Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cherry Mobile G1 Watch Phone - Unboxing and Review

Just bought this new watch which also doubles as a phone, or if you prefer, a phone which doubles as a watch, from Cherry Mobile. In any case, it’s appropriately named the G1 Watch Phone – which is exactly what it is.
Front of the box. Nothing special, really.

The relevant specs from the box are as follows:
·        Dual Sim
·        1.44 inch TFT LCD (128x128 px)
·        VGA Camera
·        Music Player
·        MicroSD supported up to 8 gb
How the G1 looks when worn.
It comes in several colors including red, light-blue, purple, yellow, and violet. As you can see here, I chose the red one specifically so I can make like an effin power ranger.

The unit is fairly comfy on my wrist. It has a very soft rubber strap and the body of the watch phone itself is made of hard plastic. It has a resistive touch-screen along with a slide-to-open keypad. It also comes with Bluetooth functionality and is bundled with a Bluetooth earpiece for this purpose. The bluetooth headset is a D66 unit that pairs easily with the watch - although I'm currently using it more for my PS Vita. The volume of the audio is a bit on the quiet side.
The side of the unit where the USB charging port is located.

If you bought this watch expecting it to function like a smartwatch, then prepare to be sorely disappointed, son. If you just want to use it as either a watch or a stand-alone phone, then you’re good to go. Personally, I just plan to use it like a normal watch, although I did insert one of my sim cards into the unit for occasional texting and perhaps even making calls via bluetooth.
The sliding keypad
Surprisingly, this thing actually comes with a camera. The box says it’s VGA – which should be around 640x480 pixels, but I highly doubt this watch can handle that much considering its size.
Back of the unit. Not sealed and totally not waterproof
Some reviews say that the G1 looks like a kid’s toy – which it does, but that’s not really a bad thing. It’s an awful nice looking toy after all.

Even more surprising is that they managed to cram two games into this thing – specifically, Sokoban and Tetris. I don’t care much for Sokoban, but I love Tetris. Unfortunately, the Tetris game included in this unit is very basic. No T-spins, dual rotates, piece holding, or any of the mechanics from the modern Tetris games… and no music either. Of course, I didn’t really expect too much given that this was just an extra functionality added to the watch phone. Furthermore, you’d need really tiny hands in order to play games effectively on this thing.
The D66 Bluetooth Headset that comes with the unit
The G1 can take up to two sim cards at once – which is awesome. For texting, the keypad does the job as well as could be expected. The sliding keypad has the same level of response that I’d expect from some of those China TV phones – which is not that good, but not too bad either. Incidentally, I believe that this thing uses the same proprietary OS that those China TV Phones use. The G1 is definitely not running on Android if you were hoping for that much. Most people will probably try to use their thumbs to operate the keypad – which is not a very wise idea given the size of the keypad. Personally, I just use my index finger and have had no troubles so far. You’ll never be able to text super-fast the way you would on a full-sized phone, but you won’t feel like you’re texting that slowly either.
Long press the button on the earpiece until the blue light comes on and isn't blinking to turn it on.
Apparently, the unit also comes with a radio functionality, but it requires that you plug in a headset for it to work… and as the G1 doesn’t come with a standard audio port, then there’s really no way to use the radio. 

It also comes with a speaker at the front – which is really nothing to speak of.  Using the Bluetooth earpiece is the only way you’ll ever hear anything out of this watch unless you’re in a library or something.
The other side of the unit with the volume control buttons, power button as well as the camera.
The battery life kind of concerned me at first considering that the unit has a lot more to do than a normal watch. Right now, it’s been functioning for more than 24 hours with Bluetooth on and one sim card inserted and it’s only lost one bar out of four… so that’s not too shabby, I’d say.

The unit comes with a standard USB charging port and can be plugged into your computer to act as a USB mass storage device. The USB port is recessed, so you’ll need a longer cable than usual. Fortunately, my Cherry Mobile Flare’s USB cable works great with it. Unfortunately however, the G1 doesn’t come with any form of internal storage, so you’ll need to insert a microSD card into the unit if you want to use it for playing mp3s or if you actually plan to use its built-in camera. I don’t plan to do either of those, so I don’t care either way.

I had always planned to primarily use this unit as nothing more than a fancy wristwatch, but unfortunately, it doesn’t do too well in this department. First of all, you need to press the power button located at the side of the phone in order to display the date and time – just like you would on a normal cell phone. Secondly, I like my watches to be nice and precise up to the last second and there’s really no way to do this on the G1 because it only allows you to adjust the hours and minutes, but not the seconds. It also doesn’t display the seconds at all, which is another point against the G1 for me. Finally, the phone has no degree of water resistance at all. Even the back of the unit that’s touching your wrist isn’t sealed against sweat, so you won’t be using this unit much for your fun runs – unless you want to ruin your G1 real fast.
Nagi totally approves of this watch/phone
So there you have it, the Cherry Mobile G1 Watch Phone; a nice little hybrid gadget for you enthusiasts out there, and one that’s quite reasonably priced considering its features.

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