Device Review: Omate TrueSmart

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omatethumbThe Omate TrueSmart 2.0 is a new contender in the smartwatch category of wearable tech. The great thing about the TrueSmart smartwatch 2.0 is that it’s shipping to KickStarter backers right now in the form of a developer edition, and has community support from Team Win Recovery Project (TWRP) and developers, such as Lokifish Marz, Dees Troy, Daniel Ortiz, and Kurt Huwig.

At this time, production is ramping up and more units are ready to start shipping. The company recently received FCC approval to ship to the US. During our CES 2014 coverage (check out the interview and Hands On from CES 2014 here), CEO of Omate Laurent Le Pen provided XDA with a 1GB + 8GB US Model for evaluation purposes. Though being a developer device, it is likely that more fixes will be incorporated before the standard edition starts shipping.

In the Box:

  • Omate Smartwatch 2.0 Black
  • USB 2.0 Sync and charge cable
  • Charging and Sync cradle
  • Spare screws and mini screw driver

HARDWARE

Size 45 mm × 45 mm × 14 mm
Weight 100g
Screen 1.54’’ TFT by LG display (240 x 240)
Resolution 240 x 240 pixels
OS Omate UI 1.0 / Android 4.2.2
Storage 4GB-8GB (upgradable to 64GB micro SD)
Colors Black
Processor Dual Core Cortex A7 – 1.3GHz
RAM 512MB-1GB
Connectivity Android Devices/Standalone mobile service via microSIM
Camera 3MP camera which is up scaled by Software to 5MP
Bluetooth Version 4.0 + BLE
Battery 600 mAh battery: up to 100 hours standby
Charger Micro USB with cradle
Marketplace Ostore
Price $249-$299

Over the course of a week of testing, the battery would last me about a day with normal use—longer if you have it as a slave to a smartphone and are not using its GSM radios. The build quality of the unit is very solid, and it looks like it could take a few hits. The screen has Sapphire glass, and the slot for the micro SIM has a double seal cover for water protection. You have the ability to replace the SD card with up to 64GB of storage, and the battery is replaceable unlike most wearable tech these days.

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Interface

The Smartwatch runs Android 4.2.2, skinned with what Omate calls OUI2.0. The implementation is visible in every aspect of the UI, but it should not be hard for any Android user to figure it out quickly. The fact that you’re able to sideload regular APKs on the Omate shows its flexibility as an Android device. Of course, the apps might not work as well on the small screen. I was able to load Nova Launcher and get it to work very nicely on the watch in less than 10 minutes.

Multitasking is present here as well, as you can run navigation software and listen to your music at the same time. The unit currently does not offer USB-OTG, but the CEO promised it would in the future. MHL is not currently working on the device, but they hope to remedy this soon, and maybe you could help.

The camera is a decent 5 Megapixel shooter with a fixed focal length and no zoom. You have two buttons and a touch screen to control all the functions of this device. You get all the normal apps that you would expect from an Android device: Messaging, a dialer. a calendar, contacts, and more. More applications are added every week on the Main website at www.omate.com.

I was able to get used to using the Omate watch within a few minutes, and was comfortable with operations after a day.

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DESIGN

The Omate currently only comes in black, and due to the integration of the speakerphone, you cannot change the wristband at the moment. However, Laurent Le Pen posted that a new frame is in the works for possible new designs that Omate might offer.

I found that using a smartwatch, like a Pebble, is a great way to interact with your tech world, while not alienating others. The Omate Smartwach took notifications to the next level, and you can totally use this as your daily driver if you wanted to.

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The design is amazing, and the development community is really making progress with getting more apps and features to its 240×240 display. Omate has started shipping units to backers and is ramping up production, as well as a possible Android 4.4 KitKat build in the near future.

The Good:

  1. Powerful
  2. Functional
  3. Easy to root/Flash custom recovery (XDA link)
  4. Endless possibilities
  5. Companion app for notifications form your Smartphone

The Not so Good:

  1. Only 3G and no LTE
  2. Battery life
  3. Availability
  4. No Google Play store

As with Google Glass and the Pebble smartwatch, the consumer has a hard time accepting wearable tech as a normal thing. Omate is following the Pebble in the smartwatch category, and has managed to make dual core smartphone fit in the size of a standard wristwatch. It works very well in its current form, and has nearly endless possibilities.


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