09
Jan
IMG_1624

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.

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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.

Specs:

  • 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.

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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.

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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.

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=632755481 Kaushal Dalvi

    "I'm Spa will sell you one made of white gold and diamonds for $20,000. Yes, two thousand dollars. "
    My head hurts :(

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Oops, the number was right, it's twenty-thousand dollars.

      My head hurts too. =P

  • McLean Riley

    Wait, $2,000 or $20,000 either way, after this review I wouldn't give $20. Just wondering because if someone bought this for the price of a car they are crazy.

  • Steve

    "it runs Android 1.6."

    I think I found your problem.

    • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

      While the Hero was a POS 1.6 wasnt that bad on it. It also ran on my brother's G1. I think the watch itself is just a POS.

      • Simon Belmont

        I still have my HTC Hero and I never had a complaint for its performance. For a first generation Android smartphone, it performs well.

        I still use mine as an Wi-Fi enabled Internet device. It performs great running CM7.2 and overclocked to 768MHz.

      • http://profiles.google.com/pbooker117 Phillip Booker

        The HTC Hero CDMA never got 1.6, it went straight from 1.5 to 2.1 after months and months....a few delays...a few more months....and a shitload of complaints.

  • jake

    "I'm Spa will sell you one made of white gold and diamonds for $20,000. Yes, two thousand dollars."

    Either there's supposed to be one less 0 or two should be twenty ;)

  • Kitten_Fran

    What happens at the very end of the video? Was that suppose to be funny? You chopped the joke off. (Or we missed it somehow.)

    • mattrition

      He threw it down like the garbage it is. Not much of a joke, just expressing how he feels about the gadget.

  • http://twitter.com/V3RDICT Jeremiah

    If everything at CES 2013 sucks, go home. You've been complaining about the whole event. Waste of your time and ours.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Critique means a waste of time. Got it.

      • Gav456

        More classic "Artem: take-no-sh*t sarcasm"... love it!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Admittedly, I have a low bullshit tolerance, but CES isn't all bad. There are some fantastically cool things here. I got to play with an Oculus Rift, and it completely blew my mind. It's pretty much perfect 3D - you are transported to the inside of a video game.

      There just isn't much interesting in the way of Android stuff. Everyone who's actually here agrees with me - this CES has been a bust. It's mostly old stuff and iPhone cases.

    • Freak4Dell

      Okay, so maybe, just maybe, it's a waste of their time. I can understand that, but it's really their choice to waste their time or not, right? What I don't understand at all is how it's a waste of your time. (I say yours instead of ours because I don't consider them being at CES a waste of my time.) Aren't you 100% responsible for wasting your own time? I mean, couldn't you just, you know, not read this site if it's a waste of your time?

  • Chris Clark

    I also bet they never licensed Droid from LucasFilm for the I'm Droid OS.

  • http://kit.im/ Kit F

    $20,000 is two thousand dollars?

  • http://twitter.com/ericcamil Eric Camil Jr

    I can't be the only one who went and looked up 1.6
    http://developer.android.com/about/versions/android-1.6-highlights.html

    I'd rather have one of those "OVENS" you covered earlier then a 20,000 dollar watch that doesn't function.

  • Julian

    white gold and diamonds for $20,000. Yes, two thousand dollars.

    Woops.

    By the way, couldn't most of the problems be solved with updates? Not gonna get it though, far too expensive, for is basically useless.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Oops, the number was right, it's twenty-thousand dollars.

  • Zack Dunda

    Still excitedly waiting for my Pebble watch to ship!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667020551 Jose Torres

    Don't break it, sent it to me so I can give it to my mother-in-law...HA

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667020551 Jose Torres

    This for $400 or a MotoACTV for $150...hmmm

    • Sven Enterlein

      I just rediscovered my MotoACTV and did awesome things to it! Come warmer weather I want to be able to run "Zombies, Run!" on it.

  • Rob

    LMAO. "It's Frozen!" (toss). I'm a geek like the next Android fanboy, but seriously - who needs a watch like other than say Dick Tracy. (o_O)

  • Debadatta Bose

    Android 1.6? Did I read that correctly? *goes to see again*

  • Lexster

    I love that you just toss the thing down on the table at the end of the video. Seems pretty fitting. I cant believe they expect people to pay $400 for that piece of junk.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    1.6. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

  • Dalton

    C'mon Ron! Tell us how you really feel!

  • Loren Cogar

    Good thing Pebble Watch has a press conference today!! I think our watches are about to ship!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sofernandomesmo Neto Cavalcanti

    Waiting a CyanogenMod ROM.

  • chandradithya

    "How about no"

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    He was not kidding.

    $20k in white gold and diamonds: http://www.imsmart.com/en/store/buy-i-m-watch/jewel-buy

    $17k in yellow, pink, or black gold (same page)

    $2k in silver (same page)

    $1050-1200 for "tech special edition" http://www.imsmart.com/en/store/buy-i-m-watch/tech-buy

    $390 otherwise http://www.imsmart.com/en/store/buy-i-m-watch/color-buy

    What a fucking joke.

    • Matthew Fry

      There's something wrong with the url. It says imsmart but clearly, they're not.

      • Sven Enterlein

        They ARE smart! It's the people that _buy_ these things that are not ;)

    • Slobodan Vucinic

      That website is such a disgraceful rip-off of the Apple's website that it makes me sick.

      • troph

        Haha yeah I thought it was for a second...

      • Freak4Dell

        Wow, no kidding. It's like they literally just copied the source code for Apple's website and changed the logos and text.

  • Kenny O

    It is pretty clunky ...Maybe you could use it for personal protect as you could rip up off your wrist and throw it at someone who was coming at you.

  • Matthew Fry

    Yay! Another thing to bug me about having a low battery. Just what I wanted.

  • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

    yikes! It would be cool if a watch could just simply show what's in the Notifications drawer pull-down on your phone, plus maybe time/weather.

  • mikedg

    Why does it running Android 1.6 have anything to do with it's terribleness? It doesn't have access to the Play store, traditional Android apps are not going to be running on it, it has a custom look.Pretty much none of the negatives of running 1.6 on a phone apply to this device.

  • Owen Finn

    WHOA! Keep it and flash CM 10.1 on it!

  • Engineer man

    Hi to all, but i'm watch didn't crash how can you see in the video, the battery was low and the only features that work in this condition is the time. To be a watch and not a phone the device is not so slow and touch works well. I'd like this device, of course never i will buy a gold one.

  • HopelesslyFaithful

    i would find this realy useful if it was not trash. having calander and other things would be nice

  • http://twitter.com/cthonctic Cthonctic

    A watch (or wrist-worn computing device, if you prefer) that has a display that needs to be woken up is full of fail. In that case you can just pull your phone from your pocket just the same. No always-on display, no deal (regardless of the performance issues).

  • hsifbric

    Make sure you post the video of you drilling through the watch :-D

  • Sorian

    Seriously?!?!?!?! I think I would be better served by the iPod nano and I HATE APPLE PRODUCTS!

  • Dan

    So, you're saying you kinda like it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

    Andoid 1.6? I thought it didn't look bad, but seriously why does this device even run Android 1.6 Donut? Only Android historians should mention 1.6 ever!

    I love Android, but the lowest I could EVER go in the year 2013 would definitely be 2.3 Gingerbread.

  • http://www.williamint.com William Aleman

    Just get the Pebble, $150, no need to think.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

      Problem solved. XD

  • BigNick

    Love my MotoActv...still the most Android watch for the money.

    • Ed Baker

      LOVE my MotoActv as well. Use it everywhere I go throughout the day. Blows away the wife's Nike+. Had mine for almost a year and it's really beaten up, so may get a second one real soon.
      I am always surprised when people announce that android may be coming to a wrist watch with wifi and blue tooth support (as well as root) since Motorola has had one out for a long time. You either love it or hate it. Not for someone who needs support to operate. (motorola/Google support is nonexistent)

  • Alberto Martínez Rodríguez

    Somebody at i'm read this, thought the "white gold with diamonds" version was a little bit expensive and updated the price to $14,999!!! http://www.imsmart.com/en/store/buy-i-m-watch/jewel-buy And $299 for the "cheap" one!! http://www.imsmart.com/en/store/buy-i-m-watch/color-buy So professional LOL

  • Dale Griggs

    Looks neat to me. I want to get two so I can have my calendar and the weather displayed all the time!
    Where can I buy one? Or two.

  • Freak4Dell

    Perhaps I suck at being a geek, but I'll take my watches in analog. They look a lot nicer than any digital watch.

  • http://twitter.com/RickPagett Richard M Pagett

    @ronamadeo:disqus Was this really free to keep? What are you going to do with yours? Interested in it if you don't want it

  • Alex

    This is just big scam, never purchase anything from IM Watch, they will never ever send any purchase to you or reply by email on inside the ticket.

    It's just smart scam!

    Google for it!

  • Alex

    Just to be exact - i paid ~ 1k EUR and got ignored for a year!

  • Alex

    This is just big scam, never purchase anything from IM Watch, they will never ever send any purchase to you or reply by email on inside the ticket.

    It's just smart scam!

    Just to be exact - i paid ~ 1k EUR and got ignored for a year!

    - all people here - please help this post to be high enough so we both can prevent these smart scammers to scam more people.

    Google for it!

  • VegasDude73

    Tell us how you really feel. LOL Love honest reviews.

  • jack

    @Ron Amadeo read the instructions and come back with a real review. maybe the watch isn't perfect but seems that you spend only 2 sec to learn how to use it

  • JohnnyP

    I am so confused by the featuring of this and the excitement over the pebble when the sony smart watch is already available on the market at a fraction of the price. Apart from having to charge it every other day the smart watch is great and cheap! My main gripe being that I can't answer a call because I don't use a sony handset. But for £80 how can I complain when the pebble is twice the price and has a crappy e-inc screen!

  • Scott

    But will it blend? :D I hope it does I hate this. Got mine and it wouldn't boot out of the box and I charged it overnight. Get a MotoActv people. Does a lot more than this

  • Rabid Rotty

    Loved the end should of thrown it harder lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=691943709 Jonne Backhaus

    You can wipe it, during boot keep the power button pressed and you get the android system recovery. I used a lot of time to figure it out. Hope it helps you too.

  • http://twitter.com/SciaccaTweets John Sciacca

    My review of the i'm Watch I received at CES... as told through the Iraqi Minister of Information....

    http://johnsciacca.webs.com/apps/blog/show/25108597-i-m-watch-revie-i-m-sad-i-m-angry-i-m-confused-i-m-fail

  • http://anyrandom.com Tom

    The only thing this one has going for it is the built-in speaker. You could in theory use it as an MP3 watch alarm clock if you can actually get the POS to pair with a phone so you can configure your alarm clock app. On mine, the band broke before I ever wore it. The metal clasp part just pulls right out of the cheap band as it has a hairline crack that allows the clasp to pass out of the band. I tried to use their site for support and they insist on calling you rather than just reading the details of the form submission I sent... I am so disappointed with this purchase. MotoACTV, iPod Nano in a Lunatik/Tiktok case, and an analog fossil with just a hour and minute hand are all way better options... The i'mwatch continues to make me angry to this day. Why release this to consumers?? Steer clear of this company for life!

  • Abhinit

    Freescale is an Indian company specializing in designing semiconductor devices and the processor which this watch uses is : Freescale i.MX233 ARM9 CPU

    Now look at what Freescale says about this processor on it's website:

    Target Applications (Consumer)
    - Portable Navigation Devices

    - E-Readers

    - Washing Machines

    - Refrigerators

    - Dryers

    - Home Energy Management Systems

    - Portable Media Players

    - Remote Controls

    - Cooking Products

    - Dishwashers

    Way to go trying to run a smart watch using a processor which is supposed to be running refrigerator and washing machines. Enough Said..!! :-)

  • Keith Griffin

    Does anybody know where I can get another usb charging cord for the i'm watch? Lost mine and don't know where to find another

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