InWatch Z – We Test Out the Smallest Coolest Android KitKat Phone (watch) in the World [Review]

Author James Mash 13.11.2014. | 14:37

chinavasion inwatchz

Yeah, so we all know that phones are getting thinner and lighter, but what about actual size? Mostly they’re staying that same slab shape, which is fine, but sometimes all you need is a phone which is ultraportable and which you can carry around with you without fear of losing it or forgetting it on a train. Well here’s an interesting alternative for you gadget freaks which should give you exactly what you need.

The InWatch Z is a full blown Android 4.4.2 KitKat phone built inside a watch sized format. No, it’s not a smartwatch, which has to pair with your existing phone, this is a complete self-contained cell phone with a SIM card slot, but in a watch. Now watch phones are nothing new, but in the past they’ve been large, klunky and seriously under-powered. That is no longer the case, folks.
chinavasion inwatchz

First impressions
The phone watch ships in a nice solid box, along with a flat ribbon micro USB cable, a SIM card prong (for removing the micro SIM slot) and a small microUSB adapter which slots into the wristband to let you charge up the phone using any standard microUSB cable or the supplied one. It’s a little fiddly to connect up, but once you get the hang of clipping it on, it’s OK.

chinavasion inwatchz

The one thing which is a bit unfortunate is the user manual. Probably because we received an early KitKat model, the manual in English turns out to be some photocopied A4 paper sheets, which although adequate are not exactly the most professional thing we’ve seen. Luckily there’s not a lot of explanation needed since the Android implementation is pretty easy to understand if you’re familiar with it, but it’s a shame. We assume that later production models will come with proper printed documentation. Anyway, check out our video below to get a feel for how the phone watch operates in real life.

In use
The first surprise is how useable the product is, which is a testament to its solid specs. The phone features a 1.3GHz dual core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of on-board storage, a 1.63 inch capacitive display (240×240 resolution, with a sapphire crystal screen) and a 580mAh battery. The handset also sports full GPS, Bluetooth, and WiFi functionality, along with accelerometer, gravity and gyroscopic sensors, so it’s fully loaded in that department too. In fact the only thing missing is the fact that it’s an EDGE phone only, so no 3G. You’ll be able to do data stuff, but slower, which is not so bad since you’re not going to want to do much browsing on that tiny screen anyway.

chinavasion inwatchz

The watch band has a 5 megapixel camera embedded in it, and while it takes adequate photos, you’re not going to want to rely on it for your mainstream photo journal. But strangely enough the video capture is really good, and will give most standard phone video recorders a run for their money. Go figure. The camera interface is pretty simple too, just point and touch the screen to grab an image.

chinavasion inwatchz

The standout feature for us though is the easy access navigation. You get four home screen swipe options which open up the messaging app, the camera, the app drawer and something else which we can’t really work out. It looks like a barcode, but the documentation doesn’t explain what it’s for. But that apart, getting to most of the functionality of the phone is just a few quick swipes, although for some reason they didn’t include making calls as a home screen function.

chinavasion inwatchz

The phone is fully compatible with Google Play store, so we were able to download and install some apps and a Solitaire game, but a couple of times we tried to download and run apps which clearly weren’t happy with the small screen or some other part of the architecture. We did manage to get OSMand maps onto the phone which is amazing, because it gives you a GPS enabled map on your wrist.

chinavasion inwatchz

One of the very coolest things about this product is the inclusion of a bone conducting speaker, which effectively turns most flat surfaces into a speaker. Just place the wristband against the surface and it resonates, with the result that the sound becomes magnified and much more audible. It’s great for quick listens, although if you’re going to do a lot of audio work, then you’ll probably prefer to pair up a Bluetooth headset or speaker to get the best reproduction. But it’s definitely a really fun and interesting feature.

chinavasion inwatchz

There are probably two areas which will drive people with unrealistic expectations nuts. The first is the on-screen keyboard. It really takes a bit of getting used to before you can start hitting the keys properly first time without miscues, and even then you’re going to make mistakes, simply because of the various wrist angles you adopt when using the device. Live with it, or buy a small tipped stylus and use that. The second point is, of course, the battery life. This tiny battery will drain super quick if you do anything remotely heavy on the phone, so don’t expect anything like a normal smartphone drain cycle. We’re guessing you’ll get a day out of it at most, probably more like 3/4 of a day before it needs a charge, but the good news is the charge is very fast, normally around 30 minutes or so to top up.

chinavasion inwatchz

Conclusion
This is a really surprising product. We expected to review a weak, underpowered compromise of a thing, which looked decent but was really unusable. Instead what we found was a very intelligent and well implemented Android system sitting on top of a phone which could do all the basic functions very well. It’s not going to beat any speed records, and you’re definitely not going to get the gaming, satnav, camera or other equivalent smartphone performance out of it, but it’s still very very good for what it is. If you’re looking for an ultra portable, impossible to lose, and very functional cell phone to keep with you at all times, then this is probably the droid you are looking for. Oh and did we mention it supports Google voice commands? Very cool indeed!

Price
from around $295 / £180

Samples
chinavasion inwatchzchinavasion inwatchz

chinavasion inwatchz

Source: The RedFerret

Author James Mash 13.11.2014. | 14:37
Write a comment

7 Comments

  1. Apokriphos December 14, 14:09

    Hello, thank you very much for your excellent review. Due to it and others, I recently purchased this watch, but it only came with Android 4.2.2. Do you know if the demo watch you have is rooted, and can copy the 4.4.2 rom for release?

    Thank you

  2. James Mash Author December 15, 10:05

    Dear Apokriphos.
    Thank you for contacting us.
    1. Could you please let me know where you purchased the InWatch Z from?
    Our quality control always checks the products to confirm they meet our high standards and if the watch phone was purchased through us then it should have Android 4.4 as standard on it. If this is not the case would you please submit a ticket to our customer service team so as we can resolve this unfortunate issue in a timely manner. you can go to this page to submit a ticket. https://support.chinavasion.com/index.php?/Tickets/Submit
    2. If the product was not purchased through Chinavasion then I’m afraid we can’t guarantee the specifications of the watch. In this case we would suggest you contact the supplier directly for further assistance.
    Please note that we do not root the device, update or install any other version of ROM, so would not have this for distribution.

    I hope this helps in resolving any faults.
    Many thanks for contacting us.
    James

  3. itsvensvenkadesh K February 6, 11:23

    hi,
    i would like to purchase this product in India.Do you ship to India? Also in link, https://www.chinavasion.com/china/wholesale/Cheap_Mobile_Phones/Cell_Phone_Watch/inWatch_Z_Watch_phone_-_Android_4.2_IP57_1.63_Inch_Transflective_TFT_Touch_Screen_Bone_Conduction_Speaker_Blutooth_SIM_Slot/ it says no playstore & 4.2 is loaded. Is this a latest version?

  4. itsvensvenkadesh March 13, 05:24

    guys awaiting your reply…

  5. James Mash Author March 13, 18:45

    Hi Itsvensvenkadesh k
    Yes we do ship to India.
    This is the latest version of this product. If you contact our customer service team we can provide more details on this or any other product.
    https://support.chinavasion.com/index.php?/Tickets/Submit

    Thanks

  6. Omar Martínez July 6, 05:55

    Hola yo compre uno en una tienda en línea china y no viene instalado play store y ya le hice root y no puedo acceder a los servicios de Google que hago soy de México!?

  7. James Mash Author July 6, 09:17

    Hi Omar,
    The ZenGear is a Bluetooth Smart Watch, it can sync with your phone or tablet, It doesn’t run Android so will not have the Google play store on it. It has a customized software that is much more power friendly and allows for a range of functions that can be seen in detail in the specifications on our site.
    Hope this helps Omar.

View comments

Write a comment

Leave a Reply

Watch latest gadget videos

Chinavasion Video


action cam

Add Chinavasion on Google+

Add Chinavasion on Facebook

Archive