‘Hello, Childhood? It’s me, Scott. We think we found it…the Dick Tracy watch!’ That’s right, as of this moment the I’m Watch Smart Watch allows you to make phone calls, receive emails and text messages, check the weather, and take advantage of other smartphone features right from your watch! I’m Watch leverages your smartphone, whether it’s Android or iPhone, to make offer the most features and best ‘Smart Watch’ experience possible.
I was quite possibly the iPod Nano Watch’s number one fan. I’m a sucker for a huge bright digital display. There’s just one thing that could have made using an iPod Nano on my wrist better: communication to my iPhone. You’re on the move, you feel a phonecall, text, or email come through, how much better would it be to just refer to your watch and not have to dig out your smartphone? Well, now it’s a reality!
On paper, the I’m Watch does it all. It’s the world’s first “Smart Watch”, and it’s been a long time coming. I’m Watch is actually running a toned down custom version of Android, so it can almost do anything your smart phone can, with a few handicaps. Firstly, you’re limited to a 1.54″ display, so web browsing and typing are probably out. Secondly, there’s no built-in WiFi or cellular, so the reliance on your phone for internet and cellular is key. With those limitations taken into consideration, there’s a ton I’m Watch can do, with unlimited potential for future updates.
This may not be very clear from the pictures, but I’m Watch is huge. As a male who loves big watches with big faces, it’s right up my alley, but if you have a smaller wrist, then this 1.5 inch wide and .4 inch thick device can excessive. Which means ladies – this is probably not the watch for you. The band is nearly as wide as the watch the whole way around. The weird thing is even though my wrist is about average for a guy, the band is almost on it’s tightest setting, so we’re really not sure who they designed this watch with in mind. Luckily, it’s surprisingly light (just 90 grams) and the rubber band is very comfortable.
The aluminum and rubber design is quite nice and it feels very durable and well built. The variety of colored bands is also a nice touch. The watch face has just one port, one button, and metal mesh openings for the speaker and microphone. Unfortunately, it’s not water proof or water resistant.
I’m Watch works with iPhone/iOS and Android. To be honest, it’s actually a surprise that it’s as compatible as it is with iPhone considering iOS’s locked down infrastructure. It works with Android 4.0 and higher (except 4.2) or iOS 4 and higher. Bluetooth tethering capabilities will vary by phone, manufacturer, and service provider.
Let me start off by assuring you, this smartwatch does in fact tell the time. The home screen always displays the date and time with your three favorite apps right below. There’s even a weather update on the homescreen if you have an internet connection.
So here’s the big limitation: if your phone can’t tether internet over bluetooth, you won’t be able to make the most of I’m Watch. Without tethering, you can still use bluetooth to make and receive phone calls straight from I’m Watch, you can receive text messages and most push notifications (even with iPhone), and you can transfer over your address book. Without a bluetooth connection you can still use offline apps like listen to locally stored music, browse local photos, browse your contacts, use the compass, calculator, or any of the offline apps you download from the marketplace like Connect Four or a unit converter.
The I’m Watch app store has about 28 apps now, most are free or just a couple of dollars and it includes games, watch faces, utilities, and other nifty apps like World Cam that allows you to view a variety of big city webcams in real time. I’m Watch includes other apps by default like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Stocks, and Appointments, all of which require tethering and configuration in the I’m Cloud.
We received a demo I’m Watch at CES, so hopefully the production model is a little better. Phone calls are mostly unusable, the built-in speaker is very choppy and cuts in and out second by second. My callers couldn’t hear anything but muffled noise. When I plugged in headphones, I could hear a little better, but callers reported that they couldn’t understand a word I was saying.
The screen’s great. It’s bright, vivid, and pretty high resolution for this type of device. It’s a 1.54 inch color TFT display. It’s touch screen and feels as natural as using a regular smartphone. The resolution is 240×240 pixels, which is about 220 pixels per square inch. That’s a nice pixel density.
Over Bluetooth and with regular usage, the battery will last a full day. It’s doubtful you can make it two days with very little use. Even without a Bluetooth connection, the standby time is only 48 hours. It charges with a USB cable that plugs into the headphone port.
I’m Watch has me torn. On one hand, it’s kind of a gamechanger. It is the world’s first smart watch. There’s a ton of functionality, and the options are limitless, literally. I’m Watch updates, and iOS/Android updates, can only make the watch better. On the other hand, it’s a bit buggy, the battery’s not great, the phone calling is unusable, it’s missing all of the cool watch faces that iPod nano had, and worst of all I can’t even make the most of the features without internet tethering on my phone. All-in-all, it’s still amazing for what it is. I love that if my phone’s ringing or buzzing I can refer right to I’m Watch to let me know if it’s worth taking my phone out of my pocket. I’m Watch is setting the stage for a bunch of exciting new Smart Watches and Smart Accessories, and we can’t wait! With a retail price of $349.00, it’s pricey, but not outrageously so. It’s a pricey accessory, but it’s not really a pricey watch. If you want to be an early adopter or on the forefront of tech-fashion, the I’m Watch could be a great move. It’s available in black, white, pink, blue, yellow, white , and green. There’s also a “tech collection” and a “jewel collection” that will be released at some point in the future. You can purchase I’m Watch from ImSmart.com.
The Good: Works with iOS and Android. Great Screen. Touchscreen, app store, lots of apps, built-in mic and speaker and color options. Available for future updates. Light and comfortable. Available NOW!
The Bad: Battery won’t last more than a day, charger is not universal, and not water-resistant. Watch and band will be too big for most wrists and phone calls were unusable. No WiFi or cellular and limited usage without tethering package on phone.