The No.1 Sun S2 is the latest smart watch from smartphone maker No.1. Following up on the fantastic No.1 G2, the No.1 Sun S2 maintains the stylish metal build but swaps out the Galaxy Gear-inspired design for a trendy round screen and fancy bezel.
Thanks to GearBest for sending me a sample to review. Click here for the latest price.
What is the No.1 Sun S2?
The No.1 Sun S2 is a stylish smartwatch that allows you to receive notifications, make phone calls, control your music and a whole host of other features, all from your wrist.
No.1 Sun S2 Technical Specs
- Chipset: MTK6260
- Screen: 1.54 inch TFT Screen(240×240 pixels), Sapphire Glass
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
- Camera: 130W pixels
- Battery: 350mAh Li-polymer battery
- Other Features: Speaker, Microphone, Water Resistant (IP67 Rating)
What’s in the box?
The No.1 Sun S2 comes with the basics.:
- 1 x No. 1 Sun S2 Smartwatch
- 1 x Micro USB charging cable
- 1 x Charging Cradle
No USB charger is provided but the smartwatch charges from a standard USB port.
No.1 Sun S2 Design
When I first set my eyes on the No.1 Sun S2, I was impressed. I’ve once again opted for the all-metal variant which helps distinguish the No.1 Sun S2 from most smart-watches which look like toys due to their plastic frames and rubber straps.
Compared to the No.1 G2, the new round screen helps the device look like a traditional watch. It looks great flanked by a patterned bezel.
The stainless steel band is essentially identical to the one on the No.1 G2, which is to say it’s elegant, comfortable and easy to adjust. It is lightweight, but whether this is a pro or con depends on personal preference.
The charging cradle is now magnetic rather than the mechanical lock on the No.1 G2’s cradle. This is a massive improvement. It’s far easier to just place the device in the cradle and than having to physically clip it in. It only takes about 30 mins to fully charge, so it’s easy to plug in it before you head out and be ready for the night.
After holding down the power button for a few seconds to boot up the watch, you’re greeted with the home screen. Unfortunately, it’s nothing like the iOS inspired renders from the marketing materials. I’d go so far as to say it’s a step backwards from the No.1 G2. I’m hoping No.1 improve it in a future firmware update. On the plus site, you can now set a custom wallpaper to improve the situation and make it look more stylish.
Going into the apps, the UI looks far more polished, with colorful pages of icons. It looks great and animates nicely. Swiping and tapping my way through it felt responsive.
The round 240×240 pixel screen is nice and bright. Although the screen is relatively low-res, text is easy to read.
Unfortunately, like the Motorola 360, the screen isn’t perfectly round. There’s a black semi-circle at the bottom which hurts aesthetics. You do get used to it but it doesn’t look as good as it should.
The round face has clearly caused issues for the UI designers. A number of screens suffer from cramped or cut-off text which detracts from what is otherwise a cool gadget. Important text like alerts or notifications are fine but some of the menus may have a partial letter or two.
The included watch faces look really nice, with all the dials working like a real watch. This is a massive improvement from the relatively bland inclusions in the No.1 G2. Thankfully, viewing them is no longer a chore, with the screen now automatically turning on after raising the watch.
Pairing with my Android was a breeze. Simply open the watch’s QR app, snap the QR code and install the BTNotifier APK it links to. The app guides you through setup, letting you set up which notifications you want pushed to the watch or trigger the “find watch” function.
iOS users aren’t so lucky however. I had no problems pairing the smartwatch to my iPhone 6 but the MediaTek app used for the No.1 G2 wouldn’t sync. That means that iOS notifications can’t be pushed to the device – a real shame. I was still able to use the watch to answer and make calls and skip tracks. However, it’s times like this that I lament Apples locked down OS.
The No.1 Sun S2 has a fairly comprehensive set of features. Some are genuinely useful, such as the Bluetooth Shutter used for taking photos remotely, whilst others aren’t that handy. For example, it’s nice to have sleep monitoring in there but I personally can’t imagine going to bed with a hunk of metal strapped to my wrist.
The messaging system has been revamped to be more flexible but this is both a blessing and a curse. You can now send any message instead of the handful of canned responses in the No.1 G2. However, trying to tap out any sort of message on a tiny keyboard without T9 prediction is a nightmare.
The heart rate monitor seems reasonably accurate, particularly given the issues with optical heart rate monitors in general. I did experience occasional instances where my heart rate reading fluctuated between within seconds of repeat tests so I wouldn’t rely on it for any serious monitoring.
No.1 Sun S2 Sound Quality
Being able to take a call from your wrist is pretty cool and thankfully, the No.1 Sun S2 does a great job here. Audio was clear, although was lacking a little in volume. According to the other party, they could hear me fine so the microphone’s up to the task.
No.1 Sun S2 Camera Quality
The No.1 Sun S2 features a camera like its predecessor. Unfortunately, this isn’t an area that No.1 have improved. Located on the faux-crown, the camera is low-res, outputting a 640×480 image. It’s pretty useless when trying to take a photo of anything that’s not bathed in sunlight and even then, it can be a little muddy.
Video quality is terrible and can only record video at 320×240 at 5 fps.
No.1 Sun S2 Battery Life
Battery life was pretty good, getting around 2-3 days out of a single charge with the motion-activated setting on. I’m sure if you disabled it, battery life would be longer as it’s the screen that drains the most power.
Should I Get One?
The No.1 Sun S2 is a solid followup to the No.1 G2 smartwatch. For Android users, you’re getting a great looking smartwatch that covers off the key features you’d expect. However, the loss of iOS compatibility from the No.1 G2 and some clunky UI decisions do detract from the experience. At around $60, it’s not a bad way to dip your toes into the world of smartwatches.
You can purchase the No.1 G2 from GearBest. Click here to view the latest price.