Velocity Micro Cruz Watch hands-on preview

We've always liked the idea of having a Bluetooth watch streaming feeds from our phones, because deep down inside, we all want to act like special agents in public. Sadly, there aren't many of these wearables to choose from in the present market. In fact, with the inPulse smartwatch for BlackBerry seemingly stuck in limbo, what we have left is the Europe-only Sony Ericsson LiveView for Android, and maybe something nice from Fossil as well if its concept design gets picked up. To seize this opportunity, Velocity Micro is now working on its own connected Android watch -- currently known as the Cruz Watch -- that's destined for the sub-$200 market in mid-Q2 2011.

Here's what we learned about this cool-looking prototype during our exclusive hands-on at CES: in many ways, it's conceptually identical to the LiveView -- it's a watch, it's a Facebook feeds reader, it's a multimedia remote control (for Android's music app and Android-powered TVs), and it can show you incoming caller IDs. While the Cruz Watch may be a bit of a lightweight when it comes to apps, its hardware certainly bests SE's offering in several ways: for starters, it has a full touchscreen that takes swipe and tap gesture inputs (instead of using navigation touch controls on the bezel), and it sports a 1.8-inch LCD instead of a 1.3-inch OLED display. There are also a few software features that we dig, especially with the interchangeable clock face: two analog, two digital; and the incoming call notifier pulls the caller's profile photo from your contact list, which is something that the LiveView can't do. We're told that since this watch is powered by Android 2.0 (and possibly something different on retail units), Velocity Micro might be able to implement app installation in the near future, so we shall see. Video walkthrough after the break.