Smartwatches

Deals: Zeblaze Smartwatches On Sale Until The 27th of May

Tomtop are currently running a promo on Zeblaze’s full range of smartwatches.

On sale are the Zeblaze Crystal, Cosmo and even the company’s latest smartwatch, the Zeblaze Miniwear

Prices are decent, starting at $39.99 for the Zeblaze Crystal up to $54.99 for the Zeblaze Cosmo.

All the watches offer Android and iOS compatibility, and include various features including fitness tracking and heartrate monitors. Just note that both the Cosmo and Miniwear use higher resolution IPS displays resulting in a much more pleasant experience.

I’ve reviewed both the Zeblaze Crystal and Zeblaze Cosmo and found both to be excellent smartwatches. They have their quirks but they pack an impressive amount of functionality into their frames. I often wear my Cosmo as it’s such a nice watch.

If you’re interested in grabbing one of Zeblaze’s smartwatches, check out the sale.

Zeblaze Cosmo Review: Is Zeblaze’s Latest Smartwatch A Success?

The Zeblaze Cosmo is the latest smartwatch from the company and a followup to the excellent Zeblaze Crystal which I reviewed last year, opting for a more traditional style than its predecessor.

Is Zeblaze’s latest wearable another must have timepiece or a useless gadget? Read my Zeblaze Cosmo review to find out.

I want to say thanks to GeekBuying for sending me a sample to review. Use coupon “PDBGRRCO” to get $12 off!

Check Price at GeekBuying

What’s In The Box?

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Inside the box, you get:

  • Zeblaze Cosmo smartwatch
  • Magnetic Charging Cable
  • Instruction Manual

There’s no charger inside the box but any USB port should work.

Zeblaze Cosmo Review: Design

The Zeblaze Cosmo’s design is far more traditional than its predecessor, losing its rounded edges for a thinner, more rectangular design that does a much better job at hiding that it’s a smartwatch at first glance.

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Opting for a rectangular 1.61 inch screen sporting a 320×256 pixel resolution, it’s easy to mistake the Cosmo for a traditional watch at first glance. The bezel around the screen is around 1mm so it’s not too bad.

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The only button, styled like a traditional watch’s crown , sits on the right side.

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Flipping the unit over reveals the heart rate sensor and the new magnetic charging connector.

Zeblaze-Cosmo-Review-BackThe microphone and speaker is incredibly well hidden, sitting where the band meets the top of the watch.

Speaking of the band, the Zeblaze Cosmo ships with a 22mm leather band that’s comfortable for all-day wear. Thankfully, it seems to be a standard 22mm band so swapping it out for something more to your tastes should be easy. I’ll be picking up an all-stainless steel band soon enough.

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There’s two colors available, gold and silver. I’ve opted for the silver model due to my well documented dislike of gold.

Zeblaze Cosmo Review: Using It

Holding down the button will power on the Zeblaze Cosmo, taking a few seconds to load the UI. The Zeblaze Cosmo’s UI is largely the same as the one that shipped with the Crystal. It uses pages of colorful icons that can be swiped through vertically. There’s another color scheme available that swaps out the rounded icons for squares and a more subdued color scheme. I found both equally attractive so it’s up to you which you prefer.

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There’s a few things that bother me about the software. They’re minor but they detract from the unit’s overall polish. Some of the app names are not capitalised correctly so they don’t match the other icons. Some labels also get cut off which is disappointing.

The screen itself is nice and sharp, definitely benefiting from the higher resolution compared to previous models. The new IPS display also offers far better viewing angles. This leads to a smartwatch that is far easier to read, even in bright sunlight.

In terms of functions, there’s a massive amount of variety here, including a calculator, Bluetooth camera shutter, music player, pedometer and even two separate heart rate monitors (one does continuous heart rate monitoring whilst the other only does it at a point in time).

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They all work well, though I’d argue that the two heart rate apps should really be combined into one. It’s great to see that iOS users are well catered for, with a dedicated app for triggering Siri and a special iOS mode for the Bluetooth shutter to make sure the functionality gap between Android and iOS users is minimized.

The heart rate monitor’s as accurate as other optical heart rate monitors I’ve tested, regularly coming within a few BPM of my Xiaomi Band and other heart rate monitors I had on hand. I wouldn’t rely on it for any serious medical analysis (and you really shouldn’t rely on any wrist-based heart rate monitor due to inaccuracies inherent with the technology) but it’s accurate enough to tell how hard you’re pushing yourself.

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The pedometer function is also works well. It’ll run in the background and reset automatically at midnight which is a nice touch. Accuracy was reasonably good too, counting 2807 steps on my morning walk vs 2998 on my iPhone 6’s motion processor.

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There’s also some really handy motion controls that worked well during testing. After enabling them in settings, you can have the watch automatically turn the screen on when its raised, reject calls by flipping your wrist and. They’re welcome additions that worked well.

Zeblaze Cosmo Review: Connectivity and Notifications

Pairing the watch up is a simple case of navigating to the connection menu and selecting your phone from the menu. This will allow you to take calls and play music through the watch. In order to access notifications, you’ll need to make a secondary link to the Cosmo via the appropriate smartphone app.

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The Zeblaze Cosmo supports both iOS and Android devices via either the Fundo Wear (iOS/Android) or Mediatek SmartDevice (iOS/Android) apps.

Fundo Wear features fitness and sleep tracking, in addition to sending notifications to your smartwatch. However, I don’t find the app intuitive, with much of the smartwatch and connectivity options hidden by obscure icons. I hate the fact it forces you to create an account in order to even access the notifications options and the sync function didn’t seem to work at all.

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Those wanting a simpler option would be better suited to Mediatek’s app. It’s definitely my preferred option. To get a feel of how the app works, check out my Zeblaze Crystal review.

Notifications were able to work with both iOS and Android, though the Android experience was far better.

Android users are able to filter which apps can send notifications. You can also respond to messages using a set of preset responses which is a nice touch and a far better approach than the full keyboard provided in the No.1 S3 smartwatch. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a way of customising these which is a shame though they do cover off the most common situations.

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iOS users get every single notification pushed to their wrist. Whilst it works well, there’s certain apps that you want notifications on your phone but don’t need them on your wrist. Of course, this isn’t Zeblaze’s fault – blame Apple’s locked down OS. I also had a frustrating issue where a single notification would sometimes cause my iPhone to push all the notifications again. I’m suspecting it’s an issue with the app though.

The Bluetooth connection was reasonably stable, with only the occasional drop out. Thankfully, the watch reconnected quickly when it did.

Zeblaze Cosmo Review: Watch Faces

The Zeblaze Cosmo has five completely new watch faces on offer (4 analog and 1 digital) but I found they weren’t as interesting as those on the Zeblaze Crystal.

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The lone digital watch face uses an odd card motif that leaves much of the screen empty space. It looks too sparse given the fantastically

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The analog designs vary in terms of their attractiveness. I really liked the blue face, with its multiple working dials for the day and battery remaining. It’s the only face that felt like it belongs on a smartwatch.

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Zeblaze Cosmo Review: Audio Quality

The Zeblaze Cosmo has a built in speaker and microphone. Speaker quality is about what you’d expect for a tiny speaker mounted to your wrist. Audio lacks bass, but it’s fine for speech and is fairly loud, though it may be hard to hear people if there’s a lot of background noise.

Microphone quality was reasonable, with the other party reporting clear audio as long as you kept the smartwatch near your mouth.

Zeblaze Cosmo Review: Charging and Battery Life

The new magnetic charging connector is simultaneously a handy improvement and failure when compared to the charging cradle that came with the Crystal. It’s far easier to hover the new connector over the back of he Zeblaze Cosmo and have it automatically connect that the Crystal’s clip-on cradle. It’s also polarised so it can’t be connected backwards which is a nice touch.

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That said, the magnets are fairly weak so I could only get it to stay attached when the watch was face down. The fact that a small knock could stop your watch from charging really is disappointing and there were a number of occasions where I woke up to a flat watch as I’d knocked the charger during the night. Stronger magnets would have been a good idea.

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Battery life on the Zeblaze Cosmo was decent. With the motion sensors active, I was able to get 2 full days of usage before the unit shut down. Of course, lowering the brightness and turning off the motion controls will allow you to extend this further.

Verdict

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The Zeblaze Cosmo is a successful followup to the Crystal which simultaneously feels familiar and different.

Zeblaze haven’t expanded their smart-watches features, opting for what is ultimately a cosmetic upgrade. If you prefer the Cosmo’s traditional style or watch faces or are new to  smart-watches,the Zeblaze Cosmo is a good buy. However, Zeblaze Crystal owners will be hard-pressed to fork out for such an incremental upgrade.

Getting One

The Zeblaze Cosmo is available from GeekBuying for around $69.99. Use coupon “PDBGRRCO” to get $12 off!

Check Price at GeekBuying

Alternatively, it’s available from GearBest, Banggood, and Amazon.

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:

Zeblaze Crystal Review: A Stylish and Functional Smartwatch

The Zeblaze Crystal is Zeblaze’s latest smartwatch. Following up on the Apple Watch “inspired” Zeblaze Rover, the Zeblaze Crystal comes in swinging with an impressive array of features and style in equal measure. Read our Zeblaze Crystal review to find out just how good it is.

I want to say thanks to GearBest for sending me a sample to review. They’re currently running a promo to get the Zeblaze Crystal for $64.99.

Check Price at GearBest

Zeblaze Crystal Technical Specs

  • Chipset: MediaTek 2502C
  • Screen: 1.54 inch TFT Screen(240×240 pixels), Sapphire Glass
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
  • Battery: 280mAh Li-polymer battery
  • Other Features: Speaker, Microphone, IP65 Rated
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather

Who’s it for?

The Zeblaze Crystal is perfect for those who want a stylish smartwatch that allows them to read notifications, snap photos and answer calls – particularly if your budget’s tight.

What’s in the box?

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The Zeblaze Crystal comes with the basics:

  • 1 x Zeblaze Crystal Smartwatch
  • 1 x Micro USB charging cable
  • 1 x Charging Cradle
  • 1 x Instruction Manual

There isn’t a USB charger but it’ll charge from any standard USB port so this isn’t really an issue, particularly given the unit’s price.

Zeblaze Crystal Design

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The Zeblaze Crystal is definitely a great looking smartwatch.

The Crystal’s body is two toned, featuring a stainless steel bezel and black underside. There’s also a white and rose gold variant available if that’s more to your taste.

The 1.54-inch screen is nice and big, although the bezels are on the large side. There’s a slight curve to it which allegedly helps improve the viewing angle of the screen. The edges are nicely rounded too, giving the whole device a very stylish look. I found the screen to be impressively bright, even at lower brightness settings and I didn’t have any issues seeing the watch in full sunlight.

The included leather band is nice and soft, with a subtle textured look and a metal clasp to hold it together. It’s pretty narrow though at 10.9mm so trying to find a replacement band might be a challenge. I wish there was a stainless steel band available but that’s just my personal preference.

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In terms of ports and buttons, there’s a speaker and microphone on the left side and a button to wake the watch on the right.

The heartrate monitor and charging pins are located underneath the watch itself.

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The charging cradle is basic, holding the watch in place with clips rather than the awesome magnetic attachment seen with the No.1 Sun S2. It’s pretty foolproof though as the smartwatch won’t lock in place if its inserted correctly.

Using It

After charging the watch for 30 minutes, I was ready to roll. Holding down the watch’s sole button boots it up in a fraction of a second.

The UI looks great, with brightly colored icons on a dark background. Those wanting something a bit darker can swap it out for a minimalist orange and black color scheme that I love.

Zeblaze-Crystal-Smartwatch-04Navigating through the UI is a matter of swiping up or down through pages of apps. A quick right swipe will take you back through the menus. It’s intuitive once you get the hang of it.

Speaking of swiping, the touchscreen is pretty responsive with missed swipes being relatively rare.

So how good are the watch faces? Well, they’re generally pretty good, covering the gamut from classic to modern. There’s at least 6 included, including both analog and digital variants, so there’s bound to be something you’ll like. One of the watchfaces allows you to customise the wallpaper from 3 different options which is nice, but the inability to set your own image feels like a missed opportunity. Viewing them is also a piece of cake, with the watch automatically turning on when raising it up to view it.

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The Smartphone Connection

Using the Zeblaze Crystal with your smartphone is just a matter of pairing the smartwatch up with your phone and selecting the right smartphone app.

For Android users, you can scan the QR code on the smartwatch itself and select one of several compatible apps such as FunDo Smartwatch. iOS users can install the MediaTek Smartwatch app from the App Store.

As a user of both iOS and Android, I was pleasantly surprised that the Zeblaze Crystal actually paired to my iPhone 6 via the MediaTek smartwatch app. This refused to work when I reviewed the No.1 Sun S2, which severely limited its use for iOS users.

When paired, I was able to receive notifications, sync steps to Apple HealthKit, and even take photos by using the watch as a remote shutter button.

Unfortunately, iOS notifications are an all or nothing affair. As with the Pebble Smartwatch, iOS doesn’t offer a way to filter notifications apart from turning them off altogether, so prepared to get alerts for everything on both your phone and your wrist. It’s frustrating but it’s Apple’s fault, not Zeblaze’s.

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Android users get far more power. Thanks to Google’s open OS, Android users can choose which apps can push notifications, read and respond to messages, and automatically launch the camera from the watch. It’s a much more impressive package.

Both Android and iOS users can place and receive calls, view missed call lists and browse your contacts.

Included Apps

The sheer amount of apps included is impressive, fluctuating from the genuinely useful to borderline novelty. Apps such as the stopwatch, alarms, and remote shutter are really useful. I found myself using them all the time.Zeblaze-Crystal-Smartwatch-05Others like the sleep monitor weren’t so handy. I tried sleeping with the Zeblaze anchored to my wrist but ended up taking it off after 5 minutes. It was just too uncomfortable to sleep with.

The Zeblaze Crystal’s heartrate monitor was actually reasonably accurate, as long as you remain still. Comparing it to a few heartrate monitors, the results were always almost identical which is excellent.

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The pedometer was also surprisingly accurate, with it being within a 100 steps of my FitBit Zip. It’ll even run in the background and automatically reset at midnight so it’s a set and forget affair.

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Zeblaze Crystal Sound Quality

I’m loving the novelty of taking a call on my wrist and thankfully, the Zeblaze Crystal’s speaker and microphone are up to the task. Audio was nice and clear for both parties, although I wish the speaker was louder as I had a few situations where background noise drowned out the caller.

Zeblaze Crystal Battery Life

I was pretty impressed with the battery life of the Zeblaze Crystal. With motion activation switched on, I still managed to get around 2 days of battery life which is pretty respectable, outperforming the Apple Watch. Tweaking some of the settings may even allow you to eek out a bit more time.

Should You Get One?

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The Zeblaze Crystal is an impressive package. There’s plenty of great features, a stylish design and compatability with both iOS and Android is a massive plus.

I would have liked to see a stainless steel band and the ability to add more watchfaces or even your own wallpaper. However, these issues are minor when the rest of the unit works so well. I can definitely recommend the Zeblaze Crystal for those looking for a new smartwatch.

Getting One

The Zeblaze Crystal is available from GearBest for $64.99 for a limited time, which is amazing value.

Check Price at GearBest

Alternatively, it’s also available from GeekBuying, Amazon, and Pandawill.

Mlais Reveals an Android Wear Smartwatch of their Own

Hot on the heels of Elephone’s reveal of the Ele Watch, their first Android Wear smartwatch, smartphone manufacturer Mlais have unveiled their own.

Details are very limited at this stage, with some filtered images revealing a round screen and metal frame, presumably stainless steel.

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There’s two different watch bands on show. The first appears to be a leather style band whilst the other is a metal mesh design.

Mlais’ Facebook post also mentions that the device will be IP67 rated.

There’s no availability information at present so keep posted for more news.

Elephone Reveal the Ele Watch Smartwatch Running Android Wear

Smartphone maker Elephone are venturing into the smartwatch market with the Ele Watch. The round screened device is particularly interesting given rumors that the Ele Watch will run Android Wear, rather than the MediatTek smartwatch platform we’ve seen on devices such as the No.1 Sun S2.

Android Wear has only been featured on devices from three manufacturers: Motorola, LG and Sony. With Elephone confirming that the Ele Watch runs Android Wear, it’s the first Chinese manufacturer to run Google’s smartwatch OS.

There’s still a lot of unknowns at this stage, but the images revealed show a completely round screen (not the “flat tyre” screen seen in the Motorola 360). The body seems to be made of stainless steel, with a matching wristband.

As is expected by this stage, there’s a heartrate monitor on the rear so it’s safe to assume that heartrate tracking, along with other health functions such as a pedometer will be along for the ride.

Based on the renders and feature set, the Ele Watch is definitely shaping up to be a “premium” smartwatch rather than some of the impressively cheap smartwatches we’ve seen of late. Expect to see a price north of $100.

MIFONE W15 Smartwatch Review: A Budget Smartwatch With A 2.5D Touchscreen

How good can a $50 smartwatch be?

The MIFONE W15 smartwatch certainly sounds impressive on paper, featuring a 2.5D “sapphire touch” screen, hypoallergenic wrist strap and compatibility with iOS, Android and Windows phone. But is it all talk and no action?

I want to say thanks to Pandawill for sending me a sample to review. Click here for the latest price.

MIFONE W15 Technical Specs

  • Screen: 1.5 inch 2.D Sapphire Screen
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0
  • Battery: 405mAh Li-polymer battery
  • Other Features: Speaker, Microphone

What’s in the box?

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There’s really not that much to say about the inclusions. Inside the box, you have:

  • 1x MIFONE W15 Smartwatch
  • 1x Micro USB charging cable
  • 1x Instruction Manual

MIFONE W15 Design

The MIFONE W15 is a nice looking smartwatch that reminds me a lot of the Apple Watch.

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The key feature, the 2.5D sapphire screen, looks fantastic. The gentle rounding on the screen makes the device look far more expensive than its pricetag. The screen itself is a little low resolution but not so much that it’s an issue.

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The wristband is also great. Made of a soft rubber, it’s incredibly comfortable to wear all day. They’re available in a whole host of colors to match your personal tastes. Metal studs hold the band together and it never came undone, regardless of what I was doing.

Using It

Holding down the button on the MIFONE W15 for several seconds will turn on the device.

The watch is basic but functional, showing either an minimalist analog watchface or a more detailed digital version with shortcuts to the pedometer and Bluetooth functions. The watch automatically switches on when raised which is a nice touch.

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Navigating through the menu is handled almost exclusively via taps on the screen, although the on-watch manual does require some swiping. The screen was responsive, with only the occasional touch going unregistered.

Pairing the smartwatch was a breeze. Make sure the W15’s Bluetooth is switched on, select it from your phone’s Bluetooth menu and pair the watch like you would any other Bluetooth device. There’s no automatic time synchronization with your smartwatch so you’ll need to manually set it yourself which is a pain.

When paired, the smartwatch is essentially a Bluetooth handfree kit on your wrist. You can browse your phonebook, view your call lists and place and receive phone calls – including using the watches in-built speaker and microphone. Audio quality was pretty good, despite lacking volume. The microphone was nice and clear according to the party on the other end of the call.

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The other included features are a bit of a mixed bag. There’s a sound recorder, stopwatch, music playback controls and an alarm which work fine. However, there does seem to be a bug trying to set recurring alarms. It kept exiting out of the menu when I tapped on the recurring option.

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The pedometer, which constantly runs in the background, doesn’t feel particularly accurate. Compared to my Fitbit Zip, the MIFONE W15 registered 1262 steps compared to the Fitbit Zip’s 2937.

I did use the music controls a fair bit. It’s nice to be able to skip tracks from your wrist rather than needing to fish your phone out of your pocket. Whilst Android worked flawlessly, hitting the play button when connected to an iOS device kept switching the audio from the phone to the watch’s speaker – scaring quite a few people around me with some surprise death metal.

Battery life wasn’t bad, getting roughly a full day’s use. It’s on par with most smartwatches, but still falls behind devices such as the No.1 S2.

Should I Get One?

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The MIFONE W15 isn’t the greatest smartwatch, but nor is it the worst. It looks great and generally works well for the most basic functions. However, some firmware bugs and a lack of any sort of notifications is a frustrating gap – although some of that can be forgiven given the price.

If you want a cheap yet good looking smartwatch for placing/receiving calls and controlling music from your wrist, the MIFONE is a good option. Those wanting more from their smartwatch, namely notifications, should look at more robust solutions such as the No.1 Sun S2.

Getting One

You can purchase the MIFONE W15 smartwatch from Pandawill. Click here to view the latest price.

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?

No1-Sun-S2-Box-01

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.

No1-Sun-S2-Inside-The-Box

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.

No1-Sun-S2-07

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.

No1-Sun-S2-08

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.

No1-Sun-S2-BTNotifier

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.

No1-Sun-S2-Heartrate

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 S2 Smartwatch Impressions: Round and Stylish

The No.1 Sun S2 is a new smart watch from smartphone maker No.1.  Following up on the fantastic No.1 G2, which I loved in my review, the No.1 Sun S2 maintains the stylish all-metal design 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 watch.

No.1 Sun S2 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 (IP67 Rating)

What’s in the box?

No1-Sun-S2-Box-01

The No.1 Sun S2 comes with everything you need to get it up and running.:

  • 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 will charge from a standard USB port.

No1-Sun-S2-Box-02

No.1 Sun S2 Initial Impressions

When I first set my eyes on the No.1 Sun S2, I was impressed. The round crown looks fantastic and unique, thanks to its raised detail around the frame. The stainless steel band is essentially identical to the one on the No.1 G2, which is to say its elegantly simple, comfortable and easy to adjust.

No1-Sun-S2-01

Charging the device only took about 30 mins to fully charge, so it’s easy to plug in it before you head out and be ready for a night out.

After holding down the power button for a few seconds to boot up the watch, you’re greeted with the homescreen. Unfortunately, it looks nothing like the renders and is a step backwards from the No.1 G2 but hopefully this will be fixed in a firmware update. On the plus site, you can now set a custom wallpaper to improve the situation.

No1-Sun-S2-02The round 240×240 pixel screen looks nice and bright, with text easy to read. It does have the same limitation as the Motorola 360 however, with a black semi-circle detracting from the aesthetic.

It’s clear that the round face has caused issues for the UI designers too, as a number of screens suffered from cramped or cut-off text which detracts from what is otherwise a cool gadget.

The included watchfaces look really nice, with everything animating like a high-end 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.

No1-Sun-S2-Watchface-01

Pairing with my Android was a breeze. Simply open the QR app, snap the QR code and install the APK. The app then guides you through the rest of the setup and allows you to configure notifications, install new applications and find the watch if it gets separated from your phone.

iOS users aren’t so lucky however. I had no problems pairing the smartwatch to my iPhone 6 but the MediaTek app that was used for the No.1 G2 wouldn’t sync. That means that iOS notifications can’t be pushed to the device – a real shame.

Verdict So Far

The No.1 Sun S2 is shaping up as an improvement to the popular No.1 G2. Gaining a few new tricks and some really stylish watch faces is a massive plus, although a few missteps in the UI department and reduced iOS support are disappointing.

Getting One

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