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Someone Finally Made a Smartwatch That Actually Looks Like a Watch

Brian Heater
Tech Columnist
February 27, 2014

The top smartwatches in the world — including Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and the Pebble Smartwatch — more or less look like tiny smartphones with wristbands. 

A new smartwatch called the Martian Notifier, however, is changing up the style. The Notifier has a lot of cool tricks, but by far the cleverest of all is looking like an actual, honest-to-goodness watch.

Rather than turning the whole front face of the watch into a touchscreen display (as on the Galaxy Gear), the Notifier splits the face between an actual clock face on top and a small sliver of display below. The Notifier vibrates smartphone-style when it has something to tell you, and the notification will scroll side to side on the display.

How the watch vibrates is up to you. There’s a complementary app that lets you program such things. So a calendar notification could be short-long-long buzzes, for example.

When you need to check a message, give the watch’s glass face a tap, and the information will show up on a small crawl toward the bottom of the face. Again, there’s not nearly as much display real estate as there is on a Pebble smartwatch or a Galaxy Gear, so it takes a bit to read the full message.

If you’re really impatient, you’ll probably wind up pulling out your phone. That’s bound to happen with most smartwatches anyway, as they’re not intended to be outright phone replacements.

The Notifier works with Android and Apple’s iOS. The clock element runs off of a standard watch battery that’ll last around two years, working even when the smart aspects of the device aren’t. The computerized part, meanwhile, doesn’t last quite as long — you should get around four to five days of use on that front. When it comes time to charge it, you can do so via a USB charger cable.

The Notifier looks to be a good option for those searching for limited smartwatch functionality without the geeky — and bulky — elements of the competition. The Notifier costs $130 and will be available to purchase this spring. You can be notified (see what we did there?) of when it goes on sale here

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