Have you heard about a smartwatch lately? I feel like all I hear about is the latest smartwatch. With Google and its partners and Apple with the Apple Watch and Pebble with its offerings; everybody has given the smartwatch market lately so what could possibly be done differently? Thank goodness there are people out there that haven’t giving up yet on innovation in the smartwatch market. There’s a newcomer called Olio that wants to be smart but not too smart. Let’s dive in!

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Looks

Olio is a brand new company founded and run by someone with an impressive resume of experience in regards to product design so it’s no surprise that the Model One, the first smartwatch from Olio, looks pretty amazing. The Model One looks just like a normal watch; even more so than any other smartwatch on the market. The Moto 360 was close and the G Watch R was really good but one was too flashy and the other tried too hard. The Model One gets it just right.

Beyond just the design, the Model One was also built to quality specs. No plastic or rubber here, it’s all metal. And it’s not just cheap metal, it’s high grade stainless steel for the casing as well as for the interchangeable bands. There are also leather bands available and you can also use normal watchbands.

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What It Does

So it looks good, what does it actually do? Olio has developed its own software interface for the Model One with a focus on minimalism and simplicity; a far cry from the information overload you get from Android Wear and Pebble. Not that getting all that information is bad, Olio is just aiming for a different implementation here for those people who want high quality and low stress. The main display is an analog watch face with rays of information that symbolize the last 12 hours of your digital activity.

Swiping left and right will change the pane behind the watch hands to stuff like a weather forecast, upcoming events and a stopwatch. Swiping up will give you app functionality which is limited to just music controls at this point. You can’t do in depth interaction with the music app, just the very basics but that’s the whole point. There are a few other swipe interactions, such as swiping from the edges will display certain notifications. There is a bit more to it but it’s not finalized yet so I’ll hold off on a full explanation for now. Suffice to say: I really like the UI and gestures. Stay tuned for more information on the Olio Model One with preorders starting soon!

Meet Weston Lanpher

Weston is our professional gadget reviewer. Nothing thrills him more than being able to get his hands on the latest and greatest in electronics.