Apple Watch Edition too expensive? How about this cool limited edition smartwatch instead

What’s a great way to grab attention in the smartwatch world, in the wake of the Apple Watch’s announcement? For Olio, a newcomer to the smartwatch world, it has made its first watch — the Model One — not only look fabulous, but has restricted the amount available to just 500. Exclusivity and good looks? That should do it.

The Model One also takes a different approach to other smartwatches when it comes to notifications, preferring to minimize the distraction from endless incoming messages, alerts, and emails. It does this by organizing everything into two streams, labeled earlier and later. The former shows timely alerts that have already come through, while the latter shows things that will happen — calendar appointments, reminders, events, and so on.

Using the cloud-based Olio Assist assistant, the Model One watch gradually learns your preferences and shows the things you’re most likely to need, or care about. If you dismiss calls or messages, the assistant will remind you about them later on. Outside of a simple swipe gesture, it’s not clear how the watch and its interface is controlled.

You’ll see from the pictures the Olio Model One looks like a regular watch, and it’s built like one too. The body is made from forged stainless steel, and the face is covered in impact and scratch resistant ion-exchange glass — which is a similar process used to make the Ion-X glass covering Apple’s Watch Sport face. The case measures 47mm, and is attached to either a leather or metal strap, weighing 81 grams or 161 grams respectively. The Model One is also water resistant.

Olio says the screen is a round LCD, but as you can see from the pictures, it has an upside-down flat tire shape. It’s being coy about the tech specs, so we don’t know the processing power or memory, but we’re told the battery should last for two days before needing a recharge, plus the smart functionality can be disabled so it’ll act only as a watch. It’ll connect using Bluetooth to your iOS or Android smartphone.

Exclusivity and good looks rarely come cheap, and the Olio Model One is more expensive than watches such as the Pebble Time, but less than many Apple Watch models. The steel and leather version is $595, or $645 with a metal strap. If you prefer the black model, it’ll be $745 with a leather strap, or $795 with a matching metal bracelet. Preorders will open soon, and the watch will start shipping during the summer, but currently only to addresses in the United States.

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