Let’s keep the smart watch ball rolling, shall we? Yesterday we saw a smart watch merged with an analog quartz piece, and today we’ve got the same – albeit one with a much smaller display. As a matter of fact, this isn’t the first time we’ve taken a look at Martian – you can see our review of their first entry right here. Their latest, though, has a much more refined look, and has a notification trick up your sleeve.
The last time we took a look at Martian, it was a squared-off watch that, while packing in a good bit of functionality, wasn’t exactly easy on the eyes. Their new Notifier remedies that situation, going for a more traditional round case paired to a rubber strap.As you might guess, given the name of the watch, notification is the name of the game for this one. We still have the small OLED screen down at the bottom of the display that will show you things like contact info when a call is coming in. The real trick to this one is what you can do when you’ve got the companion app running on your phone.
With the app up (and the watch connected via Bluetooth, of course), you have quite a bit of control over when the watch buzzes at you. In other words, it doesn’t have to trigger every time something kicks off on your phone’s screen. Additionally, you can setup custom vibration patterns for different types of notifications. So, you can know that, say, a short-long-short buzz means new email has come in.
This is kind of a neat trick, at least on paper. It allows you to keep your watch tucked away even more, really only pulling it out when something you really need to pay attention to happens. With the addition of this function, Martian has dropped what was previously their distinctive feature – voice control.
While that worked, it felt more of a gimmick to me than anything, so I think this was an appropriate tradeoff. And, if your phone is of the more modern variety, you can still trigger Siri or Google Now with a press of a button on the watch. Other than that function tradeoff, it seems the Notification will offer all the same functionality we’ve seen before.
With devices like this (and the one I showed you yesterday), its easy to see how the smart watch segment can kind of subdivide itself – jam packed and tech driven on the higher end, and then traditionally-styled “semi-smart” watches occupying the lower end of the market. How they all play out remains to be seen, but I’m glad to see some devices that actually look decent (and look like a watch) that will be hitting the market. The Martian Notifier should be available in Q2 2014 for around $129. If you’d like to see some hands-on photos of the piece, check out what Engdaget had to say. martianwatches.com
Tech Specs from Martian
- Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Technology (classic and low energy)
- H: 1.70 inches / 43.2mm
- W: 1.70 inches / 43.2mm
- Thickness: 0.5 inches / 12.7mm
- Weight 1.83 oz / 52 grams
- 5 days of use time (separate analog watch battery will run for up to 2 years)
- Built-in lithium polymer rechargeable battery
- Analog quartz watch with accurate movement
- Upper Command Button, Lower Select Button
- 96 x 16 pixel graphic OLED display
- RGB LED light
- “Light Touch” Vibrating Motor
- 3-Axis Accelerometer
- Silicone band with stainless steel clasp
- Anti-scratch acrylic crystal
- Micro USB port for recharging and firmware updates
- 2 hours charging time
- Plastic case with stainless steel bezel