NextONE Edges on Pebble as Cheapest Smartwatch, Offers Touch Screen Display

Until this point the $150 original Pebble has been the cheapest smartwatch on the market, but a new wrist-worn gadget has just snagged that title. The NextONE smartwatch from YiFang Digital puts a touch screen Android experience on your wrist for $99.99.

The NextONE is set to launch in the first quarter of 2014 and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Up front, you’ll find a 1.55-inch TFT capacitive touch screen display with a 240 x 240 resolution. The watch runs on a 1-GHz low power MCU and comes with 4GB of onboard storage, 512MB of RAM, a 290mAh battery and a built-in microphone.

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YiFang claims that the watch is compatible with various third party social and fitness apps, but hasn’t mentioned any specifically other than Facebook and Twitter. Like most smartwatches, the iOS and Android compatible NextONE is capable of delivering phone calls, texts, social notifications and fitness information to your wrist.

The watch also serves as a fitness tracking device and utilizes the NextONE companion app to create a fitness profile. Users can track their steps with its built-in pedometer and input calorie goals.

The NextONE can act as a standalone device or can be used as a controller for your phone, like most smartwatches on the market. The watch itself comes with preloaded apps including calendar, recorder,calculator, file manager, and of course, a clock.

YiFang’s watch will be competing alongside smart timepieces that offer similar functionality for a much higher price tag. The only other smartwatch in its price range, the $150 original Pebble, doesn’t come with a touch screen display and does little more than tell the time when not paired with your phone.

At the same time, YiFang is releasing a $39.99 fitness band that acts as a pedometer to track activity. It uses low energy Bluetooth 4.0 and is compatible with both iOS and Android as well.

It’s too soon to tell how the YiFang NextONE stacks up to the competition, but we look forward to bringing you our first impressions.