As you'll see, most of the content we cover here on EWR is going to be mechanical or the occasional quartz watch. As much as I hate to admit it I'm really just not a techie guy, so the area of smartwatches is one I tend to shy away from. As a general rule, anything 'smart' (i.e. computers.... smartphones..... calculators.... abacuses...) usually causes me to pull my hair out with frustration. However, a watch is a watch, and if the people behind the watch are as cool and fun as my new friends at Weide in Guangzhou, I'm certainly willing to give it a try!
Weide is one of the new companies I met at the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair last month. For the most part they are producing very affordable sporty quartz watches, but have recently started getting into the smartwatch craze. This watch I've been wearing for the last week is one from their new collection, available later this month.
First impressions of the watch when I handled it last month are the same as they are now, that this watch is a handsome blend of traditional and smart features. Traditional hands and indices for reading time, and 3 sub-dials where smart indicators are located. The advantage of Weide, according to the company, is that they are first and foremost a watchmaker that is now making smartwatches. This is a noteworthy distinction. Many smartwatch manufacturers are actually software companies that are venturing into watches, so a lot of the features of traditional watches can often go missing.
The accompanying app is still in the development stage and has a few kinks to work out, but overall it is attractive and easy to use. Entering your personal information allows you to track and set a targets for daily physical activity, as well as track sleep patterns. The sub-dial at 9 o'clock gives temperature and humidity. At 3 o'clock you have a 'weather' indicator which let's you know to expect rain or sun. And at 6 o'clock you have the date, battery life and indicators for various communications from the phone such as incoming calls, emails, messages, etc. A slight vibration let's you know you have a new message, if your battery is low, or if you've gone out of range of your phone. You can also set alarms and various reminders.
The watch comes in very modern packaging and I got that feeling of "oh wow this is gonna be cool" when I opened it. Also included with the watch are the magnetic USB charging dock and a small tri-pod and holder, in which you can put your phone for taking pics remotely (up to 10 meters) by pushing the crown. Including these fun little accessories with the watch is a very nice touch. Time is set through the app and it's actually somewhat entertaining to watch the hands spin on the watch as you direct it through the app (see the 5th pic in the app series above). I have a video of this I will upload soon.
Soft silicon strap with some nice branding details. Very comfortable on the wrist.
Overall I think this watch is fun for the right person. It's functions are very convenient for the active person who likes a bit of tech mixed in with their style. Pricing info and full specs will be provided and updated here soon.
What I really appreciate (and the reason I wanted to write about this watch) is a young Chinese brand that is out there mixing it up on social media and trying new and modern approaches to marketing their products. Follow Weide on facebook here, check out their website here!