Our newest smartwatch review is just a little totally different. For starters, imoo Watch Phone Z1 is geared toward youngsters and presents a SIM slot for totally impartial calls from the watch itself. Watch Phone Z1 comes after the Watch Phone Z6 and opposite to what the numbers may indicate is the newest providing from imoo – a BBK Electronics subsidiary specializing in kid-friendly wearables.
Watch Phone Z1 boasts a built-in 2MP digicam that enables for video chats and a rugged IPX8-rated physique that ought to face up to the occasional drop and splash. The watch is focused at youngsters aged between 5-12 and emphasizes security and safety with easy communication to their mother and father’ telephones. There’s an onboard GPS module too which helps you find junior in real-time.
Is this the suitable smartwatch on your child or are you higher off with a full-fledged smartphone, how does the software program maintain up and is the $99/€119/£99 pricing justified right here? Let’s take a deeper dive into the imoo Watch Phone Z1.
Design and specs
My preliminary impression as soon as I unboxed the Z1 is of a sturdy and well-put-together watch. It’s a strong unit comprised of arduous plastic with a TUV-SUD licensed physique and 22mm strap with a pretend leather-based look and loads of perforations for breathability. The complete bundle is IPX8 water resistant and weighs in at 51 grams which given the sheer measurement of the watch is definitely fairly an accomplishment. Still, it does stick out on my wrist and I’m fairly certain it is going to look big on the wrists of elementary college youngsters too.
One factor I’d have appreciated is a few bodily buttons regardless that the swipe navigation on the 1.3” TFT LCD is nicely executed. The show comes with a pre-installed display screen protector and though not one of the best in brilliant outside gentle, it will get the job accomplished in virtually all different eventualities. Resolution is capped at 240×240 pixels which is completely usable on such a small display screen. You don’t discover main coloration shifting from totally different angles which was a welcome shock. There is not any auto-brightness which is a little bit of a letdown.
Another spotlight of the Z1 is its 2MP digicam with f/1.4 aperture and autofocus. Combined with the 4G LTE information connection you’ll be able to consistently attain the watch out of your telephone and vice versa which will definitely carry a peace of thoughts for anxious mother and father. Photos snapped on the Watch Z1 aren’t going to win any images awards however they get the job accomplished.
The watch additionally comes with an onboard speaker, microphone and built-in GPS receiver. Charging is dealt with by way of a proprietary magnetic charger that ends with a USB-A port. The energy button is unusually mounted on the watch casing’s again subsequent to the microSIM slot and is kind of small and thus arduous to press. Our review unit comes within the vibrant Grapefruit Red coloration although there’s additionally a extra delicate Bamboo Green possibility.
Once you arrange the imoo companion app in your smartphone (accessible on the App Store and Google Play) and bind the watch by scanning a QR code on its display screen, you’re good to go along with utilizing the watch. You’ll additionally need to insert a suitable microSIM card within the watch and you’ll simply pop off the water-sealed gasket together with your finger or make use of the supplied SIM elimination device.
After the preliminary setup is full, you merely add the SIM card quantity on the watch and also you’re all set. An enormous promoting level of the Watch Phone Z1 over a smartphone is that it doesn’t give your child entry to open web, social media and calls from telephone numbers that aren’t excplicitly whitelisted by you. There’s a bevy of significant parental controls that forestall exterior contacts in addition to a category mode that disables calls and messages on the watch and prevents your child from calling you throughout class time although the mother or father can nonetheless attain them from their telephones.
Like final 12 months’s Watch Phone Z6, the Z1 makes use of imoo’s proprietary app for textual content, voice and video chats. Since it really works equally to a messaging shopper on each your telephone and the watch video calls gained’t balloon your month-to-month telephone invoice. This is one other sturdy promoting level for the Z1 over rivals.
Parents and their youngsters can change voice messages which is useful if the child can’t learn or write but. There’s additionally loads of stickers and emojis at your disposal and the mother or father may also ship out texts from the imoo app although the identical is just not relevant on the watch because it doesn’t have an onboard keyboard.
You additionally get a dwell GPS location of the watch throughout video calls so you realize simply the place your child is. There’s an possibility so as to add different relations in a gaggle chat with the child too. Adding contacts that may attain the watch with out the imoo app can also be attainable although they’re restricted to common voice calls and SMS messaging.
Software and companion app
Mocor OS is the working system on the imoo Watch Phone Z1. It’s a reasonably fundamental fork of full-fledged Android with the standard smartwatch capabilities and an easy-to-navigate interface with massive colourful icons. Installing third-party apps is just not an possibility right here. Since there are not any bodily buttons on the watch (apart from the ability button on its casing) you use the interface with swipes. Everything works surprisingly nicely although as I stated earlier I’m extra of a fan of getting tactile controls on smartwatches and I consider it will be higher for teenagers to have buttons they will press.
You double-tap the show to wake it up and instantly get to the time. There’s a complete of 5 watch faces to selected from although they solely present the time, date and battery stage. None of the watch faces give out the precise battery share which is a little bit of a letdown and you’ll solely know the precise share while you plug within the watch on its charger.
Swiping from the highest reveals your notifications, a swipe to the suitable will get you to your contacts with the choice to enter a voice or video name immediately whereas a swipe in the other way will get you to the app menu. Going again in any app is carried out by swiping in from the left facet of the show. The watch comes with chat, step monitoring, digicam, gallery, alarm stopwatch and settings. The Z1 additionally comes with an Add Friends app which lets your child add different imoo watch customers by bumping the 2 units. I didn’t get to check out this characteristic sadly.
The onboard Spreadtrum UWS6131E chipset runs advantageous and I didn’t expertise any noticeable lag or uncommon habits in my one week with the Z1. According to the official spec sheet the watch has 128MB of RAM and the identical quantity of storage which is able to seemingly replenish quick in case your child likes to take loads of photographs.
Moving to the imoo companion app, it’s fairly feature-rich and pretty nicely laid out. I did discover some poor translations from Chinese to English which looks as if a typical theme for imoo as the identical comment was famous in our Watch Phone Z6 review. The telephone app additionally crashed a couple of instances after the preliminary setup although no information was misplaced within the course of. I didn’t discover any important influence on my telephone’s battery life regardless that imoo’s app was consistently working.
The marketed battery life on the Watch Z1 is three days of blended utilization. In actuality, I frequently bought two full days of use with a 4-5% cost heading into day three. My use case included the next settings and use patterns:
- Default watchface
- Display brightness set to 66%
- Constant mobile and Wi-Fi connection
- GPS turned on
- Several textual content and voice/video requires testing functions
- Snapping up random photographs with the watch digicam
- Plenty of digging although the UI
The 740mAh battery cell took slightly below two hours to cost from 0 to 100%. The imoo companion app provides out a notification to the paired smartphone every time you cost the watch.
The imooo Watch Phone Z1 is a extra reasonably priced and fewer fancy different to the already respectable Watch Phone Z6. It does lots for a youngsters’ smartwatch and does most of its duties moderately nicely. The construct is strong and IPX8 water resistant, the watch strap is snug and the Z1 can survive two days on a cost with average to excessive use.
Having the flexibility to do video calls by means of imoo’s proprietary messaging app and thus not get charged exorbitant quantities by your service for native 3G video calls is a fairly distinctive proposition. The added parental controls and security measures depart little to be desired and are all sturdy factors of the Z1.
Sure, imoo’s telephone app nonetheless wants some polish and some further watch face choices and a greater show wouldn’t harm however factoring within the value level of the watch, you’re left with few options in Western markets. At €114/£99 by way of imoo’s personal website or €149/£99 on Amazon, you’re getting your child a feature-rich watch that helps them attain you in a reasonably unobtrusive means.
Imoo is at the moment internet hosting a back-to-school marketing campaign (legitimate by means of September 13) in Europe the place shopping for an imoo Watch Phone Z1 and Z6 in tandem will get you a free imoo Ear-care headset which usually goes for €65/£49.
So for those who’re in search of a method to attain your child and monitor their location in real-time with out venturing into the smartphone world and all its issues then the imoo Watch Phone Z1 deserves your curiosity.