Smartwatches, as we know it, are really still in their infancy stage. There are only a few out in the market right now, but none of them has that looks of a traditional watch. However, Martian, an American Kickstarter firm, wants to change that, with its new product, Martian Notifier. The Notifier has the look of a traditional analog watch with a little something extra. Let’s take a quick look at the features before going into our full review.
- Access all smartphone’s alerts and notifications instantly
- Customize alert vibration patterns for eyes-free notification awareness
- Choose which alerts are sent to the watch and which stay on the phone
- Remotely initiate voice commands on the phone’s speakerphone
- Silent alarms, hour repeater, virtual phone leash, find phone, camera shutter control, and more!
- For iOS and Android
Design & Build Quality
Available in black, red or white, the Martian Notifier smartwatch looks like a normal analog watch, complete with a mechanical watch dial, Roman numerals and glow-in-the-dark hands. The circular dial measures 1.7-inches in diameter with an OLED display located at the lower half of the watch. There’s also a RGB LED indicator light near the OLED display for notifications. The dial is protected by an anti-scratch acrylic crystal.
On the right side of the watch, there is a micro-USB port, which is concealed by a small flap, and the crown dial, while the left side has two buttons; the top “Select” button and the bottom “Menu” button. Pressing the “Menu” button will allow users to scroll through the menu options on the watch while the “Select” button brings up the time, date and weather on the OLED display.
The Notifier is not waterproof but it is splash-resistant as long as the micro-USB flap is in place.
The OLED display, which is located on the lower half of the watch, measures 96 x 16 pixels.
The display is a little tiny and narrow but we’re surprised at how bright it is. The wordings are definitely easy to read but we wouldn’t say it is ideal for reading long messages.
The Martian Notifier has two internal batteries; a standard button cell that runs the analog part of the watch, which should last up to 2 years, and a rechargeable lithium-polymer cell that runs the “smartwatch” part of the watch. Martian claims a battery life of six days and we found that the watch lasted around 5 days on average. We had notifications coming in from all the apps so we did expect the battery life to be less than what Martian claims.
The Martian Notifier charges using a standard micro-USB. However, users will still need to use the supplied cable as the port is set quite far back into the body of the watch. This is a little frustrating because having a micro-USB port means users can pretty much use any charging cable but it is not the case here.
The Martian Notifier comes with a free companion app and it is compatible with most Android and iOS devices.
The Martian Notifier practically supports all notifications that the paired smartphone or tablet allows. The ‘Alerts Filter’ tab in the companion app allows users to enable or disable notifications for each app. There’s also another unique feature; the ability for users to customize the vibration pattern for notification alerts. For example, users can set up incoming calls to have a long-long-long vibration and messages to long-pause-long vibration. This is great because users can tell what notifications came in from just the vibration patterns itself.
The Martian Notifier is a great smartwatch. At $130, we think that it’s a reasonable price. The design of the watch, with its incorporation of both the analog and OLED display, might appeal to users that wants a smartwatch with the look of a traditional analog watch. But after wearing it for more than a week, comments from friends have mostly been positive.
The ability to customize app notifications and vibration patterns for each notification is definitely a nice touch and unique. However, the biggest drawback for us is the micro-USB charging port as it requires us to carry an extra cable.