COOKOO BLUETOOTH 4.0 SMARTWATCH
Stylish and Useful Companion to your iPhone, iPad or iPod
Everyday I discover more and more companies who design and manufacture smartwatches. In this article I want to introduce to you to the COOKOO smartwatch. The Cookoo smartwatch caught my attention due to its beautiful design, analog clock and excellent battery life. Started as a successful kickstarter project. this watch it less advanced than other smartwatches, but differentiate itself when it comes to design and battery life. It’s a Bluetooth 4.0 compatible device that connects to your iPhone, iPad or iPod devices (See compatible models below) and notifies you of incoming calls, messages and events. Continue reading this article and see whether or not the cookoo smart watch is the one for you.
Started as a Kickstarter Crowd-Funding Project
The cookoo watch started as a crowd raising project on kickstarter. The cookoo is not the only smartwatch starting his way from kickstarter. Pebble and AGENT watch both started as a kickstarter project. Pebble was the biggest kickstarter success raising $10,266,845 from 68,929 backers. AGENT raised $1,012,742 from 5,685 backers and cookoo was the least impressive (in terms of funding) raising $305,393 from 2,560 backers.
It seems like many of the new innovative smartwatches find their way to the market through crowd funding. Some other smartwatches like Kreyos started their way by crowd funding on indiegogo. It’s worth mentioning that not every small business company was able to reach a humongous success as Pebble. For example, Meet Boddie (as for the time of writing) raised only $3029 and 42 hours left to the ned of the fund-raising campaign. SmartFitty raised only $9,911. Peter Hauser is among the ones that was able to attract many backers to invest in his project, and the COOKOO is now a real product with its own website and dedicated iPhone app on iTunes.
Looks like an Ordinary Watch, But Much Smarter
The cookoo unlike many smart watch I’ve seen, actually look like an ordinary watch than a smartwatch. What signifies the cookoo among other smartwatches is its stylish look. We’ve seen many smartwatches that have a square-faces design and it seems that people rather prefer the ordinary conventional rounded design and the square one — so it seems.
Furthermore, the cookoo unlike other smart watches have an Japanese analog movement clock and a digital display to display data. The watch is made of plastic casing, has an aluminium bezel, anti-scratch mineral glass with soft silicon band. The cookoo works in the same way as other smartwatch devices, by creating a two-way wireless connectivity to a bluetooth-enabled Apple mobile device. It’s compatible with iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S and with iPad (4th and 3rd generation) and iPod touch (5th generation). Just note that the Cookoo is not compatible with the iPhone 3Gs or iPhone 4 — because those smartphones does not support Bluetooth 4.0 LE technology (LE = Low Energy). This is an official answer posted on Cookoo watch Facebook page (here).
The cookoo was designed to be stylish and comfortable. It has 5 ATM water resistant rating and is available in five different colors.. By maintaining a simple and elegant look, they made this watch suitable for both men and women alike. A smartwatch doesn’t need to look like a brick or have a futuristic design be useful and sell well, and that’s in fact what I liked about the COOKOO watch: Simple, Elegant, Stylish, Smart.
The COOKOO Smart Watch features four buttons, two on each side of the watch. The top-left bottom is the backlit light button that increases the background brightness. Below that button at the bottom-left is a ‘CONNECT’ button that is used to sync your mobile device with the cookoo smart watch (hold it for 6 seconds to put it in pairing mode). At the top-right there is a blue color button (others are black) which is the mode settings button, which you use to cycle through the phone’s settings. Just note, the COOKOO watch doesn’t use a touch-sensitive display, so you will need to use the blue button to change the settings. Below the blue button there is the ‘Command’ button which is used to confirm a settings choice. You also have an option to customized the ‘Command’ button to different action (e.g. Short Press, Drop Pin, Find iPhone, Medium Press)
COOKOO watch comes with a silicon water-resistant wrist band which is 230 mm in length and 22mm wide according to their specs sheet. If you don’t like wearing a silicon strap, you can replace it with any other 22mm watchbands. You can find many types of 22 mm watch bands on Amazon here, including genuine leather, nylon, rubber and in many colors and designs.
The back of the watch is made of stainless steel. You can open the battery cover and insert a new standard CR2032 button-cell battery. This can easily be done with a small coin which you can insert to the dent at the back of the watch cover and turn it around to reveal the battery compartment. You should make sure, and this is important, that the O-ring around the battery is in place before closing the battery compartment. The O-ring is used to prevent water from penetrating the back side of the watch. Without it, it loses its water-resistant properties.
The cookoo watch is very energy-efficient and has a vert long battery life A single standard CR2032 button-cell battery can last even up to one year when in standby mode and up to 3 years when the digital functions are not use (only analog clock) before needing replacement. The battery life depends on the amount of notifications that you receive on your watch. Nevertheless, this button-cell battery is cheap and easy to replace.
The Cookoo comes in a very unique box that resembles a Cuckoo clock or a birdhouse. This is in my opinion, one of the most original product boxes I’ve seen in years.
The cookoo used Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connection in conjunction with a smartphone to deploy its smart features and act like a little command center for your smartphone. It creates a consistent connection with your Apple smartphone, tablet or iPod Bluetooth-enabled device to exchange data. In order for the cookoo to interact with your mobile device, you will first need to install the ‘COOKOO Time to Connect’ app on your device. This app is free to download from iTunes. The app is updated on an ongoing basis to offer new features.
Once you install the iOS app from iTunes and paired the device you are ready to enjoy the great smart features that cookoo offers. The app has various settings that controls which notifications will be displayed on your cookoo smartwatch. For example: you can view a notification when your battery is low or critical (very low), be alerted of incoming calls or missing calls, timer alerts, alert when the device is within range, Facebook posts or calendar event alerts. You can decide which one you want active and which one you want disabled by tapping the on/off switch for each notification setting. The Cookoo watch alerts you by also making a beep sound or/and by vibration.
Cookoo also have a settings page that allows you to test the alert on your watch without actually receiving any real call or message. The notifications are displayed using flashing icons on the front digital display on the watch. Click the ‘MODE’ blue button to acknowledge that you received the notification and the flashing icon will stop flashing and fade out.
Keep in mind that the cookoo watch wasn’t designed to actually show you what the exact messages are and display them on the phone’s screen, but rather alert you of different activities that happen on the phone so you can take it out of your pocket or bag and respond to it as you find fit.
One feature that I really like is that you can receive an alert when the watch is getting far away from your phone. The cookoo keeps tracking of the Bluetooth signal strength and one it detects that the signal strength is getting weaker, it will pop up and alert for you one the screen. This is very useful in cases where you forget to take your phone with you. A superb anti-loss or Anti-theft feature that will prevent you from losing your phone. you no longer say: “Oops, I forget my phone in the car” or “Damn, I forget the phone in the Coffee shop..”. This is a money-saver feature and I assume that most smartwatch companies will adopt it — some of course already did.
You can also use the COOKOO smart watch to remotely play, pause and skip music tracks on your iPhone or iPad device. This might not sound som much useful if you are listening to music through your phone speakers, but if you are listening to music via Bluetooth wireless headset or when the iPhone is attached to an iPhone speaker dock, this can be very useful.
Other features include andAlarm and timer (can be set via the cookoo app on your smartphone) and remote controlling your camera (remote camera release button that trigger that shutter).
The cookoo watch can’t stack up against the competition, but shines when it comes to battery life and stylish design. It’s also among the few to offers an analog clock and a non-rechargeable and replaceable battery. This smartwatch is a good watch for those who don’t need to uber advanced features that you find on other watch and those who don’t want to worry about battery life either.
Having the option to receive a notification when the phone is in your pocket or at the other room is useful indeed. If you are searching for a smartwatch that will also can display incoming Facebook text messages on the display or change the watchface, you should probably look into the Sony SmartWatch 2, GEAK or Pebble instead.
I really like the COOKOO smart watch — It’s Simple, elegant and has superb battery life compared to the competition. If you don’t find those feature more than satisfying for your needs, the COOKOO watch is a great smartwatch for what it does. For a price around $120 – $150, it’s not cheap and people might find it a little too expensive considering its limited features. Otherwise, a great companion to your iPhone, iPad or iPod device.