Currently the smartwatch is available for pre-order, however, we managed to get our hands on a beta version for this review.
Most smartwatches these days have some basic issues, for example they go blank when untethered from a phone, some are compatible with a small subset of smartphones, while others can show notifications only from a few particular apps, and so on. The Omate users don’t have to fear any of these glitches, since it works as a smartwatch as well as a standalone smartphone.
The Omate TrueSmart is not there to replace your cell phone, but it keeps you connected to the world at places where you can’t take/use your phone. No matter whether you’re swimming, cycling, running, or surfing, the smartwatch lets you make calls, shoot videos, take photos and even connect with other devices via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
- Operating system : Omate UI 1.0 / Android 4.2.2
- Display : 1.54’’ TFT by LG with 240 x 240 pixels
- Battery life : 24 hours
- Storage capacity : 4 GB/8GB
- Memory : 512 MB/1 GB
- Connectivity : Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Standalone mobile service via micro-SIM
- Camera resolution : 5 MP (video at 720 p)
- Weight : 100g
Design And Display
The 1.54’’ TFT multi-touch 240 x 240-pixel display is nice, and a gently curved sapphire crystal on the top gives it an eye-catching and solid look. However, it’s ideal for viewing Twitter, Facebook, or other short updates while reading long texts is a chore. It’s a fairly user friendly watch, even though swiping and tapping can go wrong at times. There’s a pull-down notification and settings menu, just as you see in the Android devices. The onscreen Fleksy keyboard is useful but eats up most of the space on the display, making it difficult to read what you’ve typed.
The best thing about the Omate TrueSmart is its responsiveness. Since it’s driven by a powerful processor, the Google Maps and navigation worked nice, and the interesting game Sonic Dash ran on it faster than my smartphone (though the tinier screen might also have contributed to this fact). It also has a powerful speaker and a decent microphone. The 5 megapixel camera is obviously more powerful than the Galaxy Gear’s 1.9 megapixel camera – though both of them shoot video at 720p. The camera is placed right between the two buttons, so taking selfies isn’t convenient. The watch is IP67 water resistant and dust proof. In other words, you can wear it and take shower, go out in the rain or keep it about a meter under water for up to 30 minutes.
We had mixed feelings after assessing the user interface. It might take you a while to get used to the small screen, however, it is pretty responsive – thanks to the powerful processor.
Besides the touchscreen, there are two buttons on the right side, one lets you turn the device one/off, or put it to sleep while the other lets you go back to home screen or – if you press and hold it – switch between the currently open apps. Another amazing feature of the Omate TrueSmart is Fleksy – a virtual keyboard which is pretty good at guessing what you are typing even if you press a wrong key or miss a key. We also streamed a couple of YouTube videos, the sound and video quality were not bad for such a tiny gadget.
With heavy usage, you’ll need to recharge the Omate TrueSmart after a few hours, but it can go on for about twenty-four hours of moderate use. Obviously you don’t want to charge your smartwatch every single day, so this is another area where the manufacturer needs to improve.
Compatibility and connectivity
To connect the Omate TrueSmart with your smartphone, you need to install an app on both devices. Our experience here was not very pleasing – most probably because the smartwatch is in its beta phase. Sometimes the notifications appeared on the watch, while sometimes they didn’t. Most of the times when we tried to accept, or reject a call, it didn’t work and the phone kept ringing. Similarly, text notifications and social updates either took pretty long to appear on the watch or never appeared at all. We hope that these issues will be fixed when the final version is released. On the plus, the TrueSmart supports Android 4.2+ as well as iOS 6+ devices.
Feature and apps
Since Omate couldn’t meet Android Compatibility Definition Document requirements, it didn’t ship with Google Play as promised by the manufacturer, but now you can unlock Google’s app store. So, in addition to the preinstalled OStore, you can install Google Play to get access to a wide range of apps on your smartwatch. You can pair your Omate TrueSmart with other cell phones, or use it as a smartwatch phone by just slipping a nano-SIM into it and make 2G/3G calls – thanks to the 1.3GHz Dual Core MT6572 smartphone processor. Making video calls, however, is not possible. The Omate smartwatch also supports a micro-SD card.
The basic features this watch comes with include alarm, calendar reminder, e-mail, Facebook, Google Hangout, Instagram, text message, timer, and gyrometer. The watch also offers GPS location support. Voice and gesture controls are, however, not available in the prototype and are still to be added. The built-in apps are in the form of widgets so you can drag and drop them to create shortcuts.
You can not only stay connected to the world, but also take memorable stills or shoot videos of things you experience on your outdoor expeditions that you might have missed otherwise. And then, unlike most smartwatches, you’re not dependent on your phone or laptop because you can instantly share your photos and videos with your friends on almost any social network. The story doesn’t end here, the OmateTrueSmart can be your savior in case you have an accident in a remote area, all you need is to shake your wrist and it’ll call a special number you’ve already saved.
The most hyped expectation about the watch is its ability to pare with the Google Glass, which will offer a fully-wearable computing experience on the go.
The Omate TrueSmart vs others – A quick comparison
The Omate smartwatch is obviously different from most other smartwatches, since it can act as a standalone smartphone or a standalone watch. Another major difference is that it has a high-speed processor of its own. In terms of battery, the Omate is just like the Galaxy Gear as its battery lasts for about 24 hours. The display is better than that the one found in the Pebble, or the Sony SmartWatch 2.
So if you want a smartwatch that simply rids you of the hassle of taking your phone out of your pocket by delivering notifications on your wrist, the Pebble, the Galaxy Gear, and the Sony SmartWatch 2 can be good options, however, if you spend a lot of time at places where you can’t use your phone, yet, don’t want to miss your calls, texts, and emails, then the Omate TrueSmart is the way to go.
But is there a watch in the same league as Omate?
The answer is yes, it’s the Neptune Pine that also acts as a standalone smartphone, and is currently available for pre-order. The Neptune Pine has a higher resolution (320×240), much bigger screen (2.4”), more powerful battery, and can be charged with a standard USB cable. On top of that, the Neptune Pine has a back as well as a font camera, while the Omate TrueSmart has just one camera. Last but not the least, the Neptune smartwatch also allows you to have a video chat.
On the flip side, the Omate TrueSmart is cheaper, has a higher pixel density, smaller body volume, and an external memory slot. What’s more, unlike the Neptune Pine, it’s thinner, dustproof, water resistant and sweat resistant. .
Though the two smartwatches are similar, they target different types of users i.e. the Neptune Pine is ideal for geeky folks while the Omate TrueSmart is a blessing for outdoor sportspeople. Personally, we think the Neptune Pine has a slight edge over the Omate smartwatch, but it’s a little too big and may look like a smartphone wrapped on even a manly wrist.
Design & Display6/10
Compatibility and Connectivity5/10
Features And Apps6/10
- Fast and powerful
- Endless possibilities with OStore and Google Play
- Standalone smartwatch phone or companion app for notifications form your Smartphone
- Water resistant and dustproof
- Powerful camera
- Short battery life
- Small display
- Thick face
- No video calls
- Compatibility and connectivity issues with other devices