Saturday 7 July 2018

Smart Watch - Bakeey HB08S

I've done it again, I've looked at smart watches, and again got confused and surprised by the range and prices they go for. Sure, you can spend several hundred pounds on a smart watch that looks amazing and does all sorts, but generally I'm not a watch wearer, I don't use it as a fashion statement, so my main requirements:

  • Alerts me of messages/chats on my watch and lets me see the contents/partial info
  • Easily adjustable for my tiny/thin wrists
  • Comfortable, not square and unweildy
  • Extra functions of stepcounter, heart-rate, etc, a nicety
  • Actually shows the time
  • Battery life longer than a couple of days
So not the biggest range of requirements, but enough to discount a lot of the cheaper brands that are in the low £10-30 it seems.
This is the one I've ended up with, the Bakeey HB08S which should normally cost £40 (In this case I got it free, as a free gift so non-sponsored item!).

The first thing that stands out is the strap, it's really quite impressive and I'd never seen this type before. It's a sort of chain-main strap, BUT with a twist, it uses a strong magnet to fasten, so simply slip it round to the right place and let the magnet catch any part of the strap. That's great for me, as no fixed fastening holes or positions, so you can get the comfort level just right, and let's you adjust it constantly, so for a non-watch wearer like me, getting used to it is easier.

Next is the watch face, it's not huge, it's rounded and actually looks OK. When the screen is on you can see the simplicity of it though, the screen is square and just goes into a round bezel, but it's clear and shows the info you need.

I prefer the first two options for display, I was a little disappointed there was no "classic" watch display graphic, but these do work and give you a few good bits of info just when the screen turns on:
  • Time and date (month-day fixed format)
  • Heart rate at last sample
  • Stepcount
  • Bluetooth status (not too reliable, or I kept reading it wrong!)

Next up is battery life. AMAZING, it lasted me for 5 days before needing a charge on my first test run (Which admittedly was without being paired to a phone), but so far whilst paired to a phone it's made it two days and battery still shows 90+% so that's good. Also the battery level indicator works well, full is 4 bars and they go down slowly, no sudden drops/jumps. That also takes me onto the charger. It's a nice neat little 'rest' charger, just place the watch onto it (you see the contact pins on it) and it charges, so far it's always just sat right on it and didn't move off, so again, really easy for charging.

The alert reminder goes with the app itself you install "iband" and out of most of the chinese applications, this one works really well! Setting it up and connecting to the watch was quick, and all the settings in the app seem to work without a crash or problems.

You can set how it wakes up (I set it when I turn my wrist, and it's surprisingly good at detecting when you lift your wrist and look at the screen!), medium brightness (It's fixed, so in bright light it can be difficult to see) and the various notifications so I get alerts based on txt messages, whatsapp, etc. You can't add all notifications to be alerted to, which is a shame, but they include the main ones.
The alerts are pretty clear, when you get a TXT message the watch vibrates and shows you the first 6 characters of the name of person sending and a letter icon. You then touch the watch to see the contents of the message, and it will scroll through each page of the message, which is really impressive! The text is very blocky, not very elegant, but it works well.

It's difficult to comment on the step count and heart rate as don't have a good frame of reference, but the step count does seem reasonably accurate based on me counting my steps and seeing how it increases on the watch, so it seems close enough for what I'd want! The sync back to the phone is regular and shows steps, activity, sleep cycles, heart rate over monitored period (It does periodic checks), blood pressure (Unsure on this one!) and the last one, SP02 in percent (No idea!).

So in summary, I'm liking the watch, it's not stylish or particularly clever but it does the job really well and compared to a lot of the Chinese "smart" watches I think this one is really impressive.

One problem: I'm not sure how, but I managed to crack the plastic casing of it, which meant the front watch face was starting to come off. Taking a peak inside I could see the battery li-ion package is glued to the base and the screen with the circuit is attached to the face, so if you do prise it apart, you need to disconnect the thin ribbon that joins the two before you lift the screen too far. Prising it from the bottom of the face looks the best option! I used a few dots of superglue to put it back together, hopefully it will hold.


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