March 18, 2021 5:06:19 pm
The budget smartwatch market is currently littered with options, both from brands you know, and brands you don’t. However, with the plethora of watches that have stacked the shelves in the past few months, choosing one for yourself is not an easy call. While some watches will sell you a good screen and not talk about how bad something like the strap is, some might sell you a good list of features built on a poor-quality chassis.
That is not the case with the Molife Sense 500, a budget smartwatch priced below Rs 5,000 that seems to have no catch at all. More importantly, it packs some neat features that you simply do not find in this price, like Bluetooth Calling. We tried the Molife Sense 500 for about a week and here’s what we think about it, starting with a quick look at the specifications.
Molife Sense 500 specifications: 1.7-inch TFT colour display | 240×280 resolution | Aluminium frame | 220mAh battery with magnetic charging | Bluetooth 5.0 | IP68 certification | Realtek chipset
The Molife Sense 500 is a good looking watch in its segment, albeit not the most original. The sleek, rectangular frame will remind you of a brand named after a fruit, but I see this being a plus point for many people out there. Unlike some competing products, you have a metal frame here, coupled with a decently good button and a microphone on the right and a speaker on the right.
The metal frame does give this device a sturdy feel and while we didn’t drop it, the Sense 500 can likely take those accidental bumps and hits. Factor in the IP68 dust and water resistance and the Molife Sense 500 is ready to survive the elements.
The lack of a rotating crown on the side or some other form of protrusion is great since there is nothing to bite into your wrist when you’re at the gym picking weights or at home doing pushups. A silicon strap here is pretty average in quality, but the good bit is that these are standard-sizes replaceable 20mm straps that you can swap out for your own custom straps or bands.
One of the major differentiators for the Molife Sense 500 is its screen. Unlike a thick-bezel implementation, which is something very common at this price point, you see a full-sized 1.7-inch edge-to edge-TFT display, which actually makes this watch look like a much more expensive product on your wrist. The 2.5D glass that’s just curved enough on the edges to give this a premium look is icing on the cake here.
It isn’t the highest resolution panel on a wearable out there, but it’s not bad either. When it comes to a watch, we’d choose a thin bezel screen with decent resolution over thick bezels with a higher-res screen any day. There are various levels of brightness, the highest of which makes the display decently visible outdoors under the bright summer sun.
User interface and companion software
The Molife Sense 500 features a familiar user interface, including a honeycomb-style app drawer that’s clearly inspired by the Apple Watch series. While we’re not fans of the replicating business, the design is pretty neat and handy to get to multiple apps quickly. This watch is also fluid and fast enough to handle a graphics-heavy UI like this. No budget-smartwatch-sluggishness here. if the Apple Watch-like UI is not your cup of tea, you can switch to a list-based app drawer instead.
Other elements like quick fitness widgets on the right side of the home screen and a pull-down quick settings toggle that lets you control the brightness and a few other important settings are very useful. One thing we think the brand can improve upon is making the quick settings panel available from all apps. It currently can be pulled down only from the clock-showing home screen.
The Molife Sense 500 connects to your phone via the Da Fit app, which is currently available for all phones with Android 4.4 & above and iOS 9.0 & above. The companion app feels decently polished but isn’t as feature-packed as some other implementations we’ve seen. The good part is that all the basics are covered and presented in a simple manner that’s slightly aesthetic but not overwhelming. Check out a few screenshots from the Da Fit app below.
The Molife Sense 500 is packed with features. While your standard additions like a heart-rate monitor and sleep tracking are here, you also have a SpO2 monitor and a blood pressure monitor as well. There’s also step tracking, and dedicated sports tracking modes for walking, running, football and more.
However, what we found most interesting was support for Bluetooth calling which is impossible to find in a watch at this price point. We tried calling via the watch, and the experience was pretty good. Our callers could hear us clearly and we could hear them alright on the watch speaker. There’s a dedicated toggle that lets you turn the phone feature on or off, in case you don’t want to take calls on your watch. The feature is handy when your hands are occupied as when driving or playing games.
However, the notification support isn’t the best. Handling text notifications from your apps like WhatsApp feels like it could use a better implementation of gestures and a little more polish. Like a lot of budget smartwatches and fitness trackers, emojis are still not supported.
Battery Life and charging
The Molife Sense 500 has a decent battery life for the features it offers. While the company claims 3 days of battery life on moderate use, the standby time here is up to 15 days, so light use can also get you up to a week of battery life. The magnetic charging implementation is effective and the pin quickly snaps on to the charging points. The charging wire also feels sturdy and shouldn’t be damaged anytime soon.
Should you buy the Molife Sense 500?
The Molife Sense 500 is a good overall smartwatch, set apart by its good looks and impressive features. At a price of Rs 4,499, the Molife Sense 500 is a great value-for-money deal for people looking to buy a good, feature-packed entry-level wearable.
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