The previous smartwatch I was using was that of the original Samsung Galaxy Gear. When I first got it, it was neat and did some interesting things and people would ask me about it all the time. However as time went on, I found that I used it less and less for the features it had and more as just a regular watch. This was mainly due to the fact that the Galaxy Gear is still locked to only Samsung devices and my main smartphone of choice is still an iPhone, making the Gear pretty useless to me as a smartwatch. That brings me to the new CooKoo2 watch, the second generation CooKoo connected watch.
This watch takes an entirely different approach from that of the Gear. Instead of being what is basically a small “computer” that can tell time, the CooKoo2 is a watch first with the secondary function of being a quick glance, notification device. Sure it means that the CooKoo2 doesn’t do all the fancy things the Gear did, but it also means that I end up with a watch that does only things I ended up using the Gear for, which was for notifications.
The CooKoo2 is a great looking watch. There’s no denying that. It looks like how a watch is supposed to look like. It’s got a round body, round face, real analog hands, and actual numbers carved into its dial. You can’t change the way the face looks with skins or anything like the Gear and what you see is what you get, and I’m totally fine with that because it’s a really great looking watch with a classic look that will never get old.
The CooKoo2 that was sent to me is almost entirely black except for the silver dial that borders the face and the slick neon yellow accents used for the seconds hand and the minute markings on the face. Just looking at it, it looks like your basic, attractive, analog watch. The only difference here is at the center of the watch there is a circular, digital screen. It’s similar to the old school digital displays you see on the more advanced Casio watches and not something like an OLED screen or color display. It’s like this in order to keep the power usage low. The watch even has a “light” that will make the display glow so you can read it in the dark.
The body of the watch is made of plastic as are the buttons. The dial however is metal as is the rear of the watch and the watch adjustment dial on the side. On the back, you’ll notice it has a battery door as it uses standard watch batteries. There is no recharging this watch. It will last for as long as the batter lasts. This is a huge plus over most smartwatches right now that require a charge every day or week. This one should last a couple of years.
The watch band is made of silicone rubber. In this case, it is all black. Silicone is good for comfort and durability. The only real negative however of the silicone band is how much of a dust and skin magnet it is. It gets dirty fast and I’m constantly cleaning it with water. Again, it is really comfortable though so I don’t mind cleaning it every now and then.
The CooKoo2 watches main purpose is to tell time with the secondary function of displaying specific notifications that you receive from your other device. For me, I am using the CooKoo2 in conjunction with my iPhone 5. You will need to download the CooKoo Connected Watch App in order to utilize all of the CooKoo2 features. The app is also used to update the firmware on the watch itself.
The watch delivers basic notifications for the following: text messages, social networking apps like Facebook and Twitter, emails, alarms, events, low battery warnings, and when calls come in. For the most part, these are all the notification you will ever need anyways and for me, they are the only ones I really pay attention to. When a notification comes in, the watch beeps and flashes the corresponding icon on the face of the watch.
By using the accompanying app, you’ll be able to toggle on and off the notifications you actually want to see. I get a ton of emails daily so it gets a bit annoying hearing the watch go off every few minutes so I turn that one off. Mostly I want to just hear when I get text messages, notifications from my social networks, and when I’m getting a call. Sometimes I turn my ringer off so it helps if I know someone is calling me when I can’t hear it.
On the latest update of the CooKoo app, they added the ability to set an alarm, independently of your smartphone. This again allows the CooKoo2 to function more like a regular watch. This comes in handy if you need to just set a quick alarm for one time use.
I’ve been wearing the CooKoo2 around since getting it last week and so far, it’s been a different experience from that of the Gear. For starters, the CooKoo2 feels like I’m just wearing a regular watch. It’s light, very comfortable, and doesn’t draw much attention to itself. Where when I was wearing the Gear, people would always ask me questions about it and it got to the point where I was just tired of explaining what it was. With this one, it’s more if someone stops me to talk about it, it’s mainly just to say what a cool looking watch it is.
When it comes to usage though, I appreciate the minimalism of its features. A simple beep will usually get me to look at it and the icons always let me know what it is. I can usually decide whether or not I need to look at my phone right away depending on the icon that is displayed. What’s even better is if I need to keep the notification silenced, holding down the command button will switch the watch into silent vibrate mode. Notifications will still pop up and the watch will vibrate a bit.
However, my favorite thing about the CooKoo2 is the fact that you do not have to recharge it! You can go about your life and not have to worry about your watch dying halfway through your day because you forgot to recharge it the night before. You only have to worry about the battery dying one day a couple of years down the line and that’s a simple battery swap which when done, will get your through another couple of years. That to me is simply amazing considering the amount of stuff I have to worry about charging every night and this being something that I don’t have to add to that list.
The CooKoo2 may not quite be what most people think of when you say smartwatch. These days, smartwatch means a device that can do almost as many things as your smartphone can do, even make calls. To me though, I don’t honestly see a need for something like that because if I wanted a device that does all the things my smartphone does, well then I would just use my smartphone. Instead, I would rather have a wearable device that compliments my smartphone. The CooKoo2 does that by only showing me what I want and when I want it. It has the bare minimum features you need to stay connected, but for some, that’s all you need.
The only negative I have about the CooKoo2 is the watch band which is made of silicone. Silicone isn’t my favorite of materials mainly because it attracts a lot of lint and I’m constantly cleaning it. However, I will say that the silicone band is very comfortable and very durable.
The biggest plus though is the fact that you do not need to recharge the CooKoo2, ever. All it requires is a battery change when it runs out of power, that shouldn’t be for at least a couple of years.
Overall, I am very impressed with it. I love the fact that it’s really just a watch with the added benefit of being able to connect to my smartphone for notifications. I like that it doesn’t try to be more than that or over complicate things. Not only that, the CooKoo2 is very attractive and stylish. It’s also inexpensive at only around $150. If you’re not a fan of the silicone band, you can also get it with a nylon strap.