Wimm One review: Wimm One

Out of the box, the Wimm One is very capable in its own right. Inside the device are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios for connecting to wireless networks and smartphones. You'll also find preinstalled micro apps for pedometer, weather, calendar, world clock, timer, and alarm clock functions.

Wimm One
Want to convert your contact info into a smartphone-readable bar code? No problem. Sarah Tew/CNET

Already onboard are many distinctive watch faces to choose from. I especially like the Swinger face, which consists of tiny colored dots overlaid on top of a digital clock. Another slick yet admittedly very geeky option is the Elementary face. It displays two periodic table elements side by side, using their atomic weights to form the correct time. For example at 3:05, the watch would read Lithium (3) and Boron (5).

Wimm One
The Wimm One comes with many watch faces to choose from. Sarah Tew/CNET

To get more watch designs and applications, users can also either go to the Wimm Web site or download the companion mobile app (Android and iOS) to browse the Wimm micro app store. At the moment there are 33 software titles for the taking developed by both Wimm Labs and third-party software makers.

Wimm One
One of the apps the Wimm One can run is a pedometer that tracks steps taken. Sarah Tew/CNET

You can also use the Wimm companion app to sync the Wimm One over a Bluetooth connection and keep weather, calendar, and other apps updated. In addition the companion app will alert you when text messages come your way and display the identity of incoming phone calls.

Performance
The time I spent with the Wimm One was enjoyable and I was able to set up the device very quickly. After charging the watch, I created a Wimm account, which is necessary for registering the Wimm One module and to start downloading applications. I then connected it to my Wi-Fi network and was able to view installed apps and manipulate the order they're listed in on the device via the my.wimm.com Web site. After the Wimm One synced, applications and watch faces I selected were automatically downloaded to and installed on my unit.

I had a similar experience with the Wimm companion app, which I used to find and choose new apps to run on the device without any glitches. Unlike the troubled Sony SmartWatch, the Wimm One never crashed once or demonstrated any flaky behavior.

As a matter of fact, all the software I tried worked flawlessly and as advertised. When calls and texts hit my handset, the Wimm One gave my wrist a little haptic buzz and displayed caller ID info if my phone had it handy. Weather, watch faces, and calendar functions operated without a hitch too.

One minor complaint is that the Wimm One supports only one calendar at a time, so viewing work and personal appointments at the same time isn't possible. Another drawback is the Wimm One's battery life. I found that if I had Wi-Fi and or Bluetooth active, the gadget barely made it through a full workday. Turning off both radios boosted the device's staying power to about a 24 hours, but it would definitely need a recharge in the AM.

Conclusion
The $199 Wimm One is a very capable smart watch. It's packed to the gills with nice hardware such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a touch screen that can be read indoors and outdoors. The $149 Sony SmartWatch by contrast is extremely stylish plus promises plenty of software functions such as making calls via a connected handset and support for smartphone-based e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter information. That said, I found Sony's device to be highly unstable, crash-prone, and unable to operate without a phone connection for long, and its screen is illegible in sunlight.

Of course the Wimm One has a truly beta-prototype feel and can't take quite as much of a beating as the fitness-minded $249.99 Motorola MotoActv. While the MotoActv doesn't have as wide an app selection as the Wimm One, Motorola's smart watch has polish as well as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a GPS radio -- which last the Wimm One lacks. Frankly, the MotoActv is the safer, more consumer-friendly option. If you aren't afraid of living on the cutting edge of Android mobility though, the Wimm One is the way to go.

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

Wimm One

Part Number: CNETWIMM-330

MSRP: $199.00

See manufacturer website for availability.