You might not be able to tell from recent pictures (with me all Google Glass-ed out), but I’m a big watch guy. My collection was huge and diverse. Then after the entry of my daughter and smartphones, I slowly stopped buying new watches like I use it. I never lost the love though. On any given weekend, you might find me strolling through a department store looking over the watches behind the glass. I love watches, the original G Style fashion accessory for me. So when smartwatches hit the scene I was very excited to combine my love of tech and watch together. Now as much as I love the idea of the smartwatch, one of the main components with my love of watches was the style and fashion. The current crop of smartwatch watches though getting better, has left much to be desire in term or being very stylish. Currently my hope is on the Motorola Moto 360. But there are quite a few people making smartwatches of all kinds out there, some very horrible (see I’m Watch) and some that have potential. This leads me to the Meta M1 smartwatch. MetaWatch is a company that was spun out of another watch company you may have heard of, Fossil.
The team at Meta reached out to me as they was in New York and invited me to take a look at their M1 collection. Being a watch guy, the first thing that stood out to me was the look of the M1. I liked the look of this watch. Naturally what caught my eye was their M1 Limited Black Stainless model. What can I say I just love the look of an all black watch. Besides the Limited Black Stainless, the M1 models are M1 Core (Black Rubber rubber band), M1 Color in White & Red (rubber band), M1 Core Black Leather, Stainless Silver, and M1 Limited in Brown Leather, Black Leather, and Rose Gold (with Blue leather band). Each model has a different look and feel to it, but all feel more watch first than smartwatch. This is what drew me to it. The M1 looks like a watch you would see in a department store glass case among the other nice watches. This one just has some smarts to it.
In terms of style and fashion, I think the M1 has it! It strikes me as a watch I would see behind the glass and want to take a look at. The fact that it has some smart abilities is icing on the style case.
Now the M1 is a smartwatch, but it does so not in the way you might think. Most of the smartwatches we hear about recently are either running off a version of Android, is the new Android Wear, or the mythical iWatch people keep speculating about. What the Meta M1 watch does is again be a watch first. Then they have create a platform you install on your phone (either iOS or Android) that allows you to set up what notifications you want to be sent to the phone. It isn’t going to be running mini version of iOS or Android apps. But simply notification that can be sent to the phone via Bluetooth so you don’t have to pull out your phone. These notifications could be text, call information, emails, calendar appointments, and there is music control face on here.
This app lets you customize what kind of notifications your watch sees and in what order. It can handle multiple calendars and email accounts, so if you have a few sources for these you should be okay. The M1 receives its information from your phone via Bluetooth 4.0. And it can do this for 5-7 days before it needs to charge again. No unlike current crop of Android wear smartwatches, you won’t have to be tied to your charger to keep the battery level up! The M1 comes with this really cool magnetic clip for the charging on the watch. It easily clips onto the back casing of the watch for charging and then the case can be connect using any usb cable you have around. Charging time is about 2-3 hours.
The Meta M1 Smartwatch is definitely not the type we hear about right now with Android Wear, but then they aren’t trying to be The Meta watch is very subtle and more watch first. So as someone who loves watches, I liked using the Meta M1. It took a little bit to get use to the notifications on my wrist, but after a day or two I was good to go. I was especially curious of using a watch for notifications as compared to Google Glass which I have been using active for over 9 months now. While Glass is great and I still wear it daily, there are times where I did enjoy having the information come on my watch instead.
The Meta M1 comes with its own app where you can customize the information it receives and in which order you would like the screens to display. Getting notifications on the watch was great and I had great control on which apps would send info to the watch. One thing I wish it could do though would be to delete the notification from the watch after you read or look at it. The most I could do is dismiss but it would still be there as like a historic log or every notification or message. You also can’t reply to anything from the watch direction like with Android Wear, but honestly this wasn’t a negative. I honestly just liked being able to see what was happening at a glance and then decide if I wanted to interact with it and pull out my phone. So honestly the only feature I would want to see here would be some sort of delete or clear function.
The Meta M1 claims about 5-7 days of battery time. And when I initially use it with my iOS device I could see where that could be true depending. But once I pair it with my HTC One M8, my main device that just wasn’t going to happen. If you are a power user with multiple email accounts, calendars, and apps you are definitely in for reduced battery life. So far I’ve managed about 3 and half days max right now. Still batter than the current crop of Android Wear devices, but not quite a full week of use yet. You of course will fair better if you have a simple life with one email account, one or two calendars, and don’t have tons of apps!
All in all my experience so far has been good with the M1. It looks good (the best looking of the bunch is hands down the M1 Limited Black Stainless model), can last a few days and maybe better depending on your usage, and provides good notifications at a glance. That is what I’m looking for anyway. Now if I had to choose from getting my notifications from the Smartwatch or Google Glass? That one I’m not ready to decide on yet. So the jury is still out on that one.
The Meta M1 Smartwatch is a nice watch for the watch guy. Doesn’t scream super geeky or I’m a gadget head. It can easily be dressed with a nice suit or evening attire or even on casual trips out. The M1 lines will start out about $249 for the M1 Core to $449 for the M1 Limited Black Stainless.
You should give it a look. There will definitely be a crop of “smartwatches” come out as this looks to be the new thing now, but if you want something that looks like a watch and looks good, the M1 collection could be a good choice for you. Will I still wear mine passed this review? That answer would be yes!