We go hands on with the InWatch Pi wearable, but find are rather perplexing issue with this watch inspired fitness band.
“Connect with Meizu” those are the words printed across the top of the InWatch Pi box, because this is the wearable the Meizu announced during the launch of the Meizu MX4 two months ago.
The InWatch isn’t a Meizu designed or manufactured product, instead its designed and made by Inwatch and was launched alongside the MX4 as Meizu planned to offer the wearable at a low price of only 199 Yuan. The launch only showed slides and they made the Inwatch look luxurious and beautifully made, I had to give it a go!
InWatch Pi review – Unboxing
The box looks like a typical watch box. Rectangle in shape, long and narrow. Pull the main box out of the sleeve and open it up and you get to feast your eyes on the InWatch Pi!
Wow, that is a little disappointing! The watch body is a very thick metal and glass affair with a brass look finish which does nothing for the looks. More about the watch in a moment.
Under the main watch packaging there’s a couple of replaceable batteries and a watch screwdriver to get at the battery and an instruction manual.
Before you throw the box in the trash you’ll want to scan the QR code on the rear with your phone to download the InWatch fitness app. When you get to the download screen you will be asked if you want to generic app or the Meizu app. As I’m testing the watch with the MX4 I went for the Meizu version of the app.
InWatch Pi review – Hands on video and unboxing
InWatch Pi review – hands on
Installing the app on the MX4 and setting it all up is a breeze. The app was even in English too which was a real surprise. With the app set up and the Pi synced up to the Meizu it was time to slip in on my wrist and take if for a spin.
This is where I ran in to the most ridiculous problem I have ever come across for a wearable device, it doesn’t fit on my wrist! Now, I’m not a big guy and have pretty skinny wrists, but still I have to use the last hole in the strap, and even then it was tight and really uncomfortable to wear.
Another look at the watch and I realised what was wrong! This is obviously the ladies watch, designed for petite Asian wrists. So I asked my wife to try it and she was on the 2nd to last hole in the strap! Thankfully the Inwatch Pi does fit nicely on the wrist of my kids, but they are hardly the demographic a fitness tracker is designed for.
I could simply go out and buy a replacement strap for the Pi, but that really isn’t the point. Out of the box the Pi won’t fit average size wrists! on top of the hiked up international price, shipping and import tax (if you are unlucky) you are going to need to buy a strap! It’s simply not worth it!
With the Pi firmly on my wrist and slowly cutting off the circulation to my hand I went about my day. Every moment wishing I hadn’t bothered and I had kept my Mi Band on instead.
Speaking of the Mi Band, the Xiaomi wearable will happily track what you do during the day without needing to be in constant communication with your phone. This is great when you go for a run and you don’t want to take your phone with you, or you simply don’t want to carry your phone to track each step. The InWatch Pi cannot do this. Those steps you make while in your house while your phone is on the table won’t be counted!
Another issues is that the InWatch Pi is bulky and has a glass screen which I’m just not comfortable wearing while in bed. I don’t want to roll over and sleep on broken glass and I don’t want to wake in the night with pins and needles in my hand due to lack of blood flow!
Speaking of the screen, behind it are 12 LED lights all in the formation of the numbers on a regular watch face. The screen isn’t an always on screen and to tell the time you will either have to hold it up or double tap on the screen. Once that happens the lights will indicate the time the first to light being the hour and the second light the minutes.
If your Inwatch Pi vibrates and flashes 5 times it means you have missed a call, two flashes with vibrations means you have text message and a continuous vibrate with steady light indicates an alarm. If you lose Bluetooth connection the watch should vibrate and flash once.
Not that any of that actually happened while I was testing the watch. The instructions also say that if you manage to achieve an exercise goal the lights will all flash around chasing one another and vibrate. I don’t know if this happened as I lost the feeling in my writs by this time!
InWatch Pi Review – Gallery
InWatch Pi Review – Conclusion
In case you have read this far and are in any doubt about my feeling towards the InWatch Pi I will outlne them here. It is designed to be luxurious but is meant for sport, it is decided for people who want to loose weight of keep fit but it will only fit on your wrist if you are skeletal and it costs more than the comfortable and easier to use Mi Band.
So I’m not all that impressed with the InWatch, I wanted to be but I’m not. It’s an odd design for the use and an comfortable piece of kit. Better to look elsewhere for a simple fitness wearable.
If you still wanted to buy one of these InWatch Pi wearables you can get them through First Grabber, with a $15 saving using the following code: ilovepi.