Two minute review
Even with a month of testing, we can’t muster much passion in this Poco Watch review, positive or negative. This by-the-numbers smartwatch certainly doesn’t disappoint, but it doesn’t seduce either.
The Poco Watch is Pocophone’s debut smartwatch, which has made a name for itself by pumping out powerful yet affordable budget phones. There is quite a tradition of phone brands making wearables to complement their handsets; the Xiaomi Mi Watch, Honor Magic Watch and the Oppo Watch come to mind as examples from other Chinese companies, each vying for a place on our list of the best smartwatches or best cheap smartwatches.
Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 or Apple Watch 7, however, the Poco Watch falls within the ‘budget’ end of the spectrum, which fits Poco’s Modus Operandi. While Poco’s smartphones excel with top features despite the low prices, its smartwatch doesn’t do much to stand out from its competitors.
The device does everything you expect from a budget wearable: it lets you receive notifications on your wrist, keeps track of certain types of exercises, counts your steps and so on. All these functions work fine.
It also has great battery life, as it lasts for two weeks, which is much longer than the battery life of many other smartwatches.
But it offers nothing we haven’t seen before – and haven’t seen cheaper, and crucially – with its features almost identical to many comparable smartwatches.
Poco could have taken a leaf out of his smartphone book by finding a unique selling point for the device, perhaps a way it connects to cell phones or a dedicated fitness tracking mode. But right now we don’t understand why people should buy it.
Poco Watch price and availability
The Poco Watch will be available in the UK. Since Poco generally doesn’t sell its devices in the US or Australia, don’t hope for availability outside of Europe.
The watch costs £79.99 (around $100 / AU$140), so it’s quite affordable as smartwatches go, undermining alternatives from Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi and Oppo. But if you are looking for a budget smartwatch, Amazfit does have a few alternatives with more features.
One rival we want to highlight is the Honor Watch ES, which launched for £99.99 (about $130, AU$175). Sure, it’s a bit more expensive than the Poco Watch, but it has a few unique features – like the Fitness Course modes – that prove that affordable smartwatches still stand out.
Poco Watch design and display
Like the vast majority of smartwatches, the Poco Watch consists of a body and two removable straps. Well, ‘removable’ in theory, as the button you have to press to remove them is incredibly hard to press.
You can buy beige, navy blue or black versions of the smartwatch and as the images show, we tested the latest version. Both the strap and the body of the watch come in the chosen color.
The fit is quite comfortable overall, especially as the watch is quite light at just 31g, including the straps. These tires are made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), a synthetic material that is slightly less irritating than rubber. It doesn’t rub as much as silicone and isn’t too irritating for those with skin conditions. There are also many holes in the band so you can easily adjust the fit to all different wrist sizes.
The body is square, like an Apple Watch, but without some of the design flair of the latter. It has one button, on the right side, which was a little tricky to press at times, but not nearly as tricky as the strap button.
The material on that square case is sturdy yet lightweight, making it a great choice for a smartwatch. You can bump into it while running, or fall over while it’s on your wrist, with a low risk of damaging his face. It has a water resistance of 5ATM, which means that the watch can withstand the pressure of about 50 meters of water.
The display is 1.6 inches diagonal, with a resolution of 360 x 320 and AMOLED technology. The latter is the standard in smartwatches, as the high brightness and contrast it offers makes outdoor watches easy to view.
Poco Watch Performance and Software
The vast majority of proprietary smartwatch operating systems are very similar, at least outside of WatchOS, Wear OS, and HarmonyOS — and the Poco Watch is no exception.
From the main watch face, you can swipe down to see your notifications list or up for our quick settings list; swiping to the sides takes you through a carousel of features like heart rate monitoring, weather reports or music controls.
Pressing the home button takes you to the list of apps, which can be quite overwhelming as the apps don’t have labels – you have to guess what they are based on the logo. So when alarms, stopwatches, and timers all have clock-like logos, it’s very hard to tell which app you’re looking at. However, if you use the watch for some time, you will learn the differences.
The fact that the Poco Watch software is too familiar isn’t an issue, as it makes navigation easier for smartwatch enthusiasts (well, aside from the weird lack of app tags in the list). In addition, the art style and color scheme are quite attractive.
Navigating the watch is a breeze as the software is snappy and intuitive. Poco didn’t detail the chipset available in the watch, but it’s up to the job of powering the device.
A few additional modes here include breathing exercises, music controls, notification handling (so you can read notifications but not respond), and a remote shutter for your smartphone camera.
There were a few bugs in the software. We never got the remote shutter tool to work – our smartphone never wanted to acknowledge it – and notifications were often received multiple times on the watch. Music controls generally worked fine, but occasionally the watch didn’t recognize when music was playing on our phone.
Poco Watch fitness
The Poco Watch has over 100 fitness modes…but not all modes are created equal.
Some of the core modes, like Running, have quite a few reported stats. Running tells you your time, total kcal, active kcal, average pace, max pace, average speed, steps, cadence, stride and heart rate (in a graph and zone format). All this is useful for a novice runner, but for the elite performers, you won’t get as much information as you would with a dedicated running watch.
But if you pick some of the more niche activities that are tracked, like snowmobiling or Latin dancing, you won’t get as much activity-specific information as you would in running mode. Baseball mode doesn’t give you any game-related information, details about your swings, or anything like that.
Some of these modes are obviously filler, especially when you consider that walking, hiking, and outdoor hiking are all listed as separate activities. Still, the Poco Watch is fine for regular activities, or for those who don’t need detailed breakdowns.
Don’t expect training advice though – and take the data with a grain of salt, because when we went for a run with the watch, it had a weird tendency to record our heart rate as V02 Max (the most intense option) for the whole workout, even for softer ones. run.
Unlike many budget smartwatches, this one also has GPS built in, meaning you can use the watch without your phone, or at least without depending on your smartphone’s own GPS system. We found that the distance tracked was more accurate than on devices with connected GPS (which depends on your phone’s GPS).
The Poco watch can track heart rate, Sp02, steps, menstrual cycle and your sleep, but many of these stats require you to use the linked smartwatch app to get your data. As with the fitness modes, these are useful for monitoring your health, but you won’t get the same depth of data as you would with a more expensive device.
Battery life of Poco Watch
When we heard Poco’s claim that his smartwatch would have a two-week battery life, we were skeptical – the case seems slim, so we didn’t think it would have a very large battery.
However, we were wrong. Our tests show that the Poco Watch has a battery life of at least two weeks. That was with the occasional workout, but if you run for two hours every day, you obviously won’t last that long with the device. Using the always-on display feature will also significantly reduce that figure.
Charging is done with a small magnetic pin charger that comes with the device and plugs into any USB-A port, such as a wall outlet or your PC.
Poco Watch Review Scorecard
|Design and display||The Poco Watch has a pretty standard look and display – nothing to write home about.||3/5|
|Performance and software||Somewhat buggy software aside, the Poco Watch works just fine.||3/5|
|fitness||The Poco Watch has the standard collection of fitness modes, although only a select few have a lot of depth.||3/5|
|Battery||Clocking in at two weeks, the Poco watch has pretty good battery life compared to competitors – although there are rivals that last up to a month.||4/5|
|Where the||The Poco Watch is quite affordable, although it’s not the cheapest smartwatch we’ve seen||4/5|
Should you buy the Poco Watch?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
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