I have a collection of watches. Nah; I didn’t say they are a collector’s collection. They get the job done so I manage to look a bit different everyday. That’s it. But in the last 18 hours, I have wondered whether or not they won’t be largely rendered redundant soon.
You see, I am reviewing a watch phone at the moment, and I can see how it can get me hooked on using it daily. The VAWLT S29 is a Samsung Gear 2 lookalike. But they are two very different devices inside. The Gear 2 runs Tizen OS. The VAWLT S29 runs an unknown OS for wearables. You could say it is the equivalent of a feature phone.
Setting up the S29 was easy. It has a micro-SIM slot and beside that a microSD card slot. I popped in my cards, closed the rear cover and powered it on. The SIM card slot means the watch does voice calls, SMS and even mobile internet over GPRS. No 3G here. Homescreen has a large digital clock and shortcuts to phone, pedometre and settings. Navigation is done by swiping right, left, up and down. And you can return to the homescreen from anywhere by pushing the hardware button below the display.
There is a camera at the top edge of the watch and a microUSB port for charging on the right edge. I wonder if it allows for transfering files to and from the phone. I sure will check. I installed the BT Notification app on the Nexus 6 and then paired the two devices via Bluetooth. After pairing, I selected the apps whose notifications I wanted to get on the watch. For example, BBM. Since then, I get a notification on the watch when someone sends me a message. Same for SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, and others that I selected.
How does the S29 watch phone handle calls? It has a loudspeaker that is not so loud. I took a call on it while driving with my hands on the steering wheel all through. In-call audio over the speaker was loud enough for me to hear, though I would have loved it louder. Perhaps the average volume is just perfect for when you have passengers in the car and would rather they do not hear your caller. I can assure you that they won’t be able to make out a thing. Well, not unless one of them has Superman’s super hearing. My caller however had no issues and said I was loud and clear at his own end, so it looks like the microphone is quite sharp.
Apps? No 3rd party apps can be installed on the S29.
What is battery life like? It is too early to tell. Being paired to the S29 does seem to drain the Nexus 6 significantly. I will have a full report on battery life in my review. This is a hands on post. A more detailed review with more photos is on the way. Any questions or comments?