Elephone W2 wearable review


elephone w2 watch

I’ve been living with the Elephone W2 smartwatch now for just over a week, so what do I make of this wearable? Find out in our full Elephone W2 review.

The wearable market is still in its infancy and Chinese mobile brands are still trying to figure out which way the market will go. The current crop of wearables range from fully functioning connected watches with Android OS, Android Wear devices, wearables with limited features, and then more basic devices that simply send you notifications and keep track of your sports activities. The Elephone W2 falls in to this last category, so lets see what this simple smartwatch can do and how well it does it.

Elephone W2 Review – Hands on

Elephone W2 Review – Design

The Elephone W2 is the second wearable from Elephone and by far the best looking. The original W1 was a gaudy bracelet, where as the W2 is a rather classy looking watch with stainless steel body and leather strap.

elephone w2 watch

Functionally the Elephone W2 offers similar features to the Xiaomi Mi Band, but with the rather useful addition of actually being able to tell the wearer the time. Elephone have managed this by building a traditional analogue watch and adding a Bluetooth module, a few discreet LED lights and sensors for tracking movement/sleep. There is even a tiny motor inside the watch for vibration alerts.

elephone w2 watch

When unboxing the Elephone W2 I was surprised how thick the body of the watch was, but in reality the watch body only looks big because the straps aren’t connected when you open the packing. Once the included strap is connected the W2’s proportions are spot on.

elephone w2 watch

What really strikes me about the W2 isn’t just how well the watch is made, but how good it looks too. There has been a lot of thought put in to the design of the watch and the result is something that looks extremely stylish and classy. I’ve seen similar products from Chinese brands but Elephone have really outdone themselves and created a product that looks the part while adding actual useful features.

elephone w2 watch

Construction and materials is surprisingly good. The main stainless steel body of our test sample is finished in silver and features three physical controls and a glass face. The metal body is simple and elegant with a neat 45 degree cut around the front where the metal meets the glass face.

elephone w2 watch

A larger bevel on the rear keeps the watch comfortable on the wrist be eliminating any sharp edges.

There are 4 screws on the rear of the watch which can be removed with the included screwdriver to gain access to the removable battery. Unsurprisingly these screws are very small and I managed to lose one when removing the back.

elephone w2 watch

A leather strap comes include with the watch and simply snaps in to place with stainless steel fixings. The very simple lever mechanism on the straps means you can easily swap from strap to strap as you feel or to match your clothing.

elephone w2 watch

As well as using a traditional watch mechanism, another detail which is different on the W2 compared to other wearables is the use of a standard watch battery. This means that you need to replace the battery every 3 months or so, but also means there are no charging docks, cables, or plugs to deal with. Elephone have been good enough to supply 3 batteries with the W2, 1 already installed and 2 additional batteries.

Elephone W2 Controls

elephone w2 watch

As the Elephone W2 is designed around mechanical movements to create a traditionally styled time piece there is no touch screen and no operations system, so you are limited to the physical buttons on the body, LED notification lights on the face and a application on your phone (Android or iOS) to set the watch up and check your sleep and exercise progress.

elephone w2 watch

The top button is used to turn Bluetooth on or off on the watch. Press it once and a small LED above the ELE logo will flash for a second then go out. With Bluetooth on you can connect to the companion application (more on that below).

The next physical control is the dial for adjusting the hands on the watch. This works just like a regular watch, simply pull the knob out slightly adjust the time and click it back in place.

Finally we have another button which will give you a rough idea of your steps progress. This works in a similar way to the 3 LED lights on the Xiaomi Mi Band, in this case though you have 10 LED lights which represent 10% of your progress. If you need more detailed information of your current step count, you need to check the application.

Elephone W2 Review – Functions

This being a more basic wearable, there are fewer features on the W2, what’s good about this is all the features work perfectly well with no issues. The Elephone W2’s features include;

Time: Telling the time seems like the most basic feature a wearable should offer, still some devices don’t offer this (Xiaomi Mi Band for one). The W2 handles time through Swiss sourced movements and uses hands to display the time, although there is no second hand.

Notifications: This is the standard feature of most wearables. A simple vibration and flash of the LED’s to let you know of incoming calls or other notifications.

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Fitness Tracking: This feature is split between counting steps throughout the day and number of hours slept at night. As mentioned above, you can see a rough idea of how much of your goal is completed through the LED’s on the watch face, but more detailed information is available through the W2’s companion application.

You will need to manually switch between sleep and excercise mode. To do this hold button 3 (the button below the dial) down for a few seconds until you feel the watch vibrate and the LED flash blue. To go back to steps mode do the same until the LED flashes green.

Obviously, how good a fitness tracker is really depends on how accurate it is and I have to admit that I was impressed once again. I tested the W2’s accuracy by walking 300 steps stopping and checking the count and repeated. Now and then there are differences, but usually the W2 adds a few extra steps (stumbling, jumping or moving your arm too much might cause this) but it never missed a step! Good stuff!

Remote Camera: I’ve seen this feature on wearables before, and although it works perfectly well, I don’t ever see myself using this as a practical feature. Using the feature requires you to open the application on your phone then Device > Camera. This will bring up a full screen camera app on your phone with options to turn the flash on, or switch cameras (front or rear on your phone). On your W2 you can then use the 3rd control (lower button) to control the shutter.

Sedentary alert: This feature actually sends a reminder to the watch if it hasn’t sensed movement after a set number of minutes. A neat way to remind you to get up and walk around.

Alarm: A simple alarm option. You can add a few different alarms from within the application.

Find Phone: This is a simple way of getting your phone to sound a notification so you can find it. The instructions that come with the Elephone W2 don’t mention the feature, but the setting for it is in the application. I wasn’t able to figure out how to use this feature, and am not sure it’s currently supported in this firmware version.

OTA: Just like your phone, the W2 will receive updates over the air via the application. During my time reviewing the watch I didn’t receive an update.

Elephone W2 Review – Application

I only tested the application on Android, but I assume the app on iOS is the same. Elephone have published the Elephone W2 app on Google Play so its easy to find and download.

Once installed you will be asked a few details such as your Sex, Weight, Height ETC. You will also be able to set a total number of steps for your daily goal, by default you will find it set to 10,000.

elephone w2 review

From the menus on the application you have steps shown in numbers, press on the icon and you will get a graph to show your weekly progress. Swipe to the left and you will have your sleep stats. Pull down from the top of the screen to manually update and sync. From the main page you can also see other details like how far you have moved, the number of calories you have burned off and if you feel like boasting you can even share your stats on social networks too.

elephone w2 review

Other items in the application include ‘details’ for seeing your weekly/monthly/yearly stats. The Device settings for setting alarms, using the remote camera etc. and a user profile.

Just as I was surprised by the design, build and materials of the watch itself, the W2 application is also surprisingly well designed and quite polished. The application is much nicer to use than I had expected it would be with simple menus and nice animations.

The whole app is in English, although there are a few Chinese characters left over on some of the switches (they simple mean on or off).

Elephone W2 Review: Gallery

Elephone W2 review: Conclusion

elephone w2 watch

I’ve dabbled in the use of wearables for a few years now. I own a couple of Android Wear devices, and tested a few Chinese watches, but the only wearable I’ve been actually happy to keep using is the Xiaomi Mi Band.

The Mi Band always won my wrist because of its super long battery life, there really is nothing more annoying than waking to find your Android Wear device is out of juice and you have no time to charge it.

However in the future, I might just reach for the Elephone W2 instead. Not only does it offer better battery life, 3 months per battery vs the Xiaomi’s 30 day, but it looks way better, and I can actually check the time too.

The W2 does exactly what you expect it too, and with the added benefit of a well made application and built-in notification lights its a simple product to live with.

Its an impressive and simple product, and by far the best thing to come out of the Elephone offices to date. Pricing is around $80 at the moment, which is more than the Mi Band but you get more features a better looking product and higher quality materials.

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112 Comments

  1. Viktor
    February 7, 2016

    Can it vibrate from any notification?

    • February 7, 2016

      yes, I have it set to vibrate for all

      • Viktor
        February 7, 2016

        Cool, and can u set it to vibrate to specific apps aswell?

  2. Zbyněk Polívka
    February 7, 2016

    i have Lembird Free and this new Elephone W2 i have in viewfinder. Cool!

  3. MaxPower
    February 7, 2016

    I think this the highest score achieved by Elephone:maybe they find their path.

    Although i’m not a fan of the look of this gadget.

    • balcobomber25
      February 7, 2016

      Maybe they should give up on their phones and just concentrate on wearables lol.

      • Young
        February 7, 2016

        Haha

    • Steve B
      February 7, 2016

      Have a feeling their new Sports Cam will be of similar improvement. First one was a relatively expensive rebadge of a Soocoo, new one looks like they’ve actually put some thought in to it.

    • Stef
      February 7, 2016

      I hope you do realise -though- that the scores here are not all conclusive.

      For example P8000 is one of the few budget phones with support from the community and released sources, yet it was not taken in accordance, with as a result being one of the few up-to-date phones to this day (includes February security fixes, and late january’s arm linux changes).

      Other phones which where marked much more highly here -on the other hand- hardly have any support and still retain the issues/bugs they had since release.

      It’s great that reviewers have their priorities, but that does not change the fact that users may have different priorities. So it is possible that Elephone have created great phones for some users, I think (and hope) that they slowly become what Jiayu used to be (great for those in ultra budget), so I think we should reserve harsh judgement for a few months after each phone has been released.

      • MaxPower
        February 7, 2016

        Mmm

        They released a “generic” kernel source with a lot of reference of hardware that is not even there.

        Then they updated the source 3 months later with bugs of fast draining which was never solved.

        That’s at least what I know about it, I don’t really follow Elephone so my Infos might be outdated.

        I haven’t seen any XDA support, no github activity…

        • Stef
          February 7, 2016

          It has active kernel support: http://forum.xda-developers.com/elephone-p8000/orig-development/kernel-guestekrnl-v1-6-2-t3287518

          They’re presently working on squashing the battery drain issue (which IMO is a lot lesser than it used to be).

          There are couple of ROMs as well. The kernel sources lack documentation which is a problem, but they do compile. I have compiled one to enable virtual terminal support.

          IMO the situation isfar better than most budget phones. In fact there are expensive phones with less support…

          • MaxPower
            February 8, 2016

            Oh yes, agree with you.
            I’ve said several times here as well.
            Manufactures should stop bringing their half baked messed ROM.
            A plain stock ROM and releasing the sources would put them in a better spot.
            I’ve seen to many people not considering a phone due to a bad ROM and lot of people going for another phone just for the available sources.

            • Stef
              February 8, 2016

              Agreed, I’m like that too.

              I never consider a phone without released sources (even if it’s to be my … 4th phone like p8000 is).

            • balcobomber25
              February 8, 2016

              I agree to a point. Several brands have very good ROM’s that I actually enjoy better than stock and never have a need to search for a new ROM. Xiaomi, Meizu and Vivo all fall into this category. But I have been saying for years my second favorite company, Gionee needs to give up on their mess of a ROM and leave it up to the community.

            • MaxPower
              February 8, 2016

              I was referring to small manufacturers with no money to spend into software development:
              Doogee, Elephone, Ulefone, Oukitel…

              The big ones like Meizu, Xiaomi should keep doing what they are doing, because they can do it right

            • balcobomber25
              February 8, 2016

              Gotcha. In that case I agree. One thin I would love to see them do is to partner with one of the many ROM developers out there.

            • MaxPower
              February 8, 2016

              In the past I’ve said that the small companies can’t fight over prices with Xiaomi, Lenovo, Meizu.

              So they have to find a way to be appealing even if they can’t work on low prices.
              Stock ROM with releasing the sources with documentation is the key.

      • balcobomber25
        February 8, 2016

        A reviews judges a phone based on the stock hardware/software that comes with it because that is what the majority of people will use. And if they waited a few months the judgment would be even harsher for Elephone, their phones have a bad history of failing after several months.

        • Stef
          February 8, 2016

          It was known -even by release- that they have released sources. They did not take it in accordance when ranking the phone, it’s of vital importance to many.

          P8000 is very well made. Can’t say the same about others sub $150 phones that I’ve owned. ITXtutor and others praised its build quality so I don’t know what you are talking about (regarding P8000 I mean).

          It’s a budget phone with atrocious cameras (some of the worst I’ve seen to a phone that I owned, I need eye bleach every time I make the mistake to use it for photos especially in low light) and the screen has the dreaded white spots.

          But it’s a great phone for its price. 6 months on, no problems still.

          • balcobomber25
            February 8, 2016

            It doesn;t matter if they release sources or not. The purpose of a review is to review the phone as it comes from the manufacturer. That is how most consumers will use it.

            Just like with Umi Phones, they have the excellent Rootjoy program and usually port over all the most popular UI’s such as MIUI, Flyme, Color etc. But when they do a review of an UMi phone it is with the stock software.

            As for the quality I am talking about everything I see on the forums. With the P8000 the most comment issues I see from users are the capactive buttons failing, white lines/spots appearing on the display (something you even admitted to), headphone jack failing, sim card reader failing. It’s good that you haven’t had many problems except the display issue, but you are in the minority.

            • Stef
              February 8, 2016

              You can’t collect all complaints for any phone and present them as indicative of its quality. If that was so then an iPhone is of very low quality because a number of different people has a number of different problems.

              What is important is the frequency of said problems and unless (and until) we have such numbers there is not much we can say. People with problems tend to be the loudest, doesn’t mean that their numbers is necessarily significant.

              The white line issue is something that I’ve encountered in many budget phones, even Mi4 has had a white spot issue. It’s not as distracting but it does show lower quality liquid crystals / assembly.

              Lastly, as important as it can be how most people may use a phone it’s also important to report all of its dimensions. Else the report is one sided and leads to strange results like praising a phone that never gets updated all the while criticizing a phone that continued having support for years to come.

              If we were talking about iphones or feature-phones I would agree with you. But android phones is/are full computers and its very indicative of their “projected health” the question of whether sources are released or not. In no uncertain terms it makes the difference between a great phone and a merely good one.

              For example by now I have Double tap to wake feature, latest security patches , better battery… BTW I’m talking here about kernel support (which is what I find important), ROM support is of secondary importance. For example ROMs does not and cannot patch problems with the device (unless the official ROM is bugged), they’re mostly new skins.

            • balcobomber25
              February 8, 2016

              The difference between a company like Apple and Elephone is that, Apple has already proven they can make a quality problem free device. Elephone has not yet. So we can look to the complaints as they are indicative of typical experience with an Elephone, where as with Apple they are in the minority.

              My Mi4 has no issues with the display, I owned it for over a year. At the time 5 out of 6 people in my office all had the Mi4 and no one had any issues with the display. But I have seen it on plenty of budget phones with poor build quality.

              A review isn’t meant to be a comprehensive analysis of owning a phone long term. It’s about what the manufacturer releases in that moment. They could do followup reviews to point out how the software updates have been, but most sites (and consumers) want a review as soon as the product is released.

            • Stef
              February 8, 2016

              Nope that’s statistically wrong to do so. Every new roll of the dice is a new roll of the dice. Doesn’t matter if the last 10 times your dice showed the number six. This time around it has as many possibilities to bring six as any other number (one in six in fact). So it doesn’t matter what a company’s last efforts were as long as the latest one is much better than them. You have to investigative every effort independently…

              I disagree about what a review is (or isn’t). Most people buy a phone and hold on it for two years (some -even- for more). So how the phone is at the moment of its release -while important- is far from everything, in fact it’s exactly half the story. There are plenty of products that at the time of release were sh**e, but became significantly better as time passed.

              To me a review should be reflective of owning a phone, rather than having a brief contact with it. Obviously it’s a hard thing to do *unless* you actually own the phone for the projected time (by which time a review would be useless anyway). But there *are* some tell-tale signs of how long a phone would last.

              One is removable battery (it allows you to easily put a new one when the original dies/lose charge)
              Second is build quality (a phone would be useless if it is to die in 6 months).
              Third is company support (it means squashing the initial bugs)
              Fourth is released sources (it means that the community would squash the bugs even if the company won’t and probably continue support long after the company stopped).

              There has to be a separate score taking the above in accordance. Call it “longevity score” and in fact everything besides the 2nd point are easily knowable (and there are tests for the 2nd point too)…

            • balcobomber25
              February 8, 2016

              We’re not rolling dice, we’re buying products. And for a product history is everything, until they can change their history they will carry that negative stigma.

              You can disagree what a review is or what you think it is but that is how they are done today.

            • Stef
              February 8, 2016

              I’m not saying that we do, it’s a metaphor to show how statistics work. Since neither I or you have knowledge of how better elephone’s industrial design has become in the meantime we can’t merely judge a phone by its predecessors.

              I trust build quality reviews that mostly said that the build quality is way ahead than p7000 and better than most budget phones. It’s not a mi4, but then again it’s much cheaper…

              No it’s not how reviews are today. That’s how gizchina does them, plenty of sites take in accordance the longevity a device. That’s why while I enjoy reading the reviews here, I don’t take in account their points system (not including the longevity of a phone clearly gives you an erroneous marking of it)

            • balcobomber25
              February 8, 2016

              Statistics don’t play into things when it comes to consumers. You can show a consumer all the numbers and stats you can think of, but brand history/reputation is more important than any single consumer index that exists.

              Just about every review from the major phone sites do reviews this way. No one knows the longevity of a phone. They do reviews within the first few weeks of that phone releasing. I don’t know of a single site that waits 6 months before doing a review. Some sites do follow up reviews, but the initial reviews are all the same and they are all based on that initial product that launches.

            • Stef
              February 9, 2016

              There are sites who take in account the things I’ve talked about. They are not part of the review, but they do account them in advantages/disadvantages. Gizchina doesn’t do it. I don’t mind it because it does give me a good picture of how the phone is at the time of the purchase. It merely means that I have to dig deeper about those “tell tale signs”.

              It’s easy to have an idea of how long a device will last, I just gave you 4 points. All my long lived devices where those that marked highly in those 4 points…

              Statistics are a rule of life. People don’t know how gravity works, it still affects them. Similarly it’s incorrect to say that a new phone is definitely bad just because the last one was too. There are countless examples of bad companies eventually succeeding in bettering themselves, there are examples of the other way around too.

              Virtually all reviews you can find online would admit that P8000 is of way better build quality than p7000, so it’s literally erroneous to judge it by past models. Is it better than high end models? Not even close, but its build quality was quite fair for its money (you could find for less than $150 a month after its release).

            • balcobomber25
              February 9, 2016

              The sites that do that, don’t do it in there initial review which is the entire thing we are talking about. Most sites review the initial base phone, they don’t take into account custom ROM’s.

              No one has said a device will definitely be bad but consumers will judge a product based on it’s history. You can try to spin it any way you want that is a fact of consuerism. Until Elephone can release a few good phones with no issues they will carry that stigma. There are plenty of $150 phones on the market that don’t suffer from the build quality issues that the P8000 has had.

            • Stef
              February 9, 2016

              Did you see me suggesting that custom ROMs should be taken in account? Are we talking the same language, because I honestly feel that I’m writing English yet you read French or whatever.

              Re-read my 4points, plenty of reviews referencing them. I can link you to some if you wish.

              “There are plenty of $150 phones on the market that don’t suffer from the build quality issues that the P8000 has had”

              Right now maybe, for the time of its release certainly not.

              Again you’re not paying attention, it got glowing reviews regarding is quality. I can link you to some -too- if you don’t wish to survey the net and you’re only interested to hearsay.

            • balcobomber25
              February 9, 2016

              “For example P8000 is one of the few budget phones with support from the community and released sources, yet it was not taken in accordance, with as a result being one of the few up-to-date phones to this day (includes February security fixes, and late january’s arm linux changes).”

              Pay attention to what you actually say.

            • Stef
              February 9, 2016

              Well by taking any sentence out of its proper context can make it mean anything.

              Since you didn’t pay attention (probably didn’t read them), I’m going to repost the 4 tell-tale signs of a phone’s longevity (that can, should and actually have been included in other reviews):

              1) removable battery (it allows you to easily put a new one when the original dies/lose charge)

              2) build quality (a phone would be useless if it is to die in 6 months).

              3) company support (it means squashing the initial bugs)

              4) released sources (it means that the community would squash the bugs even if the company won’t and probably continue support long after the company stopped).

            • balcobomber25
              February 9, 2016

              That is something you said, there is no taking it out of context. You specifically said a review should include that. That is what started this entire debate.

              As for your 4 points:

              1. Removable battery could be a good thing but it could also be a bad thing. Having a removable battery means you need to have a removable back. That weakens the overall strength of the phone.

              2. Build quality is very good, but if the components inside are cheap components even the greatest build quality won’t mean a thing. For instance I bought a Doogee when they were first out, the build quality was excellent but they used some of the cheapest components money can buy and many of them failed within 4 months.

              3. Support is absolutely needed.

              4. Released sources are good if there is an active community.

            • Stef
              February 9, 2016

              What I said, referred to point 4 (community support).

              By making the 4 points, I merely generalized my initial meaning.

              As for the rest:

              1) Not necessarily, in case of a fall the back is popped out as well as the battery taking a big part of the energy of the impact. Think of Formula 1 cars. I honestly think that’s how my Note 2 was saved a couple of times.

              2) Yeah, by build quality I mean the internal components as well. There are websites that open a phone to its component and then rank its build quality as a total, not just the external chasis

              BTW I agree that the above are hard to be tested properly (for example using a back battery mechanism can indeed make the phone weaker if it’s done improperly, or many sites don’t have the expertise to check build quality completely and thoroughly).

              That is why I’m not too critical that Gizchina does not take the above in account. It also means -though- that Gizchina tells half the story. It’s a great site and I agree with many of their assessments, but I always cross-check their reviews by/with other reviewers that I also trust (some of whom refer to some of the 4 points that I referred to).

              To conclude always read the reviews, but do not rely too much in the scoring system, maybe using it as one point of reference but that’s the most I take out of it.

            • balcobomber25
              February 9, 2016

              A review itself is just one persons opinion, they should be used in the buying process but they should be taken lightly. We all have differing opinions and ideas of what is best for phone use, including the person conducting the review. It is near impossible to review a product without any bias involved.

            • Stef
              February 9, 2016

              We don’t disagree there … the whole issue started (btw) by calling GizChina’s marking system *not* to be the end-all.

              For example the watch reviewed in this thread has a high ranking, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best product Elephone did (or even if it is, that is not necessarily reflected by the score alone) … In other words people should read the reviews, instead of just glancing the score and then move on…

  4. balcobomber25
    February 7, 2016

    It seems like all the reviews lately are for Elephone, Ulefone and Oukitel. Yash said he completed his Gionee E8 review over a month ago but it’s still MIA, just like his S7 review that never got published.

    • Joel Adames
      February 7, 2016

      I will back you up on that, at one time Hash said to me he was half way through with that review.
      Well should try to gets this as a 1rst comment on something so that they pay attention and come forward.
      I feel jelaus from this nice review to an ELEPHONE wacht!!! For crying out loud and the beloved gionee review just adding dust .

    • Rob
      February 8, 2016

      Don’t forget the Meizu metal that was also due a few weeks ago, I held off buying for a while but ended up buying it in the end, glad I didn’t wait as it seems if it’s not Xiaomi, Elephone, Ulefone etc. then it won’t get published on here. This site is falling apart lately, they could always send me a few phones to review if they are struggling though!

      • balcobomber25
        February 8, 2016

        Yea I don’t understand it. This site has turned into a hype site for companies like Elephone. Yash has said he completed a few reviews and none of them are published.

  5. jack
    February 7, 2016

    Hi, does the watch work well with iOS notification of social apps such as whatapps, wechat?

  6. Guest
    February 7, 2016

    Can it vibrate from any notification?

    • Andi Sykes
      February 7, 2016

      yes, I have it set to vibrate for all

    • Guest
      February 7, 2016

      Cool, and can u set it to vibrate to specific apps aswell?

  7. Zbyněk Polívka
    February 7, 2016

    i have Lembird Free and this new Elephone W2 i have in viewfinder. Cool!

  8. Anonymous
    February 7, 2016

    There is an additional small battery inside the watch that powers the regular watch. Is it easy to replace by yourself?

  9. MaxPower
    February 7, 2016

    I think this the highest score achieved by Elephone:maybe they find their path.

    Although i’m not a fan of the look of this gadget.

    • balcobomber25
      February 7, 2016

      Maybe they should give up on their phones and just concentrate on wearables lol.

    • Young
      February 7, 2016

      Haha

    • Steve B
      February 7, 2016

      Have a feeling their new Sports Cam will be of similar improvement. First one was a relatively expensive rebadge of a Soocoo, new one looks like they’ve actually put some thought in to it.

    • Stef
      February 8, 2016

      I hope you do realise -though- that the scores here are not all conclusive.

      For example P8000 is one of the few budget phones with support from the community and released sources, yet it was not taken in accordance, with as a result being one of the few up-to-date phones to this day (includes February security fixes, and late january’s arm linux changes).

      Other phones which where marked much more highly here -on the other hand- hardly have any support and still retain the issues/bugs they had since release.

      It’s great that reviewers have their priorities, but that does not change the fact that users may have different priorities. So it is possible that Elephone have created great phones for some users, I think (and hope) that they slowly become what Jiayu used to be (great for those in ultra budget), so I think we should reserve harsh judgement for a few months after each phone has been released.

    • MaxPower
      February 8, 2016

      Mmm

      They released a “generic” kernel source with a lot of reference of hardware that is not even there.

      Then they updated the source 3 months later with bugs of fast draining which was never solved.

      That’s at least what I know about it, I don’t really follow Elephone so my Infos might be outdated.

      I haven’t seen any XDA support, no github activity…

    • Stef
      February 8, 2016

      It has active kernel support: http://forum.xda-developers.com/elephone-p8000/orig-development/kernel-guestekrnl-v1-6-2-t3287518

      They’re presently working on squashing the battery drain issue (which IMO is a lot lesser than it used to be).

      There are couple of ROMs as well. The kernel sources lack documentation which is a problem, but they do compile. I have compiled one to enable virtual terminal support.

      IMO the situation isfar better than most budget phones. In fact there are expensive phones with less support…

    • MaxPower
      February 8, 2016

      Oh yes, agree with you.
      I’ve said several times here as well.
      Manufactures should stop bringing their half baked messed ROM.
      A plain stock ROM and releasing the sources would put them in a better spot.
      I’ve seen to many people not considering a phone due to a bad ROM and lot of people going for another phone just for the available sources.

    • Stef
      February 8, 2016

      Agreed, I’m like that too.

      I never consider a phone without released sources (even if it’s to be my … 4th phone like p8000 is).

    • balcobomber25
      February 8, 2016

      A reviews judges a phone based on the stock hardware/software that comes with it because that is what the majority of people will use. And if they waited a few months the judgment would be even harsher for Elephone, their phones have a bad history of failing after several months.

    • balcobomber25
      February 8, 2016

      I agree to a point. Several brands have very good ROM’s that I actually enjoy better than stock and never have a need to search for a new ROM. Xiaomi, Meizu and Vivo all fall into this category. But I have been saying for years my second favorite company, Gionee needs to give up on their mess of a ROM and leave it up to the community.

    • Stef
      February 8, 2016

      It was known -even by release- that they have released sources. They did not take it in accordance when ranking the phone, it’s of vital importance to many.

      P8000 is very well made. Can’t say the same about others sub $150 phones that I’ve owned. ITXtutor and others praised its build quality so I don’t know what you are talking about (regarding P8000 I mean).

      It’s a budget phone with atrocious cameras (some of the worst I’ve seen to a phone that I owned, I need eye bleach every time I make the mistake to use it for photos especially in low light) and the screen has the dreaded white spots.

      But it’s a great phone for its price. 6 months on, no problems still.

    • balcobomber25
      February 8, 2016

      It doesn;t matter if they release sources or not. The purpose of a review is to review the phone as it comes from the manufacturer. That is how most consumers will use it.

      Just like with Umi Phones, they have the excellent Rootjoy program and usually port over all the most popular UI’s such as MIUI, Flyme, Color etc. But when they do a review of an UMi phone it is with the stock software.

      As for the quality I am talking about everything I see on the forums. With the P8000 the most comment issues I see from users are the capactive buttons failing, white lines/spots appearing on the display (something you even admitted to), headphone jack failing, sim card reader failing. It’s good that you haven’t had many problems except the display issue, but you are in the minority.

    • Stef
      February 8, 2016

      You can’t collect all complaints for any phone and present them as indicative of its quality. If that was so then an iPhone is of very low quality because a number of different people has a number of different problems.

      What is important is the frequency of said problems and unless (and until) we have such numbers there is not much we can say. People with problems tend to be the loudest, doesn’t mean that their numbers is necessarily significant.

      The white line issue is something that I’ve encountered in many budget phones, even Mi4 has had a white spot issue. It’s not as distracting but it does show lower quality liquid crystals / assembly.

      Lastly, as important as it can be how most people may use a phone it’s also important to report all of its dimensions. Else the report is one sided and leads to strange results like praising a phone that never gets updated all the while criticizing a phone that continued having support for years to come.

      If we were talking about iphones or feature-phones I would agree with you. But android phones is/are full computers and its very indicative of their “projected health” the question of whether sources are released or not. In no uncertain terms it makes the difference between a great phone and a merely good one.

      For example by now I have Double tap to wake feature, latest security patches , better battery… BTW I’m talking here about kernel support (which is what I find important), ROM support is of secondary importance. For example ROMs does not and cannot patch problems with the device (unless the official ROM is bugged), they’re mostly new skins.

    • MaxPower
      February 8, 2016

      I was referring to small manufacturers with no money to spend into software development:
      Doogee, Elephone, Ulefone, Oukitel…

      The big ones like Meizu, Xiaomi should keep doing what they are doing, because they can do it right

    • balcobomber25
      February 8, 2016

      Gotcha. In that case I agree. One thin I would love to see them do is to partner with one of the many ROM developers out there.

    • balcobomber25
      February 8, 2016

      The difference between a company like Apple and Elephone is that, Apple has already proven they can make a quality problem free device. Elephone has not yet. So we can look to the complaints as they are indicative of typical experience with an Elephone, where as with Apple they are in the minority.

      My Mi4 has no issues with the display, I owned it for over a year. At the time 5 out of 6 people in my office all had the Mi4 and no one had any issues with the display. But I have seen it on plenty of budget phones with poor build quality.

      A review isn’t meant to be a comprehensive analysis of owning a phone long term. It’s about what the manufacturer releases in that moment. They could do followup reviews to point out how the software updates have been, but most sites (and consumers) want a review as soon as the product is released.

    • MaxPower
      February 8, 2016

      In the past I’ve said that the small companies can’t fight over prices with Xiaomi, Lenovo, Meizu.

      So they have to find a way to be appealing even if they can’t work on low prices.
      Stock ROM with releasing the sources with documentation is the key.

    • Stef
      February 9, 2016

      Nope that’s statistically wrong to do so. Every new roll of the dice is a new roll of the dice. Doesn’t matter if the last 10 times your dice showed the number six. This time around it has as many possibilities to bring six as any other number (one in six in fact). So it doesn’t matter what a company’s last efforts were as long as the latest one is much better than them. You have to investigative every effort independently…

      I disagree about what a review is (or isn’t). Most people buy a phone and hold on it for two years (some -even- for more). So how the phone is at the moment of its release -while important- is far from everything, in fact it’s exactly half the story. There are plenty of products that at the time of release were sh**e, but became significantly better as time passed.

      To me a review should be reflective of owning a phone, rather than having a brief contact with it. Obviously it’s a hard thing to do *unless* you actually own the phone for the projected time (by which time a review would be useless anyway). But there *are* some tell-tale signs of how long a phone would last.

      One is removable battery (it allows you to easily put a new one when the original dies/lose charge)
      Second is build quality (a phone would be useless if it is to die in 6 months).
      Third is company support (it means squashing the initial bugs)
      Fourth is released sources (it means that the community would squash the bugs even if the company won’t and probably continue support long after the company stopped).

      There has to be a separate score taking the above in accordance. Call it “longevity score” and in fact everything besides the 2nd point are easily knowable (and there are tests for the 2nd point too)…

    • balcobomber25
      February 9, 2016

      We’re not rolling dice, we’re buying products. And for a product history is everything, until they can change their history they will carry that negative stigma.

      You can disagree what a review is or what you think it is but that is how they are done today.

    • Stef
      February 9, 2016

      I’m not saying that we do, it’s a metaphor to show how statistics work. Since neither I or you have knowledge of how better elephone’s industrial design has become in the meantime we can’t merely judge a phone by its predecessors.

      I trust build quality reviews that mostly said that the build quality is way ahead than p7000 and better than most budget phones. It’s not a mi4, but then again it’s much cheaper…

      No it’s not how reviews are today. That’s how gizchina does them, plenty of sites take in accordance the longevity a device. That’s why while I enjoy reading the reviews here, I don’t take in account their points system (not including the longevity of a phone clearly gives you an erroneous marking of it)

    • balcobomber25
      February 9, 2016

      Statistics don’t play into things when it comes to consumers. You can show a consumer all the numbers and stats you can think of, but brand history/reputation is more important than any single consumer index that exists.

      Just about every review from the major phone sites do reviews this way. No one knows the longevity of a phone. They do reviews within the first few weeks of that phone releasing. I don’t know of a single site that waits 6 months before doing a review. Some sites do follow up reviews, but the initial reviews are all the same and they are all based on that initial product that launches.

    • Stef
      February 9, 2016

      There are sites who take in account the things I’ve talked about. They are not part of the review, but they do account them in advantages/disadvantages. Gizchina doesn’t do it. I don’t mind it because it does give me a good picture of how the phone is at the time of the purchase. It merely means that I have to dig deeper about those “tell tale signs”.

      It’s easy to have an idea of how long a device will last, I just gave you 4 points. All my long lived devices where those that marked highly in those 4 points…

      Statistics are a rule of life. People don’t know how gravity works, it still affects them. Similarly it’s incorrect to say that a new phone is definitely bad just because the last one was too. There are countless examples of bad companies eventually succeeding in bettering themselves, there are examples of the other way around too.

      Virtually all reviews you can find online would admit that P8000 is of way better build quality than p7000, so it’s literally erroneous to judge it by past models. Is it better than high end models? Not even close, but its build quality was quite fair for its money (you could find for less than $150 a month after its release).

    • balcobomber25
      February 9, 2016

      The sites that do that, don’t do it in there initial review which is the entire thing we are talking about. Most sites review the initial base phone, they don’t take into account custom ROM’s.

      No one has said a device will definitely be bad but consumers will judge a product based on it’s history. You can try to spin it any way you want that is a fact of consuerism. Until Elephone can release a few good phones with no issues they will carry that stigma. There are plenty of $150 phones on the market that don’t suffer from the build quality issues that the P8000 has had.

    • Stef
      February 9, 2016

      Did you see me suggesting that custom ROMs should be taken in account? Are we talking the same language, because I honestly feel that I’m writing English yet you read French or whatever.

      Re-read my 4points, plenty of reviews referencing them. I can link you to some if you wish.

      “There are plenty of $150 phones on the market that don’t suffer from the build quality issues that the P8000 has had”

      Right now maybe, for the time of its release certainly not.

      Again you’re not paying attention, it got glowing reviews regarding is quality. I can link you to some -too- if you don’t wish to survey the net and you’re only interested to hearsay.

    • balcobomber25
      February 9, 2016

      “For example P8000 is one of the few budget phones with support from the community and released sources, yet it was not taken in accordance, with as a result being one of the few up-to-date phones to this day (includes February security fixes, and late january’s arm linux changes).”

      “There are couple of ROMs as well. The kernel sources lack documentation which is a problem, but they do compile. I have compiled one to enable virtual terminal support.

      IMO the situation isfar better than most budget phones. In fact there are expensive phones with less support…”

      Pay attention to what you actually say.

    • Stef
      February 9, 2016

      Well by taking any sentence out of its proper context can make it mean anything.

      Since you didn’t pay attention (probably didn’t read them), I’m going to repost the 4 tell-tale signs of a phone’s longevity (that can, should and actually have been included in other reviews):

      1) removable battery (it allows you to easily put a new one when the original dies/lose charge)

      2) build quality (a phone would be useless if it is to die in 6 months).

      3) company support (it means squashing the initial bugs)

      4) released sources (it means that the community would squash the bugs even if the company won’t and probably continue support long after the company stopped).

    • balcobomber25
      February 9, 2016

      That is something you said, there is no taking it out of context. You specifically said a review should include that. That is what started this entire debate.

      As for your 4 points:

      1. Removable battery could be a good thing but it could also be a bad thing. Having a removable battery means you need to have a removable back. That weakens the overall strength of the phone.

      2. Build quality is very good, but if the components inside are cheap components even the greatest build quality won’t mean a thing. For instance I bought a Doogee when they were first out, the build quality was excellent but they used some of the cheapest components money can buy and many of them failed within 4 months.

      3. Support is absolutely needed.

      4. Released sources are good if there is an active community.

    • Stef
      February 9, 2016

      What I said, referred to point 4 (community support).

      By making the 4 points, I merely generalized my initial meaning.

      As for the rest:

      1) Not necessarily, in case of a fall the back is popped out as well as the battery taking a big part of the energy of the impact. Think of Formula 1 cars. I honestly think that’s how my Note 2 was saved a couple of times.

      2) Yeah, by build quality I mean the internal components as well. There are websites that open a phone to its component and then rank its build quality as a total, not just the external chasis

      BTW I agree that the above are hard to be tested properly (for example using a back battery mechanism can indeed make the phone weaker if it’s done improperly, or many sites don’t have the expertise to check build quality completely and thoroughly).

      That is why I’m not too critical that Gizchina does not take the above in account. It also means -though- that Gizchina tells half the story. It’s a great site and I agree with many of their assessments, but I always cross-check their reviews by/with other reviewers that I also trust (some of whom refer to some of the 4 points that I referred to).

      To conclude always read the reviews, but do not rely too much in the scoring system, maybe using it as one point of reference but that’s the most I take out of it.

    • balcobomber25
      February 9, 2016

      A review itself is just one persons opinion, they should be used in the buying process but they should be taken lightly. We all have differing opinions and ideas of what is best for phone use, including the person conducting the review. It is near impossible to review a product without any bias involved.

    • Stef
      February 9, 2016

      We don’t disagree there … the whole issue started (btw) by calling GizChina’s marking system *not* to be the end-all.

      For example the watch reviewed in this thread has a high ranking, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best product Elephone did (or even if it is, that is not necessarily reflected by the score alone) … In other words people should read the reviews, instead of just glancing the score and then move on…

  10. E8hffff
    February 7, 2016

    I’m impressed but I simply don’t wear watches. I know that high end watches are very in at the moment with people who can afford or collect them. Obviously this watch isn’t in the league of high end, but that trend my catch onto cheaper realms.

  11. GoldenBoy
    February 7, 2016

    i don’t wear watches but i really like this one!
    It’s minimalistic, nice design and without in-utilities.
    i have just concerns about using consumable battery instead of a recharging one, but other than this it’s damn good.
    I am missing this: is it waterproof or any kind of IP certification?
    Thanks for the review.

  12. balcobomber25
    February 7, 2016

    It seems like all the reviews lately are for Elephone, Ulefone and Oukitel. Yash said he completed his Gionee E8 review over a month ago but it’s still MIA, just like his S7 review that never got published.

    • Joel Adames
      February 7, 2016

      I will back you up on that, at one time Hash said to me he was half way through with that review.
      Well should try to gets this as a 1rst comment on something so that they pay attention and come forward.
      I feel jelaus from this nice review to an ELEPHONE wacht!!! For crying out loud and the beloved gionee review just adding dust .

    • Rob
      February 8, 2016

      Don’t forget the Meizu metal that was also due a few weeks ago, I held off buying for a while but ended up buying it in the end, glad I didn’t wait as it seems if it’s not Xiaomi, Elephone, Ulefone etc. then it won’t get published on here. This site is falling apart lately, they could always send me a few phones to review if they are struggling though!

    • balcobomber25
      February 8, 2016

      Yea I don’t understand it. This site has turned into a hype site for companies like Elephone. Yash has said he completed a few reviews and none of them are published.

  13. February 7, 2016

    I’ve used a xiaomi mi band for a long time and wear it 24 hours a day – now I’m thinking to buy the elephone w2 after your great review. I’m asking me how comfortable it is to wear the Elephone W2 during night? Isn’t it to big to wear? Thanks for your answer!

  14. mcergun
    February 7, 2016

    still looking for the black bars

  15. jack
    February 7, 2016

    Hi, does the watch work well with iOS notification of social apps such as whatapps, wechat?

  16. Xalis
    February 7, 2016

    $80? I would expect a device like this, to cost no more than $25.

    • Steve B
      February 7, 2016

      I think you’re mistaking it for a Timex. Some watches do sell for a bit more.

      • balcobomber25
        February 8, 2016

        You mean like the Timex Metropolitan+ that sells for $150 or the Timex Ironman series that sells for over $200? Both of those are watches that integrate a fitness band. And in the watch world the name Timex means a lot more than the name Elephone.

        • Steve B
          February 8, 2016

          Now that’s just being pedantic

          • balcobomber25
            February 8, 2016

            I actually own a metropolitan i use it for hiking /camping. Excellent watch for the money .

            • Steve B
              February 8, 2016

              I have a Pebble Steel which does far more than this for similar money, whilst lasting a good week, but I still like the look of this. (I also got a Ulefone Something-or-other which did cost $25 and it’s terrible. They even lied about the battery capacity so it hardly lasts a day, but that looks a $25 watch, not this)

    • E8hffff
      February 8, 2016

      I thought it was priced at $49.

  17. Guest
    February 7, 2016

    There is an additional small battery inside the watch that powers the regular watch. Is it easy to replace by yourself?

  18. E8hffff
    February 7, 2016

    I’m impressed but I simply don’t wear watches.

  19. Guest
    February 7, 2016

    i don’t wear watches but i really like this one!
    It’s minimalistic, nice design and without in-utilities.
    i have just concerns about using consumable battery instead of a recharging one, but other than this it’s damn good.
    I am missing this: is it waterproof or any kind of IP certification?
    Thanks for the review.

  20. Ivo001
    February 7, 2016

    I’ve ordered a Zeblaze Cosmo for $56,99 on Gearbest.
    Hope it will be good, can’t find much reviews of it yet.

  21. Wenk Manuel
    February 7, 2016

    I’ve used a xiaomi mi band for a long time and wear it 24 hours a day – now I’m thinking to buy the elephone w2 after your great review. I’m asking me how comfortable it is to wear the Elephone W2 during night? Isn’t it to big to wear? Thanks for your answer!

  22. mcergun
    February 7, 2016

    still looking for the black bars

  23. Guest
    February 7, 2016

    $80? I would expect a device like this, to cost no more than $25.

    • Steve B
      February 7, 2016

      I think you’re mistaking it for a Timex. Some watches do sell for a bit more.

    • E8hffff
      February 8, 2016

      I thought it was priced at $49.

    • balcobomber25
      February 8, 2016

      You mean like the Timex Metropolitan+ that sells for $150 or the Timex Ironman series that sells for over $200? Both of those are watches that integrate a fitness band. And in the watch world the name Timex means a lot more than the name Elephone.

    • Steve B
      February 8, 2016

      Now that’s just being pedantic

    • balcobomber25
      February 8, 2016

      I actually own a metropolitan i use it for hiking /camping. Excellent watch for the money .

    • Steve B
      February 8, 2016

      I have a Pebble Steel which does far more than this for similar money, whilst lasting a good week, but I still like the look of this. (I also got a Ulefone Something-or-other which did cost $25 and it’s terrible. They even lied about the battery capacity so it hardly lasts a day, but that looks a $25 watch, not this)

  24. Ivo001
    February 8, 2016

    I’ve ordered a Zeblaze Cosmo for $56,99 on Gearbest.
    Hope it will be good, can’t find much reviews of it yet.

  25. jules marvin
    February 9, 2016

    Why isnt there a list for novice buyers who wants to purchase a chinaphone to use on there network in the U.S.?

  26. jules marvin
    February 9, 2016

    Why isnt there a list for novice buyers who wants to purchase a chinaphone to use on there network in the U.S.?

  27. Anes Fansub
    February 16, 2016

    Buen analisis todo muy claro y con este reloj se tiene gran bateria

  28. Anes Fansub
    February 16, 2016

    Buen analisis todo muy claro y con este reloj se tiene gran bateria

  29. Faux-News
    February 27, 2016

    elephone W2 vs Lembird Free 01 ?

  30. Faux-News
    February 27, 2016

    elephone W2 vs Lembird Free 01 ?