Lenovo is entering the smart wearable segment in India and it has a new smartwatch for the market, its very first product called the Ego, which has an affordable price of Rs 1,999. At first glance, the Lenovo Ego might be mistaken for a normal digital watch, a rather childish one at that. The big digits and the plastic bands with ridges for fake screws can be misleading of what this watch is capable of doing.
But the Lenovo Ego is packed with features like constant heart-rate tracking, pedometer as well as being swim-proof, which is all interesting to see in a budget device. The Lenovo Life app can be used to connect the watch to your smartphone and I had no problems syncing the watch with the app, which was good to see.
Once the watch syncs with the Lenovo Life application, it starts showing the time on the watch. You cannot manually set the time on the watch and have to sync it to your smartphone every time you need to make a time adjustment. After all, this is marketed as a smartwatch.
The watch will buzz when you get a call on your phone, and a call symbol appears. You can’t dismiss the call from the watch, but it will at least alert you of the same.
The black and white display is quite good if you want to go out for a jog and see the time with just a glance. It also works perfectly fine in pitch darkness. There’s a Light button on the side as well, which you can press and the colour scheme turns like a neon blue or rather greenish backlight, which does not hurt the eyes and will make the text visible even in dark.
The app will show more features like find my phone, setting exercise goals, anti-lost feature, setting reminders and more. Lenovo is aiming for fitness buffs with this watch and the build quality of the device is considerably good. However, the buttons all around the watch do feel very plasticky and cheap.
While using it, I bumped into many walls, even fell a few times purposely just to test out its durability. I couldn’t see any heavy scuffing or scratches on the device, which is a good thing.
During the review period, I was even able to go for a swim and the device appeared to handle it okay. The pool was only three feet and the Lenovo Ego worked fine after the swim. But I noticed that the watch’s display just vanished after using it in the bath the next day.
This particular unit continued to work with the heart rate sensor still taking readings, but the time display just stopped working. We got a new review unit from Lenovo for the same, which was able to survive under water with no issues and even dunking it under water did not spoil the display. It could be that our previous unit had a sealing issue or was defective, but the second one did not have any problems with the water.
The vibrational motor is an area where I think Lenovo could have put a bit more effort. I set an alarm for the morning, and the watch could not wake me up. This might have been due to the fact that I am a sound sleeper, so to further test this I set a number of reminders throughout the day. I missed many of them while working due to the vibrations being very subtle.
A feature that I appreciated the most was the ‘find the phone’. I could simply shake the watch a bit wildly and my phone, if connected via Bluetooth, would sound up. This will be very handy for many users.
I liked the device’s constant heart rate tracking feature, which will keep you up to date on how your heart is performing throughout the day. This will be useful especially for those who are tracking their heart rate during exercise sessions like running.
However, I found that it is not very accurate. In some instances given it showed a different rating compared to another band that a friend was wearing. The Lenovo Ego showed a higher range even in resting mode. We then compared it to an Apple Watch Series 3 on another person, and it showed a similar range as that.
The steps count was also mostly accurate on the watch in my experience and not on the higher side that can be a problem on several budget devices.
Another issue I found out with the watch was that its charger is a proprietary one, and you need to carefully place the magnetic charger in way that the pins match and the watch charges. The charger is prone to moving very easily and disconnecting, which is a problem. Lenovo claims that the device has a battery life of 20 days on a single charge. However, I only got three days of usage before the watch died and needed to be recharged once again.
Lenovo Ego is not a bad smartwatch considering the price of Rs 1,999. I would still call it a digital watch with a lot of smart features as I feel that players like Xiaomi and Honor are offering better displays in a similar price bracket. The good thing is that Lenovo’s watch comes with a ton of features, which users will appreciate. What didn’t impress me was that the first unit had problems after water usage, though it was likely a defective piece.
I’m not sure why my first unit stopped working after watch usage, but I would say one should be wary while using this in such conditions. Yes, it might look like a G-Shock, and I agree, however, don’t treat it like one if you get it.
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