Omate TrueSmart: one month with a phone on my wrist

March 26, 2014
26

I've now been using an Omate TrueSmart for a full month. The month actually ended yesterday and as I was preparing to share some thoughts, I realized I am not wearing the TrueSmart all that often. I am wearing it almost daily, however the time on my wrist has been cut down to an hour or so per day. You see, the Omate has gone from everyday smartwatch to running smartwatch.

Basically, that is to say the TrueSmart has not replaced my Pebble, but instead replaced my need to run with my Moto X. The interesting part here, my shift in usage of the TrueSmart isn't due to anything specific about the watch. But just personal preferences.

P1070675-X2

I liked the TrueSmart when I first got it, and honestly, I like it just as much now, 30 days later. The thing is, I realized I do not want (or need) a device with full Android on my wrist. The big reason I prefer to wear a smartwatch is to minimize the distractions, and to help prioritize when my phone comes out of my pocket. I don't feel I have that same control with the TrueSmart as it doesn't work very well as a companion device.

Overall though, the TrueSmart handles day-to-day needs decent enough. I have used it to accept some calls and reply to some text messages. It has also proven a convenient way to quickly check the weather forecast while out and about using Yahoo! Weather. The TrueSmart has also served well as an alarm clock using the Timely app. Basically, for most tasks the TrueSmart stands up, but the other issue for me is the camera. I am not able to depend on the TrueSmart as a full phone replacement because I simply like having a decent camera available.

P1070677-X2

Anyway, this was really just intended to share a few quick thoughts on the TrueSmart, based on my personal usage. I did want to quickly mention a few perks and drawbacks, and at risk of turning this into a full review, I'll offer those in list form and in no particular order;

  • The battery life has been solid, but with a 600 mAh battery it does need to be managed.
  • The display is decent to look at, and also responsive to the touch.
  • The band is comfortable, though I worry about how well it will hold up in the long term.
  • Despite earlier claims from Omate, you shouldn't submerge the TrueSmart in water.
  • The default app store, the OStore doesn't have a ton of apps.
  • The app situation can be good, provided you side-load the Play Store.
  • Following up that last, some apps are difficult to use given the small display.
  • Again following up that last, I have come to appreciate voice commands a bit more, both for typing and launching apps.
  • The charging dock works well, but is not a great setup by any means.
  • The watch is thick, bulky looking and sort of heavy.
  • Following up that last, this is far from the bulkiest watch I've seen, and you do get used to the weight.
  • GPS seems to track well (based on my experience using RunKeeper and Maps).
  • The watch is good for calls when used with speakerphone or a Bluetooth headset.
  • The built-in speaker is good enough to listen to spoken audio (audiobooks and podcasts) in a pinch.
  • Following up on that last, Bluetooth headphones pair easily and remain connected.
  • Somewhat of a simple confession, I've used the calculator app numerous times.
  • The camera, while not super easy to line up a shot, does take decent pictures.

Anyway, I am far from done being a TrueSmart user, but this has become a running watch for me. That being said, I do think the TrueSmart could be a good everyday device for some. If you have any specific questions, fire away in the comments.

P1070676-X2


Recent Stories
  • Richard Gao

    Can you install games from the GPS and play them? lol

    • scaots

      Some apps and games work well on the small screen. Flappy Bird is actually included in the built-in app store.

      • Volta

        … in apparent violation of the author’s copyright, and expressly stated wishes. Doesn’t seem like something to be bragging on, honestly.

        After a week with my Omate, it now lives in the charging cradle. Near useless as shipped, sadly.

      • William Thompson

        Volta, do you want to sell it?

      • syounger64

        Just curious… why is it useless to you and have you patched your watch via xda developers?

  • Kier San Pedro

    How much is it?

  • scaots

    I have had mine for 8 weeks and agree with all of your thoughts on the TrueSmart. Battery normally has no problem making it through a day and often can last two days.

    Just the past week I went back to Pebble for normal companion use because I need phone call notification since I never notice when my phone is on vibrate. Omate is currently best as a stand alone device and I love taking it running or other times I don’t want to carry a phone but remain connected. Back on Pebble, it feels amazingly light but almost toy like and I feel a bit limited.

    The good news is that Omate is claiming that an update is coming to provide functional companion mode. I look forward to that and the possibility of one watch that does it all.

    GPS APPS
    I am a RunKeeper fan, but found that Edomondo Pro has an excellent interface for the small screen. I assume that the regular free version is the same. I recommend giving it a try. I wasn’t even able to log into Runtastic Pro though I think a new version was just released so I may have to try again.

  • Laurent Le Pen

    Android Community totally nailed it, +Omate TrueSmart is not competing with the smartwatch 1.0. The TrueSmart™ targets in priority smartphone owners having an active lifestyle. The TrueSmart™ is a new generation of Lifestyle / Sport Watch. “Looks like
    a watch, acts like a true smartwatch” Omate primary goals were to make the World connected through your wrist and make Android Wearable.

    • Bob G

      Le Pen you’ve nothing to be proud of. The Truesmart was sold as a waterproof 1.3 ghz dual core, standalone and companion device, with a 5mp camera. It is actually none of these things, standalone doesn’t work due to mic issues, companion doesn’t work due to bluetooth/kernel issues, devices shipped are 1.0ghz, the camera is a 3mp, waterproof claims have now been back tracked on and in fact inserting the sim card, sd card, or the supplied spare battery will void the warranty.

      Anybody contemplating purchasing one of these should check out xda-developers and google+ for the truth about this pile of junk.

      • Mike

        I totally disagree with this post. I think Laurent has developed a quality next gen device that is way ahead of anything currently on the market from Samsung, etc. Sure it falls behind a bit in a few areas, but it is an amazing device that is quite compact for what is contained within. For many functions it works just as well as my smartphone once Google Play is sideloaded (an easy task). I am very happy with my truesmart, and am glad I backed the project. This smartwatch is the best available unless you want a full size phone strapped to your arm (Neptune Pine).

        Anybody contemplating the purchase should also check the many highly positive reviews as well rather than just rants about specs. I sometimes wonder how many of these “negative” reviews are from major phone manufacturers trying to pave the way for their upcoming next gen watches.

      • Bob G

        I’m glad you’re happy with it and I hope I’m as happy with mine if it eventually arrives, but it’s not what I bought and paid for; specifically a waterproof smartwatch that could be used as either a companion device for notifications from my phone or as a standalone smartphone for when I don’t want to carry my main phone. Those are the promises made by Omate when I backed it and those are promises that have not been delivered.

      • syounger64

        I also disagree with you. You’re criticizing something that you haven’t even touched while I HAVE the TrueSmart and I KNEW what I was getting into…a product in development that has shown a lot of promises through all the changes. There’s a new OS update and the companion app seem to have been fixed so I’m happy with what I have so far.

      • Bob G

        Where exactly does it say on kickstarter that this is a product in development? It doesn’t. It states everything works as promised, it’s not misleading it’s lies. The firmware relies on a fix from an unpaid dev in order to make it secure. The hardware issues are too numerous to list and it does not do what it was supposed to. I agree it’s potentially a milestone in wearable technology but it’s being touted as outdoor activity device that doesn’t live up to the claims it makes.

      • syounger64

        From the kicstarter page on Omate smart watch. It says DEVELOPERS edition. That’s what I bought.
        Pledge $199 or more You selected

        794 backers Limited (206 left of 1000)

        Omate TrueSmart DEVELOPERS Edition | Same package as Standard Edition + SDK, Developers Forum, Developers Support, ships Rooted // By popular demand, extra Developers Packages for those who missed the earlier ones, hurry don’t miss it again.

      • Bob G

        Again and with respect, the developers edition is nothing more than a rooted device with a numbered backplate, that is all. And according to android deveopers on xda it hasn’t been properly rooted and is dangerous to use without applying Lokifish’s (unpaid dev) patch.

      • Rubén Velázquez Ricaño

        I backed the TrueSmart Extreme Standard 1GB/8GB. Would you or anyone you know be interested in buying it from me? rubenvelazquez@hotmail.com

      • Bob G

        Sometimes I wonder how many of these “positive” reviews are from Omate trying to resurrect its extremely poor profile.

        POTENTIAL BUYERS CHECK KICKSTARTER COMMENTS, XDA & GOOGLE+ FOR REAL USER COMMENTS.

      • syounger64

        Respectfully I disagree because The watch IS starting to live up to its potential with the updates they’ve developed in xda developers. You’re not presenting the complete honest picture and some of these guys aren’t paid for that.

    • Russell Smith

      Ive had my Truesmart for a month now, or rather my second one – I had to buy another on eBay. I found out the hard way that it is indeed not waterproof, which I’d be lying if I’d said I wasn’t disappointed in; that said, this watch represents a signficant leap forward in technology and functions well as a smartphone replacement during work events or short periods where carrying my phone is either impractical or inappropriate. I check email, stay abreast of my calendar, text short msgs, check and post to Facebook, buy coffee at Starbucks using My Coffeecard Pro (I sideloaded Play Store and put the app on my watch), use Runkeeper for running, and much more. Battery lasts the day relatively easily with moderate use.

      I bought this specifically because I ran Boston last year and, because I dont run with a phone, was out of touch and lost at 25.25 miles and had to walk home three miles to figure out WTF was going on. While not waterproof or enough battery for a marathon, I can wear it on my opposite wrist and have the same security as running with a phone. I love this thing so much I bought a second backup just in case something happens to it. Everywhere I go – running at home on the Naval Academy, buying coffee at Starbucks, I am constantly asked and people are constantly amazed by what I show them. Can it be improved? Yes, absolutely; is it a great start that is both useful and usable now? You bet your ass. Honestly the camera is inconsequential to me. If this were really waterproof and I could safely insert a memory card with music, I’d see it as perfect for me. After all, no device will satisfy everyone. I think this watch will indeed satisfy many. Thank you truesmart.

  • syounger64

    @ bob g the work on this product in xda developers/omate is just amazing. My watch now lasts all day and some dude solved the Bluetooth tethering issue as well. Its worth a look.

    • Bob G

      I’m keeping a very close eye on xda and others, the main software issues are not properly rooted, mediatek hasn’t released the full kernal source which is required to get tethering working right. Lack of waterproofness is a huge issue for me and many others as that is the reason we backed it, There is also a thread on xda about an after market seal kit being developed, but these are all issues that should have been fixed by Omate, not left to non paid developers.

      Incidentally, I hope you’ve applied Lokifish’s patch as the without it the TS is totally insecure.

  • Make

    How that microphone or speaker work during a call, can u get that message what he say? How long to take the battery is full? Is it useful (if I dont use phone). I am from Finland :D so is that 3G working here so well?
    And sorry my english :D

  • Heriberto Osegueda

    can i pair this device to my smartphone and use it without sim?

  • mark

    How do you side download Google play? And can you respond to text using the b t connection as smart Watch not Phone Watch?

  • V

    how do i pair it with my samsung galaxy s5?