Review: Omate X Smartwatch

69
7.5 Great value for the price

The Omate X isn't the best smartwatch on the market, but it delivers the things you want from a smartwatch at a price most people can be comfortable with.

  • 7.5
  • User Ratings (11 Votes) 6.1

The smartwatch appears to be here to stay—at least for the foreseeable future. Now that Google and Apple have entered the fray you can be sure the smartwatch won’t be going away any time soon. There are a hundred vendors out there offering devices that range in price and capabilities, but one of the names that stands out from that crowd is Omate.

Aside from Pebble, Omate was the smartwatch maker I was most familiar with prior to Google and Apple coming onto the scene. The Omate TrueSmart was an innovative device that packed a lot of features and capabilities into a wrist-borne wearable at a reasonable price. Omate has since refined the concept and now offers a variety of smartwatch options, including the Omate X.

Omate X Specs

The actual watch case of the Omate X measures 45 by 41mm, and it’s 11.2mm thick. To put that in some perspective it is slightly larger and slightly thicker than my iPod Nano when worn as a “smartwatch”, or about average for a typical men’s watch.

It has a 1.54-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 240 x 240. It has a microphone, speaker, and 3-axis accelerometer / gyroscope. The Bluetooth pairing works with iOS 7 and above or Android 4.3 and above.

Omate X Features

The Omate X I used came with a black leather strap attached, but also includes a black rubber strap in the box if you prefer. What’s even better is that the Omate X can be personalized using any standard 22mm watch strap so the options are virtually limitless.

The Omate X has a few apps by default. There is an alarm, stopwatch, and pedometer capability built in to the smartwatch. You can customize much of the smartwatch experience in the settings. You can choose from a handful of different watch faces and styles. You can also choose your alert style (ring, vibrate or both) and specify the ring tone and volume for different actions such as an incoming call or notification alert. The settings also allow you to determine the brightness of the display and the length of time the display stays active when idle.

The device pairs with an iOS or Android smartphone through the Omate app. Once paired, you can see Caller ID info for incoming calls, and receive push notifications for text messages, social media updates, reminders, and other alerts you’d normally have to pull your smartphone out to view.

The watch housing is relatively slim and lightweight. What’s most impressive about that is that it also has a battery capable of running for up to a week on a single charge. It has a charging base that connects via microUSB to a computer or power source. You just set the Omate X on the charging base to recharge it.

My Experience

Overall I like the Omate X. It is light and comfortable—it doesn’t feel too bulky or obtrusive on my wrist.

The Omate X establishes a two-way Bluetooth connection with your smartphone, which enables you to make or receive calls directly from the watch. As I have mentioned in previous smartwatch reviews I don’t prefer engaging in a call using my watch as a speakerphone, but there are time when that can be convenient or even mandatory so it’s nice to have as an option. The sound quality is reasonable on both ends of the conversation.

The device has more options and flexibility when paired with an Android device. I paired the Omate X with a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and installed the Omate app. For Android devices Omate also has the Omate OStore—an app store that offers apps you can install on your smartwatch as well. I downloaded and installed a couple different apps on the Omate X. Although the apps are installed and accessible on the smartwatch, they rely on the connection with the Android smartphone for the actual data so you need to have an Android smartphone paired and connected for the apps to work.

I did have a few issues with it—more so when paired to an iPhone. The good news is that they’re the kind of issues that would be relatively simple for Omate to fix with a software update as far as I can tell.

The first issue is that the Remote Notifier function of the Omate X—the app that pushes notifications from your smartphone so you can view them on the smartwatch—maxes out at 5 notifications and doesn’t seem to differentiate between truly new alerts versus older alerts you’ve already been notified about but haven’t yet cleared out. The net result being that the Omate X almost constantly told me I have 5 notifications regardless of whether I actually had five, or 15, or 32 notifications.

A related issue is that when the Omate X loses the Bluetooth connection with the smartphone it seems to treat all existing alerts and updates as new all over again. Any time I walked out of range of my smartphone and back again the Omate X would go crazy re-sending me the same notifications I’d already seen once the connection was re-established. This behavior seemed limited to iOS, though. It did not act this way with the Android device.

That brings me to my other issue. This one is also more or less unique to the iPhone experience. I didn’t appreciate the lack of customization for which alerts and updates to push. The Android version of the Omate app offers more granular control over various notifications—text messages, reminders, Facebook updates, etc. The iOS app, however, is essentially binary. It is either on or off and there isn’t anything else you can do with it. You either get every alert and notification or none of them, and that’s a problem if you’re trying to use the smartwatch as a companion device that enables you to be more productive and efficient in managing updates from your smartphone.

The Verdict

The Omate X is a very good smartwatch for an Android user, but only adequate for an iPhone user. I don’t blame Omate per se—it’s as much or more a function of how little access Apple gives developers to the iOS operating system, and how Apple manages its app downloads and installs. Regardless of who is “at fault” it’s just a reality that the Omate X is a much better smartwatch when paired with an Android smartphone.

It is not the best smartwatch I’ve used. The watch itself and the leather strap are both decent, but don’t exactly ooze quality. For $130, though, the Omate X does more or less what a smartwatch should do. A smartwatch like the Samsung Gear 2 offers more, but it also costs substantially more and it only really works properly when paired with a Samsung smartphone, so you get what you pay for.

I wrote a while back about the three things I feel a smartwatch needs to have in order to succeed. A smartwatch has to provide unique value, seamless interaction, and long battery life. Setting aside its flaws, the simple truth is that the Omate X has all three—at least if you’re using it paired with an Android device. Based on that alone it seems like the Omate X is worth the $130 investment.

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About Author

I have a passion for technology and gadgets--with a focus on Microsoft and security--and a desire to help others understand how technology can affect or improve their lives. I also love spending time with my wife, 7 kids, 3 dogs, 4 cats, 3 rabbits, 2 ferrets, pot-bellied pig and sulcata tortoise, and I like to think I enjoy reading and golf even though I never find time for either. You can contact me directly at tony@xpective.net. For more from me, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

69 Comments

  1. I like the compatibility with devices other than just Samsung. I also like that it does the basics fine. I’ve been looking for a smartwatch, but some appear to be trying to do too much to get to that higher selling point. This one looks ok though.

  2. The lack of support for Windows Phones is disapointing, but that will all change with Windows 10.

  3. Robert DeCamp on

    I like that it’s compatible with Android and that you can answer your phone with it and receive notifications. Having a pedometer built in is nice too.

  4. I am not in the habit of wearing a watch period but I think that I could get used to wearing a smart watch like this one. I am happy about the android connectivity as I am an all android household. Also I kinda like basics. Too many bells and whistles just add to the cost and most will never be used. Sounds like a nice tool to have.

  5. This watch is more aesthetically pleasing compared to other smart watches I have seen.

  6. I_know_a_thing_or_two on

    This is another watch that’s going to look awfully large on a woman’s wrist (I’d buy it for my wife rather than myself). The notification issues you noted are significant, but we’d pair it with an Android phone so it won’t bother us, assuming they really don’t manifest on Android.

  7. I think I’m really attracted to a watch (versus a phone in my pocket or laptop bag) that can alert me to calls or alarms via a vibration. I often don’t feel my phone vibrate when in my jeans pocket or my suit coat pocket.

  8. I am always missing incoming phone calls because I can’t hear it ringing. A smartwatch that rings and vibrates would help me alot.

  9. Christopher Wunker on

    I think I would like a smartwatch to alert me to calls and messages and inform me a little of what they are. The Omate X looks to be about right.

  10. This is a really nice looking smartwatch and if the battery lasts one week it’s awesome! I’d be really great if I won it, since I was looking for a nice smartwatch to buy and it would save me some money 🙂

  11. I love the look of the watch. Thank you as always for the honest and impartial review!!!

  12. This smart watch looks good, most do not. I could use a smart watch because I don’t always notice my cell phone calls.

  13. Benjamin Fasel on

    I like the fact that it’s more optimized for Android. I’m tired of iDevices getting all the support.

  14. Finally, a good looking smart watch with the necessary basic features that can use a real watch band — no more toys hanging off he wrist!

  15. Brian Carabine on

    A smart watch allows you to use the features of a smartphone without always looking like you are using a smartphone.

  16. Michael Gorzny on

    When i’m at work I can’t always check my phone. A smart watch would be very handy.

  17. I like the more traditional look of this v. The Samsung offerings. And it’s Android.

  18. I like the looks of the watch. But it is a little masculine so I guess I would have to give to my husband or son if I won. It would be nice to have if you were not allowed to have your phone at work. With this you could still keep up to date without your phone being on you. A little bit sneaky 🙂

  19. Guido Anthony on

    The Omate X is in my eyes a nice looking watch.
    My son has it now for 2 weeks and we played a bit with it. The quality of the watch itself is good, when you think of the price.
    When it arrived, an older firmware was installed and could not be updated by iphone app. So we had to find someone with an android phone.
    Now it work´s, but only with minimal function. On there page, you could´t find something about problems with iphone.
    With the android phone of a friend, the watch shows, what it can; with my son´s iphone it is only a small gimmick.
    When software will be better for iOS, I would buy one to, but not at the moment.

    Sorry to omate, but like this it´s nearly useless for iOS users.

  20. The Omate X looks Really sharp! Would make a nice alternative to my Pebble for dressier occasions. I assume it’s not waterproof, but if it can take voice notes through that microphone, it’s a winner.

  21. Brian Whittam on

    I have a Samsung Gear 2 Neo and I love it! Wear it everyday, although I probably don’t use even half of what it could do. Since I have an Android Phone, I would switch every other day to see which works best for my needs.

  22. The Omate X is a good looking watch that isn’t bulky. A nice smart watch is one that doesn’t look and feel like I’ve strapped a tablet to my wrist. 🙂

  23. Having just gotten my first Android smartphone, I don’t have any significant opinions about what a smartwatch should do. However, while the functionality described in the review seems handy, an opportunity to actually use one would be the ideal starting place for forming some opinions.

  24. I think my husband would get a kick out of this smart watch. He would probably end up talking to his wrist, Dick Tracey style, all day.

  25. Michael Johnson on

    I like the ability to answer calls, I like the battery and I really like the ability to incorporate any standard-sized watch band. That’s a nice combination!

  26. Scott Hedstrom on

    I like the ability to use android smart unlock so I can password protect my phone and not have the constant annoyance of entering the password.

  27. Really nice-looking watch! I’m already in love with my Moto 360, but one of my friends would love this watch, particularly because it’s less “techy” in appearance while still being a smartwatch.

  28. It may not be perfect – 7.5, but a free smartwatch would be a great way to get my feet wet with this tech!

  29. I like the standard band size and the flexibility to use any band of that size to personalize this smart watch.

  30. I would like to try a smart watch but they cost to much to not be committed to it’s use.

  31. Looks nice and sounds like it’s more capable than the Pebble. I wouldn’t trade my Pebble in for it, but then again I wouldn’t be using a Pebble if I hadn’t won it in a raffle.

  32. I like that this is working well with Android phones. The world seems to cater so much to iOS and this one seems to be the reverse. It’s very classy looking, but still brings in the tech pieces that you want. That’s a good selling point.

  33. Since it works better with Android, I’d be willing to give it a try with my Galaxy S5. I was an early smartwatch adopter when I got the original Galaxy Gear, but now my watch is really starting to show it’s age compared to newer watches like the Omate x, Pebble Time, Apple Watch, or any of the new Android Wear watches

  34. Like that it’s geared towards Android, love that it’s bands are standard watch bands!

  35. John Sullivan on

    Looks halfway decent, does the basic stuff, pairs with Android, and doesn’t need to be charged every day.

  36. Given the price, this watch seems to be the value leader in the smart-watch niche, at least for Android lovers.

  37. I would love to have this watch. It looks so much better than some of the watches currently on the market.

  38. I love the concept of these smartwatches and many are beautiful. That being said, so many are large and masculine looking. Have the makers of these watches forgotten half of the available market? I understand that the display faces are large in order to be functional, but some stylistic changes with the band and bezel can make a world of difference for women who would like to utilize such technology. Just my .02 cents.

  39. High functioning, nice looking and although I didn’t notice price surely it’s cheaper than apple watch.

  40. Seems like a decent smartwatch (for Android anyway, which is what I have). I’d be glad to give it a try.

  41. Really would like to try this one. I have a Martian that is okay for the most basic functions…notifications and time, but no pedometer or other app integration. I have an Android phone, so this would be great for me.

  42. Pouete Pouet on

    I already wsa insterested in their smartwatch; which has a bunch of interesting options for a very decent price. the X seems to continue the “legacy”, which i d like to own.

  43. William Howard on

    I want this specific smartwatch because it wouldn’t cost me $130. It appears to be a decent smartwatch for a first timer like me.

  44. James Willingham on

    I’d like one of those watches because of its stylish look and long battery life.

  45. Classic look at first glance, but lots of bells and whistles. My son would love this watch.

  46. marksmith66 . on

    Been in the market ever since the fitbit I used religiously was lost “in a crowd” due to the lousy band. Since I wear a watch, this is something I would wear instead of my regular watch.

  47. Louis Marville on

    I was lent one for trying with an iPhone 6 : it works fine except that I was unable to have the watch silent if receiving a call.. Looks like a bug..