Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Martian Notifier provides a good smartwatch experience
I had been thinking about purchasing a smartwatch for a while and had decided on the Apple Watch to match up with my up other Apple devices. The Pebble, Samsung, Sony and other brands didn’t appeal to me,so my shopping list was short.
Then I discovered the Martian Notifier and that’s what I’m wearing on my wrist. I’ve had this smartwatch for about a month and I’m liking the features more and more each day.
It was easy to get the Martian smartwatch paired with my iPhone using Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology. But the company does recommend a battery level of at least 50% before pairing for the first time. You’ll use a Micro USB Cable for connecting to the Martian and to a computer or a USB wall adapter.
According to Martian, a full charge can be reached in 2-3 hours from a power outlet and 3-4 hours when charging from a computer.
One tip is that the watch crown on the right side is shipped with it pulled out to “save the battery while shipping.” You’ll need to set the time and press it back in until you hear a click.
The pairing process was quick and painless; turn on Bluetooth on your phone, download the Martian Notifier app, open and insert a six-digit code generated by the Martian and you’re ready to roll. While in the Martian app, you’ll also select the notifications you want to receive and assign custom vibration patterns for alerts and phone calls. Once the two devices are paired, you should have functionality with a 30-foot range.
While you’re in the downloading mood, you might as well connect the Martian smartwatch to your computer via the USB cable and check for any firmware updates.
Then you’ll notice an OLED digital display tucked away in the lower left corner, about where the six and seven o’clock positions would be. Although the display is only about half an inch in width, it packs a lot of punch for displaying notifications from your smartphone.
The OLED display shows incoming calls, text messages, emails and other notifications that you might have selected in the Martian app. It also shows battery level and other information. Another unique feature is tapping the glass to recall a notification received in the past five minutes.
A small LED light resides just above the eight o’clock position and glows red while the watch is charging and solid green green when fully charged. The LED light also flashes blue for incoming notifications and green for incoming calls.
You’ll also notice two buttons on the left side for managing notifications received on the smartwatch. The top button launches voice commands on your phone or tablet and scrolls the notification history forward. The bottom button turns the smartwatch on and off, as well as scrolls through the the Notifier menu and scrolls notification history backward.
I’m loving the battery life of the Martian Notifier. The company claims seven days of battery life and I’m getting at least five before needing a charge. This means I can charge up on the weekend and go for a week before plugging in again. The Martian is unique it that the time piece is on a separate battery from the rechargeable battery used for digital functions and is rated to run for two approximately two years.
The Apple Watch I had in my cart for a while was going to cost around $400. The Martian Notifier retails for around $130 and if you shop around, it can be picked up for around $90. You’ll have a choice of different color combinations for the watch face and bands. It is compatible with iOS and Android devices.
I didn’t like the black silicone band that shipped with the Martian smartwatch. So purchased a black metal band, which dressed the smartwatch up quite a bit and made it easier to put on and take off. Any aftermarket band with a 22 millimeter width (where the band attaches to watch) should work just fine. After removing a couple of links, I had a perfect fit. Just be mindful removing the pins in the band links with the included removal tool is kind of fussy and you might need a better pin-removal tool or a trip to your favorite jeweler swap out the band.
Getting my text messages and alerts with Martian is certainly less of a hassle. I don’t have to dig my iPhone out of my pocket as much now. Just a quick glance at the Notifier is all it takes when a notification comes in.
My smartwatch cravings have been fulfilled for a while, or at least until the two-year battery runs out.