine doesn’t even scratch the surface of comparably priced smartphones can do.
    – The fitness apps don’t really work well and are no where near as accurate as the Jawbone, Withings, Fitbit, or Galaxy Gear.
    – It is HUGE!
    – The camera is pretty terrible.

    Please feel free to correct me if anyone thinks I’m wrong, but now that I have my Pine I am feeling like it is way over-hyped and way over-priced for what it does…especially considering the way the wearables market has come around this year. I hope to see some new updates coming soon for the Neptune, as I really do want to give it a fair chance. Like I said, I have been wearing it now for a few days to see if it actually can replace my smartphone and I will continue to try for a few days more before I give up and go back to using my smartphone and my Pebble Watch

    I would really love to hear what other Pine owners feel about it so far.