U8 U watch - test - cheap smartwatch from China
So it's here: U Watch U8 plus. I ordered it mostly because I wanted to see what this really was. It os often described as "as good - or almost better than a Samsung Gear". Well, but... I compair it to my Samsung Gear S, which maybe isn't fair. U8 comes in several different models as U80, U8 Pro etc. There are some small differences in the specifiaction between them. U8 often comes in black, red or white. What do you get for such a cheap sum?
The smartwatch arrives in a nice box wich is labeled U Watch. It's said to be compatible with both Android and IOS. I have only tested it with my LG Nexus 5X (Marshmallow) and they work nicely together. U8 connected fast an easy by bluetooth.
In the box there is an USB cable. The smartwatch is charged by a Micro USB contact on the watch's left side. You have to open and close a small rubber lid, and I assume it's for that purpose a little metallic tool is included. U8 also comes with a screen protector, where you have to remove the upper layer. The small bubbles on the screen is because of the screen protector. I let the cover remain, even though it makes the screen slightly worse.
You also get an User Guide in English and Chinese (at least I think it's Chinese). I can honestly say I haven't read through it. The watch is really intuitive for those who are familiar with smartwatches.
The build quality is surprisingly good at the watch. I though that the chassi and bezel woudl be plastic, but it's made from steel and feels heavy and solid. The band is on the other hand a bit flimsy. It's some sort of plastic silicone and the buckle is a bit thin too. Since the watch itself is quite heave I'd like to have a heavier band to balance it and make it more comfortable to wear.
It took me about 2 hour to charge it from 0% to 100% and so far the battery seems to last as any other smartwatch (Pebble not included), i.e. about 1-2 days. The main reason for the battery life I think is that the screen is always off. You have to manually put it on with the button on the right side, if you want to use it.
I haven't included any pictures of the screen since they got too bad in day light. I think that the screen is a bit difficult in day light, but works really nice in darker surroundings.
The U8 has got a touch screen and the same toch buttons at the bottom as most Android mobiles for back, home etc. The icons look almost the same as on a old mobile phone (before the smart phones), which I think is a bit charming.
However, I must admit that the U8 actually does it's job. If you get a call you can accept or reject it on the watch. If you get a text message, the screens lights up and shows it. When I opened the pedometer, I understood it had to be activated manually. I kind of gave up after that and realized that most of the functions are there, they work, only just not as elegant as I'm used to. I have only gotten notifications as calls and sms to work.
The U8 often loses it's bluetooth connection and every now and than I have to manually reconnect it.
Somebody called the U8 "a toy that works", and I think it describes the U8 perfectly. I'm going to use it for "rough" use. However, I will not trade it for my Pebble Time Steel, which on the other hand was 10 times the cost of the U8 Plus (or 20 times the cost of a standard U8).
U Watch U8 Plus vs Samsung Gear S.
U Watch U8 Plus vs Pebble Time Steel. The bubbles at the U8 are from the screen protector.
U8 vs Pebble Time Steel vs Samsung Gear S.