The ‘smart enough’ watch isn’t functional enough for this reviewer.
I’ve been interested in smartwatches ever since I saw Inspector Gadget as a child. I loved how the character Penny has a communicator on her wrist and a computer book. What’s even cooler than seeing that on TV as a child is being able to have a smartwatch on your wrist that can actually answer phone calls and a tablet that is a real life computer book. My fascination with smartwatches extends to most wearables and I was intrigued when the NOWA Hybrid Watch came across my desk.
NOWA is a watch maker based in Paris who focuses on creating unique time pieces that have smart features like a fitness tracker and notification system. Their philosophy is that “A smart watch doesn’t have to be ‘brilliant’ – ‘smart’ enough will do!” NOWA watches are ideal for people who want something stylish, but want some new technology features included. The idea it to give users the best of both worlds. It’s carefully crafted with premium materials like Swiss watch parts, Italian calf leather straps, durable stainless steel, and sapphire coated glass. Straps are interchangeable and no charging is required because the NOWA watch comes with a CR2025 battery pre-installed. The battery should provide up to 8 months of ‘smart’ use or approximately 2 years of watch only mode.
Smart Features of NOWA Watches
- World Time Update – NOWA changes time zones no matter where you are. It is designed to automatically sync the hands of the watch to the time zone of your phone.
- Day and Night Activity Tracking – NOWA tracks and records activities (steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep quality) while you wear it. Activities are automatically records to your personal fitness cloud (Apple Health or Google Fit).
- Smart Companion for a Smartphone – NOWA provides a discreet flashing light when you receive a phone call on your connected smartphone. You can reject the call by pressing the crown on the watch. The crown can also be used to help find your phone if you lose it. If you press it twice, the phone will ring if it’s within Bluetooth range. The watch’s crown can also be used as a remote camera shutter button for the smartphone.
- Watch for minimalist world travelers
- Designed by Eric Gizard in Paris
- Flat Bezel. Luxury feel with highly polished ﬁnish
- Genuine Italian leather straps with Nubuck lining or striped canvas straps with genuine leather lining
- Interchangeable straps with quick release spring bars for easy replacement
- Stainless steel clasp that matches the case finish perfectly
- Ronda Swiss Parts Quartz movement (2 hands)
- The thinnest hybrid watch ever made at a thickness of 9.75 mm
- 316L stainless steel case, 3 reﬁned ﬁnishes – 3 ATM water resistance
- Flat mineral glass with sapphire coating for better durability
- Light indicator. Circle of light for intelligent features
- Push control. Classic crown style
- Time zone analog watch: Time set by smartphone
- Activity tracking (steps, distance, and calories burned)
- Sleep quality monitoring
- Camera control for selfies
- Call notifications through the light indicator at 12 o’clock
- Reject call with a push to the crown
- Find your phone with a double push to the crown
- Connects wirelessly to smartphone for Settings and Activity
- One-week memory without having to sync to the NOWA Watch app
- Connect to Apple Health and Google Fit apps
- Compatible with IOS8 / Android 5.0 and newer versions
- CR2025 – battery lasts 6 to 8 months with normal use. No charging required
- CE, FCC and RoHS certified – hybrid smartwatch 2018
As excited as I was to have a new smartwatch experience, I have to say that the NOWA let me down — in kind of a big way. My first impressions of the watch were very good. I love the classic style of the watch and the build quality. I found it to stand up to most of my daily abuse and I especially love the detachable strap. As a ‘basic’ watch, the NOWA SUPERBE Classic Black Hybrid Watch is above average. Unfortunately, I had some bad, bad luck with my watch.
Set up of the watch is pretty self-explanatory. You install the app onto your smartphone and then follow the instructions on the screen. You will be taken through a series of permissions as well as connecting the phone and the watch through Bluetooth. When I first set up the watch, it worked beautifully. I got the time set and started wearing it. I checked the app a few times and noticed that stats were being recorded as they should be. So, I went about my daily routine and didn’t think about the watch until a few hours later when I looked down and noticed the watch was a couple hours behind the actual time.
I opened the app on the phone, watched the phone and watch connect to each other and then tried to reset the hands on the watch. When you go through this process, the hands of the watch should automatically update to the correct time (as shown on your phone) and then you are on your way. Well, in my case, I set the virtual hands in the app and watched the real hands on the watch start to move, and then they would stop. I would have to go into the app again and again until the watch’s time was completely updated (after 7 rounds of this). The image below illustrates the problem I was having. You will see that the watch shows one time while the time the photo was taken shows a different time.
Every time I put the watch on I would update the time and then notice a few hours later than the watch had fallen behind and it had to be reset again. This was much more of a pain then I was prepared for and because of this flaw with the watch I received, I can’t really use the NOWA. In addition to the timing issue, I also never received any call notifications. While there may be several things that contribute to the issues I was seeing, I think it was more than likely an issue with Bluetooth from the watch staying connected. The battery level is showing full so I know it’s not a case of the battery not providing enough power.
I truly love the concept of a ‘smart enough’ watch. It’s a stylish wearable option without a lot of the frills of other smartwatches. That said, I did have a lot of issues with the watch that was in my possession. While I had some high expectations of this device, I was sorely disappointed at the outcome.