Back in stock, and at a lower price, you can get notifications, fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring with the ID205.
How decent could a super-cheap smartwatch be?
If aren’t exceedingly picky about what you get, it turns out, unexpectedly well.
See, these wearables claim to do everything — exercise tracking, heart rate monitoring, and so forth — but mostly prove to be masters of none.
And that’s OK, as long as they are successful at enough things to make life easier.
For example, you may want a watch that looks good, tells you time (duh), controls your phone’s music playback, and notifies you of things like calls, meetings, and text messages.
Here’s one such option: You can buy the Arbily ID205 smartwatch
for $19 for a limited time, and while the stocks last.
A short note about terminology: The ID205 is the name of this watch’s maker, but it’s sold under a range of different brand names and models (as tends to be the norm with cloned products sold on marketplaces like Alibaba).
It’s Arbily here; but I’ve seen it called BingoFit, Eden and MoreFit in the past.
With lots of China-made goods this is very common practise these days, and that’s perfectly okay.
Product name non-recognition is not inherently a negative thing; it is just a potential source of uncertainty.
The ID205 looks very much like the Amazfit Bip,
which in effect is identical to the Apple Watch.
It is rectangular, with a 1.3-inch square panel inside,
and a decent amount of plastic bezel around it.
It’s not like the Bip’s always-on screen but it’s much clearer and sharper as well.
Fortunately, it is quite readable outdoors as well,
unlike some of the other cheap watches I’ve tried.
The ID205 uses a touchscreen, with a control button on both sides.
The left one immediately engages your preferred fitness activity; the right one is a Back button. Other options are available within a couple of swipes from the main screen.
Here’s what I liked about the ID205:
Display: Large, bright, and fairly visible with outdoor lighting.
Battery life: It is capable of lasting a week or so, depending on how hard you use it.
Notifications: This is the essential feature for me in any smartwatch, and with it, the ID205 does a decent job.
For around a dozen individual devices, you can toggle alerts (though Slack isn’t one of them).
Simplicity: The watch itself is easy to use, as is the companion software VeryFitPro.
(That app will share data with Apple Health and Strava.) Miscellaneous: it has useful features including simple music controls, breathing exercises, a stopwatch, low-power and do-not-disturb mode and even flashlight functionality.
Look and feel: Just like the Bip,
the ID205 looks like a cheap plastic watch.
Geolocation: There is no GPS built-in: it pulls data from your phone instead, which shouldn’t be too much of an issue (almost all phones come with GPS capability included)
Just four watch different watch faces.
Not completely waterproof: although the watch promises to withstand sweat and rain, it is not completely waterproof, which means keep it away from the shower or pool.
This is clearly at odds with the key product definition, which says “waterproof.” Another significant consideration: how useful could a $18 smartwatch possibly be to track the heart rate?
I did a simple, highly unscientific test: I used the ID205, Amazfit
Bip and Apple Watch to measure my resting heart rate one after another.
To my surprise, all three were within one or
two beats (averaging 63 beats per minute, if you’re curious).
Bottom line: You’ll be disappointed if you buy this expecting an Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch build quality, features or the like.
But if you’re looking for basic smartwatch apps, strong battery life and an extremely low price, there’s a good chance you’ll love it.