Alcatel OneTouch has just showed off its new smartwatch, aptly called Watch, at CES 2015 in Las Vegas. It looks and feels really great, despite a few disappointing bits.
Alcatel OneTouch Watch reminds of Pebble Steel in two ways: the watch itself is made of steel, and it'll work with both iOS and Android devices when it launches globally in March for around $149. Alcatel OneTouch told Pocket-lint that it wanted to make a premium watch, but it also wanted the watch to be affordable. It looked at rival watches, like Apple Watch, which is made by expensive CNC machines, and wondered if it could to better.
Alcatel OneTouch found an alternative to CNC machines that allowed it to make a stainless steel watch with a high-quality look (but without a high price tag). Alcatel OneTouch Watch will be available with a premium stainless steel band, or you could get a dark red/volcano black model. There's even an all-white model, which Alcatel OneTouch has described as "feminine". All three will come with the choice of a big or small wrist strap, depending on your preference.
During our time with Alcatel OneTouch Watch, we really loved the all-premium stainless steel model as well as the all-white feminine model. That said, we were a bit disappointed to hear the straps aren't swappable. Alcatel OneTouch said it couldn't offer that level of customisation because the straps feature a built-in NFC chip as well as a USB plug-in. Instead of carrying around a charger cord, you can just plug Alcatel OneTouch Watch into your computer.
Some other handy features include a built-in heart rate sensor and the ability to track a range of physical activities such as sleep cycle, distance covered, steps taken, and calories burned. You can also control your phone's camera and music player and answer/reject calls from your phone (but must take the call via your phone). Alcatel OneTouch Watch also features a "long battery life" and both dust- and water-resistance.
We only got to spend a little bit of time with Watch, so we can't comment too much on its user interface or apps. We saw that Alcatel OneTouch made a dozen or so apps (like a camera remote control, compass, timer, etc), and that those apps are pre-loaded with icons on the main screen. To navigate between apps, simply swipe through the icons on the main screen. To get back to the watch face, tap the bottom of the display.
Alcatel OneTouch said it included a few different watch faces to choose from, but by using Alcatel OneTouch Watch app for your smartphone, which will be available for iOS and Android, you can create your own custom watch faces from photos on your device. You can also access a notification center on the watch by swiping up from the bottom. Alcatel OneTouch expects more apps and functionality to debut in the coming months, as developers come on board.
The main downside to Alcatel OneTouch Watch, from what we noticed, is that the user interface doesn't take full advantage of the circular display... just like the Moto 360. And, as we mentioned earlier, the straps aren't swappable. Alcatel OneTouch also confirmed the watch doesn't support voice commands at the moment. B
Alcatel OneTouch wouldn't announce how much each colour variant model of Watch will cost, though it said the starting price is around $149.