I have a penchant for watches. I love them would be an understatement as I just adore them. On any given day, my favourite watches of all time would be the Omega Speedmaster and Grand Seiko. These watches were not just meant for timekeeping, they extended the personality of the person wearing them. When Buzz Aldrin landed on Moon, it was highly important for people to record that he was wearing an Omega Speedmaster. Such is the significance of watches, though sadly they are waning in popularity.
My early experiences with watches revolved around a HMT my father wore. It had an well-designed crown, which when rotated created magic. Mechanical watches had the ability to catch your attention with their small attention to detail.
I stopped wearing a watch for the first time in 2013 when I upgraded to Moto X. It had an active AMOLED display that showed time without any obstruction. Yes, the watch industry is at risk from smartphones and the ever-evolving smartwatches segment. But guess what, traditional watchmakers are hitting back.
In India, Titan has swung back to action with what it calls the Juxt, an analog watch with digital guts. Is the watch enough to challenge the popularity of the Moto 360, Samsung Gear S2, Apple Watch and others? We answer just that in our review.
Price: Rs 15,995
What is good?
Let’s clear this straightaway, you are buying this one purely for that analog design you have seen and loved for years on watches. Titan has simply used its high-end analog watch and added an OLED panel to the mix. Trust me, it is a beautiful match. Titan being a longtime watch company, has designed it like a watch and that’s highly appreciable.
The watch has a crown that can be used to set the hour and minute hand, unlike the Apple Watch. There are two push buttons that have been given some digital use.
Without doubt, Titan has got the watch part absolutely right. But what about the smartwatch bit? Titan chose a surprise partner in the form of HP for turning it’s otherwise analog watch into a digital smartwatch.
Rather than having a giant watch face as your notification window, Titan and HP chose a rectangular OLED panel as the one which would serve as quick access to your notifications.
This OLED panel-based implementation is done right. The display panel itself is beautiful, and displays contents correctly. The larger notifications scroll across the display so that you won’t miss anything. Like most other Android Wear smartwatches, there is no need for you to pick up the phone just for accessing notifications with the Titan Juxt on your wrist.
Titan Juxt’s software or companion app (developed by HP of course) is unbelievably neat. The pairing between the watch and any smartphone (running Android or iOS) is really quick. It shows HP’s abilities to streamline software operation with a hardware’s interpretation.
The app allows you to enable or disable notifications from apps installed on the paired smartphone. It also lets you to set the vibrancy of the OLED panel. Another use of the app is to set different types of vibrations for different apps. Yes, you can set a stronger vibration for emails, and a lighter one for text messages. This piece of customisation is really useful.
Titan Juxt does almost everything any fitness tracker would do in 2016. It tracks your steps, converts them into kilometres walked, and even tells you calories burned.
This is not my first smartwatch. I was juggling between 2015 Moto 360 and Asus ZenWatch 2 before using Juxt. The battery life of the Titan Juxt also surprised me. I work for online media, which means I constantly get notifications of different kinds on my smartphone, and this one lasted four full days for me. Sure, this isn’t ground-breaking but it manages to better what other smartwatches barely manage. While the battery technology is nascent in smartwatches, Titan Juxt is the best bet yet when it comes to a smartwatch that will last long.
What is not good?
The first Titan Juxt that we got for review didn’t charge. While Titan replaced it the next day, I found it not so impressive that a smartwatch failed to charge on its first day.
While the battery life is good, it isn’t incredibly better than an Android smartwatch or an Apple Watch for that matter. Any smartwatch with a battery life less than a week somehow feels doomed, even if it is extremely functional.
Coming to functions, Titan Juxt’s missing capabilities can easily be spotted after using it for a day or two. The most primary one being the lack of Google support. I remember using Google Maps on my wrist while driving because it is less obtrusive, and more useful than any other form of Google Maps. But that’s not available on Titan Juxt, and the small OLED panel won’t be able to support it either.
Titan Juxt manages to track steps, but fails to track sleep. Sleep is an extremely vital parameter for any fitness conscious human being and lack of the same is disappointing. Also during the brief period of my time with the device, I could not retrieve old data after I stopped using it for few days.
Another issue with Titan Juxt has to be its weight. The basic stainless steel watch felt so bulky that I really feel everyone should get the Titanium version instead.
Should you buy?
If you thought those Android Wear watches with circular dials don’t really look like a traditional watch, then this one will appeal to you.
At the same price, Titan is offering a superior watch that also does some smart things. If you have used any of the Android smartwatches before then this might feel a little underwhelming, but Titan says “it is working to bring more app related features to the product”.
To sum up, I see Titan Juxt as a smartwatch designed specifically for watch guys. People who value what they wear on their wrist will love it, but the rest could feel it doesn’t really have too many features for its price.