One of the biggest problems that people have with smartwatches nowadays is the fact that battery life is relatively short and, well, they’re pretty expensive to start with: Apple’s smartwatch, for example, is about $400 and that is discouraging for many people. However, the Elephone W2 is a smartwatch that comes with a completely different approach to the smartwatch world: it is cheaper than the rest and offers a huge battery life. Does it strike lucky or fails miserably? Read on my Elephone W2 review to find out!
When you hear that the Elephone W2 has a battery life of up to three months and works on a regular battery (that’s not rechargeable), you are ready to say that it can’t be true: no smartwatch can have such an amazing battery life. Well, you’d be right, in a way. The thing about Elephone W2 is that it’s not a regular smartwatch and it is more of a mixture between a traditional watch and a bit of hardware equipment that we usually find in a fitness band. So it won’t offer all the features of a regular smartwatch, but it will still have a lot to offer and in my opinion, it remains a solid option for those looking for some cheap wearable tech incorporated in a classy looking watch.
The “traditional watch” part of this gadget is a quartz watch made by Swiss manufacturer Ronda AG, so you should expect some really high quality here. It runs on a regular battery and Elephone promises it will run for 2-3 years before you have to change it. The “smart” part of the watch runs on a CR2032 battery that offers up to three months of usage, which is again pretty impressive. And the good thing is that the two parts are not dependent on each other, so if your “smart” functions run out of battery, your watch will still tell the time.
The design is very traditional and minimalist and you’d easily be able to mistake it with a traditional, regular watch, not a smart one. It has a Sapphire dial that’s a bit thicker than those of regular watches and a leather strap that’s comfortable and high quality. The back of the watch is made of stainless steel, fixed with 4 very small screws on a rubber gasket, making the watch waterproof (30 meters).
It has three buttons that help with the smart functions: the top button is used to power it on or off and to connect to the app, while the bottom one turns on the blue led lights on the watch, showing you how you’re doing with your target exercise for the day and it also makes the switch from day to sleeping modes. The functions that it has are closer to those of a fitness band: pedometer, sleep monitor, sedentary reminder, as well as timekeeping, call reminder, remote camera and alarm.
The app that comes with the Elephone W2 could use some elbow grease here, some spit and polish there… although it usually works just fine, showing you a daily summary and all sorts of graphs and stats and customization options, it could still be better. But since it’s not heavy on the smart functions and only offers the basic stuff mentioned above, I wouldn’t complain too much.
The only thing that actually bothered me was the fact that it is not backlit and you could have some trouble checking out the time if its dark outside or in the room. It’s true that the hands of the clock are fluorescent, but if your sleeves are covering it, you might have some trouble. But this is a minor flaw – what matters is that we’re talking about a watch that is durable and offers basic smart functions, long battery life and a low price. If you’re just starting to explore smartwatches and you’re not sure you really need one that can do a lot of things (so you don’t want to spend a fortune to find out), this one could actually be a good fit!