If you have an active lifestyle, owning a smartwatch is mandatory. Usually, people who don’t like to sit tight and are feeling adventurous, can’t rely on smartphones that drainage quickly, are way bigger in comparison to wearables, can be damaged easily, and cost more. In all these cases, they should look for a reliable smartwatch. Today we are going to talk about the world’s first 4G-enabled Android smartwatch. The Microwear H5 has been announced recently, but it managed to win many customers’ hearts. Of course, there are a few drawbacks as well. So we’ll try to be as impersonal as possible. But one thing is clear – the H5 can compete with many popular smartwatches even without any effort.
Microwear H5 Design
The box is black with no logo and product name. The only printing we can see on it is ‘Smart Wear’. The packaging is black, while the phrase is silver. Inside the box, we can find only the smartwatch and a USB cable to charge it like an ordinary Android phone. So, on one hand, the manufacturer comes in with the minimum accessories and a simple packaging, but on the other, we are dealing with a $100 smartwatch. I mean we used to see some product details and manufacturer information on the box. As for the box content, we’d like to find some instructions or user manuals, because those who pay such a money want to learn about everything coming with a product.
First, we have to say this is not a waterproof product. Though we used to see many smartwatches available on the market come with an IP67 rate, the manufacturer has decided not to certify this device. But there are some reasons for that. And honestly, we accept Microwear’s decision because the H5 doesn’t look like other wearables. As we can see, there is a micro USB interface put on the left side. And though it affects the waterproofness, it is way comfortable for using because you can plug your phone’s cable and charge it. Thus no additional accessory is needed like the fancy attachable magnetic units.
Another thing we like, the Microwear H5 also uses a new technology by placing the nano-Sim card slot on the right upper corner of the back. As you remember, the previous models require a complete back cover removal to insert the card. But as its selling point is the 4G support, the company decided to make it easier to use. There is a special cover that should be removed to insert the card. Actually, it’s opened easily with a little effort, and can be placed back in the same way. The only problem we had was related to the SIM card removal. Although we guess you won’t insert/remove frequently SIM cards.
The manufacturer has placed the speaker on the left upper corner with an ambition phrase of ‘3D Sound’. We don’t think you will be using it for listening music. So the quality is quite sufficient for calling.
A rectangular button to turn on/off the phone as well as to unlock is placed on the right side. It supports a few modes: Long press for power on/off, short press to return to standby interface, short press again for screen off, short press to brighten when the screen is off.
It also comes with a camera. But what we don’t like is the angle it is placed at. Actually, it is placed at 45 degrees, that simply means when you hold your hand or the smartwatch in front of your face, the camera won’t capture your face. So it turns out, the Microwear H5 is packed with a 2MP camera (interpolated to 5MP) and it comes with a stylish look, but it is useless in most cases. This is the biggest shortcoming of this device.
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At last, the Microwear H5 sports a 1.54-inch screen with a resolution of 240×240 pixel and uses a TFT display technology. This is a really good screen providing a great viewing performance. It’s responsive and we didn’t face any lags during the testing.
The chassis is made of a stainless steel, that’s why the smartwatch weighs around 70 grams. The straps are made of TPU. It also has CE and RoSH certifications.
Microwear H5 Hardware and Performance
The Microwear H5 is packed with an MT6737 quad-core processor. It uses 4 ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.3GHz. This chip is mainly used on low-end smartphones. So its appearance on the H5 promises a smartphone-level experience. Apart from the chip, it is packed with a 1GB of RAM and 8GB of ROM. At last, there is a 600mAh battery that provides a few days of a normal use. It will take about 180 minutes to fully charge.
Though this is a 4G-enabled smartwatch, it won’t work on all bands. The H5 supports GSM 2G call and networks, WCDMA 3G networks, FDD 4G, TDD 4G networks, but it does not support CDMA 2G call or networks. Though we couldn’t test it for 4G connectivity, the 3G performance was quite stable and acceptable.
Microwear H5 Software
The smartwatch runs on Fun OS based on Android 6.0. This is not the latest version, but you won’t find many smartwatches running on a higher version. Plus, Android 6.0 differs from Android 5.0 a lot. And FunOS comes with many customizations. So it turns out the Microwear H5 runs on Google’s operating system and gets the most goodies it offers, but thanks to customization of FunOS you get a quite new UI experience. Actually, it works like other smartwatches UIs, but due to the good hardware and highly responsive screen, it’s easy and pleasant to interact with the H5.
This smartwatch comes with many functions. So let’s get acquainted with the most of them.
First, long press the standby dial, slip right and left to select the watch face you want, and tap to confirm.
Swipe down to access the status bar. We have three pages. The first one shows the remaining battery power, the cellular connection type, the data connection (on/off), and WiFi connection. The second page comes with a feature to wake screen on wrist raise, notifications, SOS, and flight mode. The third page contains other four icons to set a vibration, sound off, and a normal ringing. There is also an icon to display your running apps, Bluetooth, and overall display brightness/sleep time.
Swipe up to access up to 7 functions. As we are dealing with a sports watch, there are fitness apps for all purposes: Compass/Sleep Monitor/Pedometer/Heart Rate/Weather/Air pressure/Altitude.
A right swipe will bring everything on fitness including Walking, Outdoor run, Indoor run, Mountain climbing, Cross country, Half Marathon, Full Marathon, Ride, Sports History, and Sports Settings.
Swipe left to enter the menu. There is Clock (Stopwatch, Alarm, and Timer), Communication (Phone, Messaging, and Contacts), Browser, Tools (Calculator and Calendar), Style (change the way it displays the icons), Watch management (Download and File manager, Audio Center (Sound record and Music), Multimedia (Gallery and Videos), Play store to download other compatible apps, etc. One of the most noteworthy features is the USB Tethering that turns your smartwatch into a Wi-Fi modem that provides Wi-Fi connectivity via a USB cable.
So we can say the Microwear H5 comes with many useful apps and features, and it can be a good assistant for many cases. But there are a few shortcomings such as the camera layout, the lack of instructions, and a couple of others. However, the overall impression is good. The quad-core processor under the hood, Android 6.0 pre-installed, FunOS UI, 4G connectivity, and tons of fitness apps make this handset one of the most discussed smartwatches on the market.