The Alcatel Onetouch Watch isn’t snazzy-beautiful, and it’s not packaged with features. But during usually $150, it’s one of a cheapest smartwatches we can buy—and that competence sign a understanding if you’re merely smartwatch-curious instead of smartwatch-confirmed.
It’s arrange of like a clip-on tie, or a Barbie bike with training wheels. Consider it Baby’s First Smartwatch, a disposable squeeze that can that give we a ambience of what a $350 Apple Watch or $300 Android Wear watch is like to use. Do we even wish smartphone notifications on your wrist? What about elementary activity tracking? The Alcatel Watch—which pairs with any iPhone from 4S to 6 Plus, and any Android phone using 4.3 and later—can put we in a smartwatch diversion though a vital investment.
Alcatel’s steel box is mediocre though inoffensive, and from 10 feet away, a round pattern doesn’t review “nerd” as aloud as a square-shaped Apple Watch. But once we get adult tighten and see Alcatel’s cheapo rubber band, a pattern belies a cost tag.
You can’t barter in your possess deputy band, since Alcatel integrates a charging indicate directly into a strap. On a and side, a watch powers adult around a customary USB connector, so you’ll never need to worry about exclusive charging cradles. Alcatel claims between dual and 5 days of battery life, and we found a watch lasted good into 3 days during a middle liughtness setting.
Underbaked apps and notifications
Smartwatch displays are usually too tiny and fiddly to positively support a lot of features. Samsung attempted to container too most into a strange Galaxy Gear, and we fear Apple is following that same over-ambitious path with a watch. And afterwards we have a Alcatel Watch, that doesn’t run any third-party watch apps, and offers very, really tiny in terms of intelligent features.
You get notifications for a tiny set of smartphone apps (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, email and messaging); tourist ID with call accept and decrease functions; entry-level activity-tracking features; and a tiny set-of built-in apps that are radically list stakes in a smartwatch game. we puncture smartwatch simplicity, though Alcatel’s proceed feels underbaked, generally since trivial, lightweight utilities like a liughtness selector and aeroplane mode switch are given usually as most U.I. weight as built-in continue and activity-tracking apps.
Alcatel’s arrangement engine provides usually a unclothed smallest of utility. Text messages describe in full, though we can’t respond to them from a watch, even with a canned, pre-formatted message. Facebook notifications merely news a highest-level activities (e.g., a crony has commented on your status), and email notifications usually describe theme lines once we have a few built up. And we can’t daub a arrangement to parent some-more information on your phone. Bummer.
Activity tracking for people who hardly care
The activity tracking facilities pivotal into a watch’s built-in accelerometer. The complement marks stairs taken, calories burned, miles walked, mins active and hours slept. You can set goals for all these activities, and a information seems amply accurate for a $150 watch that’s not being marketed as a health and wellness platform. Just don’t pattern a lot of data. Again, Alcatel opted for a simple, bare-bones approach, and a sum-total vibe it exudes is, “Yeah, it can do activity tracking too,” instead of, “We’ll uncover we each indentation and corner of your quantified self.”
Other built-in apps embody continue (which shares a elementary five-day forecast); a heart rate guard (good for usually moment-in-time mark checks); a stopwatch (meh); and remote controls for your smartphone’s song actor and camera shiver (meh and meh). Your granddad competence cruise all of this is magic. But your granddad was also a final male on earth who still shopped during RadioShack, so cruise a source. Indeed, a Alcatel Watch mostly feels like a $19.99 remote-control automobile of a smartwatch scene.
The watch’s 1.22-inch arrangement is splendid adequate in proceed sunlight, though has a “dead” area during a bottom, usually like you’ll find in a Moto 360. It creates for an awkward presentation, though Alcatel uses a passed mark for a behind button, that you’ll need to exit a notifications screen, as good as built-in apps. The U.I. responds fast enough, and it’s comparatively intuitive—because it doesn’t have most to do.
Swipe ceiling to see notifications. Tap a core of a shade to launch a app menu. Tap a behind symbol to exit out of anything you’ve entered. It’s all easy to master, though we never found a proceed to boot specific notifications entirely. They usually disappear on their possess after a while, and if there’s a proceed to manually control dismissal, it’s not common in a Android and iOS app assistance menus.
Alcatel’s “turn wrist to wake” suit achieved inconsistently, forcing me to arise a arrangement with a press of a watch’s earthy energy key. But that’s a problem with many smartwatches. we was some-more unhappy in Alcatel’s watchface customization. You get to select from usually 3 dial layouts (all unremarkable), and a preference of cheesy wallpapers. The cultured vibe is miles behind Android Wear, and light years behind what we’ve seen from Apple.
A smartwatch entry-point during best
After 5 days of testing, we found myself appreciating Alcatel’s battery life, though not most else. we most cite Android Wear’s strong arrangement engine, and while I’m endangered Apple’s proceed will be too bustling and complex, I’m vehement to try out all a surprise-and-delight Digital Touch features.
With entrance fees for a Android Wear bar now attack $165 for a Moto 360, we can’t suggest a Alcatel Watch for Android phone users, unless they’re positively certain they wish zero to do with Google’s always-connected vision. But a Alcatel competence be an engaging choice for iPhone users who wish a low-commitment ambience of what smartwatch notifications are all about.
And who knows, if a Alcatel Watch drops next $100, it competence be usually too inexpensive to pass up—assuming aesthetics and low functionality usually aren’t your thing.