2015 was said to be the year of the wearable. A lot of international manufacturers have placed their bets on this category, especially with the release of Android Wear, everyone of them were eager to take advantage of this platform.
Wearables were becoming too popular that even our local industry players have also dropped their cards on the table. And what we have here is O+ USA’s first take on the new category; not one, but two devices, the O+ Time and the O+ Tag. If their names are still not making it obvious, it’s a smartwatch and the other is, sort of, a smart pendant.
Both devices doesn’t have the trendy Android Wear OS, nor a fancy touchscreen, but the company promised that it is a “mobile sidekick” by providing only the most essential features that a wearable should significantly have.
Is O+ off to a good start on this category? Let’s figure that out.
|To power on O+ TIME||Press and hold Button A|
|To activate/deactive display||press button A once|
|To activate menu||press and hold button B|
|To switch from menus||press button B once|
|To select from menus||press and hold button B|
|To return or back||press button A once|
|To power off O+ TIME||press & hold button A then press & hold button B to execute|
Design and Comfort
The O+ Time’s look is also, like any other, far away from a watch’s traditional, circular look. Although, the design is actually very familiar; it has the same footprint with Samsung’s Gear fit, and any other smart wearable that are focused for fitness and health tracking.
The device has a humble 0.91″ OLED display. OLED’s are pretty reminiscing, these are the displays used on your old, early to mid 2000’s feature phones. The display is perfect for its cause; battery conservation and excellent sunlight legibility. Although, the display’s coating is a bit odd. The glass looks like it has been coated with a mirror screen protector, which made it look very reflective and draws a lot of light when used outdoors.
The device’s peculiar horizontal is a bit strange to use, the same problem that was cited with the Samsung Gear Fit. But since the Gear Fit supports Over-The-Air updates, it was fixed and blessed with a portrait orientation view. On the O+ Time, there’s no luck. So, it’s best used faced-down, which I think is also more stylish-looking as the geeky-ness is hidden under your wrist. Plus, the button with the O+ logo also gives you a fitness vogue.
The watch’s band is not replaceable. Which means you’re stuck with the solely available color variant, the black and orange. The band is made with textured rubber to help boost comfort and make it sweat-proof.
Taking some further tour, we also got the built-in speakers at the front. Two control buttons and the built-in microphone at the bottom side, and the microUSB port at the other
As the name would initially suggest, this came from the looks of a dog tag. It uses the same chain, which can be adjusted with just a snap. The main show is only on the pendant itself, which means, unlike with the Time, the piece that carries the device can be interchanged.
The device may look more miniature than the Time, but they still use the same display, with the same size (O+ Time’s only bezels were only made thicker to fit the hardware inside). The 0.91″ OLED display is still what’s fronting this device. And thankfully, that annoying mirror screen protector-like coating is not present on this one. OLED’s full potential on outdoor visibility is fully showcased on this unit.
Taking a tour. We got the 0.91″ OLED display at the front.
The microUSB port at the left.
Two control buttons at the right.
Loudspeaker and the built-in microphone at the bottom.
O+ USA Branding at the back.
Both O+ Time and O+ Tag are water-resistant. But keep in mind, it’s not waterproof. The devices can withstand light water splashes like being caught in the rain or accidental drop on water, but you can’t go out for a swim or take a bath while the devices are on.
For the devices be able to work with your Android Smartphone, an app called BTNotification should be installed. The application comes pre-installed on the latest O+ devices. Note that, this app is unavailable on the Play Store, it can only be downloaded with the link provided in the manual or on O+’s website. The application is compatible with any Android-powered devices.
The app’s interface is pretty uncomplicated. You could gain access to the important settings of the wearable. One pretty essential feature is the list of selected apps for notifications; You may not want every app to bother you, and only those who are vital are welcome to address you via the smartwatch; here you could block inferior apps.
Also another nifty feature is the Find Bluetooth Device. Works exactly the same with the wearable’s Find Smartphone feature, only that this works vice versa. In case the device got lost, tapping this feature will help you locate it as the wearable will ring and vibrate.
Usability and Features
The devices’ doesn’t support any third-party applications or a fancy software like the Android Wear, which means you’re limited to the features that the company planted with it. Let me get it in to pieces, and give you a tour to its functions.
Browse everyone on your phonebook. You could also make a call by holding the 2nd button then press call. Given that you are cool with the awkwardness on making calls on a watch or a necklace, then the device’s built-in microphone and loudspeaker are there to serve you.
- Call history
Check all your Missed, Dialed and Received calls, complete with the call’s date and time. You could also dial the number that’s on the list.
Inbox, Outbox (not sure why this one is still included) and Sent Messages. It displays the full message complete with date and time.
- Bluetooth settings
Power on/off the bluetooth, enable/disable visibility, and search new device (Pairing can also be done to the wearable itself)
If you want to disregard a notification and save it for later, this feature saves it. It is the collection of all unseen and dismissed notifications. Notifications from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be found here.
- Phone Radar
Alerts you when you’re too away with the device.
- Phone Finder
Can’t find your smartphone? Friends messing with you by hiding your device? This feature make the device ring and vibrate so you could find it. Pretty nifty. Although, pretty useless when the device is in complete silent mode. The Phone Finder feature relies on the smartphone’s Ringtone/Call volume.
- Bluetooth to selfie
Acts as a wireless shutter button. It uses a proprietary camera app instead of the one that you desire. The camera app it uses is complete with no adjustable settings, just a button to switch between front-facing and primary camera.
I was a bit surprised with these devices’ jampacked alarm feature. It can adjust the alarm time, Repeat (Alarm once, everyday, or customize which day/days of the week), alarm sound, and the method of the alarm (Ring or vibrate only, or both Ring and Vibrate).
No smart wearable is a legit smart wearable without the presence of any fitness and health-related feature. And with O+’s offerings, both devices boasts a fitness-tracking capabilities.
Either walking or running, the devices can track and count your steps. The interface is pretty straightforward. It displays the duration and the steps count. Although, just like any other smart wearable in the market, the integrity of the step count is a bit questionable. I went out for a walk and used the O+ Time and O+ Tag’s pedometer simultaneously, and the end count results were a bit different from each other. The O+ Time tracked more steps, more like 50 to 60 steps further, than the latter. Probable reason is, the Time is positioned in the hands’, which has more trackable movements, rather than the Tag, which just hangs on the neck.
- Sleep Monitor
Pretty self-explanatory. It basically tracks the quality of your sleep. The interface displays the duration and quality of sleep. The quality ranges from (Poor, Average, Good, etc.). The results were pretty accurate as I tested.
Notification alerts are one of the primary and most essential reason of acquiring a smart wearable. And both the O+ Time and Tag managed to execute this feature well.
The device either vibrate/ring or vibrate and ring when a notification came. It also display’s every info that the notification has; if it’s a SMS, you could read the whole message without having to pull out your phone. You could also answer a call straightaway.
One good thing to note also is, it support all kinds of notification. Essentially, every and any notification that pops-up from your smartphone’s notification panel mirror’s to the wearable. From messages, to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other app that would want your attention.
Both O+ Tag and O+ Time are compatible on most Android smartphones available today. All you have to do is to download the BTNotifier app so you can pair your handset. But for assurance, you may want to try it out in store to fully check compatibility.
Battery performance have been pretty impressive. Both device is powered by a 150mAh power battery; a capacity that’s quite sufficient considering that the wearables only has an OLED screen.
The O+ Time and Tag were able to last for up to 3 to 4 days with casual usage and not being connected constantly with a paired smartphone via bluetooth. While consistent connection on a smartphone and getting notifications from time to time drained the battery fast for up to a day and a half.
Nevertheless, 24hrs is still pretty impressive. Given that you would only connect the device when you go at work or school, then disconnecting it when you got home, a single charge will still serve you for up to, more or less, 3 days.
Speaking of charging, the wearables uses a microUSB cable for charging. microUSBs’ are a standard in today’s devices, but the cable that’s being used on this one is a bit proprietary. Unlike any other microUSB’s, the thing on this one is a bit longer (check the image below) compared to the standard one. The waterproofing cover on the devices are a bit too steep to increase its integrity, which is also the reason why the actual port is kind of planted deep, thus, requires a longer microUSB to reach it. I tried using some standard microUSB cables; some did worked, some just miserably failed.
O+ USA’s first take on the wearable is a big thumbs up. It caters all the essential paraphernalia to satisfy the prospected users’ needs. It doesn’t support any third-party apps, senseless games, and an extravagant touchscreen, but still, it was able to please me.
Real-time notifications without having to take out my smartphone have been a very convenient experience that what I could have been imagined. The decent battery life and display helped me easily forget my old vintage casio watch.
The designs were also quite nice. While O+ Time’s thickness could have been better, the material used and the Orange and Black, NoypiGeeks’ colors, feels nice in the hands and pleasing in the eyes.
O+ Time and O+ Tag retails for only Php1,995. The Tag can also be obtained as a bundle with O+ 360 Extreme for only Php12,995, while the O+ Time is bundled with the O+ Air. Check it out on O+ stores and kiosks near you.
- Appealing design
- Essential features
- OLED display
- Real-time notifications
- Passable battery life
- O+ Time’s outdoor visibility and horizontal display orientation
- Doubting “Find My Smartphone” feature
- microUSB for charging compatibility for third-party cables