Chinese smartphone manufacturers have proven that low cost doesn’t have to mean low quality, and along with that dedication to low prices has come massive market gains. Xiaomi, for example, have recently been crowned the most valuable start-up in the world after a £29 billion valuation based on nothing but huge amounts of phones sold with razor thin profit margins. It’s a business model which is likely to be applied almost everywhere in 2015, with Alcatel first out of the gates to make waves in the world of smart watches.

The smartwatch field is still in its infancy, but it’s one which is being seen as the next big thing by phone and luxury goods companies (who might still be wrong). As such, the watches available are firmly within the luxury goods territory, with prices at the low end beginning at around £200. Markets have a way of lowering the cost of technology as competition increases, but Alcatel are looking to cut out the middle man and launch their own super cheap smartwatch in early 2015 – the OneTouch Watch. That’s it in the picture above, and as you can see it’s designed in a very similar style to the Moto 360, albeit with a permanently fixed ring around the display, likely included to make up for the shortcomings in making a borderless round screen.

The watch, which doesn’t have a price, specifications or full list of features (thanks, Alcatel!) is due out this year, but we’re not completely clueless as to its abilities. In the above render we can see it tracking a heart rate, telling the time, responding to a kind dinner invite from Jin and tracking fitness. Alcatel have also stated that the watch will sync to Android phones and can take pictures (acting as a shutter button for your phone). It’s also clear that the watch doesn’t run Android Wear, instead running some sort of custom UI of Alcatel’s own design.

Still, with those handsome good looks and the promise of more straps and true affordability, this could be the first hit smartwatch of the year. Let’s just hope it lives up to the hype Alcatel have managed to generate in this pre-CES announcement.

Stay tuned for more CES news from Chinese Smartphones.

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Ten fingers, five senses, one man, loads of Chinese smartphones.

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