The Z1 Smart Android 2.2 Watch is bringing the power of Android to the wristwatch. You can think of it as a souped-up iPod Nano-on-a-watch-band kind of deal, but with the power to make and receive calls.
The watch phone is powered by Android 2.2 and a 460 MHz MTK6516 dual-core processor. It’s only compatible with “2.75G,” as opposed to 3G, and the Wi-Fi reception, while present, is spotty at best. Granted, that’s to be expected from something as small as a wrist-worn 2” device. GPS functionality comes by way of a G-Sensor, which is optimized for outdoor use – it won’t work too well while you’re indoors. There’s even a 2 MP camera thrown in, though you can forget about making video calls with this – it has neither the front-facing camera nor the power to handle that.
With something this small and underpowered, there are going to be some expected problems. Some apps won’t work (problems with the Netflix app have been reported, though video playback is possible on the device). While the idea of a wrist-mounted phone sounds cool, it’s probably not the most practical idea in the world, especially if you need to make calls outside or in noisy public places. That, and problems have been reported with the USB charger that comes with the product.
All things considered, it’s not too bad of an attempt at creating a wrist-based smartphone. The phone uses GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz networks, meaning that it should be compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States. 8 GB of storage come by way of a Micro SD card.
Would I trust the Z1 enough to buy it for $280? Simple answer is no, especially given the complex process you need to go through to update the Z1, which is necessary because of the occasional bug fixes that seller and creator IBuyGou releases. That, and trying to type anything on a 2” touchscreen sounds like an awful time. That said, if you’re in the market for a new toy to play with and you have money to burn, it looks like a fun thing to tinker around with for a while, and the implications for future products make it intriguing enough.