No.1 Sun S2 Review

The No. 1 Sun S2(not to be confused with the Samsung Gear S2) is a cheap Smartwatch that resembles the Moto 360 type display, however, nobody has ever heard of it in this market satuarated with pebble watches, Android Wear and Apple watches.The Sun S2 runs on MediaTek propietary operating system and it does not support any Android apps or Android Wear apps. This tiny watch is powered by a MT6260 SoC. No.1 ‘s website was sparse with the specifications and we don’t have any more information on hand to talk about the specs except the obvious ones.

You can watch the video review here, or continue to read the written review below.

I have been using the No. 1 Sun S2 for a month and I should say I had a “culture shock” since I was coming from Google’s ecosystem, Android Wear. Sun designed the watch to be more hands on, that is more scolling and tapping of the screen unlike Google’s voice dictation approach. Out of the box, you have quite a few apps installed such as UV sensor, heart rate monitor, file manager, messaging app, calculator, video player and etc.

Inside the box, there is a charging cradle, a micro-usb wire, an instructions book and of course,the Sun S2 watch. DSC_0061

Booting up the watch for the first time, there is a boot sound which intrigued me since this is the first time i have heard of a boot sound on watch.

Hardware

The watch looks exactly like the stainless steel moto 360 except for the traditional dial at the right side and a useless button just below which does nothing(not pressable). It is an all-metal build on the top and sides, with a glass face being positioned underneath the bezel that goes around the device. Underneath the metal face is a plastic back that rests on the wrists housing both the 4 charrging pins and the biometric sensor in the middle. Don’t worry about the charging pins protuding from the body causing uncomfort. One of the ways to turn on the screen of the watch is to press the dial. The watch is rated IP67 which totally protects the watch against dust and protected aginst immersion between 15cm and 1m.(Source: Acceca).

The display of the watch is a 240×240 with IPS screen.I dare say it is mediocre; pixelated but great viewing angles. The infamous “flat tire” found in Moto 360 is present in the Sun S2. The flat tire houses an array of sensors and the UV sensor, sadly there isn’t an auto brightness function.

The battery has a 350mAH capacity and it lasted for about 2 days for me.It would be unfair for DSC_0065me to say that the battery life would last about 2 days for everyone since none of us would have the same usage pattern. I have about 2 notifications on average coming every hour or so from either Hangouts/messaging/WhatsApp/G+ notifications/Ingress portal attacks/Facebook
notifications/Gmail/calendar appointments. Take note that the screen would light up on every notification and the brightness cannot be adjusted.

The quirks I have with this watch is with software.I have almost literally no issues with the hardware. Let’s start with user experience(UX). The watch does not do voice dictation and in order to navigate around the small screen, you have to tap and swipe. DSC_0063This is where Google has done it right with Android Wear with voice dictation. I have to swipe and swipe and swipe and did I forgot to mention more swiping to get to open apps. With Android Wear, I raise my wrist and say “OK Google, open xxx app.” Bam, done. Nothing to swipe and find your apps like a primitive caveman. In order to compose a message or call a friend, I have to type using the on-screen keyboard which is next to impossible to type on the small screen as the keyboard would take up nearly half the screen.This is a poor user experience deisgn. I would have appreciated voice control to dictate my message or making a call. Next is the applications that come with it. Sun has not open any APIs to allow third party developers to build the ecosystem, which means you are stuck with whatever that comes with watch. With this closed system, it is Dead On Arrival(DOA) since third party developers are the ones helping to fill the gap that the manucturer lack in the ecosystem. That was how Google and Apple and is still one of the reason Android and iOS taking the lion share in the market now.

The watch comes with a couple of unusal apps which is a file manager and video player. I cannot think of any reason why would you need to browse files on this device or watch videos on a 240×240 screen(unless it is your thing.), you will not be using the in-built video player at all. Phone calling works perfectly if you speak near the microphone. It is possible to search through your contacts and start calls via the S2. Incoming calls are displayed on the watch and you have the possibility to accept them directly on your watch. During an outgoing call, it is possible to switch over to your phone if need to.

I do like the calculator a lot. I can do some quick calculation at the supermarket without pulling my phone out.(yea, my math suck)

The watch comes with three analog watch faces and a digital watch face. I have to admit even with the obnoxious flat tire, the watch faces does look sexy. 

Touch and hold the watch face and you can cycle between watch faces to change them.

To be honest, I did managed to respond a text message on the watch once. 2 words. Horrible experience.

Software(phone)

In order for the watch to interact with your phone, you will need to download the MediaTek Smart Device app.

 The app seems like a half hearted attempt by the developers to quickly push the product out to the market. The initial setup was confusing with two different options, “SPP” and “GATT” to pair with my watch. I was given little indication on which options to choose. Since there was only two options, the chance of my choosing the right option was 50/50, fortunately,my first choice was to choose SPP to pair the watch and phone and it works. 

There is an unadvertised feature that was not mentioned anywhere on their product page was “casting”. This is a chromecast copycat which allows the user to route the audio from their phone to the watch. So let’s say, you are watching this video, you can play the audio on your watch instead of your phone. The video however still plays on your phone since I doubt the watch has the horse power to play videos( and like I said before, you would not want to watch videos on this screen.) 2015-10-11

 

Well, for a 50 USD entry level smartwatch, don’t expect it to do much except very basic functions. If you are coming over from Android Wear or Pebble or the Apple Watch, it might take some time to get used to it.

This time, we have collabrated with In Sync to produce a video to go with the written review. Enjoy. What do you think this watch? Will you be buying it? Let us know in the comments below.

Daniel Quah

18 Year old dude, who loves cat and tech