Makibes F69 IP68 Smartwatch & Fitness Tracker is Designed for Swimming

The market is flooded with wearables such as smartwatches and fitness trackers that all track activities (walking/running) with more or less accuracy, and while some offer good IP67 or IP68 ingress protection rating, or even better 5ATM rating, allowing them to be used in water, I have not found many that can actually track swimming patterns, especially among the cheaper ones. But that’s exactly what Makibes F69 sports smartwatch promises.

Makibes_F69Makibes F69 specifications:

  • MCU/Memory/Storage – TBD
  • Display – 1″ round capacity touchscreen display, 128×128 resolution, always on
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • Sensors – 3-axis accelerometer and gyroscope, heart rate monitor
  • Battery – 180 mAh charged via magnetic dock good for 6 days in power saving mode, 4 days in “healthy” hear rate mode, and 30 hours using the HRM in sports mode.
  • Dimensions – 38 x38 x 10 mm (stainless steel case, silicon band)
  • Weight – 34 grams
  • IP Rating – IP68 = “Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure.”

The watch supports Bluetooth 4.x enabled smartphones with iOS 8 and Android 4.3 or greater. If it looks similar it’s because it’s basically the same model as Makibes F68, but with IP68 rating, swimming monitoring, and stainless steel replaces plastic. Both watches share most of the same function including call and message reminders (SMS, Facebook, Twitter, Wechat only), dual mode heart rate monitoring (health / sports), pedometer, sedentary reminder, sleep monitoring, alarm, and clock display. F69 adds swimming tracking for four types of strokes: freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly.

HPlus Watch app can be downloaded from Google Play or iTunes. This looks not too bad in theory, but since I reviewed Makibes F68 watch, be prepared to be disappointed, as I’ve found quite a few issues in the older model: step count tracking is highly inaccurate, the heart rate monitor is finicky at least in sports mode, as sometimes it works sometimes it does not, there’s no backlight (not usable in the dark), the watch will often turn off by itself irregardless of battery charge, and requires the dock to get started. The good points are the always-on display and  battery life is indeed 3 to 4 days with all-day “healthy” HRM enabled. Despite all the issues, I have never received a firmware via the Android app… It always fails with the message: “Upload failed: DFU FILE NOT FOUND”.

In case you’d still like to give it a try I first found the watch on GeekBuying for $49.99, but you’ll also find it on Aliexpress for the same price.

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