IconBIT Callisto 300 is the second smartphone watch in the line after the Callisto 100 model, which was tested in February. The processor frequency and the amount of RAM have increased, an option with a red strap has been added, and the aluminum case has received protection according to the IPv56 standard, which is not objectively provided by the first device. And this is not just an accessory that complements the main device, a real smartphone with a connector and a GPS module. Only small, hand-held… precise – wrist-worn.
- screen: TFT IPS, 1.54”, 240×240, capacitive, multi-touch;
- processor: dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 1.3 GHz;
- graphics accelerator: Mali-400 MP;
- operating system: Android 4.2.2;
- RAM: 1 GB;
- built-in memory: 8 GB;
- memory card support: microSD up to 32 GB;
- Communication: 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900; 3G: 2100, HSPA+ (DL: 21 Mbps, UL: 5.76 Mbps);
- SIM: micro SIM;
- wireless interfaces: Wi-Fi 802.11n, 3G, Bluetooth, GPS;
- camera: 3 MP;
- sensors: magnetometer (digital compass);
- battery: 600 mAh;
- dimensions: 41 x 41 x 14 mm;
- weight: 76 grams.
The device is connected in a black cubic box with a brief description of the characteristics. Inside is the watch itself, “put on” a brown pad.
Underneath it is a cardboard cover, under which lies a charger with a USB connector, the USB cable itself, a charging cradle, a small screwdriver and six spare screws.
A smartphone watch on your hand looks like an ordinary watch. They are available in two versions – with a black and red strap; the device itself is always in a black aluminum case. The strap is non-removable and houses a GPS receiver and speaker.
On the front panel there is a square screen with a diagonal of 1.54 inches, minutes/seconds are carved around it: 1-9 and fives with notches, tens with numbers, 0 with a triangle in a colored strap.
On the right side there are convex power and Home buttons, between them there is a lens camera, stylized as a watch winding wheel.
On the left side there is a microphone and a micro-SIM slot closed with two screws. On the back panel there is a cover with four screws, under it there is a battery and a microSD slot, which can only be reached by removing the battery. Next to the lid are contacts for recharging via the cradle.
A smartphone watch is heavier than a regular watch (except it’s metal, of course), but it doesn’t weigh on your hand, and you quickly get used to it. The strap fits tightly, but clearly did not take into account the thin wrist: the author had to fasten them over the entire hole. The holes, by the way, are rectangular, and in order to cut a new one evenly, you will have to go to a workshop. In addition, next to the case in the strap there is a thickening in which the GPS module is located, so you need to be doubly careful when using the punch.
Operating a watch-smartphone is quite simple. Of the three standard buttons on the body, there is only “Home”; the “Back” function moves your finger across the screen from right to left, swipe in the opposite direction and press “Options”. The list of recently running applications may cause you to hold down the Home button. The icons are large enough for error-free clicks, and typing passwords and SMS can take some getting used to.
It’s convenient to talk for hours, but taking photographs is not so much: the image is rotated, and the hand can be tedious. You can, of course, take your hands off and hold it like a regular camera. True, if you want to take spy photos unnoticed, then it’s better not to do that.
Protection according to the IP56 protocol will protect the watch from nearby rain droplets or sand, but it’s still not worth testing its strength by throwing it or swimming.
IconBIT Callisto 300 is equipped with an IPS display with a diagonal of 1.54 inches and a resolution of 240×240 pixels (220 ppi). There is no point in comparing these characteristics with the screens of modern smartphones, since the gadget is fundamentally different.
Terrible review, color rendition is also good. The brightness reserve is quite large, at least you can use the phone in the house. There is no automatic volume level adjustment. Under the sun, the information remains readable.
The touch display responds quickly to touches, but sometimes does not respond to the “back” gesture the first time. Rotating the image takes about a second. Up to five simultaneous clicks are recognized, but even five fingers are physically difficult to fit on the screen.
To “pack” everything necessary on the main screen, it was necessary to create firmware – Callisto 300 1.00. At the same time, the home desktop looks the same as everyone else – a 2×2 matrix of icons. However, you can install another launcher and customize everything for yourself, but then the elements will be absolutely necessary. You can also create folders with several icons (by default, Google services and system applications such as backup and the SIM card menu are grouped this way).
Loading Android 4.2.2 on a smartphone takes almost half a minute. In standby mode, pressing the power button first turns on the clock (there are six selected options and two digital ones to choose from), then you need to swipe your finger across the display in any direction and the home desktop will open. The list of preinstalled applications is standard, everything is adapted to the screen size.
Access to the Play Market makes it possible to install any additional software.
The settings section has undergone a major overhaul. For ease of use, all settings are grouped into four sections: “Wireless networks”, “Device”, “Personal data”, “System”.
The latest firmware version has a fifth section – Smart Mode. There are three operating modes to choose from: Normal mode (normal), Sports mode (does not allow the device to go into fast mode), Clock mode (only the clock works, the screen turns on). A very good solution, but in watch mode I would still like to see information constantly, and not at the press of a button.
Interestingly, the firmware is made only for Windows Vista and 7 users (on XP SP3 you must first install several updates). However, after some progress, the author managed to flash the watch under Windows 8.
The device in operation
Using the watch for its intended purpose is not very convenient: to find out the time, you need to press the power button. You should also keep in mind that if you forget to charge the device, it will “forget” what time it is, or even what year it is, and you will have to reset the time. This, albeit an implicit one, is a minus: for any incident, the circuit must be provided with a miniature replaceable battery.
As a smartphone, the IconBIT Callisto 300 looks much more interesting. Yes, you have to talk on speakerphone or using a Bluetooth headset, but this is the most important means of communication that is not an accessory for a regular smartphone.
Since the small gadget has quite mature characteristics, there are no many problems: you can connect and download several applications at the same time.
All popular instant messengers work very well, and besides, as you can see, only a small part of the contact list easily gets used to it. When the watch is on the left hand, it is not very convenient to talk on a video call: you have to bend your arm, so those who like active communication are better off wearing it on the right side. You will also have to get used to the fact that either you are looking at your interlocutor, or he is looking at you.
The browser displays even very busy pages and scales quickly.
On the screen you can watch stock videos from YouTube , and this viewing is reminiscent of the first pocket video players. Of course, there is no point in loading high-definition videos; regular ones play well. The sound is a bit tinny in a large room, so it’s best to use wireless headphones.
Game lovers will be disappointed that, for example, Angry Birds can be installed, but it will not start. Asphalt 8 and Minion Rush won’t even be stored – a warning is expected when you turn on a game that uses a gyroscope.
Simple games like Fruit Ninja work fine.
The AnTuTu synthetic test gave the watch 9,760 points. The 3DMark test ran, but froze in the middle and was unable to pass.
The built-in 3-megapixel camera has not undergone any changes compared to the Callisto 100. However, it is perfect as a tool for a secret agent – not everyone will guess that the watch can take photographs. There is smile detection, continuous shooting (40 or 99 frames), self-timer, shooting mode (“Auto”, “Night”) and white balance. You can choose high-quality photos or videos.
It’s not easy to get used to shooting with the watch on your hand: the image is rotated 90 degrees. But a dozen frames later you don’t even think about it.
The quality of the photos is average, but it’s good for social networks (the photos, by the way, come out square). The same can be said about video quality. Maximum resolution – 864×480 pixels, 30 frames per second, 3GP format. A minute of video shooting takes up about 80 MB of memory.
The Wi-Fi module works well and the connection is not interrupted. Bluetooth performance is also perfect, tested with two wireless headsets from different manufacturers.
Before flashing, the GPS module refused to determine coordinates without an Internet connection. Then everything worked, a cold start takes a little less than two minutes.
During a phone call, the caller’s voice sounds good, but lacks physical volume controls. In general, the telephone part is excellent, the size of the digital buttons is quite convenient.
Despite the modest battery capacity, the watch showed a decent operating time without recharging. With an active SIM card, constant synchronization and approximately an hour of use (browser, camera, calls), the wrist smartphone lasted 5 hours 50 minutes. Video playback in offline mode with maximum brightness and medium volume – 6 hours 25 minutes. An hour of web surfing via Wi-Fi required 24% charge. If you turn on 3G or Wi-Fi if necessary, the watch will easily last a whole day or more.
An unusual device also requires non-standard testing. When used in normal mode as a spare phone (5 minutes of calls), the battery is discharged by 20% per day, in the “watch only” mode (about 20 calls) – by 6%.
Full charging via the included cradle takes about 40 minutes. If you use this device, it will not charge.
The IconBIT Callisto 300 smartphone confidently copes with its responsibilities, including those that are hardly worth entrusting to it (video, SMS). It will be useful not only for spies and secret shoppers, but also for those who often forget their smartphone at home (you don’t have to take off your watch at all), students for “sniffing” on exams, lovers of unusual but useful devices, taxi drivers and travelers.
- a full-fledged smartphone in a case around the clock;
- protection from dust and moisture;
- decent battery life.
- not very convenient to use as a watch;
- difficult access to slots;
- no ceiling adjustment settings.