Thursday, October 11, 2018

Overtime with the NOWA Shaper Blue Matter

Courtesy of NOWA
So I've gone well-past overtime with my review of the NOWA Shaper Blue Matter, but as I learned the hard way with reviewing both the Withings, and more frustratingly the Kronaby connected watches, you have to really see how a connected watch performs over a longer time frame.  The prior two disappointed on several levels in terms of functions actually working following the review period.

So it goes without saying that I was a bit skeptical about yet another connected watch delivering on what was promised.  Suffice it to say, NOWA was facing an uphill battle on convincing me.

The NOWA packaging is pretty basic - cardboard box with instruction manual.  That's all.

One key differentiator for NOWA is design.  To produce a connected watch that actually looks good.  And in terms of design?  It's a winner -

A very clean, minimal design.  And this already points to a certain fallacy perpetrated by some of the other brands.  They have tried to jam several functions into a watch, slapped in various push buttons, and fairly thick cases.  Not so with NOWA -

Courtesy of NOWA
The case itself is 9.75 mm thick.  In comparison the NOMOS Orion neomatik is 9.4 mm.  

The fit and feel of the NOWA was great. Although the diameter is 40 mm in diameter, owing to the flatter, thinner case height, it fits nicely.

The lug width is 20 mm in diameter, and the lugs are proportional, not massive, not "tinny", but to quote Goldilocks, they are just right.

The strap is a very soft, extremely comfortable leather.  Fairly basic, but absolutely in keeping with the aesthetics of the watch.

Quick release spring bars are used, allowing easy swapping of straps.

A nice, simple claps secures the watch to the wrist -

The case back has a somewhat raised back, but this does not impact the comfort in wearing the watch.

You will note that there was some very slight scratching on the central portion.  It is worth noting that this area has a high polish finish, making it more susceptible to light scratching when writers are less than gentle.  The main backside of the case is a matte finish, with the bezel, crown and lug tops being polished.

So let's ask that awkward question - how was the functionality?
Spoiler alert - it absolutely delivered on every function as promised.  Unlike Kronaby where you select from a menu of different functions, the folks at NOWA selected a specific set of functions that they felt most people would want, and opted not to try and offer everything.  Per NOWA, the features are:

1 comment:

  1. As you say you have to use this over an extended time to see the real watch beneath the initial media hype.

    Mine needs the battery replacing about every three months by the look of it, something NOWA recommends that you get a specialist to do. That means I'm likely up for the cost of the watch each year just to replace the battery.

    NOWA recently sent all owners an email saying to disconnect bluetooth when not using bluetooth features (i.e. turn off auto-time zones, camera control, reject call, etc: everything but step tracking really). So, basically I could have just bought a regular watch and changed the battery every three years.

    Also, I have never been able to get the auto timezones feature to work. You can get the watch to set the time to the new timezone, but only by essentially going through the app and resetting the time. Hardly automatic.

    In the first 6 months of having the watch I had to completely unpair and then pair and reset the entire thing multiple times. And sometimes the watch spontaneously sets the time to some other time without warning.

    All in all a complete waste of time and money for me. The watch does feel and look good though and that is pretty much what the sales pitch is. Technically, it's very average.