Friday, Oct 31, 2014

Spice Smart Pulse M 9010 review + video: Innovative ‘watch phone’ but impractical smart watch

Spice Smart Pulse M 9010 review Buy this if you want to impress kids in a schools or girls in a college, but not to tout yourself as a geek.
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi | Posted: August 16, 2014 2:53 pm | Updated: August 16, 2014 6:41 pm

Wearables are supposed to be the next big trend in technology. But I doubt if devices likes Spice Smart Pulse M 9010 are, despite their affordability, going to  make this segment all that popular. The Spice Smart Pulse is without a doubt an innovative device, though I would stop well short of calling it practical. Unless these devices are practical they will end up as appendages we will soon forget.

Device: The Spice Smart Pulse M 9010 looks like a watch and is worn as one. But the toughest thing to do on the device is to check time. You need to use your other hand to press the power button on the left of the screen to bring it to life.  The 4-CM LCD screen has the three — options, home and back — button under it. There is something that looks like a camera and an LED flash on the right, but no way to access it on the device itself. The best thing about the watch is the micro-USB port on the left, which means you can charge this directly and do not need an extra piece like in the Samsung Gear or special chargers like in the Pebble.

The watch is really large and reminded me of some timepieces that had caught the fancy of the public in the late 1970s, the sort made popular by Sivaji Ganeshan and others. It large and tends on being ugly, with a large metal body that shows four prominent rivets. Certainly not my style.

Open the rear flap and you will see slots for a full SIM, a micro SIM and SD card. That is also a good indicator that this is meant to be used as a phone, why else would anyone want a second SIM in a watch. If you ask me, I would just put a second SIM in this device. The watch comes with three rubber straps. The sober types can stick to black.

Features: 4 cm screen, 420 mAh battery, audio and video player, Dual Sim (2G+2G), expandable memory upto 8GB, FM Radio, Bluetooth, WAP/GPRS/EDGE

Performance: I told you this one is not a great watch. It is also not such a great phone. Of course, it can make and receive calls, not from one, but two SIMs inside. But you need really tiny, pointy, fingers to be able to dial the numbers. Some of my friends were really successful, but not me. The device does not have voice control to make life easy, so you might need to have multiple entries for contacts so that wherever you click on the screen, the call goes to the same person. Even receiving  a call can be a pain, because there is no guarantee you will be able to unlock the screen before the guy on the other end gets frustrated and hangs up. But there is good call clarity when you do get connected.

The watch is not all that smart since it cannot add more apps. You can, however, use what it already has — a media player, mail, SMS, contacts and a couple of games. Technically, it is as smart as the first touchscreen phones that came half a decade ago. Some of the stuff depends on getting a Bluetooth connection running with a smarter device. I tried two different smartphones, both of which could not find this watch. So, that was abandoned midway. I tried the mail and while there were no issues logging in, I leave it to your imagination how easy it would be read mails on a screen this big. The media player works fine if you have music in the internal storage. After that you take the call how you want to play it — through the watch or using a Bluetooth device. The battery can last up to four days with average use, thanks to the fact that the screen is off most of the time.

Verdict: In my book the  Spice Smart Pulse M 9010 is a “watch phone” that reminds me of the mid-1980s. Buy this if you want to impress kids in a schools or girls in a college, but not to tout yourself as a geek. Geeks will take a time machine rather than be caught dead with this timepiece. The best thing about the watch is its Rs. 3,999 price tag which makes this a good toy to buy for your teenager.

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