I love the idea of wearable computers. When I heard I'm Spa was giving away the I'm Watch Color at CES, I ran over to their booth to grab one. The plan was to get it, review it, and maybe even use it after the review, even if it made me look a little geeky. I'm Spa has a new version of the OS, "I'm Droid 2.0," which is just a scaled down version of Android, so it should be very powerful and work well with my phone. It has a tiny app store for watch apps, and a pull down notification panel. It will alert you of Facebook messages, emails, incoming calls, texts, and a million other things. It sounds awesome. I was ready to love it.
The thing is, it sucks, like it really sucks. It sucks so bad it's not even worth a full review, so here's a quick run down.
- Freescale i.MX233 ARM9 CPU
- 128MB of ram
- 4GB of storage
- 1.54 inch, 240x240 display
- 450mAh Battery
- Dimensions: 52.9 x 40.6 x 10mm
- Weight: 90g
- Android 1.6
A smart watch should be all about fast access to information, but this thing struggles to do anything. It is laggy on a good day - performance ranges from slow-as-molasses to completely unresponsive. It freezes all the time and needs to be rebooted. Every tap or button click takes 1-2 seconds to register. It's really thick, and the rubber watch band looks and feels like something from a $20 Casio watch. There also is a huge amount of light bleed from the speaker and headphone jack, and, to add insult to injury, it runs Android 1.6.
Setup is impossible, each app has to be individually configured on I'm Spa's "I'm Cloud" website. So take the watch out of the box, turn on your phone's bluetooth, pair them, enable bluetooth tethering (so your watch has internet access), and register an account on the I'm Cloud website. Now that you've got an account, click on "devices" and enter your serial number and model number, and now you can start configuring your apps. First, you'd want to do the calendar, so go to the calendar app settings on the I'm Cloud website and enter your Google username and password. Hit save, and it will push the setting to the watch - great. Now, for the address book, go to the address book app settings on the I'm Cloud website, and enter your Google credentials again. You need to set up every app individually, no app knows about your username and password from any other app. If you try to run an app on the watch that you haven't set up, you get an error message.
Once you do get up and running, the apps are useless - according to I'm Watch, the weather in Las Vegas, Nevada and Anchorage, Alaska are exactly the same, "Sunny." There's no mention of the temperature at all. The mail app can't read HTML mail, so it refuses to open 90% of my emails. The News app is stuck in Spanish, even though I have "English" set as my locale. The on-watch app store always says "empty," and so does the calendar. I have no idea why, they've both been set up.
This thing is garbage. I got this first thing in the morning at CES, and I would have thrown it in the trash to save bag space if I didn't have to write about it later. It all feels like something you would find in a shady back alley in China instead of a $400 device. And $400 is the cheap version. I'm Spa has a full range of these things all the way up to a white gold and diamonds version for $20,000. Yes, twenty-thousand dollars.
It's slow, it freezes all the time, the apps aren't useful, setup is a huge pain, and you look like a complete dork wearing one. I got this for free and I still feel ripped off. I can't even give it away because there's no option to wipe my personal information off of it. I guess I'll just run a power drill through it and throw it out. What a waste.