MetaWatch Strata Stealth

Strata Stealth runs long, not smoothly (hands-on)

Like many smartwatch products, the MetaWatch Strata Stealth promises to usher in a new era of hands-free convenience. Designed to link tightly to iPhones and Android smartphones, this $179 gadget runs tailor-made mini apps to keep you always in the loop. As with other devices in the nascent smart timepiece category, though, including the Sony Smartwatch, Pebble, and I'm Watch, the MetaWatch operates like a work in progress. While the MetaWatch could have a bright future, the device's current glitches and software bugs will make you wish you bought a more stable piece of hardware such as the Martian Passport.

Design
Despite its unpretentious all-black chassis and deliberate attempt not to attract attention, the MetaWatch Strata Stealth is hard to ignore. That's because the square-shaped Stealth looks anything but your average analog or even digital timepiece. Wrapped in a thick casing of polycarbonate, 0.63 inch to be exact, the watch is bulky. That's especially true compared with the svelteness of the Sony Smartwatch (0.3 inch thick) which is half the Stealth's thickness.

At a full 1.92 ounces, the MetaWatch Strata Stealth also weighs almost as much as two Sony Smartwatches (0.55 ounce). That said, I didn't find the Stealth's size or heft distracting or uncomfortable. One bonus to the Stealth's design is that it's water resistant to a pressure of 5 atmospheres, so showering and swimming with the device isn't problem, but scuba diving will be.

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