Ever since the release of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, iPhone and Android owners who didn’t have a Galaxy Note 3 wondered when they would get wearable technology for their devices. MetaWatch, a company that is of known quality for the past eight years, has been working with companies like Fossil to create watches that provide its users with information on their wrists. As of 2011, they had tackled many important hurdles to get the rest of us what we want from a smartwatch.
The MetaWatch Frame case is high quality and built solid. It doesn’t have an open micro USB port to let in water or dust. What it does have is a three-atmosphere depth rating and a unique back plate that accepts an ingenious induction charging connector clip. The clip works to charge the smartwatch by using any standard micro USB cable with at least 5 volts and 500 mAh of power or what a typical PC USB port provides.
MetaWatch Frame Unboxing
What the MetaWatch Frame doesn’t have is an awkward camera integrated into its wristband. The company understands that your choice of wrist strap might change over time and so they made it a standard size. Their smart design and engineering continues with six equally spaced buttons, three on each side, that control all smartwatch functions.
Starting from the top left, the first button turns on and off an internal light that shines from the top down. The second button on the left controls a compatible music player app on the smartphone. The last button on the bottom left displays Bluetooth wireless status, smartphone connection status, watch battery charge level, software and hardware versions and the Bluetooth MAC address. The Bluetooth address is displayed to make sure what you’re connecting to the correct device.
On the top right, the first button scrolls through text messages in conjunction with the bottom right button. The middle right button scrolls through the four available pages of widgets. Some of the widgets are designed to take up a quarter, half or full screen. A dotted line separates each box and can be turned off in the settings of the MetaWatch smartphone app. The last button on the bottom right displays a screen to turn on or off the internal screen light, flip white to black and vice versa, access the stopwatch widget, turn on or off Bluetooth, turn on or off the seconds display and exit.
MetaWatch Pair To iPhone
I was able to setup my Frame in a few minutes. The longest step was downloading the app and configuring what widgets I wanted displayed. Any changes to the widgets are transferred to the smartwatch instantly.
A single light shines from the top, though I would have liked one on the bottom as well. The reflective screen technology on the Frame works in very low light situations. Light reflecting off of a movie screen was enough for me to read it.
MetaWatch’s Frame feels weighty enough to be taken seriously. Their app for iOS and Android worked relatively well once paired via Bluetooth. The watch’s firmware and apps were updated several times during the review and went well each time. The data widgets that pulled in stock info, current and forecast weather and sports scores were enough to keep me interested in wearing it daily.
The Frame is rugged with its thick shiny metal housing and is ready to be an accessory with t-shirts and suits. It comes in two colors, white and black. The genuine leather band for each version matches the color you pick. And at $179, this is a great price for a piece of wearable tech that works with many more smartphones than nearly any other brand.
Price: $99 – Available at the MetaWatch Frame website or at BestBuy.
- Simple to setup, download the iOS or Android app & pair via Bluetooth.
- Offers many of the functions of watches such as the Pebble or Phosphor.
- At $99, it is priced competitively to other smartwatches on the market.
- Runs a full week on the sealed battery.
- Eye catching, solid metal construction and reliable.
- Inductive charging keeps water and dust out.
- Charging clip is a little awkward to attach at first, but it worked every time.
- New data widgets are developed in-house on a regular basis, but there isn’t an app store for 3rd party widgets.
Disclosure: I received a MetaWatch Frame smartwatch for review at no cost. I did not receive compensation for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.