Image source: Pine64

PineTime is an incredibly affordable open source Linux smartwatch

Pine64 has officially launched the open source PineTime, a $26.99 smartwatch companion for Linux smartphones. This means, for the price of an Apple Watch Series 6 you could get yourself about 15 of these!

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The outfit has been churning out single-board computers, notebook computers and smartphones aimed at hobbyists for years. As you can imagine, all of this gear is very inexpensive.

Pine64, also known as ARM Single-board Computers (SBCs), has been working on this “side-project” for at least two years. It was aimed at developing a Linux smartwatch called PineTime. The timepiece is interesting not just because of its very low price-tag.

PineTime’s software was designed with the assistance of the wider Linux development community. This is primarily built on top of the open source operating system called Infinitime RTOS. On the product page, Pine 64 writes the watch is “built on top of numerous RTOSes”.

“we will, by and large, allow the community and devs to drive this in the direction they desire.” Pine64 said when we first reported on PineTime back in 2019.

As far as specs, the watch is powered by low-power ARM-based processor – the 64MHz Cortex-M4F from NORDIC. This comes with 64KB of RAM and 4 MB of user storage, so not really that much. Features include a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, week-long battery life (180 mAh battery) and a desktop charging dock. There is support for Bluetooth 5LE but not for WiFi.

PineTime is an incredibly affordable open source Linux smartwatch

The Zinc Alloy and Plastic device has a square design with rounded edges and a 1.3 inch 240 x 240 pixel resolution IPS capacitive touch display. All of this is rated IP67 for water-resistance, so it can handle up to one meter of water and is fully dust proof. The actual dimensions come in at 37.5mm x 40mm x 11mm and weight at 38 grams.

Earlier there was a mention of the possibility of the watch running RebbleOS. This is an alternative to the PebbleOS that was created by the developer community to keep Pebble watches going beyond the June 30th 2018 cut-off date. But this does not seem to be a part of the feature-set.

In terms of priority, PineTime clearly sits below other Pine64 projects such as the PineBook Pro laptop and PinePhone smartphone. But that did not prevent the company from delivering a finished product.

Pine64 has now made the watch officially available. Considering the limited feature-set, this is not really a device that will compete with the big brands. At $26.99, it is more one for the hobbyists.

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

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