Smartwatches have lost their sheen, and they are no longer seen as an object of desire. Although Apple Watch is still the best rated smartwatch in the market, it sports a hefty price tag. This leaves Android Wear, which is closer to its deathbed given we’ve seen no major announcements or products.
Then you also have the segment populated with fitness-centric ‘smart’ bands from players like Fitbit and Xiaomi. TCL, which many of us may associate with TVs, is trying to create its own niche in the smartwatch market with the Movetime. The smartwatch intends to provide the most value for money, as it offers a conventional round design, long battery life and a heart rate sensor built-in. Here’s our review of TCL Movetime.
TCL Movetime price in India: Rs 7,999 on Amazon India
Simple yet charming — that’s how I would define the design of the Movetime. In fact, it is one of the most stylish smartwatches available in the market. It does not feel thick and is about 50 grams in weight. Sporting a round metallic exterior and a digital crown on the side (also serves as the home button), the Movetime is a good standalone watch. At the bottom is a heart rate sensor, and you’ll notice that there are pogo pin contacts for charging.
Movetime was actually comfortable to wear all throughout the day. Straps are interchangeable and these can be replaced with a standard 18mm one of your choice. Our review unit came with a black leather band. The watch is also IP67 water-resistant and while it can withstand splashes, this is not swim-proof.
Looking at the screen, I was impressed by this. The watch has a 1.39-inch AMOLED screen, 400 x 400 resolution. Sure, the display might not be a high pixel density one, but I was not able see any pixelation in my day-to-day usage. It appeared sharp, even when you step out of the room. During my testing, I never had to push the brightness to the full, which tells a lot about the display.
Setting up the Movetime for the first time is rather simple. The watch uses Bluetooth (it also has a built-in Wi-Fi) to pair with the smartphone. A user is required to download the Movetime app from the Google Play Store. My testing was limited to an Android phone, but the watch can be paired with an iPhone as well.
As I mentioned earlier in the review, Movetime is made for bargain hunters. So the spec sheet is not great, though you won’t get a broken experience. It has 16MB RAM and 32MB storage. In contrast, even a sub-par Android Wear watch has at least 512MB RAM. The watch runs on something called Free-Real Time OS (RTOS).
TCL Movetime uses an entirely new operating system and not the Android Wear 2.0. The user interface and visual experience are completely different from what you get on an Android Wear-powered smartwatch.
The display is touch-enabled and the crown doubles as the power button. The interface uses swipes to access the menu and jumping from one feature to another. It takes some time to learn the interface, which I think is no big issue. The interface is tailored for the wearable device, making it way better than what you get on a budget smartwatch.
What I do not like about the interface is that voice interactions are not possible, unlike Google’s Android Wear, which takes advantage of the Assistant. A deep press on the main screen will allow you to change the watch face. The selection is rather limited to say the least. I really felt that the lack of an app store, or the ability to add third-party apps limits the potential of the TCL Movetime.
The Movetime works as a notifier. Once connected with a companion smartphone, it pulls out notifications from social networks as well as calls and messages. However, there are things that I hate. For example, you could view notifications, but there is no way to reply or respond it through the watch itself.
Also, you cannot check previous notifications and visit them back and forth. Since the watch has built-in microphones and speakers, you could actually take calls without taking the phone out of the pocket. I wish the experience could have been better, especially in an outdoor environment.
The watch also comes with built-in fitness features and to be honest, it gets the job done. But TCL Movetime does not come with a built-in GPS, unlike other smartwatches. The heart rate sensor on the other hand works well, although most of the time you have to wear the watch rather tightly to get this to work.
The watch gets power from a 350mAh cell, which promises long battery life. In my regular usage, I got two days of battery life. This is actually good, if we compare with any other smartwatch in the same class. Charging is fast enough – it takes an hour to fully charge the watch.
TCL Movetime is a decent attempt to make a smartwatch affordable. Frankly the experience was quite good, but still this is not a complete package. As a budget smartwatch, TCL Movetime is worth its Rs 7,999 price tag, though this is a discounted price from Rs 9,999.