Yizzle, task 3 of the style blogging competition is here with another review – only this time I’m checking out some nifty tech. The lovely folks over at Orange South Africa sent me a wonderful new device to try out and talk about…
Enter Cookoo, the connected watch for iPhone and iPad!
Now I know I love some variety in my life so if you don’t dig reading this here post, I’ve made a video with a short overview of the watch, its setup process and my favourite features. You can find that right here.
Anyway, if you dig reading my ramblings, feel free to stay! Pull up a chair and we’ll get started.
Cookoo is the flagship offering from ConnecteDevice and owes its development to a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised just over $300,000 from over 2000 pledges. That’s more than 200% of the original funding goal. The result is a beautifully designed timepiece with a classic analogue face and a couple of really useful features.
I’m a firm believer in a big, chunky watch. The right timepiece can do wonders for the way your forearms look. I think the Cookoo is just the right blend of robust and sleek. The blue accents against that deep, matte black make for a wonderfully dramatic effect which would look amazing on a night out. To me, solid black is a bit harsh for summer-wear but in winter it would look great from day to day.
If you’re not a fan of this particular colour scheme, don’t stress because there are 5 other face designs and all of them have interchangeable straps. You can find different colour straps at the ConnecteDevice store but unfortunately, there are no metal straps just yet.
While you could easily find a thinner, sleeker smart-watch on the market you have to ask yourself if you really want another finicky, insubstantial piece of metal hanging limply from your wrist. I know I don’t.
So here’s what you need-to-know. The watch features:
- Japanese analogue movement
- LCD notification display (backlight functionality)
- scratch-resistant mineral glass
- plastic casing finished with an aluminium bezel
- (extremely comfortable) soft-silicone straps
Take a look at the full range:
Right, here are the important tech specs:
- Bluetooth 4.0 technology
- Compatible with iPhone 4S, 5/ iPad 3, 4, mini/ iPod Touch 5th gen.
- Compatible with Samsung Galaxy S4
- Waterproof (up to 5 ATM) and shock-resistant
- 1 year LCD battery life
- 3 year movement battery life
Those specs are pretty BITCHIN impressive if you ask me. Its clear that what the Cookoo loses to its competitors in functionality, it regains in durability and longevity. While the other, more capable smart-watches on the market can do a whole lot more, they also need to be charged a LOT more often. Like, too often. Plus, did you see that water-resistance measure? YES PLEASE!
Cookoo connects with your iPhone via a free app which is almost criminally simple to use.
Right, lets get into the meaty bits.
The main purpose of the Cookoo is to act as an extension of your iPhone which keeps you in the loop with various notification capabilities. You can set it up to notify you about a whole bunch of things from Facebook notifications or Twitter mentions to emails, incoming calls, smses, calendar events and alarms. You can easily toggle between 3 alert settings directly on the watch – vibrate and beep, just beep, just vibrate or silent.
To me, this function is a little redundant because my iPhone notifies me anyway. I’m a firm believer in the idea that we are allowing tech to become too intrusive in our lifestyles. How many devices to we need to tell us that we just got tagged in a horrifically embarrassing picture from the weekend? Um, not as many as we have now – thats for sure.
A particularly frustrating aspect of the notifications feature is the lack of specificity in the alert icons which flash at you from the watch’s LCD whenever you receive a notification. Take a look at these images from the Cookoo’s user manual…
See that little asterisk next to “text”? It’s there because the speech bubble icon will light up for Facebook notifications, Facebook messages, Twitter notifications and text messages making it impossible to tell exactly what you’re being notified of unless you check your cell.
That being said, if you tend to leave your cell out of earshot around the house or office, then the notifications will be particularly useful to you. It really comes down to preference.
The Cookoo watch does have some really handy features and, to me, they’re real gems.
I always say there’s a reason I called my blog Cullan is SO vain and this next feature totally proves why. Are you ready? OKAY! Its a friggen camera remote!! Oh my lordy, I could die of excitement. Don’t even try to kid me by saying you don’t dream of Instagram selfies where you get to have both hands in the frame. I mean, lets face it, the long-arm shot is dead. I mean, just look at this:
BAM! Blue Steel!
By accessing the iPhone’s camera through the app, you can set up your still picture or video and snap the picture or begin recording when you’re all ready and in the frame. Its pretty cool for taking group photos with friends or family.
You can pause, resume or stop music playing on your iPhone and skip between tracks. I’m always playing music on my iPhone and leaving it on my desk while I go read on my bed and – being the laziest person alive – hate having to get up to change the song if I’m not keen to listen to it just then.
The Cookoo also lets you “drop a pin” at a certain location which is really nifty if you want to bookmark a particular place like an organic restaurant or interesting art gallery. I really suck at finding places a second time so I know I’m going to be dropping pins every two seconds.
You can also use the location function to check-in on Facebook. This is useful, for example, if friends are struggling to find the restaurant you’re supposed to be meeting at, you can just check-in from the restaurant and they can access a map to your location via Facebook.
One last really cool feature of the Cookoo is its packaging. Designed by Xavier Houy, it encourages you to re-use it as a bird house. I don’t know, I guess I’m a sucker for those little things.
All in All
The Cookoo Watch is really a device ruled by a consumer’s preferences and individual lifestyle. If you don’t like things blaring at you from all angles but want a gadget with a couple of tricks up its sleeve, why not go ahead and silence the alerts? You can check the LCD for notifications when you feel like it and focus on enjoying the other handy features.
If you’re all about the latest, greatest and most capable, then the Cookoo is not for you. The numerous other smart-watches out there will always be far too shiny and new for the tech-magpies to resist.
As for me? I dig the little guy. He’s modest, fully customizable and capable of doing things that I truly find useful in day-to-day life. I’ve been needing a new watch anyway.
The Cookoo Watch retails for R1,764 from Orange South Africa and you can order it from them here.
Be sure to visit the Cookoo Watch website and Connected Device store for more information, accessories and other products.
some images from http://cookoowatch.com/Product_gallery.html