The smartwatch world has certainly come a long way since it the idea of it was conceived in the previous century. The Pebble smartwatch really kicked things off big time, but discontinued a couple of years ago as the company ran into turbulent times. While a smartwatch does boast of an array of features and functionality, there is one major drawback: the battery life. This is where the niche of a hybrid smartwatch was born, and the NOWA hybrid smartwatch from France would prove to be a classy addition onto virtually any wrist.
The best word to describe the NOWA hybrid smartwatch would be “minimalist” in nature. Boasting of a pure matte white dial that clearly shows off indigo blue hands and matte black indices, the entire face tells the time effortlessly at a single glance. Natural steel is used to form both the case and clasp, sporting a glossy finish for that cultured look. The strap itself is flat, and depending on the color that suits your taste, a beige lining accompanies it. NOWA has a slew of different straps for you to choose from, allowing you to own a collection that will suit your wardrobe according to the event of the day.
To put it simply, the NOWA hybrid smartwatch is a classically designed watch that finds it place in the boardroom and at the office as opposed to those who are looking for an adrenaline pumping adventure outdoors. The 3 ATM water resistance rating (up to 30 meters) means you do not have to worry about getting soaked under a sudden downpour, but I would not recommend wearing it to the swimming pool or when you go snorkelling or head out to the woods, since it was not advertised as being built tough.
On a personal note, the band does tend to stink up after a while, especially if you sweat profusely, but then again that is a common issue that affects virtually all watches. It makes perfect sense to give the NOWA hybrid smartwatch a clean from time to time in order to avoid such a situation.
A single CR2025 battery will be able to power the NOWA hybrid smartwatch for approximately 8 months under normal usage conditions before a replacement is required. The case itself measures just 9.75mm thin, as it rests elegantly on your wrist without looking too bulky. It ditches a digital display for quartz movement, where the case boasts a scratch-proof glass that is made out of flat mineral with sapphire coating for additional scratch resistance.
The NOWA hybrid smartwatch will feature Bluetooth low energy connectivity as it connects to your smartphone. Once the handset is synchronized to it, it will show the local time regardless of which location you are at in the world. Of course, the NOWA app will have to be downloaded beforehand on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, depending on which mobile platform you using.
Setting up a connection between your smartphone and NOWA is painless, taking less than a couple of minutes to do so. Being different from a regular smartwatch, the NOWA will lack any kind of digital display, being completely analog in nature. A small ring in the top center segment of the watch’s face blinks in red when you push the dial on the right side of the case in order to indicate that it is connected to your smartphone’s app.
The NOWA hybrid smartwatch does help you keep track of your fitness goals, although I would not go so far as to recommend using this alone if you are serious about your exercise regime. Think of this as a backup, and if you want a dedicated fitness tracker, then it would be wiser to invest in one instead.
However, the NOWA timepiece is able to keep track of all daily activities, and these include recording the number of steps taken, distance covered and calories burned. Do take into consideration that all recorded data are mere estimates at best, so do leave some wiggle room for the final count. If you do not mind wearing watches to sleep, then the NOWA is also able to perform sleep monitoring as it keeps track of your sleep duration and quality (deep or light).
Both activity and sleep monitoring details can be checked on the NOWA app, enabling you to adjust your lifestyle accordingly. What makes the NOWA useful apart from telling the time for me would be the ability to reject pesky incoming calls from telemarketers and my least favorite relatives, to locate my phone, and to snap a selfie from a distance as long as it remains within Bluetooth range. This is done simply by pressing the dial or shaking my wrist.
The asking price of US$199 for the NOWA hybrid smartwatch might make it seem to be expensive, but each timepiece is individually numbered for that added touch of class. Remember, the context of the NOWA hybrid smartwatch is this: it is primarily a time telling device that looks elegant for business and formal events, and to have it come with the ability to keep track of your activity and sleep patterns are an added bonus. Not only that, with a battery that can last for more than half a year without having to look for a charger at the end of each day is certainly a point that is worth driving home. Those who want something tougher would do well to look for a more robust timepiece, such as the G-Shock watches from Casio.