Pros: Low price point, 2.5D responsive screen, good battery life, attractive design, vast set of functions, anti lost function to track your phone.
Cons: Basic interface, no access to a play store, only two watch faces, you're much better off with an LG G Watch for $80
It's no secret that wearables have become a trend in and of itself, particularly smartwatches. These gadgets have come here to stay and since the launch of high profile smartwatches such as the LG G Watch Urbane or the Pebble, there's also been a proliferation of cheaper models that don't use Android Wear but a more simple OS. Today we've come to share our review on one of the latter models, specifically; the Ulefone uWear.
The Ulefone uWear is a cheap smartwatch, under $30 who's biggest selling points come from its price point as well as its refined design. The Ulefone smartwatch clearly wants to be an Apple Watch look alike, even opting to introduce a false magnetic charger in it's back.
We say false because it's merely a decorative addition to the smartwatch because the uWear gets its juice from a microUSB port located below a false upper button. However, we're starting to ramble so how about you come on over and find out more about this smartwatch on our Ulefone uWear review.
- 1.44 inch 2.5D arched display
- 128 by 128 pixel resolution
- 32 MB of RAM and 32 MB of ROM storage space
- 220 mAh battery
- IP65 certification (water and dust proof)
Ulefone uWear in Depth Review
Display and Design
When I first got my hands on the Ulefone uWear I was rather surprised by the quality in the design. Given I had spent less than $30 on the smarwatch I was expecting a "cheaper" design so I was glad to find out this wasn't the case.
The smartwatch is pretty light around the wrist weighing a mere 1.58 ounces and measuring just 0.39 inches. As far as the display is concerned I was once again expecting to be disappointed only to be pleasantly surprised.
You see, the display has a 128 by 128 pixel resolution and it's slightly arched thanks to its 2.5D technology. I was expecting this to translate into a poor viewing experience but all in all, even though we do "see the pixels" in this smartwatch, it's still has a pretty good definition with vibrant colors that make it easy to see the display when you're outside.
Syncing with my smartphone
The Ulefone uWear is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones so for this review I decided to use my Galaxy S4 updated to Android 5.0. Syncing the Ulefone uWear with your smartwatch is pretty straightforward.
Basically you access the QR code app that comes pre-installed on the smartwatch, you scan that code with your smartphone and you proceed to download the app you're taken too. Once you've downloaded the app you'll need to enable bluetooth both in your smartwatch through the bluetooth app and in your smartphone by searching for "devices nearby" on the app.
Once you got this app up and running you'll need to set it up so that you may receive incoming notifications (you decide which notifications you receive) and that's pretty much it.
Let's talk UI on the Ulefone uWear
One of the best things that both Android Wear and the Apple Watch have going for them are great user interfaces. The design on the interface of both Android Wear and Watch OS is simply stunning.
However, that's not the case when it comes to the Ulefone uWear. On the contrary, the design on this smartwatch is rather basic and too the point, we don't find much embellishments or much of anything other than the apps that come with the smartwatch once purchased. That's not necessarily a bad thing but it does take away from the "eye candy" feature of the smartwatch.
Apps like the calculator, phonebook, dialer and pedometer all have the same look and feel to them reminding us that we're looking at a cheap smartwatch. We can say the same about the menu which, though very intuitive, is rather simple, with a bunch of apps to choose from.
If you're a "sucker for design" then this might as well be a dealbraker. However, if you're looking for a smartwatch to perform a limited number of tasks and don't care much about the design and more about the pricing then you'll be fine with the Ulefone uWear.
What can the Ulefone uWear actually do?
You've gotten this far on the Ulefone uWear review, you don't mind that the design is an Apple Watch knockoff, you don't care that the UI is pretty basic and now you just want to know what can the smartwatch actually do. Well, let's delve into that with this nifty list:
- You may receive notifications from whatsapp, Messenger, Facebook, Youtube etc.
- You may use the podometer to know your steps, calories burnt and stuff.
- You may use the smartwatch as a remote camera shooter for your smartwatch.
- You can set up an alarm to wake up with the vibration on your wrist.
- The uWear vibrates with incoming calls and syncs to your smartphone's phonebook so that you know who's calling.
- You can see messages, missed calls and calls made by you.
- You can access a calculator, access a sleep monitor and an altitude monitor. You can remotely play the music stored in your smartphone.
- You can track your smartphone with the "Anti lost" function.
How's the touch? Does the screen work well?
Overall I would say the screen responds quite well, it's the software that once in awhile gets left behind. This makes the smartwatch lag but it's very rare.
The most common problem I've encountered while using the Ulefone uWear is that sometimes it's tricky to scroll down when you're reading a message, so personally I don't make a lot of use out of this feature because it's simply faster to take out my smartphone and read the message there.
Aside from that, the software responds pretty much as expected and so does the screen.
How's battery life on the Ulefone uWear?
Ok so i'm still on the "honeymoon phase" with this smartwatch therefore i've been giving it a very intensive use. That said, under regular circumstances and depending on the amount of notifications you receive I would place the battery life of the uWear somewhere along the lines of 24 hours, give or take.
Ulefone claims that the smartwatch can handle 7 days of standby time, so far I haven't put that to the test but i'm guessing that if the smartwatch isn't synced to a smartphone that might as well be the case.
Wrapping it up: Should I buy this smartwatch? Is it worth it?
We've come to the end of the line on our Ulefone uWear review and a lot of you guys are still wondering if you should buy it or not. Truth be told; it does do a lot for $29. That said, there's also a LOT of things that it doesn't do or it could do better.
Scrolling down on a notification is pretty messy, the pedometer isn't very precise and the sedentary reminder along with the altimeter are basically "parlor tricks". You only have two choices on watchfaces and the UI is pretty basic.
With all that said, we've also seen worse smartwatches go for more, the design is pretty attractive but if we where to be honest with you we'd recommend you save your money, put in another $50 and get the original LG G Watch available for $80, sure the design isn't as attractive but the interface is supremely better, the hardware is substantially better and the access to the play store means you're not limited to a bunch of basic apps.
Also, the community of developers behind Android Wear guarantees you'll be able to solve whatever issue you find quickly. On the other hand, the uWear doesn't have all that and if you have an issue you'll probably have a hard time finding a fix for it online.