Hands On With The ZeTime

Who said that a smartwatch had to look like something out of science fiction? There’s no reason that the classic design of a wristwatch can’t combine analog hands that tell the time with a touch screen and “smart” features. MyKronoz agrees with that philosophy, which is why they’ve made the ZeTime and why you’ll enjoy wearing it.

Strapped on, the ZeTime stands out physically. That is due to the mechanical hands telling the time and which “live” over the TFT color touchscreen. There’s a physical hole in the touchscreen for the hands mechanism to work through; something that wasn’t easy to do, but which provides the realistic and obvious use of seeing the time at a glance, sans digital LEDs or other illuminations. But since there’s pre-installed app’s lurking in the touchscreen — that also means there’ll be some tapping going on. So the front of ZeTime uses ultra resistant sapphire glass for providing a hard protective surface. And because the CPU knows what’s going on, when the hands are in the way of what needs to be seen on the touchscreen, they get moved out of the way (forming two horizontally viewing surfaces).

So what exactly are you looking at when glancing at the ZeTime’s screen? Just to get it out of the way first, your smartphone (iPhone/Android) is providing what the screen’s text areas will be displaying because you’re connected via Bluetooth. You can get notifications, check your calendar events, view Caller I.D. — a whole host of social media networks and apps are ready for you (such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Gmail, Skype, Uber, etc.). Of course the watch knows to change to the correct time zone, depending on where you are, but what makes it a bit cooler than others is seeing the hands “move” themselves to the correct time (since the touchscreen can be customized as re: watch faces, it’s no bother to be displaying your local time as well).

Built into the watch is hardware for a number of speciality functions. One is heart rate monitoring, with ZeTime ensuring that doing so (whether manually or automatically) occurs through a highly accurate 3 LED optical sensor resting against your wrist. There’s also a 3-axis Accelerator for tracking daily steps, calories, distance traveled and active minutes. Sleep tracking is there too.

3 functions in descending order of usefulness are there as well. The first is controlling your music for playing tunes; the second for making the phone ring if it’s not where it’s supposed to be; the third being able to control the camera (not too useful if the phone is still in your pocket though so take it out first). All of the needed navigation— maneuvering through the various menus and screen — is accomplished through the “smart” crown. And then there IS that touchscreen to tap and work with.

Let’s add that the MyKronoz app (free for iOS/Android) also enables calibrating the watch, choosing faces and updating the firmware as needed. It’s where you start once you’ve decided to make the watch part of your daily routine. Of course it’s also highly water resistant, but even better is the fact that the battery powering it can last for up to 30 days before needing a recharge — not 18 hours or “almost” a full day as found with other smartwatches (much of that coming from not needing to illuminate the touchscreen in order to see the time). The USB charger is also magnetic for an easy attachment.

The ZeTime is 44mm in size (as opposed to the also available Petite 39mm size), allows for interchangeable watch bands beyond the included flat black silicon and can be rotated for “lefties.” It retails for $199.90. All this means that you can just let the ZeTime go about its job on your wrist of taking care of your digital needs, as well as keeping you on track and on time.

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