Microwear is a relatively small Chinese tech company that mainly produces smartwatches. If you follow Gizmochina, you may know that the company has released quite a few affordable yet feature-packed watches. The Microwear H5 costs less than $100 but it offers a nice-looking design and a ton of functionality. I’ve used this watch for more than enough and here is our Microwear H5 review.
The watch comes just with the micro USB cable since it does not use any proprietary cradles like some other watches.
DESIGN and FEATURES
Let’s talk about the design, which is always subjective, especially when we talk about watches. Many people prefer round-shaped watches but I think that square-shaped ones also look nice. I like that watch is sturdy and well-made, thanks to the aluminum alloy casing.
On the side, we have just one home/power button.
I found a 1.54″ panel is not the sharpest out there but I found it to be decent for a smartwatch except for average viewing angles.
Just above the display, we have a 2MP camera, which is a cool feature on a smartwatch but I didn’t really use it. It’s simply uncomfortable to take pictures from your wrist. Also, the camera is implemented at an angle, which makes it really difficult to use.
The rubber strap does not look expensive but I found the H5 to be comfortable on my wrist.
On the back, we have a heart rate sensor and a SIM card tray since this watch can act as a smartphone for calls, browsing the Internet etc. In fact, Microwear claims this is the first 4G enabled smartwatch in the world.
On the side, there is a micro USB port for charging. Sure, it would have been nice to have USB-C port but I’m so glad that Microwear didn’t choose to implement any proprietary solutions that require carrying a specific cable or a charging dock.
The H5 is not water-resistant, which may be really frustrating for a lot of users but that’s a tradeoff of having a nano SIM card tray easily accessible and the micro USB port for charging.
HARDWARE and SOFTWARE
When it comes to hardware, the watch has specs that are still used on some entry level phones. The device ships with the MTK6737 chip, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage.
What can you do with all those specs? Well, you can install plenty of apps from the built-in Google Play store, which, however, does not always fit into a small screen of the watch. You can do all that thanks to Android 6.0 that has the Fun OS skin built on top of it. You can also make or receive calls since this watch can work as a standalone 4G smartphone with its dedicated SIM card slot. I found the call quality to be quite decent and the built-in loudspeaker can not only be used for calls but also for listening to music. The loudspeaker is not that great but it is usable. You can also choose from plenty of different watch faces and some of them look really nice. In addition, there are quite a few settings to play with. Obviously, you can track your fitness routines using a pedometer, barometer, or a heart rate monitor, which I found to be pretty accurate. I found the GPS to be pretty accurate since it is integrated into the MTK6737 chipset. There is also a built-in Wifi, so you can browse the web and so on. The overall performance is pretty good, the watch is fast and responsive all the time, and you can even try playing some games on this tiny display.
As for the battery, you should be ready to recharge the watch almost every single day or every two days, depending on how you use the watch. Not the best result, but this what you have to expect given the overall feature set. It takes just over 2 hours to fully charge the battery via the micro USB port.
All in all, I was really surprised by how good the Microwear H5 is and it has a ton of features for just about $100. I like its design, decent display, good overall performance, the ability to make or receive calls on the 4G network, decent GPS performance. Also, as many smartwatches, it makes you move a bit more since features like a pedometer, heart rate sensor motivates you to exercise (well, at least me).
My main complaint would be an awkward camera placement but I’m not taking pictures with the smartwatch anyway. Also, if this watch was water resistant, it would have been almost perfect. Other than that, the Microwear H5 turns out to be a very good smartwatch, especially if you consider all the feature set it offers for less than $100.
Microwear H5 turns out to be a very good smartwatch, especially if you consider all the feature set it offers for less than $100.