Digital

U8 U watch - test - cheap smartwatch from China

U8 U watch smartwatch smartklocka smart klocka white vit

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.

U8 U watch smartwatch smartklocka smart klocka white vit box låda

U8 U watch smartwatch smartklocka smart klocka white vit

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.

U8 U watch smartwatch smartklocka smart klocka white vit cable kabel tool verktyg

U8 U watch smartwatch smartklocka smart klocka white vit charge ladda

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.

U8 U watch smartwatch smartklocka smart klocka white vit user guide användarhandledning

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.

U8 U watch smartwatch smartklocka smart klocka white vit armband band strap

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.

U8 U watch vs Samsung Gear S

U8 U watch vs Samsung Gear S

U Watch U8 Plus vs Pebble Time Steel. The bubbles at the U8 are from the screen protector.

.U8 U watch vs Pebble Time Steel silver  

U8 vs Pebble Time Steel vs Samsung Gear S.

U8 U watch vs Pebble Time Steel vs Samsung Gear S

 

Pebble Time Steel smartwatch review

pebble time steel silver smartwatch smart watch smart klocka smartklocka   

pebble time steel silver smartwatch smart watch smart klocka smartklocka

I've got myself a Pebble Time Steel in silver. It's so nice! I was tired of charging my old Samsung with the help of a pillar box every night and it's my birthday today, but maybe I don't need any more excuses to buy a new watch?

The Pebble Time Steel is a really beautiful smartwatch. It's solid and made from stainless steel. Even so, it feels nice and smooth to wear on the wrist.

Why a Pebble, when there are plenty of other smart watches out there like the Sony Smartwatch 3, Samsung Galaxy Gear S2, Motorola Moto 360, Huawei Watch or LG Watch Urbane? Some of them was just too overly expensive. I will not pay as much again as I did for my old Gear S. Sony Smartwatch 3 looks really nice, but it seems almost hopelessly to find another strap for it. If you can accept a full black or a silver watch with metal band, it's probably the most priceworthy smartwatch you can buy today.

I finally decided for a Pebble because of:
* Battery time! Pebble Time Steel says to have 10 days of stand by, but I have to charge it once a week I'm happy.
* Always on! Pebble uses an e-paper display, which isn't as energy consuming as other screens. It also doesn't come with a touch screen but is operated only with four different buttons. I don't need a touch screen on a smartwatch, but I do need colour.

pebble time steel smartwatch smartklocka watchface silver green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The e-paper - or e-ink screen - doesn't upate as often. It excels in day light, but at night (or at evening here in the far Norht) you need to look at it straight in front, otherwize I think it's a bit too dark. Times like that, the back light button is really useful. You can also shake the watch to activate the back light.

Pebble is an outsider in the smartwatch market and uses crowdfunding for development, which I found being an interesting concept. Their design is also unique, both out and inside the watch.

I almost find Pebble's older models (Pebble Classic and Pebble Steel) having a cooler look than the newer models. The old ones only have a black and white screen and as far as I have understood, not all apps are running. These models are still really, really good buys if you want a smartwatch and are on a tight budget. To many people, the Pebble Steel is still the ultimate watch.

I think that the Pebble Time is the best looking watch of all the square ones (especially the white one), but since the chassi is made from plastic and my old plastic watch didn't last that long, I'm hesitant to buy it. The Pebble Time has a broad bezel, which make the gap between the bezel and the display smaller than at a Time Steel.

Pebble Time Round is gorgeous, but sadly has far less battery time. It's most likely the best looking smart watch at this moment.

It's also really easy to send a voice reply to a text message or a facebook messenger. However, Pebble Time Steel is as it's best as a notification center. I get all notifications, it's my pedometer, I can check the weather, activate a timer etc. There is also something called a time line, which is really smart when you get hang of it. It shows your calendar events, weather, sleep monitor and news but also things as sleep monitor etc. It's really easy and fast to navigate through with the buttons. I really think that using buttons instead of a tiny touch screen is the way to go on a smartwatch.

The only thing I really can complain about is that the display is a little bit too small, or the text in the time line is a bit too small. But I suppose that's the trade off you have to do in order to get 10 days of battery life in a smart watch.

pebble time steel silver smartwatch smart watch smart klocka smartklocka

It comes elegantly presented in a nice box. Included is also the charger cable which you attach to the back of your Pebble. The other end is put into a USB port. Very smooth.

pebble time steel silver smartwatch smart watch smart klocka smartklocka laddare charger

Here is the magnetic charger attached to the back of the watch. It took about an hour to charge it from 40% to 100%.

pebble time steel silver smartwatch smart watch smart klocka smartklocka laddare charger

It has definitely got some fun animations. I've never seen a charging symbol like this one.

pebble time steel silver smartwatch smart watch smart klocka smartklocka

Pebble Time Steel uses any 22 mm watch band. The one that is included is a nice thick genuine leather and, that is nice to wear.

My mobile phone is a LG Nexus 5X which runs Android Marshmallow. It was really easy to connect these two.

* I started my Pebble by pushing the left button.
* Pebble asked to put on the blue tooth on the phone.
* I had already downloaded the Pebble app from Google Play.
* I followed the instructions on the screen.
* The only manual I did was to set it to 24h-display: Settings -> Date & Time -> Time Format -> 24h

I also needed to Google for the meaning of the different buttons:
* Left side: Back/Home/Off (press it long enough)/On/Back light
* Right side top: Up
* Right side middle: OK/Choice/More info (is a small half circle is shown at the notification)
* Right side bottom: Down

After that I have researched the apps and the watchfaces. There's a lot of them!

Pebble Time Steel vs. Samsung Gear S. I have never felt that my Gear S has been big, but next to a Pebble it looks huge!

pebble time steel vs samsung gear s

pebble time steel vs samsung gear s

pebble time steel vs samsung gear s

pebble time steel vs samsung gear s

 

Nexus 5X vibration motor

YouTube movie can be found here.

There are a lot of opinions about the Nexus 5X's vibration motor. Some people says it sounds like an angry little wasp and othe says something rattles inside the phone. I shot this short movie just to prove that my Nexus 5X is both very solid and has a soft nice sound. When I watched the movie - the sounds was - like a little angry bee. I still claim that my phone doesn't sound bad in real life....

Samsung Gear S smartwatch will not charge

samsung gear s trasig baksida laddare smartklocka smartwatch broken cradle

My favourite smartwatch is broken. It will not charge any more with the cradel. The cradle willjust not fasten any longer. After a bit of googling, I found a solution that works quite OK for now. It's a pity to throw a perfectly functioning smartwatch away just because it won't charge after about 14 months. It's a fantastic watch - if you can charge it (every night).

 Find a suitable container. I use a Swedish pillbox, but any small rund box will do.

samsung gear s trasig baksida laddare smartklocka smartwatch broken cradle

Close the watch band in order to tighten the cradle to the back of the watch.

samsung gear s trasig baksida laddare smartklocka smartwatch broken cradle

It charges again!

samsung gear s trasig baksida laddare smartklocka smartwatch broken cradle

 

 

Nexus 5X – camera test in low light

I'm not a picky photographer and most cameras do well in sunshine and bright light. I got the question how the Nexus 5X camera performs, so I just took some shots while working by my desk. The Nexus 5X brings out the details better IMHO and the colours are much more vivid.

Nexus 5X Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Nexus 5X samsung galaxy note 3
 
 
nexus 5x samsung galaxy note 3
   
nexus 5x samsung galaxy note 3
The Nexus 5X has much mor wide angle.
These two pictures are shot from almost the same place.