Ah, the smartwatch. How I have long coveted you. Once upon a time, the Sony SW2 was my smartwatch of choice. It was simple and cheap with some excellent customization via the watch face with all the different options. However, as a person who didn’t already wear a watch regularly, the SW2 ended up being too heavy and too ungainly for consistent wear. Eventually, it went into a drawer and has yet to see the light of day again. The new generation of smartwatches are much slimmer and more powerful; it gave me hope for a realistic daily wearable. But, that dream was quickly dashed by the prices. They are reasonable for the amount of technology packed into such a tiny package but the average price of $200 is a difficult pill to swallow. The Microwear H1 at $79 (regularly $89) is a tremendous deal if it can deliver the same features as other Android Wear smartwatches. Thankfully, it does have:
– IP68 waterproof rating
– Health tracking features
– Classy styling
The H1 looks excellent, no doubt about that. It’s very refined but also has a sense of utilitarianism thanks to the exposed screws on the bezels surrounding the screen. Understated but functional, it doesn’t call attention to itself but remains attractive. Perfect for me and perfect for people who just want a smartwatch that works rather than a talking point every time they wear it.
The wristband is made of rubber and is comfortable. If you want to step up the look of the H1, a leather or metal strap is easy to swap in thanks to the screwdriver included in the box.
The screen itself looks nice, it shows colors pretty well and is easily readable in everything except for direct sunlight which is par for the course with most smartwatches. That’s the trade-off of battery life vs. readability and it works for almost all use cases.
Robust Adventure Features
The H1 has some excellent baked in apps for health tracking and outdoor excursions. The heart rate sensor is a surprising addition here among the basic pedometer and mileage tracking while the compass and the altitude calculator are nice touches as well. Some watch faces will even display some of this information without needing to swipe around to the proper app. Couple this with the IP68 waterproof rating and the SIM card slot and the H1 is a great companion for being outside because you can set it up to not even need a phone!
Battery life is a bit below average for the smartwatch market but good enough for the price. You will need to charge it daily but most smartwatches have this downside. Brands just can’t pack in a big enough battery without increasing the size of the overall smartwatch while supporting a touchscreen. The Pebble 2 has better battery life for a similar price but doesn’t have a touchscreen or even a screen that displays color so you have to consider the trade off when deciding on which smartwatch to buy.
What We ❤️
The H1 can fill a few different purchase mindsets. It’s great as a first smartwatch because of its price but it’s just as good as a fitness or outdoor watch. It’s also at home in a professional environment because of the subtlety. The flexibility and adequate performance make for an excellent value without any major compromises.
Oddly, there’s no option for switching the measurement units to Imperial system so including that would be nice. On the other hand, I’ve been wanting to properly learn the Metric system so the H1 might just be how I accomplish that.
– Price: $79.99
– Delivery: 5 days