Uwatch U8 Smartwatch Review – A Cheap Smartwatch
The UWatch U8 smartwatch is the best thing that could happen to you if you’re looking for a cheap smartwatch. In the past two years, there has been a tide of exciting developments in the wearables sector, and the number of smartwatches currently available is at an all-time high. Some of these smartwatches are incredibly hyped, but also remarkable like the infamous Apple Watch, whereas others are fairly reasonable in providing style and function. Some, however, are not worth the tag of a smartwatch.
The question, therefore, is where a cheap Uwatch smartwatch falls on this impressive spectrum. The following U8 smartwatch review will help answer that.
Price when reviewed: $12.99
UWatch U8 Smartwatch – First Impressions
The U8 smartwatch is very affordable and I mean REALLY affordable, especially when you compare it to the likes of Apple, Tag Heuer or a Google Watch.
It is currently priced around $16-$30 and comes in 3 colours:
- and white.
Sorry ladies, no rose gold or silver on this smartwatch, but the Uwatch looks and feels good. It has a relatively good fit on the wrist, but it also has some level of “geekiness” about its looks that may prevent some people from wearing it in public. Also, the overall appeal has “budget smartwatch” written all over it.
Nevertheless, it is a well-designed smartwatch for its class – especially for around $16-$30 at Gearbest.com and the price is basically the main selling point here. There are also many variations like the U8 Pro, U8 Plus and other, each incorporating a tad different features, like waterproofness, sleep monitor, etc.
The Uwatch smartwatch has a sensitive 1.48 inch LCD that is clear and easy to read indoors, but can be tough to read outdoors, especially on a sunny day. However, due to the highly responsive nature of the touchscreen on this smartwatch, the glass is very sensitive, and you need to be careful when using to avoid shattering it. I’d recommend applying a resized smartphone screen protector on the U8 to give your display a better chance surviving daily usage.
For the price of the U watch, you should not expect to get an HD Retina display anyway, but the the screen is probably the weakest part of the Uwatch U8.
The Uwatch comes with three unique watch faces: two analogue faces, and one digital face. The digital face can be easily set to either display the 24- or 12-hour style.
You will, however, have to set the device manually after unboxing, as it doesn’t sync the time and date with the connected smartphone. Also, the watch faces are designed with functionality in mind, so don’t expect any Mickey Mouse watch faces here.
There are only three background colour options available in the Uwatch – black, pink and turquoise. Additionally, you can even set a custom background using a picture. Again, the basic idea here is “Design follows Function”. In this regard, a black background is the best option for better visibility and least offensiveness.
U8 Applications – All Pre-Installed
Even though it is not possible to install other 3rd party applications on the Uwatch, as is possible with the Moto 360 or Apple Watch, most of the essential and defining smartwatch apps are already pre-loaded on this device.
Some of the apps work independently without the need of connecting a smartphone. However, other applications, such as notifications and phone calls, require a connected smartphone (via Bluetooth) to function.
IOs Support Lacklustre
All Android phones with Android OS 2.3 and above are compatible with the Uwatch after installing the BT Notifier application that is available for free. On the other hand, the level of compatibility with Android phones does not compare with what the Uwatch has to offer for the iPhone. Even though many of the applications function just fine when your iPhone is connected, the UWatch does not support notifications when used with iOs devices.
Considering how notifications are an essential part of the smartwatch experience, iPhone users will have to take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to buy the U8.
Apparently there is someone who would like to listen to their favourite tunes from small speakers on their wrist because this feature has been included in the U8 smartwatch. Frankly, in my humble opinion, a smartwatch should just be used as a kind of remote control when playing music on a smartphone.
Although the sound quality is not that bad, it should be the last option to use if you cannot seem to find your earphones and don’t care about weird looks you will get from passerbys and strangers.
Camera Remote Control
The remote control camera feature is only limited to Android phones. Even though the U8 smartwatch does not come with a camera, it has a nice feature that allows you to trigger the connected smartphone’s camera to capture a photo on command.
You just open the camera app on the Uwatch and then your smartphone camera captures a picture. It is a handy feature, but iPhone users should not feel like they are missing out so much with this particular highlight.
The alarm feature on the Uwatch smartwatch is exactly the way it should be – simple and clear as well as independent of your phone. You can easily set up multiple alarms (up to 5) on the smartwatch that will be enabled by playing one of the many included tones or vibrate on your wrist.
The U8 excels in this particular aspect as the vibration is quite strong and since the alarms are not dependent on your phone, you can still use them when your smartphone is not near you or out of battery.
To be very clear in this U8 smartwatch review, the Uwatch does not have GPS functionality. Then, how exactly does its Anti-lost feature work?
Well, this particular feature is fundamentally an alarm which will warn you whenever the smartwatch is leaving the phone’s Bluetooth range. This feature is a great for people who tend to forget their phones at friends’ houses or restaurants as the Uwatch smartwatch will provide an alert before the user moves too far away from their phone.
Pedometer and Stopwatch
If you are a fitness enthusiast, you will enjoy the simplistic offerings of this smartwatch. The pedometer and stopwatch are all that are offered in exercise applications. There is no heart rate monitor or calorie counter here. The U watch smartwatch will unquestionably not replace your Fitbit, but it should motivate you to start tracking your steps.
Even though many people claim that the Uwatch smartwatch can only synchronise contacts with Android devices, you can still bring in contacts from your iPhone into the watch using the same standard procedure.
Once synced, the phonebook allows you to call a person from your smartwatch directly. Thus, if the ability to make a call and also receive it on your U8 smartwatch is something you are interested in, then you should get this device.
The iPhone community has been left out in as far as notifications on the UWatch smartwatch go. The notifications are only available for the Android OS, and only after installing the BT Notifier application that is. Nevertheless, the alerts work reliably for both texts and calls.
The lack of an ability to take further action on any notification on the smartwatch makes them more of “FYI” alerts as you will have to pull out your phone anyhow.
Also, the notifications are not displayed on the main watch face; instead, the Uwatch alerts you by vibrating and then you are supposed to open the related app to view the notification, thus, ruining the “glance capability” other smartwatches offer.
Miscellaneous sensors – Barometer, thermometer, altimeter
There are the barometer and thermometer sensors that are included in the Uwatch U8 Pro smartwatch, but not in the basic version of the U8 watch for those who are passionate about keeping tabs on the weather conditions. You should, however, note that the watch only displays the barometric pressure and temperature of your present location only.
Also, since this function does not extend to the phone as the sensors are located in the smartwatch, you can only get the readings of whatever room you are currently in. That means that if you want to know how hot or cold it is outside, you will have to go outside first to get the accurate readings.
Also, if you have ever wondered how high your current location is, there is also an altimeter included in this smartwatch.
Many potential buyers had been scared away from the Uwatch due to the numerous non-English pictures around the web. What is a smartwatch good for if you can’t read the basic display notifications?
The truth is that the U8 is made by a Chinese manufacturer, but it supports a wide variety of languages, ranging from English and French to Spanish and many others.
Unsurprisingly, the U watch smartwatch had a good battery life. Even though it is still recommended to bring Micro-USB charger with you whenever you are travelling, the U8 lasted for more than three days in standby mode and roughly 36 hours of regular usage.
The battery could honestly be considered as one of the best parts of the Uwatch, especially when compared to its more expensive counterparts.
Uwatch U8 Smartwatch Summary
As I finalise this U8 smartwatch review, one thing stands out about this smartwatch – it makes for an excellent first and cheap smartwatch. If you want to find out what all the fuss about smartwatches is about without breaking the bank, you should get this device.
However, for your minimal investment, the durability of the device is not guaranteed, especially the screen, which requires lots of care when handling it. Also, you do not get 3rd party applications and the notification functionality for iPhone users.
In conclusion, I am quite fond of the Uwatch, even if this U8 smartwatch review does not give the same impression. It is a good smartwatch and provides remarkable value compared to the low buying price.
Furthermore, most knock-off smartwatches that are able available on the market today are virtually identical with regards to functionality and style but are often more costly than the Uwatch. For people looking to buy knock-off watches, there is just no reason for paying more than $16-$30, since you are not likely to find any with features the Uwatch lacks.
Obviously, if you are looking for an “authentic or real” smartwatch experience, then that is another story altogether and you should save your money and buy a “real” smartwatch instead.
- Low price
- Does not rely on a connected smartphone for everything
- Looks pretty nice and is not very bulky for what it costs. There are uglier smartwatches in the market right now that cost a lot more
- Provides the essential smartwatch functionality of phone calls and notifications
- All the knock-offs in the market use the same OS, so many of the constraints of the Uwatch are universal
- The Anti-lost feature is quite handy and will help you avoid leaving your phone behind
- The absence of the notifications feature for iPhone users may render the Uwatch smartwatch inadequate in value
- The screen can be hard to read outdoors in direct sunlight and is also fragile
- It should depend on the smartphone for some features like temperature, but it does not
- The battery still drains pretty quickly with all features enabled (less than 6 hours!)
- Includes multiple features that are not commonly used by most smartwatch users, such as the altimeter
- A substantial absence of fitness features, as only a pedometer and stopwatch, have been included
Final verdict of the Uwatch
If you want an affordable smartwatch or an exciting gift for a kid who loves tech stuff, this is an excellent choice. The U8 will also serve you well if you just want a smartwatch for a small price that also happens to come with a couple of cute alarms. Most of the competitors in the knock-off sector are more interested in prices and design rather than functions. Hence, if you have been drawn to the simplistic design of this device, as many people do, do not waste your finances or time with a much more expensive device.
Obviously, if you are in search of a real smartwatch, then a Moto360, an Apple Watch or the Pebble will do – then this U8 smartwatch review is clearly not for you.
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