Home > Android, Hardware, Mediatek MT65XX, Video > Z1 Android 2.2 Smart Watch Phone

Z1 Android 2.2 Smart Watch Phone

There’s currently a lot of articles about Apple, Samsung, and Google smart watches rumors in the blogosphere. I’ve written about other smartwatches in the past with products such as the Pebble or Wime Nanowatch, but those are based on low-end hardware that do not run Android directly, but instead communicate with your Android or iOS device via Bluetooth. The only watch I know that runs (a customized version of) Android is the “I’m Watch“. You’ll need relatively deep pockets to purchase it as price starts at 249 Euros / $349 US and goes up to $19,999 if you purchase the version with white gold and diamonds. So I decided to have a look if there are lower cost Chinese Android smartwatches around. The Z1 Android Smart Watch Phone showed up everywhere in my searches. The product is not new, as Charbax first discovered it in January 2012 and it was showcased by “Phaeton DVIP” at CES 2012.

Z1 Android Smart Watch Phone

Here are the specifications of the device:

  • Processor – Mediatek MT6516 ARM9 processor @ 426 Mhz
  • Memory – 256 MB RAM
  • Storage – 300 MB internal memory and up to 8GB via microSD card
  • Display – 2.0″ Capacitive Touch Screen (320×240)
  • Connectivity:
    • WiFi – 802.11 b/g/n
    • Bluetooth 2.0
  • Ports/slot/external sensors
    • 1 SIM card slots
    • Micro SD card slot
    • Microphone + Speaker
    • 2.0 MP Camera
  • Network – GSM frequencies 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz
  • Battery – 800 mAh – Standby-time: 36hrs /  Talk-time: 4hrs
  • Dimensions – H: 58 mm, W: 45 mm, D: 13 mm

The watch comes with a 800mAh Battery,  a USB Cable, a charger and a user’s manuel in English, Russian, Spanish and German. The Z1 runs a barely modified version of Android 2.2 operating systems, and thanks to the internal SIM card slot, you can just insert a SIM and start to make and receive phone calls via your watch.

There are several reviews of this phone watch, including a three videos by mistasawedoff, where he has a closer look at the device. to summarize he feels the device is innovative, call quality with the provided headset is pretty, but the sluggishness of the device if unbearable, Google Play does not work (there’s an alternative store though), and overall he cannot recommend the device. I’ve embed the first video below if you want to know more.

Z1 smart phone watch is available from $209 on online stores such Pandawill and Aliexpress. Back in January 2012, the company had plans to design and manufacture an upgraded version of the watch with MT6573 (ARM11 @ 650 MHz) and Android 4.0, but it looks like the device never saw the light of the day. I could not find other companies selling new smart watches either, and I would assume it’s because there’s not enough demand for this type of device. We’ll have to see if large companies such as Google and Samsung can make smart watches successful.

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  1. onebir
    March 25th, 2013 at 16:27 | #1

    Seems similar:
    http://igg.me/at/nanosmart
    Not sure about the OS: Android 2.3+ capabilities => this is needed to run the companion app?

  2. March 25th, 2013 at 17:48 | #2

    @onebir
    That’s the one I mentioned at the top of the article: http://www.cnx-software.com/2013/01/28/99-wime-nanowatch-is-both-a-massive-watch-and-a-tiny-phone/ It’s running (embedded) Linux.

    I’m a bit surprised they went to Indiegogo. It seems more and more Chinese manufacturers go to Indiegogo to promote and sell their products. To me that goes a bit against the principle of Indiegogo or other kickstarter sites, where individuals/companies who do not have enough capital for manufacturing look for crowd sourcing.

    From their site:
    “WiMe is the brand name of WirelessMe Limited, a subsidiary of WiMe Group, a Taiwanese company specializing in wireless products and mobile accessories. WirelessMe employs approximately 25 people across Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China, and generated an annual revenue of $2.8 million USD in 2011.”

    So I suppose they already have $30,000 to start mass-production, but they use Indiegogo as a “free” advertising and ordering platform.

  3. onebir
    March 25th, 2013 at 17:59 | #3

    @cnxsoft
    Thought it seemed familiar!
    I see what you mean – $30k doesn’t sound like much for a company like that. But on the other hand, perhaps if established companies can use crowdsourcing sites as a kind of testbed for less usual products, that will also be good for innovation? Or is there a risk they crowd out the startups these sites were intended for?

    Anyway, WiMe doesn’t seem to be getting far with this campaign – or sham-paign :)

  4. Marius
    March 25th, 2013 at 21:36 | #4

    Unfortunately most companies doesn’t have what it takes to actually push a product like this, only to follow. It’s how it was with tablets. They existed long before the iPad but no one gave damn. As soon as the iPad came out every Chinese company was making tablets.
    There’s pretty much one exception I can think of, Android mini TV sticks.
    If Apple or Samsung launch a smart watch the Chinese will probably have their own designs soon after.

  5. onebir
    December 9th, 2013 at 20:57 | #5
  6. December 10th, 2013 at 11:45 | #6

    @onebir
    This one does not offer phone function. I’ve seen people review it, and it looks like it’s running Android 4.1.

  1. November 17th, 2013 at 11:10 | #1