Yesterday I received my long awaited new watch. This is a i’m Watch color watch. The i’m SPA company claims that this watch is the first real smartwatch in the world. This watch uses a slimmed down and highly customized version of Google’s Android, called i’m Droid.
First thing I did was upgrading the watch to the most recent firmware version which is 0.5.0. As soon as the new firmware was active I tried to connect the watch to my phone, which is a webOS HP Pre3. The watch communicates using Bluetooth, and it turns out it’s not a problem to pair and sync. I have to admit that I’m using the default installed Mobile Hotspot app which comes with webOS 2.2.4 for the Pre3 but with a minor, but important addition. I had to add a small script to the /etc/event.d directory to allow IP forwarding and added three iptables rules allowing NAT traffic to pass through. You can find this script at the end of this post.
Once there is a Bluetooth connection that supports tethering you have the ability to hit the button ‘Sync Cloud’. As you would assume this will download information for the apps you have configured in the i’m Cloud. There is a limited number of Cloud apps available. Have a look at the list below:
- Appointments (only usable with a Google calendar account)
- i’m FB (Facebook)
- i’m Tweet (Twitter)
- i’images (only usable with a Picasa account)
- i’mail (IMAP mail support)
- i’music (music service and search for songs, playlists and online radios)
- News (possible to configure up to three topics based on country)
- Stock (possible to submit up to three stocks)
- Weather (possible to configure up to three locations)
Besides those Could apps it features a few standard apps:
- Address book (syncs nicely with phone Pre3 address book)
- Music (comes with three default mp3 tracks preinstalled, but in USB mode you can add you own)
- Phone (dial numbers to call)
- Watch (displays a analog clock with white arrows on a black background)
- i’m Time (clock features multiple world times/timezones)
- i’m Gallery (photo gallery comes with samples preinstalled, but in USB mode you can add you own)
- Calculator (very basic calculator)
- Alarm clock (allows multiple alarms to be set)
I’m pretty pleased with the watch, but there is one major drawback compared with my old school watch and that’s battery life. I know the comparison is not fair, but when I use the watch regularly it lasts two days, while my conventional watch needs a new battery every four years. Another thing is the voice quality when using it to answer or make calls, but perhaps that’s an issue with the phone. I’ll write another review when I know the watch better.