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Metawatch STRATA Smartwatch First Impressions and Gallery

METAWATCH

It’s time for the Droid Life Smartwatch Showdown. Not really, but over the next few days, Kellex and myself will be playing with these new toys and seeing if we can get into this whole new phenomenon where even a person’s watch needs to be connected to their phone. Kellex will be handling the Pebble and I have the Metawatch STRATA. So let’s dive into it. 

The sleeve that goes over the box that holds the watch is your typical packaging. Simple picture of the watch with some logos and nothing special. After opening the all-black box that the watch is stored in, you find just the watch itself, USB charger, and a small brief instructional guide. Being the person I am, I quickly threw the guide out the window and dove right into the watch. The Android community has already built a few great apps and plugins for the Metawatch and more are sure to come. This software ranges from additional themes for each icon the device supports, stock apps, and even little screensavers that remind me of Nyan Cat. Sure, the screen saver is basically worthless, but it’s cute.

Hooking it up to my phone was easy enough. After turning on my Bluetooth, the phone easily found the device and I entered in the super secure “0000” password. Once connected, you are ready to customize the look of the watch. There is an official Metawatch app for Android from their team, but it doesn’t support many third party apps and plugins, so if you get one, go for the Community Manager app. Right from the app’s homescreen, you can set which widgets you want shown, what app pages you want, and can change every other setting the watch offers.

Metawatch app

In terms of what the watch can offer, the list is quite extensive. Much like the Pebble, it shows you notifications for emails, texts, and phone calls. Since I’m still learning how to work the device, I am still trying to figure out how to read individual texts and emails or if that’s even a possibility. Starting to wish I read that starter’s guide. Oh well.

The watch has six buttons on its sides. Three on each. One lights the LED that illuminates the face, making viewing at night or other poorly lit areas (my cave) much easier. Others control which app you are using. For example, I have a page dedicated to my Music app. I can control my playlists, start/stop music, skip tracks, and all of that jazz right from the watch, which is a fantastic feature when my hands are full while walking the monsters.

In terms of being a watch, it feels pretty nice on my wrist and usually, I am pretty picky about my watches. When switching through pages, there seems to be a little lag after a button is pressed, but it’s nothing that I can’t get over. All in all, after a single day’s usage, I am very impressed. Over the next few days, I will be putting it through the paces and will see if it can keep up.

They are already on sale through their site for $179. Kind of pricey if you aren’t using it to its full potential.

  • Red

    Check out two more programs to expand functionality a lot: Executive Assistant Plus and Augmented Smartwatch Pro. Both programs interact with MWM-CE to add a lot of new stuff.

  • https://plus.google.com/117125023630262605212 Kelly

    how about a picture of it on a guy and girls wrist so we can see how big it is?

    • Red

      Watch face… just the screen portion, is approx 1″ square. I’m running developer firmware 3.1.0. Software is MWM-CE. This highlights one of the big differences in my opinion between MetaWatch and Pebble: Widgets! Tons of info right on my ‘home’ screen of the watch.

      • https://plus.google.com/117125023630262605212 Kelly

        pretty cool, thanks for sharing! though sadly too big for my wrist :(

  • I’m Asleep

    This is just what I needed! I always found it took way too long to take the tim to reach into my pocket, spend hours pulling my phone out, and spend another twelve hours pressing the screen on button. And seriously, who has time to unlock a phone screen? I hope you got paid well to plug this.

    • Laki S.

      Lame.

  • just me

    I’d get on if it shot laser beams or released a scent that makes chicks take off their clothes.

  • https://www.facebook.com/aaron.williams.125 Champion1229

    These watches would be perfect if they were priced sub $100. I just can’t see paying $200 for something like a watch which will break within a year or two of everyday use.

  • Anon

    I have yet to see a smart-watch that doesn’t look cheap or ugly.

    Please, someone work with Citizen, Seiko, or some reasonably good established watch company and make something that has a ring of quality to it; otherwise, I’ll gladly stick with a leather band analog military chronograph watch.

    • milo cat

      Martian watches look nice. Not sure how great they are but they look like traditional time pieces.

  • http://twitter.com/Jubmasterflex Jubmasterflex

    At this price point, I’d consider a MotoActv before the Metawatch…

    • Red

      One problem with MotoActv: no vibrating motor. This is one of the nice things about notifications.

  • Raven

    Battery life will be the true measure of these watches. I am guessing that the Pebble will win that battle.

  • tvjrc603

    For me, no matter how good the graphics look, I just don’t know that I will ever see the point in a smart watch. The fact that I carry my phone on me pretty much 24/7 has made the value of a watch, as a time-keeping device, totally unnecessary. A watch is now just a decorative piece for me, like a tie, or cuff links – and these things will probably never be as aesthetically pleasing as a traditional style watch.

    • Bill Ratliff

      I see the benefit of this. My job requires my hands top occasionally like daily be covered in oil.. It is a pain to clean my hands just to check notifications, time, weather etc. I’m not sold yet but I’m interested.

      • https://www.facebook.com/aaron.williams.125 Champion1229

        I can definitely see where it would be beneficial for some but personally they are overpriced especially for something that will be put into some harsh conditions on a daily basis!

        • Bill Ratliff

          I think the concept is solid. But these first generation watches are not for me. I would pay that kind of money but I need strong functionality first and great battery life.

  • Dave

    I’m waiting for the Samsung Galaxy Watch with a 4.7″ 1080p littleBIG 1.8ghz….as if my arms didn’t look skinny enough.

  • Thomas

    Reminds me of my Casio G-Shock watch I had back in the day.

  • http://twitter.com/Footba11Joe Joey Malcomb

    If you can’t even see who messaged or emailed you, then this wouldn’t be worth it to me. The Pebble lets you read the actual messages and costs $20 less.

    • Red

      You can get calling id and text messages. Email messages give author and subject with the right setup.

  • http://twitter.com/martyjones100 martyjones100

    It remind me of cell phones before android. Or before color screens

  • jstew182

    I’ve had my Strata Stealth for a couple of weeks but just got it to connect to my Galaxy Nexus on Monday with a firmware update to 1.3. I love the watch but I am having to charge it every night when it is advertised to last 5-7 days…that is pretty frustrating.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Tim-o-tato

      Yeah, I am definitely going to be keeping an eye on the battery. It is advertised as having 5+ days, so we shall see. If you have to plug in a million devices every night, it’s just not worth it to me.

      • http://twitter.com/Neg__1 Kyle

        I have had my Strata since Dec and with firmware 1.1 and 1.2 I get the advertised 5-7 days on one charge. The early beta 1.2 firmware had horrible battery life, maybe the 1.3 beta is suffering the same problem.

  • OLD SCHOOL

    Looks like an old Tamagotchi toy !

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Tim-o-tato

      Oh, good idea for an app! Are you a dev? :P

      • http://twitter.com/#!/Thandrophir Thand

        I would pay $10 for a virtual pet app that could fight over virtual pets. I miss my Digimon.

        • Steevka

          THIS. I’ve been waiting since my OG incredible.