Every equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­er dreams of its own ecosys­tem. So Noth­ing pre­sent­ed a smart watch, but not exact­ly its own, but from a sub­sidiary brand CMF. We got acquaint­ed with the device and under­stood how cru­el real­i­ty can break the frag­ile glass of high expec­ta­tions.

Seventh son of the seventh son

The Noth­ing brand explod­ed thanks to a smart­phone with an eye-catch­ing design and unusu­al light­ing. The company’s founder was Carl Pei, who doesn’t need much intro­duc­tion, and titans such as the cre­ator of the iPod and the co-founder of Twitch invest­ed in the busi­ness. It is not sur­pris­ing that the new brand is being talked about on every cor­ner.

Carl Pei recent­ly said that he does not like smart watch­es. Per­haps that is why the world has not yet seen a wrist-worn acces­so­ry with a trans­par­ent body. But it would be wrong to com­plete­ly ignore such a large mar­ket niche. And then it was time for CMF.

CMF by Nothing Watch Pro

Its prod­ucts are aimed at the same audi­ence as Noth­ing, but these are only brand­ed gad­gets that are indi­rect­ly relat­ed to Noth­ing itself. Many man­u­fac­tur­ers prac­tice a sim­i­lar approach. In Sep­tem­ber, CMF intro­duced wire­less head­phones and smart­watch­es. It was the lat­ter who vis­it­ed us for test­ing.

Packaging with a surprise, but design — without

Pack­ag­ing is a sim­ple but effec­tive way to attract atten­tion to a prod­uct. And CMF by Noth­ing Watch Pro did not dis­ap­point: the gad­get is placed in a very thin box with an impres­sive design:

CMF by Nothing Watch Pro

But the watch itself is not sur­pris­ing — it is a clas­sic rec­tan­gle with an alu­minum case and a sil­i­cone strap. They appear large due to the thick body and 1.96” dis­play. For exam­ple, the Apple Watch 7 (45mm) is small­er in all three dimen­sions. There­fore, the device looks bet­ter on a man’s wrist. The CMF by Noth­ing Watch Pro weighs mod­er­ate­ly – about 47 grams.

We reviewed the dark gray ver­sion, but there are also mod­els with bright orange and white straps on sale. The fas­ten­ing is the most com­mon: the 22 mm strap is held in place by met­al pins, so replac­ing it will not be dif­fi­cult. I liked the large num­ber of holes — you can choose a fit for any hand, tight­en it tighter or loos­er. And the strap is also very high qual­i­ty and vel­vety to the touch — in many watch­es this acces­so­ry is much worse in terms of tac­tile sen­sa­tions.

CMF by Nothing Watch Pro

On the right side there is a round but­ton with which you can turn the watch on or off, return from the set­tings menu to the main screen, and also lock the gad­get. I liked that the key is flat — it doesn’t inter­fere at all even with a strong bend in the wrist. Near­by are the slots for the speak­er. As befits a smart watch, they received hous­ing pro­tec­tion accord­ing to the IP68 stan­dard.

Large and beautiful screen, but without auto-brightness

CMF by Noth­ing Watch Pro is equipped with an AMOLED matrix with a res­o­lu­tion of 502x410 pix­els, a max­i­mum bright­ness of over 600 nits and a refresh rate of 58 Hz. The dis­play has a good oleo­pho­bic coat­ing; remov­ing fin­ger­prints and dirt is not dif­fi­cult. There is also sup­port for Always On Dis­play. Although the side edges are flat, the edges of the screen itself are slight­ly round­ed, and this com­bi­na­tion looks good.

CMF by Nothing Watch Pro

I liked that all the dials are designed in the Noth­ing style. There is a min­i­mal­ist com­bi­na­tion of three col­ors (black, white and red), as well as a sig­na­ture “dot­ted” font. How­ev­er, the large frames around the perime­ter of the screen are dis­ap­point­ing, the exis­tence of which you don’t even sus­pect when look­ing at beau­ti­ful pro­mo­tion­al pho­tos from the Inter­net. This no longer ties in with the Noth­ing phi­los­o­phy — the brand’s smart­phones boast thin and sym­met­ri­cal frames. And then you imme­di­ate­ly real­ize that this is an inex­pen­sive acces­so­ry that is clos­er to fit­ness track­ers than to flag­ship smart­watch­es.

The bright­ness is real­ly good: indoors it is enough to keep it at 30–40% for com­fort­able view­ing of infor­ma­tion. And if you turn it up to max­i­mum, the image will be clear­ly read­able even dur­ing the day out­doors. How­ev­er, there is no auto­mat­ic bright­ness adjust­ment; you must adjust the screen man­u­al­ly each time. More­over, the adjust­ment is step­wise, not smooth, which harms its accu­ra­cy.

CMF by Nothing Watch Pro

Nice app

You can con­nect your watch to your smart­phone using the CMF Watch appli­ca­tion. If you have Noth­ing Phone, you will still have to install the pro­gram — the stan­dard Noth­ingX util­i­ty is designed for head­phones and will not see the watch in the list of devices for con­nec­tion.

The appli­ca­tion itself is designed in the spir­it of the Noth­ing brand, for which we give it a like. The inter­face looks nice and is not over­loaded with infor­ma­tion — every­thing is laid out on cards and can be read with­out dif­fi­cul­ty. Some smart­watch man­u­fac­tur­ers have been unable to achieve a neat design for their soft­ware for years, but here it imme­di­ate­ly turned out beau­ti­ful and con­ve­nient. The col­ors and Noth­ing font are also spot on.

CMF by Nothing Watch Pro

How­ev­er, not every­thing is as good as we would like. The appli­ca­tion does not have Euro­pean lan­guage. Hel­lo every­one who uses an Eng­lish inter­face on any device. Our con­do­lences to the rest. We have to wait for the pro­gram update, but when will it come out and will Euro­pean appear in it? The clock itself is also not friend­ly with the Cyril­lic alpha­bet. How­ev­er, we like CMF Watch because it is well designed and the log­ic behind the main menu items is intu­itive.

GPS, calls and a basic set for a healthy lifestyle

The device sup­ports five satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS and Bei­dou. Loca­tion data can be obtained even if the smart­phone remains at home — this option will be use­ful for ath­letes and sim­ply lovers of morn­ing jog­ging in the fresh air.

The range of health mon­i­tor­ing options is the same as most entry-lev­el smart­watch­es and fit­ness track­ers. There’s 24/7 heart rate mon­i­tor­ing, auto­mat­ic SpO2 track­ing, and sleep and stress mon­i­tor­ing. CMF by Noth­ing Watch Pro can count steps, dis­tance trav­eled and calo­ries burned.

CMF by Nothing Watch Pro

There is also a set of basic util­i­ties: a stop­watch, an alarm clock, a timer, and a search for a paired smart­phone if you for­got it some­where on the sofa in the liv­ing room. Anoth­er option is the abil­i­ty to shoot remote­ly with a smart­phone cam­era, when the watch screen acts as a shut­ter but­ton, and also allows you to set a timer for 2 or 5 sec­onds. An excel­lent solu­tion for those who want to shoot a video blog or take pho­tos of a large com­pa­ny using a tri­pod.

The device sup­ports voice calls via Blue­tooth. The qual­i­ty of the con­nec­tion dur­ing test calls was not sat­is­fac­to­ry; dur­ing a con­ver­sa­tion, the inter­locu­tors could hear each oth­er well. This is con­ve­nient when your hands are busy (for exam­ple, while cook­ing in the kitchen), but bring­ing the phone to your ear is prob­lem­at­ic. There is a delay in voice trans­mis­sion dur­ing a con­ver­sa­tion, but it is small and does not inter­fere with com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Convenience questions

Expec­ta­tions from the watch were high, which we don’t even hide; we were cap­ti­vat­ed by the beau­ti­ful ren­der­ings at the start of sales, the cool design of the soft­ware and dials, as well as the advan­tages of the Noth­ing Phone smart­phone (2). How­ev­er, the CMF by Noth­ing Watch Pro turned out to be a mediocre device with minor prob­lems that blurred the final impres­sion.

CMF by Nothing Watch Pro

The lack of auto-bright­ness and the Euro­pean lan­guage in the sys­tem has already been men­tioned; most noti­fi­ca­tions from Telegram and oth­er instant mes­sen­gers look like mys­te­ri­ous squares (unless it’s a chat with a Chi­nese or Eng­lish-speak­ing user — then every­thing is fine). When call­ing, the con­tact name is not vis­i­ble. Even adding the subscriber’s num­ber to the “Favorite Con­tacts” list in the watch itself does not help. There is also no auto­mat­ic detec­tion of work­outs. The sys­tem sup­ports only five watch faces, and the stan­dard four can­not be delet­ed. You can only down­load one third-par­ty design option, and when you want to update again, you will have to remove it. Pedome­ter data is dis­played on the screen with a long delay. Final­ly, the scrolling in the menu is con­fus­ing. The refresh rate some­times seems low­er than the stat­ed 58 Hz — inter­face micro­lags are notice­able when scrolling.

Autonomy is ok

The bat­tery capac­i­ty of CMF by Noth­ing Watch Pro is 340 mAh. This is enough for long-term oper­a­tion of the device if you do not use AoD. The man­u­fac­tur­er claims up to 13 days in mixed mode oper­a­tion. We got less: with­in three days the bat­tery charge dropped to 48%, but we active­ly test­ed the device, so in every­day life the gad­get may lose per­cent­ages more slow­ly. CMF by Noth­ing Watch Pro can with­stand a week with­out prob­lems, but the rest depends on the usage sce­nario. You can recharge the device using mag­net­ic charg­ing, which is attached to the bot­tom of the case, as in oth­er smart watch­es.

Specifications

DISPLAY
AMOLED, 1.96”, 502x410 pix­els, 332 ppi, 58 Hz
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHTS
46.9 x 39.9 x 12.9 mm
about 47 g (with strap)
about 30g (with­out strap)
BATTERY
340 mAh
SENSORS
accelerom­e­ter, heart rate mon­i­tor­ing sen­sor, blood oxy­gen sen­sor
PECULIARITIES
IP68, sup­port Blue­tooth call­ing, Blue­tooth 5.3, about 110 sports modes, 5 satel­lite posi­tion­ing sys­tems, 22mm replace­able strap
CMF by Nothing Watch Pro

Results

Let’s remem­ber the first Noth­ing Phone: at the start of sales it had many prob­lems, but the device turned out to be unique. He was for­giv­en for his flaws, and minor defects were cor­rect­ed with the help of patch­es. The sec­ond gen­er­a­tion of the smart­phone is absolute­ly excel­lent. But with “acces­sories by Noth­ing” the sit­u­a­tion is worse. CMF by Noth­ing Watch Pro does­n’t catch any­thing except the menu design. This is just a smart watch, with­out bright tech­ni­cal and design solu­tions. They are too ordi­nary for such a brand. Sim­i­lar oppor­tu­ni­ties can be found in most man­u­fac­tur­ers — why then buy exot­ic, which in fact is not exot­ic?

In addi­tion, we test­ed the device from the first wave, hav­ing ordered it abroad. And it still looks unfin­ished. Per­haps with updates one day they will add the Euro­pean lan­guage, cor­rect soft­ware short­com­ings and improve the inter­face. But now the device is not very impres­sive. Yes, there is good auton­o­my, a very neat design of menus and dials, there is GPS and calls via Blue­tooth. But it’s not a fact that this will be enough to buy, even if you like devices from Noth­ing.