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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Cookoo

At first glance, the Cookoo smart watch looks like an ordinary watch with an analogue movement.
The Straits Times - March 15, 2013
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Cookoo

But the watch face is actually a digital display that shows incoming and alarm notifications when it is paired with your iOS devices.

The watch crystal made of anti-scratch mineral glass is encased in a black metallic bezel. The watch feels solid and comfortable on my wrist. It is water resistant down to 50m.

A CR2032 battery powers the display and a smaller SR626SW battery drives the analogue movement. Unlike smart watches that need daily charging, this one should go on for three years before it needs a change of battery.

Its 16.3mm thickness easily provides room for four buttons on the sides: Connect and Light buttons on the left; Mode and Command on the right. Between Mode and Command sits a familiar dial for adjusting the time.

You pair the watch with your iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth 4.0 by first downloading the free Cookoo app from Apple's App Store.

Next, turn on Bluetooth, start the Cookoo app and press the Connect button of the device for sixseconds. Then, after a few more seconds, it should be automatically paired with the app.

The app lets you set notification alerts for incoming calls, missed calls, Facebook messages and calendar reminders. You can also set alerts when your iPhone's battery level slips to 20 per cent.

Unfortunately, there are no notification alerts for incoming SMS or e-mail messages.

An alert on the Cookoo will show a flashing icon with a beeping sound. A phone icon flashes when there is an incoming call and a calendar clock icon does the same for an appointment reminder.

The Cookoo's black face makes it rather difficult to see such alerts if you are outdoors in the sun. But you will not miss the beeping sound or the vibration.

A short, medium, or long press of the Command button performs a task such as dropping a location pin or doing a Facebook check-in. You can configure the tasks from the app.

A camera tab in the Cookoo app lets you take a photo using the watch's Command button. This comes in handy when you want to take a self-portrait.

Now for the downside. The Bluetooth connection gets cranky at times. The connection can fail even when the watch and my iPhone are well within 10m of each other.

It became a chore to keep re-pairing them. Once, I had to reset the watch for the pairing to work again.

  • The Cookoo is essentially a little notification centre on your wrist that happens to be a nice-looking watch. One hopes that future updates will add more functions.

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