The U8 Smartwatch – My Tips A Month In
If you just want a specific question answered, take a look at my U8 FAQ which may answer it.
I got the U8 Smartwatch for Christmas (my choice) and I’ve been wearing and using it pretty much nonstop ever since. Because I love it? Well no, it’s because I’m a tech nerd who has to try and get the most out of his widgets. Here’s my thoughts and tips.
The watch itself is surprisingly good quality, given my low expectations for something a fraction of a name brand smartwatch price.
Its case is metal, and while I doubt it has any protection on the glass it’s not showing any wear yet. The band is just rubber, yet is of reasonable quality. I did find it causing my wrist to be sweat slick easily in summer -probably as the rubber doesnt allow the skin to breathe. It’s the same kind of material my wife’s FitBit band is made out of.
The android app to bind it to a phone was a learning experience. For best results I found you have to sideload a (very poorly listed) chinese app called BTNotifier.apk. I found it buried in the Old versions folder of an obscure ftp server somewhere, although I may list it myself soon.
I’ve since learned there is an app on Google Play store called MediaTek (from memory) which also works with it. However in my testing while MediaTek looks infinitely more professional, it has a lot more trouble staying connected to the watch, and a LOT more trouble correctly pushing selected notifications to the watch.
Apr 2015 update: it’s since developed a few cracks right across the screen (happens when you accidentally smash it and your wrist into some concrete wall). However it still works flawlessly, and while I wouldn’t recommend doing so, it’s survived the few times so far I’ve dunked it totally underwater (kids bath, dishes in sink) without incident. I just don’t get those who leave scathing reviews on shop sites about it – were they expecting a Galaxy Gear for $35?!
Also to save anyone having to scour the net for the best android app I’ve seen for working with this watch (and I suspect, with all the similar watches) – here it is
NOTE this is an apk file, for installing the android app on your android phone or android tablet, which allows your android device to talk with your watch and push android app notifications to it.
Jul 2016 update: While I don’t user the watch much any more, when I tinkered with it recently I discovered (a different version of) the BT Notifier app is now on Google Play – yay! It’s maker is a bunch of chinese characters, however I tested it and it appeared to work OK. So, no more side loaded (per above) needed. Also while I haven’t set anything up yet I’ll try to source a (link to a) good screen protector for it, as that was the only thing I now regret with mine – I didn’t think to protect the screen, and it has cracked badly (though still working fine). Finally, I’ve been fielding lots of help requests from people who I discovered have a(n ever cheaper) knockoff of the U8 smartwatch. I found this site which does a thorough job of explaining some of the differences – although by their site I believe my own would be considered a knock off too, as it only passed test 5 😛