Super-long battery life; Beautiful design; Useful proximity alert
Doesn't display message information; Won't alert for texts or emails yet; Disconnects from smartphone randomly
The Cookoo Watch is beautifully designed and has long battery life, but it lacks most features of other smart watches.
The world of smartphone-connected wrist watches is exploding in popularity, and the Cookoo watch is very much a part of that trend, thanks to a popular Kickstarter campaign. Unlike other smart watches, such as the Sony SmartWatch, the I'm Watch and the Pebble, the Cookoo is fairly feature-limited. But the company hopes to make up for the comparable lack of functionality with a beautiful design, outstanding battery life and the low price of $129. Will the Cookoo watch satisfy your craving for a teched-out wrist?
The watch itself is black, with small splashes of blue on the hour and minute hand, as well as on each line denoting the hour. There are four buttons on the end of the watch, a black Connect and Light button on the left and a black Command button and a blue mode button on the right. Also on the right, between the two buttons, is the dial to adjust the analog clock.
The Cookoo is currently available in three colors with four different colored straps. In addition to the blue model, the watch face is also available in green or pink. A pack of four straps, each a different color, can be purchased for $49.99, allowing you to switch the watch face between black, white, blue and pink bands.
The watch connects to iOS devices via Bluetooth and most of the interactivity happens through the Cookoo mobile application. In order to pair the watch with our smartphone, we held down the Connect button for six seconds, which caused all the icons on the watch's screen to start blinking simultaneously.
The entire setup process was painless. Once the watch was paired, it remained in our Devices list, even when disconnected or out of range. We did run into some issues, however, when trying to reconnect the device after the pairing had been broken, such as when our phone was left behind and the proximity alert was triggered. Once back in range, it took numerous tries for the Bluetooth connection to work, with the two devices finally pairing and leaving us wondering why it didn't work on our previous attempts.
Additionally, the watch occasionally dropped the connection with our smartphone for no apparent reason, even when the two devices were within range. When this happened, the watch alarm would sound and we would need to press the Mode button to stop the alert, pull out our phone, and re-pair the two devices. The process to reconnect the watch to the phone was relatively painless, but the random disrupted connections were annoying.
Since the Cookoo watch itself only displays icons on the screen, rather than words or images, almost all functionality and control is accessed on the connected device. Features such as incoming call alerts, text message notifications, and calendar reminders don't require any additional setup beyond the initial Bluetooth pairing. Other features, such as the Command button customization, could be controlled through the iOS app.
The next tab is the Locations tab, which works with the watch's pin-drop feature, allowing you to see all the places you've tagged with the Cookoo. At the moment, the mapping capabilities in the app are fairly basic: users can only drop pins and then share a screen grab of their location to Facebook or Twitter.
The Cookoo has four notification settings: vibrate only, beep only, vibrate and beep as well as a silent mode. We cycled between these modes by holding down the blue Mode button for six seconds.
We could easily tell when we had activated a medium or long press by a vibration and beep. The first vibration/beep notification alerted us to a medium press, the second for a long press. Unfortunately, the watch both vibrated and beeped aloud as we used the Command button even when we turned off all notification sounds on the Cookoo.
There's also a proximity alarm, which sends an alert to both the watch and the phone when the two devices are out of each other's range. We left our iPhone on the desk and walked to the other side of the office, a distance of about 30 feet, and the watch immediately started vibrating and beeping. The alerts continued, even when we were back in range of our phone, until we pressed the Mode button to acknowledge the proximity alarm.
The Cookoo watch also monitors your connected iOS device's battery level, providing alerts for low (20 percent) and critical (10 percent). These alerts can be individually turned on or off, but we couldn't adjust the battery percentage levels associated with each threshold.
Performance and Battery Life
Cookoo claims a battery life of up to a year if the phone remains in standby mode, or around 9 months of use with average alert volume. This is leaps and bounds longer than the Sony SmartWatch, which lasted four days, and the I'm Watch, which needs to be charged daily. The analog watch component is separate from the alert system and can last up to three years, according to the company.
The Cookoo watch comes with a 30-day refund or replacement program for defective devices and a one-year repair warranty. This warranty covers device malfunction, manufacturer or hardware defects and dead icons. Unfortunately, broken screens and LCDs or liquid damage are not covered.
In addition, the Cookoo watch does not yet support text message or email alerts, although these features are currently in the works and will be delivered in the future through a push update. But even when these notifications are enabled, the watch will only beep and vibrate when receiving an incoming text or email; it won't show the content of the message.
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|Size||1.75-inch circumference, 1-inch thick|