A modern person looks at a smartphone screen on average 150 times a day. Developers from Martian have come up with “smart” Bluetooth watches that allow you to avoid taking out your smartphone to dial SMS or make calls once again, redirecting a significant part of your daily routine to voice control.
In 2012, the Martian watch raised $221,298 on the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform, which is more than twenty thousand more than planned, and already in January 2013 it shone at CES with a demo version. Using the Martian watch, the user can answer calls, receive SMS, display various notifications on the display, and also send voice commands via the built-in Bluetooth headset.
There are currently several models in the Martian line; We tested one of them, the limited edition Victory, paired with an iPhone.
Stainless steel case and buckle
|Dimensions and weight
Height: 14.8 mm
Weight: 85 grams
|Bluetooth 4.0, incl. low power mode
Analogue quartz Japanese movement
Noise canceling microphone
OLED display, 96×16 pixels
LED indicator (three-color R/G/B)
Micro-USB port for charging and software updates
Two independent power systems (watch battery + accumulator)
Lithium polymer battery
2+ hours talk time
7 days standby time
Charging time: 2 hours
|Menu and notification languages
|English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese and Chinese
|all languages supported by the smartphone
In addition to the watch itself, a small cardboard box contains a Micro USB cable and a short manual on how to use the device.
A mix of classic and sporty styles: a round dial with a diameter of 41 mm with a rectangular display window is enclosed in a powerful stainless steel case with prominent control buttons.
Martian Victory look quite massive. And although the watch is a little large and heavy for a woman’s wrist, it is quite suitable as a daily accessory for people of both sexes who prefer casual or sporty clothing.
Martian Victory weighs 85 grams. The model is presented in black, sand and white colors. The black version has two options, with a chrome-plated or blued body.
Two-thirds of the dial is occupied by an area for an analogue clock. There is also a three-color LED indicator that lights up green when there is an incoming call, red when the battery is low, and blue when there is a new message or notifications from applications.
A separate space (about a third of the total field) is reserved for a monochrome display, which displays the caller’s name, received text messages, weather information, battery level and other notifications. The display displays text in all languages supported by the smartphone paired with the watch.
There are three control buttons, and all of them are located around the perimeter of the case. The main buttons are located on the left. You can answer calls and access the main menu, as well as call voice commands using the button located at 11 o’clock. The information submenu (connection via Bluetooth to a smartphone, battery charge level indicator, switching between sections and searching for a phone if it is lost within Bluetooth range) is called up by the button located at 9 o’clock.
On the right side there is a arrow adjustment wheel, a socket for the Micro-USB port and a speaker hidden by a plug; a microphone is hidden in the lower part under the grille.
The surfaces of the buttons are coated with a blue coating: manufacturers take care of the safety of the coating during delivery. The back cover is engraved with the serial number and the “Kickstarter” logo.
It’s unusual to talk to the watch at first, but, in general, it’s quite convenient to use. For example, you don’t have to worry about missing important information: notifications about calls, SMS and updates are accompanied by a slight vibration. The voice assistant is called by one click of the upper left button, and you can also answer an incoming call with it. If you wear the watch on your left hand, it is convenient to press the control buttons with your right thumb. The resistance of the keys is small, but sufficient to prevent you from accidentally pressing, say, with your sleeve.
The monochrome OLED display is quite small, despite the fact that the area allocated for it occupies a third of the surface of the dial. Display resolution is 96x16 pixels. The icons and text on it are easy to read, and messages and notifications are displayed in the form of a ticker that scrolls twice by default.
Martian Victory is splash-proof, but not water-resistant: you can still wash your hands without taking off the watch, but you shouldn’t expose it to heavy rain, much less swim. Which, by the way, can be considered a flaw: after all, there are not many connectors on the case so as not to provide the watch with at least a water resistant level.
The directional speaker ensures that both voice and technical messages are loud enough. The interlocutor can be heard practically without interference, except that the voice becomes a little “metallic”. You will only have to bring your hand closer to your ear in very noisy places. A microphone with a noise reduction function provides good audibility and sound detail in the opposite direction: when answering a call, you don’t have to raise your voice, even if you speak half a meter from the microphone.
Basic settings for Martian Victory are made using proprietary Martian Watch Alerts applications, released for iPhone and Android. Through the application, you can connect your watch and phone, find the watch if it is within Bluetooth range, and set up notifications from your email and social networks. The iOS application supports Facebook, Twitter, Calendar and Reminders. Android also supports Gmail, G+, Skype, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Both apps also offer more fine-grained settings: for example, you can set the intensity of watch vibration, set the format of the time displayed on the display, manage notifications and calls, and set up weather alerts.
The apps support English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese and Chinese. The text in notifications is clearly visible: the watch displays messages in any of the languages supported by the smartphone. In particular, European letters are displayed without distortion, and there are no problems with encoding.
Voice control of your watch is limited only by your phone’s voice capabilities. iOS7 devices that support Siri will have access to all its functions through the watch, as well as Android devices will have full Voice Command and Google Now capabilities. iOS devices that don’t support Siri fall back to regular voice control.
The user can voice-activate the command “send message”, “read message” or “reply” without taking the smartphone out of his pocket, which is especially convenient while driving. Using speech commands, you can play music from your phone’s library, dictate an SMS or e‑mail, and activate a timer. All notifications are accompanied by a slight vibration and are duplicated in a synthesized voice.
In addition, after pairing, the watch and smartphone can “search” for each other as long as they are within Bluetooth range (up to 10 meters), and the Leash function makes the watch vibrate when the phone moves away from this distance. It’s very convenient to use this feature to look for a smartphone when you forget where you put it.
You can launch the camera on your smartphone directly from the watch to take selfies or group shots.
Of the gesture controls, only the “hang up” command is supported. To do this, just shake your hand. The developers plan to expand the library of gesture commands — new features will be available with the release of the next firmware.
The response speed of the watch directly depends on the data transfer speed via Bluetooth. Martian supports Bluetooth 4.0, which includes high-speed and low-power protocols, among others.
This optimized version is installed, for example, on Apple smartphones starting with the iPhone 4S, and is supported on many other smartphones. Bluetooth 4.0 compatible devices will experience faster performance with the Martial watch.
The watch can show the time of two different zones: the digital display shows the time set on the smartphone, and the analog display shows any time set by the user. Convenient for long trips.
The quartz movement is powered by a separate battery. The stated operating time is two years. The electronic part is charged via a Micro-USB connector from the network or USB port of a computer. The battery consumes its charge in more than two hours of continuous talk and a week in standby mode, as indicated in the documentation.
Separate power supply for the digital and analog parts is a very useful thing: if the electronic part runs out, the watch will show the time, and will not turn into a pointless burden on the wrist.
Martian Victory is an analog watch with additional functions, the set of which depends more on the model of the smartphone used and the operating system installed on it. This model does not have full support for gestures, but voice control and a display with notifications already greatly simplify many actions. Take a quick look at the received SMS, dictate a response to it and immediately send it, call back in response, listen to calendar reminders, find out about updates on social networks or turn on a playlist without taking your smartphone out of your pocket — all this is very convenient. At the same time, users expect more capabilities from smartwatches than just a Bluetooth headset with a display that can show the time.
- separate power supply for digital and analog parts;
- attractive design;
- Ease of use;
- loud and clear sound.
- poor protection from water and dust;
- small electronic display.
Official website of Martian company
Buy this or another Martian watch model