Two years ago, several projects appeared on Kickstarter to create the first smartwatch with iOS support. Two campaigns have become super-successful — a real “smart” Pebble accessory and an ordinary watch with a convenient notification system COOKOO watch. During this time, the wearable electronics market has changed a lot — many other solutions have appeared, and major players such as Google with the Android Wear system and Apple with their Apple Watch were not long in coming. Is there a place left for accessories like COOKOO watch? Let’s figure it out together with the second version of the popular CONNECTEDEVICE watch.
Short video review of COOKOO Watch 2
COOKOO watch 2 is the second version of the famous watch with alerts. Improved, slightly modified, but not fundamentally new. Let me remind you that this device looks like an ordinary men’s watch that connects to the iPhone via Bluetooth and displays notifications about incoming messages, calendar events and others on its miniature screen.
As before, the watch comes in a cute plastic box in the shape of a bird feeder. Inside are the accessory itself, a plump paper instruction and … everything. No wires, power supplies and inductive chargers — the owner of COOKOO watch 2 does not need all these items. We take them out of the box and take a good look at them before turning them on.
I got a watch from one of the two new series — Urban Explorer. Their strap is made of strong nylon in three different colors (blue, green and purple), and the case itself is made of brushed metal and plastic. The second series is called Sporty Chic and resembles the first version of the cuckoos — the same case, only with a shiny piping and a rubber strap.
The mineral protective glass, according to the experience of using the first watches of this company, is as strong as a stone. Two small scratches against several powerful abrasions on the screen of my Pebbles.
In a word, the novelty is not much different from its progenitor, and this is more good than bad. COOKOO watches are still a compromise for those who are not ready to trade their ordinary watch for such an unusual accessory as Pebble. Even the signatures for the “Mode”, “Connect” and other functional buttons have disappeared from the case of the new watch, now instead of them there are numbers on the dial.
A little about the basic clock controls. There are two buttons on both sides of the accessory that activate various functions in COOKOO watch 2. We will talk about them in the section on the official iOS app a little lower. The buttons are made of plastic and are more comfortable than in the first version — the buttons are more massive and the response is softer. On the right side is a control wheel designed to translate the arrows. Today it is fashionable to call it the «crown».
Actually, what is new in COOKOO watch 2 besides minor design changes? Take a closer look — at the top of the dial is a miniature display that displays the current time and date in standby mode. During an incoming call, the inscription changes to the name of the caller. Insanely convenient, because on ordinary COOKOO watches at this moment the incoming call icon just blinks. By the way, support for Cyrillic characters is still questionable.
The presence of an additional display is not the main reason that COOKOO watch 2 is quite massive. There are, as before, two batteries that never run out. Yes, this is the only «smart» accessory in my memory that does not require recharging. One battery is used here to operate the main clock mechanism, the other is used to operate the electronics, including the Bluetooth module. I’ve owned the original cuckoos for over a year now and they still function just fine.
The COOKOO watch 2 is waterproof, and with this indicator, they are doing a little better than last year’s version. This figure is equal to 10 ATM here, that is, they can swim and dive at a depth of up to 100 meters, but you cannot scuba dive. With my first watch from CONNECTEDEVICE, I also actively dived and swam in the Black Sea, although they have a water resistance level of 5 ATM.
In a review of past CONNECTEDEVICE watches, I lamented the official app for connecting the watch to an iPhone via Bluetooth 4.0. It worked through a stump-deck, the accessory constantly “fell off”, which eventually began to infuriate me. In this regard, the well-known Pebble worked much more hopefully at that time and the connection was kept stable.
New CONNECTED WATCH software released for COOKOO watch 2 [Скачать из App Store], but it was clearly made by the developers of last year’s utility. The application again keeps the connection unstable, the watch connects and disconnects sometimes as it pleases and seems to live its own life. There is hope that the application will still be finished to a perfectly working one, since the last update of October 10 this year turned out to be serious. There is support for iOS 8 and two time zones, the ability to remotely update the COOKOO watch 2 firmware and an improved camera interface in the program.
As before, to connect the iPhone to the watch, you need to hold down the top two buttons. COOKOO watch 2 will beep and vibrate as a confirmation, after which they can be fully used. No additional settings need to be made. You can only go into the program and activate / deactivate notifications about various events that will be displayed on the smartwatch screen in the form of small icons.
Of the new features of the Connected application, I also note the ability to view notification statistics for the day / week / all the time. This will help you decide which messages distract you more than others and draw the appropriate conclusions.
COOKOO watch 2 turned out to be interesting, but once again a little unfinished. In all aspects, they are good — both in design, and water resistance, and the declared functionality, but the developers of the official application in this company wipe their pants in the office instead of working normally. In the next update of the program, they promise to add full support for the iPhone 6/6 Plus and, I hope, the stability of the watch-iPhone connection will increase. At the same time, they are still the only «smart» watches on the market that:
1) no need to charge;
2) which are similar to ordinary men’s watches;
3) which are able to withstand a variety of conditions of use.
I would recommend to the owners of the first COOKOO watch to upgrade only because of the built-in display, which is able to display the time, date and, most importantly, the name of the caller. Thanks to him, the need to go for the iPhone to the other side of the room or get it out of your pocket once again disappeared forever.