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Verdict

A bold design coupled with a unique software personality sees Nothing’s CMF Watch Pro 2 instantly become one of the best budget smartwatches of 2024. 

It mostly skips in-depth insights and heavyweight features, but tweaks to sleep monitoring and activity tracking ensure it punches well above its weight and becomes an incredibly easy watch to recommend.

Pros

  • Bold design and software styling
  • Solid activity and sleep tracking
  • Wild value at $69

Cons

  • Battery life is good but not incredible
  • Mostly basic insights
  • A second button would be handy

Key Features

  • All-new design – with one key party trickWhile CMF opted for a square case in the original Watch Pro, a complete redesign here includes interchangeable bezels, a circular face, and a rotating digital crown.
  • Big software upgradesHeadline additions to the Watch Pro 2 are women’s cycle tracking, recovery time suggestions, training load estimations, and on-device warm-up instructions, while sleep tracking is also improved.
  • Platform agnosticThe CMF Watch Pro 2 works with iPhone and Android devices, meaning you don’t need to be locked into an ecosystem to connect and enjoy it.

Introduction

The entry-level smartwatch market has long been plagued by a crucial trade-off: affordability at the expense of design. 

Brands have spent the last few years churning out near-identical square devices, heavily inspired by the Apple Watch and often sacrificing originality to meet the lower price point. The Nothing CMF Watch 2 Pro changes this.

While the brand’s original Watch Pro did provide a bit of an homage to Apple’s smartwatch, the Watch 2 Pro embraces the core strength of Nothing’s sub-brand: a commitment to unique design language. 

The result is a $69/£69 smartwatch boasting a distinct look and feel. Of course, some compromises are inevitable at this price point, but Nothing has packed the CMF Watch 2 Pro with features that really defy its low price tag and make it one of the best smartwatches at this price.

Design and Screen

  • Unisex design with a circular case
  • Interchangeable bezels

Ditching the square case of the first-gen watch, Nothing has embraced a classic circular design with a sleek aluminium body this time.

The 1.32-inch AMOLED display is crisp and vibrant, with a fully functional digital crown a very welcome addition. Unlike the original, this change ensures you can scroll through the app dock and screens much more easily.

Nothing CMF Watch Pro 2 side and crown
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The size also feels just right – neither too bulky for smaller wrists nor too small for larger ones, unlike some competitors. And from a pure ‘feel’ perspective, the $69/£69 price tag is hard to fathom. 

Though admittedly a pretty unscientific test, I asked friends and family to guess the price of the Watch 2 Pro during testing. None got close to correctly guessing that price tag. 

It’s not that the Watch Pro 2 feels premium  – it doesn’t – but it does exude a fun style that means you don’t expect it to, either.

Nothing CMF Watch Pro 2 replacable bezel
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Our only minor gripe is the brand etching on the bezel, which comes across as slightly tacky. Even when you perform the watch’s clever party trick – changing out the bezel – it’s still there. 

Initially, I was a bit sceptical about the idea of blending case colours with a different bezel, but the two-tone end-result result of swapping it out really works.

The leather straps are also interchangeable, too, though the pin buckle design feels less convenient compared to the slide-and-lock mechanisms found on pricier watches.

The 44g weight is barely noticeable during exercise, and the 14mm depth (though not the thinnest) allows it to sit comfortably under clothing without snagging. My testing, which included plenty of gym sessions and wear during DIY projects, hasn’t resulted in any scratches – a testament to the watch’s build quality.

Nothing CMF Watch Pro 2 being worn
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The display itself is also a winner. The 466 x 466-pixel resolution translates with good clarity, while the refresh rate bump (to 60fps, from last-gen’s 50fps) ensures noticeably smoother scrolling. With a peak brightness of 650 nits (and auto-adjustment capabilities), readability in bright sunlight is a non-issue.

However, while the display boasts impressive clarity and responsiveness, I did encounter a slight drawback – its susceptibility to fingerprints. The Watch Pro 2 can become a bit of a smudge-fest after a few hours of wear, with the lack of a physical back button ensuring you’ll have to interact with the touchscreen frequently. 

I spent more time than usual during testing wiping this one clean. And while it’s not a dealbreaker, the CMF Watch 2 Pro could have done with an additional button to help reduce touchscreen time.

Software 

  • Less buggy software than first-gen watch
  • Works with iOS and Android

Last year’s CMF Watch Pro was hit with a few software bugs – ones that reminded you this was still very much a budget smartwatch. Thankfully, though, things have been polished up this time around. 

I still encountered a syncing issue on Android a couple of times – yet, with pre-release updates appearing to have addressed it, this is one I would be surprised to see survive to final units.

On the watch, the software is both intuitive and stylish. The swipeable (and editable) widgets offer a neat way to catch up with the essentials, and a healthy set of original watch faces ensures the overall feel isn’t as derivative as rival budget watches.

It is all quite basic (smarts extend to weather updates and smart assistant support), with advanced smartwatch features like contactless payments, cellular connectivity, and a full app store are all absent. still, these aren’t the features expected at this price range.

Nothing CMF Watch Pro 2 weather
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Instead, the Watch Pro 2’s software charm lies in its distinct personality. Unlike many generic smartwatch interfaces, it feels like a deliberate and unique creation.

This focus on design also extends to the excellent companion app. Featuring Nothing’s signature orange, “NDOT” font, and digital-style icons, the app provides a seamless user experience. 

Importantly, like the watch itself, it also manages to mostly avoid the frustrations often associated with similarly priced options, instead becoming a platform you actually find yourself spending time in rather than trying to avoid at all costs.

Activity Tracking

  • New advanced workout insights
  • Slow GPS lock-on remains

If the Watch Pro 1’s fitness tracking left room for improvement, the Watch Pro 2 takes a decent step towards addressing some of the main issues while also adding some neat new features. 

The app presentation has seen some major bug fixes, with GPS data now displaying correctly after workouts. I did encounter the odd blank graphs in the Android test app, though.

GPS lock-on times are also still a weak point. Even in open areas, it takes minutes to acquire a signal, though the collected data is surprisingly accurate compared to a Garmin device. It only underreported distance by a few hundred meters on my test runs and walks. 

While waiting to get the green light from the GPS, I also enjoyed a new addition to the Watch Pro 2: guided workout warm-ups. If you’ve selected an outdoor running workout, for example, you can choose to take part in a 12-step warm-up routine demonstrated by an on-screen avatar.

Nothing CMF Watch Pro 2 steps
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Heart rate tracking (which now includes HR zones) is also improved, as my initial testing shows an underreporting of only 2-3 BPM compared to Garmin and Whoop. Previously, CMF’s sensor was well off, overreporting by as much as 10-15BPM. 

It’s what also makes the new in-depth training data enticing. While often half-baked by brands delivering budget watches, the Watch Pro 2’s estimations of training load, recovery time, and workout effectiveness are all presented neatly.

The data for these metrics all align well with a Garmin device – which is pretty incredible for a watch this cheap. While new Strava, Apple Health, and Google Health Connect integrations allow for more detailed analysis and reach if you crave it.

Health and Sleep Tracking

  • Improved sleep-tracking detection
  • Women’s cycle tracking debuts

While the ultra-budget price tag of the Watch Pro 2 excludes it from offering advanced health features like ECG readings or skin temperature analysis, it does bring some basic functionality.

Nothing provides on-demand blood oxygen saturation and stress readings here, along with a simple app for basic breathing exercises. In testing, these features performed reliably – even with 24/7 blood oxygen monitoring enabled, I didn’t encounter the sub-95% readings common with some budget smartwatches. The stress score (1-100) also loosely aligned with a high-end Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2) throughout the day.

Similar to fitness tracking, Nothing claims an improved sleep monitoring algorithm for the second-gen watch. This is a welcome change, as the original Watch Pro was notorious for inaccurate sleep duration (sometimes overestimating by an hour) and significantly underreporting deep sleep compared to other trackers. 

While inherent limitations exist in sleep stage assessments, these core issues with sleep tracking have been resolved in the Pro 2. 

My test unit matched fall-asleep and wake-up times precisely with Garmin, Oura, and Whoop devices – a feat rarely seen in entry-level smartwatches.

Nothing CMF Watch Pro 2 on wrist
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

However, like with the set of features, the Watch Pro 2 does fall short of top-tier health trackers in the insights department. The presentation of what is tracked is solid, but the watch does lack features like sleep scores, recovery insights, and long-term trend analysis, meaning the overall experience feels functional and polished but not in any way in-depth.

There is at least cycle tracking for women this time around. Seeing it included at all is a positive sign, given this is an area often passed over in budget devices.

Battery Life

  • Around 4-5 days of AOD time
  • Power saving mode available

Nothing advertises an 11-day battery life for the Watch Pro 2 – a slight decrease from the original model’s 13 days. However, it’s important to note this figure is based on the brand’s “typical use”, which involves turning off features like the always-on display (AOD).

In testing, I pushed the Watch Pro 2 closer to its limits. I had the AOD active from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM, the watch set to automatic brightness, and continuous blood oxygen tracking and stress monitoring enabled, achieving around 4-5 days of battery life. It’s a very decent showing, even if not class-leading.

In a quick test disabling the AOD and advanced tracking features, the battery still drained at a quicker rate than a watch like the Amazfit Active, though 10-12 days is achievable here – especially with a power saving mode also at your disposal.

Whichever way you slice it, the Watch Pro 2 also far surpasses the feature-rich smartwatches from Apple, Samsung, and Google. So, while the Watch Pro 2’s battery life isn’t exceptional, it remains a clear advantage over pricier watches.

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Should you buy it?

If you want an affordable, unique smartwatch

Boasting accurate data, a fun design, and solid battery life, this is an excellent pick for those on a tight budget.

If you want an in-depth smartwatch experience

While offering some smart features and a refined platform, the CMF Watch Pro 2 lacks ‘proper smartwatch’ features like contactless payments, third-party apps, and LTE.

Final Thoughts

With its unique design, clean software, and accurate tracking, the CMF Watch 2 Pro gets my seal of approval as arguably the best smartwatch at this price.

It may not deliver in-depth health or activity insights, but it’s very much a budget smartwatch that can’t be beat on value.

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How we test

We thoroughly test every smartwatch we review. We use industry-standard testing to compare features properly and we use the watch as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Tested for a week

Thorough health and fitness tracking testing

Worn as our main tracker during the testing period

FAQs

Is there support for both iOS and Android?

Yes, this watch works with both IOS and Android devices.

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