No.1

No.1 S3 Smartwatch Review: How Good Is No.1’s Latest?

The No.1 S3 is the newest smartwatch from smartphone manufacturer No.1. No.1 have put up released two solid smartwatches with the No.1 G2 and No.1 Sun S2, and their new model is no different.

Keeping the round screen of its predecessor and adding a SIM card for phone-free calling, is it any good? Read our No.1 S3 review to find out.

Thanks to No.1 for sending me a sample to review. You can purchase the No.1 S3 from the following stores:

No.1 S3 Technical Specs

  • Chipset: MediaTek 2502
  • Screen: 240×240 pixels, Tempered Glass
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
  • Battery: 350mAh Li-polymer battery
  • Phone: 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz (Micro SIM)
  • Storage: 64Mb + micro SD (up to 16GB)
  • Other Features: Speaker, Microphone
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather

Who’s It For?

If you’re looking for a budget smartwatch with style, the No.1 S3 is a good option. For it’s price, it’s got a solid set of features, particularly if you’re an Android user.

No.1 S3 Review: Design

The No.1 S3 looks far more subdued than the No.1 Sun S2. The No.1 S3 pairs a black metal body with a matching leather wristband. There’s also a gold variant that features a brown leather band.

A single button breaks the circle. It acts as the only physical interaction with the watch, pulling double duty as a power button and to show the time.

The back of the watch is relatively bare, featuring only the charging port.

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The cover underneath comes off revealing the sim card slot, micro SD card slot and a removable 350mAh battery.

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To account for the removable back cover, the heart rate sensor is now located in the wristband. Unfortunately, this means you can’t swap it out with aftermarket bands which is a shame.

The 240×240 round screen looks great. It’s got enough brightness to read during the day and the touchscreen is responsive. It rarely missed a swipe.

It’s not perfectly round however, suffering from the same “flat tyre” design in early round screen devices such as the Motorola 360. The black semi-circle definitely detracts from the overall aesthetic.

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No. 1 have included several watch faces in the No.1 S3. The analog faces are really nice, featuring various dials representing the time and date. However, I thought the digital watch face was a little bland. It’s disappointing, particularly after being spoiled by some of the stylish faces on the Zeblaze Crystal. An additional digital watch face can be installed via the Android app however.

The charger works well but feels like a step backwards. It uses a mechanical grip rather than the awesome magnetic charger included with the No.1 Sun S2.

No.1 S3 Review: Using It

After charging the smartwatch for around 30 minutes, holding down the button for a second turns on the unit.

The UI uses pages of bright icons, each representing a different feature. Navigation is intuitive, using the typical swipes and taps. Tapping an app launches it, swiping right goes back and tapping-and-holding on the watch face brings up the watch face menu.

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In terms of functions, there’s an impressive amount in here as per usual from No.1. From a calculator, messaging and fitness tracking, the functions fluctuate from genuinely useful to pure novelty.

The heart rate monitor was reasonably accurate, compared to a few of the other heart rate monitors I had access to. You can only measure your heart rate at a single point in time though. If you need continuous heart rate monitoring, you’ll need to look for another device.

I compared the inbuilt pedometer with my Fitbit Zip. After my morning walk, the No.1 S3 registered 1494 steps compared to the Fitbit’s 1582. That’s respectably close given that I’m comparing a wrist-based tracker to one on my waist. With so many variables impacting accuracy of pedometers, the result is great.

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A smartwatch’s main function is to partner with your phone. Thankfully, pairing the watch is a breeze. After pairing via your smartphone’s Bluetooth menu, snap the included QR code to download the app for your smartphone. Android users should use the Fundo Wear app whilst iOS users can use the MediaTek Smartwatch app from the App Store.

The iOS experience was pretty smooth. Once I connected the watch and linked it via the app, I was able to reliably get my notifications. Unfortunately, iOS notifications are an all or nothing affair so prepare to get bombarded with everything. However, this isn’t No.1’s fault as devices such as the Pebble Smartwatch have the same limitations.

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If you’re an Android user, you’ll get a far more pleasant experience. You can choose which apps can push notifications, focusing on what should be pushed to your wrist.

You’ll also be able to respond to messages. However, No.1 have opted to provide a full keyboard rather than canned responses. This flexibility comes at a cost, as trying to type on the tiny keyboard is a nightmare.

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Both platforms can place and answer calls via your smartphone, browse your contacts and use the watch as a remote camera shutter.

By inserting a SIM card, you can actually place calls without being paired to a smartphone. There’s actually separate sections in the Contacts app for local and phone-stored contacts.

While the feature works, it’s usefulness is questionable. It only supports 2G networks (which are being shut down in many countries already) and I never leave the house without my phone anyway so I personally can’t see this is a must-have feature.

No.1 S3 Review: Sound Quality

Sound quality using the on-board microphone and speaker was respectable. It was a little quiet when there was lots of ambient noise, but fine for most situations. The other party found it easy to hear me during a call.

No.1 S3 Review: Battery Life

The battery life on the No.1 S3 was great. I regularly got about two full days out of it with the motion sensor switched on. That surpasses several popular wearables in the market today.

Should You Get One?

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The No.1 S3 is a good smartwatch. No.1 have clearly learnt from the No.1 Sun S2 with a UI that’s more tailored to the round screen. The SIM slot is a bit of a novelty and I’m not a fan of having the heart rate monitor moved as no changeable wristbands is disappointing for those who wanted to customize beyond the software.

However, the impressive amount of features, great watch faces and solid smartwatch functionality outweigh the handful of rough edges. If you’re looking for a cheap smartwatch, the No.1 S3 is definitely worth the price of admission.

Getting One

The No.1 S3 is available from the following stores for around $65:

No.1 Sun S2 Smartwatch Review: Round and Stylish

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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Using It

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.

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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.

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Push Notifications

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.

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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.

Included Apps

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.

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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

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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.

Getting One

You can purchase the No.1 G2 from GearBest. Click here to view the latest price.

Alternatively, it’s also available from GeekBuying and Amazon

No.1 Sun S2 Additional Photos

NO.1 SUN Smartwatch Features a Round Screen

Phone maker No.1 have announced their new smartwatch. Called the No.1 SUN, it seems to adopt the same metal build of the No.1 G2 but now incorporates a round screen instead of the rectangular screen of its predecessor.

At this stage, only gold product renders are available but here’s hoping No.1 produce it in silver. It also seems like No.1 have changed the UI from the G2, taking quite a few design “cues” from Apple.

No.1 SUN Technical Specs

  • Chipset: MTK6260
  • Operating System: LinkIt OS
  • 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

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Interestingly, it looks like they have integrated a camera into the crown so I’m curious as to how well it’ll work being so close to your wrist.

I really love the No.1 G2 which I have reviewed previously, and its become my daily watch thanks to good build quality and battery life, so hoping No.1 continue this trend.

[gearbest-no1sun-deal] [Source: No.1]

No.1 G2 Smartwatch Review

Wearables is a massive growth area and growth is anticipated to continue into 2015. Whilst devices such as the Pebble have taken off, a number of other wearables supporting a single OS have entered the market such as the Apple Watch and Galaxy Gear.

The No. 1 G2 is a new device from the phone manufacturer which borrows heavily from the Galaxy Gear but offers both Android and iOS compatibility. 

Read moreNo.1 G2 Smartwatch Review