The fitness wearable market is quite a varied one. With many manufacturers creating all different shapes and sizes of wrist bands or watches. A few weeks ago Hannspree announced the Sport Watch which seemed to have the ideal combination of features. They’ve sent me one which I’ve been using for a few weeks now and it’s time for my review. Starting with my good and bad points.
Good and Bad Points
- Tracks steps, calories and sleep.
- Spare strap and necklace adapters in box.
- 8-10 day battery life.
- Micro USB charging.
- Call and SMS notifications on the Watch.
- The watch UI is very basic.
- No Smart Unlock functionality.
- Accuracy seems a little out.
- Syncing takes ages.
- Putting it into sleep mode is infuriating.
- No meaningful settings for power users.
- Plastic display scuffs/scratches easily.
- Overall size feels to big.
- Only splash resistant.
Traditionally fitness trackers have been like wristbands. Misfit came out with a round tracker that looks much like this one, which to be honest does look more like a watch than a fitness tracker. It’s round and it goes on your wrist, the similarities end there. The band and the tracker are actually separate pieces, let’s have a look at the tracker first.
The main tracker piece is made entirely of plastic, including the display so it will get scratched fairly easily, the display also attracts fingerprints rather well too. The display is an LCD display in a strip across the middle of the tracker. The display being LCD is quite readable in the dark in the light the plastic display and the fingerprint combine to make reading it a little difficult.
The edge of the tracker has a lip so that it clips nicely into the band, the lip also houses the Micro USB port for recharging the thing too. The top of the tracker has a notch to help keep the band and the tracker lined up nicely, no one wants a wonky step counter on their wrist.
The strap is a rubberised silicone strap with holes in for the metal clasp to fix onto. The strap is quite long adopting a “one size fits all” kind of approach. It is quite comfortable to wear thanks to the strap being quite soft to the touch.
In the box you get a black or blue strap and also black or blue necklace straps too. So you could wear it round your neck if you wanted.
Overall I feel it is a bit bigger than it should be, especially as the actual display only appears across the middle of the tracker. The rest of the device seems pointless, unless the insides are stuffed full of components. Like the battery or vibration motor. As it is marketed as a “Sport Watch” I’ll let them off with the size, unfortunately for me I always have a Pebble or Android Wear device on as well, so I’ve been rocking the two watch look for the last few weeks. If you want one combined budget wearable device it would be ideal.
The tracker is a rebadged HPlus H1 Band from China with a slightly different strap and different branding.
Hands on video
I made a brief video showing off the design, the UI of the watch and the app.
- MCU NRF51822, ARM Cortex M0 16GHz
- Stand-by time 5-8 Days
- Bluetooth 4.0 BLE.
- Micro USB charging port.
- G Sensor: Yes.
- Battery: 50mA/H.
- Display: 0.68″ OLED .
- Features: Vibration, Message notification, Pedometer, Sleep Monitoring, Alarm Clock, Splash resistant.
A great wearable really is just fit and forget, in that you put it on and you don’t have to really touch it for it to do its thing. The Hannspree SportWatch is quite hands on, needing taps on the display to wake it, to show the time, to put it to sleep at night, to cycle through the various modes and at times to see if it is still connected.
Once you have decided whether you are going to wear it as a necklace or as a watch you will need to install the companion app, which is available here for Android and here for iOS. The app is just a rebranded version of the HPlus app for the original Chinese version of this band.
The app allows you to pair the watch and the phone, it allows you to manually sync them as well and it allows you to handle the notifications for Calls and SMS. Once synced the app will show you the most recent no of steps taken and the time when it was last synced. The app is pretty basic and it doesn’t really do the Watch any favours, you can’t control much with it. It would be nice to change the formatting of the time and date on the display for instance as it is in US style date format. Being able to change what information appeared on the display as well would be nice. As at the moment you have to cycle through total steps, time, distance, the sleep activation screen and a connection screen, it would be nice to able to remove some of these.
The app also has the ability to set alarms, take medication, add you weight and height, manually add extra exercise sessions that aren’t tracked with steps and also as see historical sleep data and sports data.
Overall the app didn’t really impress me, it felt like an iOS app that had just been ported across to Android. Various things felt like they were missing, such as graphs of historical data and some settings to personalise the experience would have been nice too.
Battery life was impressive though, with notifications turned off it easily lasted a week. With notifications turned on it will last about 7-8 days. Charging it is easy via a standard Micro USB port under the lip.
Accuracy was another issue I had with it, on average at the end of a normal working day my FitBit shows about seven thousand steps, the SportWatch would show me about eight and a half thousand steps, as to which is right I’d personally pick FitBit and their step counting methods.
The Hannspree Smartwatch had great potential, to be a nice and cheap fitness tracker, issues with the accuracy, the clunkyness of the UI on the watch, the lack of waterproofing and the painfully slow app just made the watch feel very much like a first generation product.
See how it goes and we’ll improve things with the second generation model.
I imagine someone might have said at some point in the watches development process. Maybe….
At the current price of £39.99 the SportWatch is inching into the older FitBit or Jawbone devices that you can pick up for a little bit more money, but they arguably offer a better experience. The Hannspree SportWatch is available here.