The Ticwatch offers heart rate monitoring, GPS route tracking, step tracking, speed calculation, calorie burn tracking, goal setting, and sedentary alert reminders.
Last updated: Tue, Aug 23 2016 15:55 pm CST
This is a great watch. Not perfect, but getting there.
Hardware: 5 stars.
I bought this watch (Onyx, the one with the metal bracelet) on Kickstarter specifically for the hardware. The build quality is quite high all around. The interface is intuitive and responsive, and there are enough faces that you will find a face that works for you. Many of them are too busy for me, and there's few faces that give a lot of information without a lot of unnecessary details.
I bought this specific smart watch because I really wanted to be able to go running without my phone, and the features I bought it for:
1. Listen to music through bluetooth. To get music onto the watch, you need to first have a physical copy of the file on your phone, then transfer it from your phone to your watch via bluetooth. It's quite annoying if you don't have the file but you do have a streaming service; it requires you to torrent the music or purchase it for download. If you do take your phone, you can stream it from your phone like normal, and control the tracks / volume from your watch, which is quite convenient!
2. Track my location / number of steps taken. It tracks location as well, but I have yet to test it out. The newest OTA update allows syncing with Strava, which I will test once I go running.
3. Monitor my pulse. The pulse monitoring works quite well from what I've experienced if the watch doesn't move around too much (i.e., the band is snug).
4. Battery life. Quite good! I haven't had it go below 50% after a whole day of use, but I imagine that when I go running, it will deplete more quickly.
5. Sapphire glass on the Onyx watch. I have no scratches, seems solid so far.
6. Voice pickup: excellent.
7. Volume: surprisingly loud, considering its size.
8. Aesthetics: No flat tire, no flashy features. Uses a magnetic stand to charge. The Onyx watch (steel frame) came with a steel bracelet and two silicone bracelets (I think it was just a Kickstarter deal), and I replaced the metal one with a silicone strap for comfort. If the metal bracelet is not snug enough, it tugs on my arm hairs and is annoying. I will probably use the silicone on a daily basis, and swap out for the metal when I go out or something.
9. The steel bracelet opens nice and wide (bi-directionally), which is very nice if you have big hands like me. Adding and removing links is a pain unless you're very dextrous and have good eyes. The tool the provide to adjust the bracelet is not very good, but it does the job if you take your time and are very careful.
10. The Onyx comes with the magnetic charger and a little silicone stand, since you can't lay it flat with the metal bracelet. All others come with just the magnetic charger. It works well, and holds the watch in place even at a 60º angle, which is impressive.
Software / firmware: 4.5 stars
There is a lot of functionality in this watch, but since it run on its own OS, they had to do everything from scratch. This is not an Android Wear watch, and is still marginally compatible (I say marginally because some people have managed to do it by installing some packages. I can't do it easily, since I have a Mac.) This means that all the apps that are developed for Android Wear don't work yet, but they are working on implementing compatibility. There are a few gestures/features which they advertise that I have mixed feelings about.
1. You can cover the screen with your palm to dim the screen. This works very well and I use it all the time.
2. You can slide your finger along the metal casing ("tickle") on the side to scroll. This does not work very well. Tickling downward (screen moves up) is not very sensitive, and it's easier to just scroll using the screen. Going the other direction works just fine, but as going down is more important, I simply stopped using this feature. I think this can be updated in the firmware to make it more useful.
3. The voice assistant works pretty well for basic tasks. You can set reminders, timers, and alarms, you can check the weather and calendar. I tried to text people from my contact list, but it didn't work. Replies work fine if you get an incoming message, but sending a text out from the voice assistant does not work. Hopefully they fix this feature, as it's quite nice to have.
4. The Mobvoi Store on the android app to control the watch is quite bad. There are no useful apps that I've found. This may change in the future. Thankfully, the watch already has a lot of functionality.
5. At first, you will get a lot of notifications on the watch. You can disable notifications on your watch for specific apps by long pressing the notification and touching the "cancel" icon, which is the circle with a slash through it. When you clear a notification on your watch, it clears on your phone as well. That's a nice feature.
6. The weather app is wildly inaccurate. I have no idea where they get their info, but I would love to see something better. Right now, it says 57º, with a range of 37º - 73º. Google says 66º with a range of 50º - 66º. That's a huge difference, and Google is much closer to the true temperature.
7. You can call from your watch using your phone, and it works well. You can even use a bluetooth headset / headphones and it works very well.
8. The stopwatch, alarm, and timer all work great.
9. The voice recorder is very nice, and is quite sensitive.
10. You can ping your phone if you can't find it. It needs to be in bluetooth range, but if you're not, the moment it connects, it will make a sound. Super useful if you're the forgetful type (I'm not).
That's it for now. I will update once I go trail running, which will likely be this weekend, and let you know how the bluetooth connection is, battery life under strain, GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, and syncing with Strava. Also, next time I use an Uber, I'll try using the watch. So far, so good!
Last updated: Mon, Mar 06 2017 11:28 am CST