Channel 5

Cookoo Smart Watch

Friday 23 August 2013

G-Rating

Rating of 2

The basics

Smart watches are big news at the moment, from Samsung's rumoured wristwear to the insane time piece that totes a 41-megapixel camera. But just how usable are they? Cookoo is a successful Kickstarter-backed project that takes a traditional watch design and throws in smart phone skills. Is it the smart watch you've been waiting for?

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The good

The Cookoo doesn't look like a smart watch, more like your everyday wristwear. It comes in a few bright colours as well as black or white. The soft-touch rubber coating feels nice against the skin, and even attracted a few compliments. And that's before anyone actually knew what it did.

Sync it to your iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth, and it can act as a remote control. Perch your handset on a tripod, for example, and you can activate its camera shutter by pressing a button on your watch, so no one has to be left out of the photo.

It'll also let you drop a location marker without fishing the phone from your pocket, which will help you remember where you parked the car or pitched the tent. But the pins are only labelled sequentially as 'Pin 1', 'Pin 2' and so on. That system quickly gets confusing if you drop a few close together, or on un-marked streets and fields. A simple time and date stamp would help here, as without it you can't tell the difference between a pin dropped upon leaving the car, and one dropped much later in the day but in the same vicinity.

The bad

One of the main draws of the Cookoo is it'll send push alerts right to your watch, but they're not very reliable. Often they don't trigger, or they do but much later than the event they're supposed to signify. They're also quite annoying: post something on Facebook, and if it's popular, you'll quickly drown in a cascade of bleeps and buzzes.

The meaning of the Cookoo's icons aren't fantastically obvious and the button system is also quite confusing, so you'll need to commit the manual to memory or risk forgetting how to use the thing as soon as you leave the house with it. For all its good looks, it's also quite chunky, meaning it's easy to catch on door frames, coat sleeves and bag straps - we'd prefer something much subtler.

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The bottom line

The Cookoo watch looks great and has a couple of nice features, but at $129.99 (£82.90), it's too expensive for what it is. It's no better at alerting you than your smart phone, and the confusing controls mean you're less likely to use it. The impressive Pebble smart watch is only slightly more expensive at $150 (£95.68), and gives you much more bang for your buck. If you're after a smart watch, we'd suggest you keep looking, or wait for what Samsung and Apple have cooking.

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Cookoo Smart Watch is tagged with smartwatch, watch and cookoo. Select a tag (smartwatch, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

User comments (4)

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VanceBurton

I owned a Cookoo for a few days then took it back. I agree with all your negatives above but there was one other. I had to turn off calendar synch as it wiped my phone's calendar, repopulating it at midnight. As soon as synch was switched off, the appointments all reappeared. Scary stuff. I tried Cookoo support and they were able to replicate the problem but not offer any better fix than 'disable calendar alerts.' Definitely not the product for me.

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chris

just bought the cookoo watch 2 days ago , and im afraid im not impressed , sms notification does not work at all and the email notification is not that reliable either , that was the main reason why i bought it in the first place , back to the shop with it tomorrow as i feel its a waste of time , doesn't do what it says on the tin !! however on a plus side it looks very cool, i just wish it worked

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steve

i have had a cookoo watch since xmas, as it was bought as a present. It connected to my ipad immediately, but wouldnt connect to my samsung s4 until there was an update early jan 2014. i like it, its smart and yes it does a few things only. but to be fair, i find it very useful at work. i have frequently missed calls or text messages, but now my phone buzzs on my wrist, so i dont miss them any more. my only gripe is that the programmable button is supposed to be programmable from the app. i havent found that it is. as a stepping stone to more wearable tech and more watch tech that will do more, its a good to be at least a little a head of the pack. cant, wait to see what samsung or apple really come up with !!!!

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