Watches are making a bit of a comeback, but in a new form, they have Bluetooth, a range off odd buttons and loads of features that you didn’t know you ever needed. I’ve never owned a SmartWatch, I’ve looked at many though and wondered what life would be like having to charge my watch every day as well as a selection of phones.
But now that has changed, I spotted this watch the other day, probably because of the rather bright strap it has. I’ve been using it for about a week now and I thought you’d like a review of it, starting as always with my good and bad points.
- Nice range of colours
- Can be used to answer calls
- Can play music through the speaker
- Alerts you if the paired phone leaves the vacinity
- Only basic SmartWatch functionality
- Screen basically unreadable outdoors and fairly dull indoors
- Speaker quality a bit basic
- No separate volume controls
- No Bluetooth multi function button
- Only vibrates in emergencies
To look at the Zewatch it is nice to look at, the contrasting strap and watch are eye catching and the strap actually feels quite nice. The watch has a variety of buttons, holes and sockets. Starting with the watch face which house a microphone hole and speaker slot.
The left hand side has the green call button.
The right hand side has the red call button.
The rear of the watch has a charging port, which is charged by a clip on attachment that plugs into the wall.
The strap is a pretty basic affair, it is quite long though, meaning people with strangely thick arms will be ok.
Here are the rest of the photos I took of the Zewatch.
The watch is Bluetooth 2.1 so you need to pair it with your phone or tablet, on my Android devices I could change whether it dealt with phone audio and media audio separately.
Once set up I made a test phone call, as expected the call audio came blaring out of the speaker slot on the top of the watch, you can then speak towards the microphone hole on the bottom of the watch.
The watch is set to the correct time by pressing and holding combinations of the two buttons, once set up it provided me with a nice looking watch face, I wore it on my left wrist but you can flip the watch face with another button combination so you can wear it on your right wrist. It should be noted here that if the watch battery dies, then you’ll need to reset the time again. It should also be noted that the watch isn’t constantly on, to see the time you have to tap one of the buttons and even then the watch only stays lit for five seconds. This behaviour can’t be changed at all, it is how it is.
Media playback is an interesting feature that the watch has, which works as media playback is one of the many Bluetooth protocols manufacturers can use. This feature wasn’t great though at volume the speaker got a little distorted though, it is best suited for use like this picture that MyKronoz have on their website. Or sat on the back of a bus.
Another use for the phone is to use whilst driving, again when the volume was turned up it was a little distorted, using the watch on my left wrist meant that every time I changed gear (in a UK car) I couldn’t really hear the other caller, they did report that the call was sounded very good from their end.
The annoying thing about making calls with the Zewatch is that you can’t trigger a call from the watch, normally a bluetooth headset would have a multi function button that can trigger voice activation or last number redial. With the Zewatch you have to either have your phone in a windscreen mount so that you can initiate the call. If you receive a call though you can choose to answer or decline the call using the green or red buttons on the side of the watch.
As the watch routes all phone audio through the watch speaker all SMS, Email, Alarms and Reminders all sound through the watch, which is quite handy. Sometimes my phone will be in my bag or somewhere where I couldn’t hear/feel the message.
Vibration is another issue, it would be quiet handy if the watch vibrated at the same time as the ringtone plays through the speaker, if you were in a noisy environment it would let you feel that you had a call or message. The only time it does vibrate is if it becomes disconnected, which is when you leave the vicinity of the phone or someone runs away with your phone.
To improve the Zewatch I would add another button to act as the multi function button, I would make the screen stay illuminated longer, I would make it so that you could actually read the screen outside, I would have the date on the screen as well as the time, I would add further “SmartWatch” functionality such as all notifications popping up on screen in some manner, I would have a volume rocker on the watch and also improve the quality of the loudspeaker. These extra features would no doubt bump the price though.
The term “SmartWatch” was rather loosely applied to the MyKronoz Zewatch, if “SmartWatch” means that you can divert calls to it and awkwardly struggle to listen to music using it then maybe I’ll let them off.
The design of the Zewatch is nice, it just lacks a little in functionality, even as a plain watch it struggles, as you have to press a button to get the time to display, it can’t tell you the date and it also beeps all the time alerting you to the lack of phone connection.
I’m left wondering who would buy it, in car use you’d be better off with a normal Bluetooth headset, for media playback many devices have speakers that are more than capable than this. If it’s all about the design for you then the Zewatch is available from Mobilefun here for £59.99 along with a range of other accessories here.