Now that I have worn the watch for a few times, I thought it might be of interest to write a small first impressions piece on my experiences thus far. Before I start though, a little back story is in order.
I have been curious about smart watches for quite some time now. Not so much as to do an in depth research on the concept and to educate myself in the past, but there was always a little nagging notion that I might want to try one sometime. The idea was suppressed whenever I visited the local Best Buy or Staples as those name brand prices appeared to be very high, especially so for someone who wasn't sure they would jive with one to begin with. Also in the back of my mind was the thought that tech progresses fast, and buying a smart watch per see was like buying a computer.The watch might be relegated to obsolescence rather quickly. That makes buying a very expensive smart watch a bit daunting for someone like me. That is until I starting playing on Amazon. I have been on a bit of a watch kick of late, and my curiosity got me to search smart watches online. I was taken aback at how many unknown smart watches there were from China and elsewhere for a too good to be true price. I found one that happened to be very popular, a Qiufeng DZ09 for $29.99 Canadian. How can you lose, and I promptly bought one. It came to my door rather quickly and I was sufficiently amazed with its functionality. What I did not like was that once I paired it with my phone, it would take over my calls. Problem being, the speaker was so low, I couldn't hear anyone who called me. I had to hang up and do a recall a few times due to this. I quickly realized I had to unpair the watch with the phone if I wanted to talk to anyone.Overall however, for the price paid, that was quite the little capable watch..and it made me realize that just maybe I could get along with a smart watch. I did however give it to the girlfriend's son as I didn't see a need for it anymore, The watch did its job.
I had figured out that wifi capability is what I really wanted from a smart watch. This led to me a period of intense research, and much perusing of Amazon's smart watch catalog. I came across another Chinese manufacture..Kingwear, which I had never heard of. What I did know was that the reviews I had read looked positive. The watch is an Android Wear smart watch, and the price is one I couldn't complain about. During my research, I noted that the KW88 Pro was superior to the first gen KW88. I went for the cheapest Amazon option I could find in red, which was $129.99 Canadian. I figured a lot cheaper than many of the watches I tended to buy anyways. Can't lose. The following 3 weeks were a long wait as I awaited the watches arrival.
When the package finally arrived, I was quick to open it up and read the manual. Umm...first issue I found was that the manual doesn't explain much. In fact, what caused me the greatest issue was trying to download the cell phone App. You have to take a photo of a kaptcha. Now when I first excitedly turned the watch for the first time, the kaptcha is shown with a message telling you to take a photo of it to direct you to the proper application. I blew past that in excitement...which was an error in my part as I couldn't for the longest time afterwards re-find that link at all in the watch. Examining the more than useless instructions didn't help me in the least. It mentioned the kaptcha but it didn't explain how to get it back once you initially start the watch up. I didn't figure this out until 4 days later, while messing around with the watch, I clicked on a not well explained icon which popped up the kaptcha. Now this cell phone uses WiiWatch application to pair up the cellphone to the watch. I found out there are several different versions and the second version works with my phone. Mind you, I did some research prior to finding the kaptcha on the watch, and had inadvertently downloaded the older version...which of course refused to pair with my phone. This kept me
for a few days as I tried to pair them both up...but finding the kaptch link on the watch directed me to the version which works. However, WiiWatch 2 required that kaptcha photo to sinc the watch to the phone. Yeah, that was a lot harder than it should have been. As I write this, I have not had a lot of time to play with the software.
The box the phone some in is not all that bad. The KW88 Pro comes with 1 GB of working memory and 16 GB of on-board storage. There is no place to pop in a micro SD card to upgrade that memory. I figure it is a watch and 16 GB should be more than enough, at least for what I plan to use it for.
The watch comes with a not that great instructions manual, a USB charging cable with uses a magnetic clip to charge the phone, two screen protectors (1 already installed on the watch), and the watch itself.
The magnetic clip works great attaching to the back of the watch with ease. Also on the back of the watch is your heart beat sensor and a trap door for a SIM card if you so desire to use this as a standalone watch phone.
The watch arrived with 60% battery. I find it will last 2 days on a single charge. However, if bluetooth,GPS, and Wifi are used a lot, expect energy reserves to last 1 day or less at times. I quickly learned to turn off features that drain the battery if not needed. My first day, everything was on and it didn't last the workday. I was a bit irked to have a dead watch on my arm at the end of the day. Seeing at how useless the manual was, that got me to really dig into the Android Wear OS, and I found a lot of features I didn't know existed. I am sure there are more hidden features and settings I haven't discovered yet. Not the easiest or most intuative operating system...but I guess the best way to learn something is to dive right in and do things trial by error. My biggest dig against Kingwear is their anemic user manual. I bought a charging station which is proving very useful.
Now onto the physical watch itself..
I really like the red rubber watch band, and also the surrounding bezel.
The watch band has many holes for ventilation. I like how my wrist remains cool overall. I also have a largish wrist, and the band is long enough that I can use the third hole. Quite often, I am on the last hole on most resin/rubber bands. Also, the watch comes with a metal clasp.
There is a single button found on the right side of the watch. Press for 3 seconds to on/off the watch. Press quickly to access the watch screen. The watch face will show for X amount of seconds which is configurable in properties. I also found that you can activate gestures in properties as well...meaning the watch will flash briefly when you turn your wrist towards you. The flashing watch face is so brief however, that I have settled on a digital watch face. Anything analogue is hard to read in the brief time given. I have as yet found any time settings for the gesture feature. Found on this side is a camera lens, and a small hole for your microphone.
The left side of the watch is where the speaker resides. I must say, the speaker is nice and loud, unlike the previous DZ09 smart watch I had.
When I turned the watch on at work, a colleague thought I had a Samsung smart watch. I gather from this observation that all Android Wear watches will sound and operate mostly the same. Here is the watch in startup mode.
I was a bit enamored about being able to change watch faces. I will say, the Android Wear OS allows you to do this very easily. Just hold your finder for a few seconds over the watch face will allow you to access the watch face inventory. There are many watch faces, and plenty more to download once you get online. Here we are in the watch face inventory function. swiping left and ride rotates to the various watch faces.
Here is the same watch face selected.
I quickly noticed that many of the watch faces have extra information such as weather, battery capacity, and steps taken, etc. I though that was rather neat. Many watch faces do not include these extras however. I guess it is however you want your watch to look. Some might like a clean simple watch face, and others a more data driven and busy one. The quality of the watch faces are excellent. The screen is sharp and bright. The 1.39 inch screen only has 400x400 pixels, but on such a small screen, that is more than sufficient to give great looking watch faces such as this eye catching example.
As mentioned before, I like the gesture feature, and I found that a digital face was best. This is the one I have been using the most. Gives me plenty of extra data, and it is easy and clean enough to see quickly.
Once you start the watch and it boots up, you are brought right to the watch face. If you swipe left, you will be taken to the apps section. There are a few ways to modify this, but I like how the apps scroll up and down in a circular pattern. This is part of the application options...settings being important in configuring your watch.
If you scroll up and down, you will see various applications and options. You can go to Google playstore and download other apps for Android Wear. I haven't done that yet, so I can't comment on other applications. There is a good assortment that comes with the watch. For example, once connected to wifi, you can ask Google assistant questions. It is way cool to have your watch respond exactly like those Google operated speakers. I asked my watch what the temperature was in my city and it told me. I asked it to search online for something, and it pulled up the web browser with relevant information. That last part was cool...but you won't use the included web browser much as reading anything on the small screen is hillarious. Yes, you can use it to brows the web, but it isn't very practical. Still cool nonetheless.
Tapping on settings gets you into a sub section. Oddly enough, this sub-list does not include the circular movement visuals that the main menu has. The various setting options scroll up and down.
From the main watch face, if you swipe up, you have access to various watch modes. Here you can turn on or off various options such as airplane mode, quiet mode, quick screen brightness modes, bluetooth, wifi, and GPS mode.
From this screen, if you swipe right, you have access to a few more items, such as weather, and a music player. Oddly enough, there is also this screen cleaning screen which I have as yet found any information on. I have no clue what this does other then show some animations and prompts you with a "Your screen is cleaned" message.
Here is the weather section. Oddly enough, it is telling me the sub section of the city I am in. I had to do some research as I had never heard of Buckly...but apparently it is a section of the city. I would rather just have the city named here, but that is minor once i figured out that the weather shown is accurate.
The camera is surprisingly not bad. Much better than that of the DZ09. I haven't tried to shoot any video with it as of yet. The stills are workable. I find it funny that the watch comes with a camera. Here is the live screen as I point the camera towards the opposite side of my laundry nook.
From the watch screen, swiping down gets you to the activity tracker section. The watch will count your steps, and will give the information to you via a graph that is organized by day. Swiping left will give you separate steps screen, distance traveled, and how many calories were expanded. I didn't take any photos of this function.
Overall, I am very impressed with this smart watch. I have as yet to hook up to my work Wifi, but I think next week, I will play with such. I can see how this watch is very useful, especially with the Google assistant. I can do a query and the watch will talk to me with the information I asked for...which is a big boon as doing and internet browsing on such a small screen is laughable. I would also like to add that the watch band is non-replaceable because the antenna is located there.
I think the watch itself is excellent, and I can easily recommend this to someone who wants a cheaper Andoid Wear watch. The only let down so far is the manual. Main Features:
KingWear KW88 Pro 3G Smart Watch Phone: Android 7.0, MTK6580 Quad Core 1.3GHz, 1GB RAM, 16GB ROM, Bluetooth 4.0.
●Nano SIM Card / Bluetooth Phone Call / Answer
●Effortlessly send / receive messages
●Phone Book / Call Log / Message Sync
●Bluetooth Music Playing
●1.39 inch AMOLED HD Screen, 400 x 400 pixels
●350mAh Li-lion Battery
●Sedentary Reminder Function, Heart Monitor Function
● GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz
● WCDMA: 850 / 1900 / 2100MHz