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Has a speaker and microphone
Has heart rate monitor
Easy to read screen
Bulky and awkward-looking
Compatibility issues with Android
The Beantech Bitwatch S1 Plus has a lot of essential features and a great price tag, but it’s not the supreme budget option, either.
The Beantech Bitwatch S1 Plus is an interesting proposition. For only $50, it promises to provide heart rate monitoring, music storage, call management, voice control, and remote notifications. For the most part, it delivers. The Bitwatch has its share of design flaws, such as a poorly fitted watch strap and an iOS-only voice app, but it performs enough to be a reasonable consideration for those looking for their first smartwatch.
The most outstanding feature of the Bitwatch’s design is its chunkiness. For those with small wrists, this smartwatch looks ridiculous. Furthermore, the included bands are too small in comparison to the watch, giving the overall design a cheap feel. When you wear this watch, you will notice it weighing your wrists down, taunting you to take it off. But as ugly as the Bitwatch is, it is a functional little watch. It has a power button and volume buttons, as well as a strong vibration motor. Its touchscreen works without a problem, and the app layout is intuitive to understand.
The 2-inch IPS panel is bright and easy to read, although not the highest resolution (240 x 240). When you scroll through the Bitwatch’s apps, it’s apparent that it heavily favors Apple devices: there is a Siri app integration, but this will not work with Android devices. Its other apps are a phonebook, call log, dialer, messaging, remote notifier, “anti-theft” (Find My Phone), alarm, calendar, music storage and playback, remote capture, pedometer, sleep monitor, sedentary reminder, heart rate monitor, sound recorder, stopwatch, and calculator. It’s a fairly thorough collection of applications for a watch that doesn’t support third-party apps.
The 2-inch IPS panel is bright and easy to read, although not the highest resolution (240 x 240).
While it doesn’t have NFC or GPS, it does have a speaker, and you can send basic messages with the watch. The Bitwatch S1 is surprisingly robust for those who want to dip their toes into the smartwatch experience, with many of the features that mid-tier smartwatches possess.
Setting up the Bitwatch works as you’d expect. Pair it via the Bluetooth on your phone and download the Beantech app. It works with both Android and iOS, so you should have no difficulty. Alerts will show up in the remote notifier app, and apps such as the calendar are not synced with your phone’s calendar apps, so keep that in mind if you’d like to add any events, notifications, or alarms to your watch.
The Bitwatch’s low price tag shows in its performance, unfortunately. The Siri app is just that: it interfaces with Siri, meaning that voice commands are iOS-exclusive. Notification handling on the device can get confusing also. You find notifications in the Remote Notifier app, and dismissing them on the Bitwatch does not dismiss them on your phone.
You get reliable notifications and a passable heart rate monitor, as well as some basic functions like alarms and a speaker.
However, notifications do sync almost instantly from your phone to the Bitwatch, and its heart rate monitor is fairly accurate when measuring a resting heart rate. The pedometer isn’t the best thought, often falling within a range of a hundred steps of the true value.
If you’d like to listen to calls or music through the speaker, you will miss a lot of information— think of those jingles they play when you’re on hold for a phone call. At least the screen is big and easy to read, and the notifications do work. It’s good enough for someone that wants to get a feel to a smartwatch experience, but there are better options for a little more money if you can afford it.
The battery life on the Bitwatch is excellent. With regular usage (GPS, heart rate, Bluetooth all on), we got between two and three days of use before we had to recharge. Charging is a little annoying, though, since it uses a snapping charger base that’s difficult to remove.
The Bitwatch costs about $50, which is reasonable for its features and performance. You get reliable notifications and a passable heart rate monitor, as well as some basic functions like alarms and a speaker. If you want a cheap smartwatch, then the Bitwatch isn’t a bad pick, but $30 more can get you GPS and smarter notifications. If you are after a solid fitness tracker, both Garmin and Fitbit have fantastic wearables for under $100.
The Beantech Bitwatch is not a groundbreaking smartwatch, but it provides a lot of essential features for $50.
For a budget smartwatch, the Bitwatch packs a lot of features. However, it suffers in reliability and style, which may turn users off from the smartwatch market altogether. For a little more money, you can get the Amazfit Bip, a sleek smartwatch from Huami that has a thirty-day battery life, fitness tracking, onboard GPS, and notifications. If you’re looking to get something very cheap to try out the smartwatch lifestyle, you should also look at the Padgene DZ09 Smart Watch, which is only $15 and has a lot of the features on the Bitwatch.
An ultra-budget smartwatch that covers the basics.
The Beantech Bitwatch is not a groundbreaking smartwatch, but it provides a lot of essential features for $50. If you’re looking to try out smartwatches, the Bitwatch will give you a solid battery life, music storage, passive notifications, phone call management, and a very large touchscreen.
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