Matrix PowerWatch 2 hands-on
“The PowerWatch 2 delivers extra sturdy health options right into a smaller case. However the very best half is you continue to don’t must cost it.”
Smaller measurement than predecessor
Don’t must cost it
Constructed-in GPS and heart-rate
Shade LCD show
A lot-improved app
Matrix, a California-based firm, is understood to make use of physique warmth to cost its Indiegogo-funded smartwatches, the PowerWatch and the PowerWatch X. At CES 2019, the corporate took issues a step additional with its newest gadget, the PowerWatch 2, which comes with aesthetic upgrades, together with the power to juice up with solar energy.
We had some hands-on time with a prototype, and notably preferred that it shrunk in measurement, a boon for these with smaller wrists. However the truth that you hardly must plug the watch in to cost it received’t imply a lot if the watch can’t sort out all the mandatory smartwatch options — so what can this $500 gadget do and can you need to put on it on a regular basis? Let’s take a better look.
Thinner case, colour show
The PowerWatch 2 has a 42mm case, which is smaller compared to the PowerWatch X’s 52mm case. For these with smaller wrists, it’s a significantly better match. Sadly, the case itself is thicker than ever, coming in about 1.5mm thicker than its predecessor at 15mm. It helps that the wrist bands are somewhat thinner. Regardless of the thickness, we couldn’t assist discover how snug and light-weight the PowerWatch 2 felt on our wrist.
The watch has a rugged look that isn’t our most popular type, however there’s no denying the design has been streamlined and made extra compact over the earlier mannequin. The corporate has swapped out a cumbersome crown for flat buttons on all sides. There are additionally fewer prospers on the bezel of the watch, which improves the look of the watch significantly; there’s simply much less occurring, which makes it look cleaner visually. Sandwiched in between the aluminum case is a pink lining for added aptitude. It makes the matte black colour pop.
The 1.2-inch LCD show is now in colour, which is a primary for the PowerWatch sequence..
The PowerWatch 2 is rugged sufficient to maintain intense exercise and survive its justifiable share of drops. It’s additionally water-resistant as much as 200 meters, so you’ll be able to take laps within the pool and bathe with it on, although Matrix doesn’t advocate any type of deep diving.
The 1.2-inch LCD show is now in colour, which is a primary for the PowerWatch sequence. It’s not touchscreen, so that you’ll have to make use of the 4 buttons across the watch to navigate the interface. With every press of a button, you’ll be able to scroll by completely different menus and think about varied metrics. It’s simple to swap out watch faces to your liking as effectively.
Since we solely had temporary time with a prototype, it’s tough to say precisely how vivid and vivid the display screen is, particularly below broad daylight. From what we noticed, the colours and knowledge regarded sharp, and we’ll be doing extra testing to see if the display screen is glanceable outside.
New built-in health options, a further layer of energy
Like most smartwatches, the PowerWatch 2 comes with built-in GPS, so that you received’t must take your smartphone to trace distance of your biking periods, runs, or walks. There’s additionally built-in coronary heart price sensors that monitor beats per minute — whether or not you might be figuring out or not.
The addition of each these options will enable for much more correct metrics. The watch continues to be able to delivering extra correct readings for energy burned, because it makes use of your physique warmth to cost up.
Whereas you should utilize Matrix PowerWatch app to trace your exercise, the PowerWatch 2 is suitable with third-party apps together with Google Match and Apple’s HealthKit. That is new to the PowerWatch lineup as earlier units weren’t able to integrating with different apps.
Along with utilizing physique warmth to generate electrical energy, energy can be transformed when the watch takes in photo voltaic rays.
It’s not only for fitness-tracking, although, because the PowerWatch 2 may also present notifications out of your smartphone. Whether or not that’s telephone calls, textual content messages, or social media, all notifications that arrive in your smartphone will seem in your wrist.
Usually, with this many options on a Put on OS smartwatch, we’d fear about whether or not the watch will final the complete day. However Matrix has made positive to account for this by including photo voltaic cell expertise. Along with utilizing physique warmth to generate electrical energy, energy can be transformed when the watch takes in photo voltaic rays. All of it works in conjunction. Fortunately, you don’t should be in direct daylight for the PowerWatch 2 to soak up the daylight to show into photo voltaic power — so long as there’s even the slightest publicity to gentle, whether or not that’s by home windows within a constructing, the watch can be saved juiced up.
PowerWatch app receives an overhaul
The Matrix linked app, out there for iOS and Android, acquired a whole overhaul because the launch of the unique PowerWatch. The app initially didn’t provide a lot data aside from knowledge like energy burned, steps taken, and sleep. You had been additionally in a position so as to add “buddies” to the app to match metrics. Whereas we didn’t have hands-on time with the app, we had been in a position to see a preview by a number of screenshots.
First off, the interface seems to be much more engaging than ever earlier than, and the app additionally appears extra helpful. While you open it, you’re greeted with the identical metrics as earlier than with the addition of how a lot whole energy your physique is producing all through the day.
As soon as you retain scrolling, you’ll additionally see an summary of your final exercise. For instance, when you went for an outside run, the app will present outcomes like distance, tempo, common heart-rate, lively energy, and the utmost beats per minute all through the exercise. Under that, you’ll see a map of your precise run together with a graph of your BPM at specific mile markers, in addition to splits all through your run.
The interface seems to be much more engaging than ever earlier than, and the app additionally appears extra helpful.
Each day metrics are additionally displayed intimately in organized bar graphs, and whether or not that’s steps all through the week or the quantity of energy burned in the course of the day, the app will permit you to pinpoint your exercise proper right down to the hour. There’s additionally a graph that measures sleep exercise, so you’ll be able to see the period of time slept in addition to if you had been awake and/or stressed.
For the reason that PowerWatch 2 converts physique warmth to make use of as electrical energy to remain charged, there’s additionally a piece that breaks down how a lot warmth your physique is producing. It should measure and present your peak temperature all through the day alongside together with your common temperature. The app may also present the quantity of energy coming out of your physique in addition to solar energy — each of that are measured in microwatts. Under that, the metrics are displayed in a graph permitting you to see how the facility generated fluctuates all through the day.
Worth and availability
The PowerWatch 2 retails for $500 and is now out there for pre-order by Indiegogo. As part of an early-bird promotion, those that do pre-order the gadget can snag it for $200.
Considered one of our foremost gripes with the unique PowerWatch is that it merely didn’t do sufficient. That has been remedied with the PowerWatch 2, and the work Matrix has carried out to restrict the necessity to take the watch off to cost it continues to impress. We’re excited to check the watch to see if it’s the one smartwatch you’ll must put on.