Pine64 remains one of the most innovative companies in the maker space. Its single-board computers (SBCs) such as the RockPro64 and Rock64 boast ample processing power. Then, there's the Pinebook, an affordable Linux-powered laptop with a RockPro64 as its mainboard. Moreover, Pine64 offers the Pine Phone, a Linux-powered handset. Although technically Android utilizes a Linux kernel, the Android operating system is so far removed from Linux that it's considered its own OS. Now, Pine64 provides the $25 smartwatch PineTime.
Pine64 Smartwatch PineTime Announced
This is the #PineTime (actual photo) - a #Linux smartphone companion and a side-project of ours. Are you a @real_FreeRTOS or @ArmMbed developer with an interest in smartwatches? - let us know. pic.twitter.com/j7ygDWNqbD— PINE64 (@thepine64) September 13, 2019
Fresh from Raspberry Pi competitor Pine64 comes the PineTime. It's a $25 smartwatch which comes with a charging dock and heart-rate monitor (HRM). The PineTime is comprised of plastic and zinc alloy with a multi-day battery. The PineTime isn't a main project from Pine64. Instead, it's a sort of side quest to deliver an incredibly affordable Apple Watch alternative. It's intended as a Linux smartphone companion which pairs with the PinePhone, and presumably do-it-yourself (DIY) Linux smartphones with the likes of Sailfish OS or Ubuntu Touch.
Although Linux phones aren't terribly prominent, the likes of Sailfish OS and Ubuntu Touch allow for a DIY Linux phone. Then Pine64 offers its pre-built Linux phone. It's refreshing to see not only community support for alternative devices such as phones, smartwatches, and even pre-built laptops for Linux machines. Sure, it's easy enough to install Linux on a desktop or laptop. And while Linux for phones arrives with the likes of Plasma Mobile, Tizen, and Librem, many users prefer a handset that's ready to use out-of-the-box. Likewise, Linux smartwatches are all but absent on the market.
While the Apple Watch and smartwatches from the likes of Samsung, Huawei, and Fossil tend to dominate, there are plenty of sub-$50 smartwatches that don't suck. The PineTime, however, presents a major gamechanger. Especially if there's a way to sync with Android phones, it could be a solid alternative to budget smartwatches. According to its specs, the PineTime doesn't even skimp since it includes a HRM.
Would you use a Linux smartwatch?