Review Price £150.00
MetaWatch Strata - Design & Performance
That is the theory, but what about the watch itself? Up close it is no larger than a chunky sportswatch and it is equally rugged with a double injection moulded polyurethane body and strap and 5 ATM rated water resistance - enough for swimming. It feels good in hand and comfortable on your wrist.
Similarly the monochrome display, while just 96 x 96 pixels, is sharp and can be read in direct sunlight while it is protected behind a mineral hardened, scratch resistant glass lens with anti-glare optical coating and a stainless steel top ring. All in all it should take a battering. Further nice touches are the option of vibration alert and the inclusion of a three axis accelerometer, the latter of which makes sure the Strata interface is always the correct way round at any angle.
So how does the concept match reality? MetaWatch was keen to stress software is still in beta testing (KickStarter backers and signed up developers have the option to receive their devices this month), but we found it extremely responsive and highly intuitive. Setting up the watch with your own personal preferences is easy via the MetaWatch smartphone app and settings are applied in seconds. A clever idea is the inclusion of different watch faces as the Strata defaults to a time and/or date display after a period of inactivity.
We also liked the fact that new SMS, emails, Facebook and Twitter messages could be read in their entirety by scrolling and calls can be rejected directly from the watch. One aspect which did lag was the time it took for caller ID to pick up when a phone number came in, but this was demonstrated on an iPhone running iOS 5 and we were told iOS 6 cuts down this lag considerably.
In terms of UI, at present MetaWatch allows the Strata display to be split into a maximum of four blocks of information (for example: email, SMS, time and weather), but an impending tweak will see it mimic Android and iOS allowing it to cycle through multiple homescreens. Looking to the future, while MetaWatch has no plans to make a dedicated app store, third party Android and iOS apps can be programmed via the company's open SDK to provide better control of the notifications sent to the watch and a fitness app using Wahoo Fitness has already been made.