FOR wearables as an industry, the past few months have been quite exciting. Fitbit unveiled Charge 2, the successor to best selling Charge HR fitness tracker, Samsung upped the ante with two new Tizen powered Gear S3 smartwatch while Apple re-engineered its Watch with new fitness tracking and swim-proof body. There has never been a better time to buy a new wearable.
On the other hand, the Android brigade is playing down the hype until the release of Android Wear 2.0 while traditional watchmakers continue to join the search giant’s wearable platform. Tag Heuer, Michael Kors, Fossil have their own smartwatches running Android Wear. In India, Titan is re-imagining traditional watches into smart wearables.
Early this year, Titan surprised the watch industry with its HP collabor-ation to create an analog smartwatch. ‘Analog’ was the watchword here, enough to tempt a watch buyer or watch collector away from a regular watch. At R15,990, Titan made sure the price was justified.
Six months later, Titan is going the exact opposite way with its next smartwatch. Titan Juxt Pro is not made in collaboration with HP but takes cues from Android and Tizen counterparts for a real smartwatch. It has digital display in place of analog dial and the mechanical movement of watch hands are replaced by digital ones. The biggest thing favouring Titan is its watchmaker tag, but can it hold its ground against Android Wear, Tizen and now the cheaper Apple Watch?
What is good?
If there is one thing to like about this watch then it has to be its build quality. This watch is built like a tank but that also translates into bulky dimensions. There is elaborate use of stainless steel infused with plastic, which gives it a distinguishing look in the overly crowded smartwatch market. Another thing to like about the watch is its strap. Our review unit came with a black leather strap which is one of the finest I have ever wrapped around my wrist. The leather feels nice to touch and even endured the sweat glands.
Since Titan Juxt Pro is a smartwatch and not an analog smartwatch like its predecessor, the display used here is top notch. At maximum brightness, it becomes extremely bright and at minimum, there is barely anything to see—so setting a medium brightness worked for me most of the time.
Titan Juxt Pro does two things—tracks steps and counts calories. Most trackers come close to being accurate but its very difficult to get the perfect reading. Titan Juxt Pro is definitely not accurate but it came very close to the reading I found on my other fitness tracker. If your basic needs are knowing your step count from a Titan watch— Juxt Pro does quantify that need well.
What is not good?
Titan collaborated with HP for the software of its first smartwatch and this time, it has gone solo with its efforts. Titan Juxt Pro’s neat software elements like converter and phone finder are quite useful but the entire experience pales in front of the competition. For R22,999, I expect a software that goes beyond the watch—which is exactly the promise of Android Wear 2.0—coming to many smartwatches later this year. Titan Juxt Pro’s software is designed to be like Android but fails to do so.
The biggest problem with Titan Juxt Pro’s software is the sync time and gesture UI. I found the app taking forever to sync with the watch to get the data and the UI lagged to reproduce my actions. I found the swipe up and swipe down gestures working but they are slow. The software seems to be in beta but without that label.
An important metric while getting a smartwatch or fitness tracker has to be battery life. After using Titan Juxt Pro for nearly three weeks, I found the battery to last one day for my brightness setting. There were days when the battery died in the middle of the night.
Should you buy?
If you are using an iOS device, then go ahead and buy the first generation Apple Watch. For Android users, Huawei Watch is definitely the best option right now. If you are serious about fitness, then look at Fitbit Blaze or Garmin’s Forerunner. As for Titan, for the time being, I would advise waiting for the next Titan smartwatch.
* Estimated street price: R22,999