- Display Type: Analog for the clock; digital for connected display
- Size: 1.75-inch circumference, l-inch thick
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0, Bluetooth Smart,
- Bluetooth Low Energy
- Battery Type/Life: 1 year standby; 9 months normal use
- Water Resistance: 5 ATM
- Warranty: 1 year
- Color: Blue, pink, silver, black, white, and limited edition in green
- Beautiful design
- Long-lasting battery
- Limited functionality
- Frequent disconnections
- The COOKOO watch looks great and has a couple of nice features, but it offers very limited functionality. At Php 6,500, it seems too expensive for a smartwatch that lacks the “special sauce”
Smartwatches are extremely popular these days, and the COOKOO watch is very much part of that trend-all thanks to a campaign that started on Kickstarter. Unlike other smartwatches, the COOKOO watch is relatively feature-limited but it makes up for the overt lack of functionality with a beautiful design and outstanding battery life. Will the COOKOO watch satisfy your craving for a teched out wrist? Read on to find out.
What sets the COOKOO watch apart from other smartwatches currently on the market, besides its witty moniker, is its striking design. The moment you see it in its colored case creatively designed as a birdhouse, your curiosity will be kindled.
The COOKOO watch face is round, measuring 1.75 inches in circumference and 0.6 inches in thickness. At 2.7oz, it is an analog timepiece with a black digital background that looks tasteful to the eye. Its stainless steel bezel, anti-scratch glass, and silicon band exude the appearance of a discreet yet stylish smartwatch, suggesting a balance between functionality and style.
There are four main buttons strategically placed on the sides of the watch. The Light and Connect buttons are sited on the left while the Command and Mode buttons are on the right. Also on the right side, between the two buttons, is the dial to adjust the analog clock.
Getting started with the COOKOO watch is a breeze. While it can be confusing at first, you need not be a tech guru to perform the entire setup. Simply download the COOKOO Connected app and open it on your Bluetooth-activated mobile phone or tablet. To pair your device with the COOKOO watch, press on the Connect button for 6 seconds. This will prompt the app to search for the watch and connect with it.
Once connected, the watch works by using a combination of icons displayed on the watch face, along with a beep and/or vibration for alerts. The icons are pretty straightforward-there’s a phone icon for missed and incoming call alerts and a calendar icon for calendar reminder alerts, among others. The COOKOO logo denotes an active Bluetooth connection; three dots indicate that vibration is activated; and a musical note signifies that an audible beep for alerts is switched on.
You can customize the COOKOO watch’s settings by selecting the watch from the Devices list in the mobile app and by tapping the settings button to customize alerts. Additionally, you can also use the watch as a remote control. Just perch your mobile device on a tripod or a stable surface, and you will be able to activate its camera shutter by pressing the Command button.
One advantage that the COOKOO watch has over other smartwatches is its compatibility with both iOS and Android devices. Conveniently, it also has the same app interface between the two operating systems, which is useful to users like me who own a combination of these devices.
I went ahead and paired the COOKOO watch to my iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy 54, though on different occasions, since the watch pairs with only one mobile device at a time. I found this a setback, though logic explains that pairing a number of devices to the watch defeats its actual purpose if you still need to check which among your devices received an alert.
I was pleased to discover that once I paired the watch to my phone, it remained in the Devices list even when it became disconnected or out of range. However, I did run into some issues when trying to reconnect the devices after the pairing had been interrupted, such as when I left my phone behind, which triggered the proximity alert. When the devices were finally back in range, it took a while for the Bluetooth connection to work and pair them back again, which left me guessing why it didn’t work the first time.
Strangely, the COOKOO watch frequently dropped the connection with both my phones for no clear reason, even when the devices were within range. The watch alarm would sound when this happened, and I needed to press the Mode button to stop the alert and re-pair my phone to the watch. The process of reconnecting the watch and the phone was effortless, but the random and unexplained disconnections were definitely bothersome.
Taking everything into account, it’s pretty clear that the COOKOO watch’s selling point lies in its beautiful design. Its stunning face and soft-rubber coating can attract compliments even before people knew what the watch can do. Although the COOKOO watch’s functions are limited and aren’t necessarily breathtaking, it does the job it claims to do. But I admit, at PHP 6,500, it seems quite expensive for a smartwatch that has a few snags here and there and lacks the”special sauce.”
First published in Gadgets Magazine, November 2013
Words by Janelle M. Bustilla