DISCLAIMER: The following review describes my experiences using the ZeTime. As a normal user I do not extensively search the web for every nitty details. So, I might have got things wrong or things might have changed in the meantime. Please check official sources for latest information.
I got the feedback that it looks like I am only focusing on the negative aspects. And yes that’s true, it looks like that.
So I spend some more thoughts about the positive things. I found three (but I guess you already are aware of them): battery life – almost a week for me (based on the fact that I rarely use the smartwatch features), mechanical hands (really cool, no need to switch on the watch), overall clean design (a bit of understatement, nothing special, but also not clumsy).
Unfortunately, none of the smartwatch features managed to come to my positive list: Notifications still too late, not calling attention; calendar – not useful at all, watch faces – extremely boring, sleep tracker and heart rate tracking – too inaccurate / too many wrong values (besides the correct ones). Overall navigation, confusing (e.g. swipe left, swipe left, and then press the icon on the bottom).
Firmware updates coming now more frequently. Unfortunately I have no glue what they do change and sometimes I notice that something that worked before, now isn’t any longer. Just now, my watch isn’t vibrating any longer. Whereas MyKronoz seems to work on supporting more social channels for notifications, basic things like the watchfaces are still extremely poor. You still can only select a background picture, and add a few „ugly“ widgets on it.
Hurray, after the update the watch shows also the other calendars, but PUH it only silently shows the notifications and not (easily) the upcoming events. With that you now know what you have missed 🙁
The overall interaction experience with the menus did not approve – even not after more than a month of using the watch. It still is very difficult to find things and foresee which button needs to be pressed or which gesture is expected.
I have now asked to refund. Let’s see …
After using my ZeTime now about 3 weeks, my assessment even worse, I would consider this now a major waste of money.
Basically I have not seen anything „smart“ from this watch during that time – no useful alert, no reminder. Even the sleep tracker turned out being pretty much a stopwatch. You have to start and stop your sleep period manually or enter a predefined period (which you sleep every day 🙁
The manufacturer, MyKronoz, opened a Mantis bug tracker to collect issues, but already after a few days they shut it down again. I can only guess that they had to close it because of the many issues users created. Another option (as I can still login, but I do not see any items) could be, that they unauthorized my account from seeing the issues – who knows, I can just guess…
With a little delay I have now received my newest gadget, the smartwatch ZeTime from MyKronoz.
I supported this Kickstarter project quite a while ago and now with a little delay I received this interesting smartwatch.
The special thing is that this smartwatch has real hands which are mounted through a hole in the display. The watch looks very nicely designed, although there is nothing really special in the design (you could also consider it a minimalistic design – besides the 2 buttons and the crown).
The benefit of this is, that you can read the time (this is what a watch typically is for) without switching on the display and hence it is much more convenient and compared to an always on display significantly reducing the power consumption.
So far so good.
Unfortunately, this is already the good part of the story.
All the rest, which is related to the software on the watch and also on my mobile phone (Android / Samsung S8) looks pretty poor, even immature.
For me (and likely most others), the main use case of a smartwatch is to stay informed. Unfortunately this does not work at all.
Notifications do not automatically show up at all. Asking the support on the website of the manufacturer, whether the watch can automatically switch on I learned that
„you can’t do that, (…) when you will feel that you received an notification (…)“
So you have to „feel it“ and then switch on the watch !?!?!
Even after that, I recognized that this doesn’t help any further. The notifications that are shown are either irrelevant (e.g. Spotify status messages) or incomplete (like a gMail notification without subject and text).
My second main app, is the calendar and with that the reminders for upcoming meetings.
Unfortunately the watch only uses the „main calendar“ of my smartphone, which turns out to be the built-in (local) calendar which is not connected to my email (gMail or MS Exchange) account. As I don’t maintain any entries in this offline calendar, there is nothing meaningful that the watch can show.
Looking at the software, I was very positively surprised when I registered for the MyKronoz account. The UI was extraordinary cool, using dedicated UI controls for the respective types of information.
Again, this positive thing stopped really soon after watching at the software on my phone. The Android app has a very basic design which often looks unfinished (example: look at the battery indicator on the top right).
Altogether, this is a nice gadget – in fact it is a pity that such a cool idea with real hands on top of a display – turns out not to be really useful.
Usually I would consider this something that can be improved with the next firmware version – but I am skeptical in this case …