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Monday, November 28, 2016

Trivoly Smart Watch Review



Smartwatches are fantastic. They give us a taste of the Dick Tracy future we always dreamed about. However, there seems to be something missing about high tech wearables. If you’re a person who appreciates the engineering and craftsmanship involved in making classic mechanical watches in the league of Rolex, Omega, IWC (just to name a few,) then you would know what I’m talking about. I looked back at my then LG G Watch R and realized that this thing had no soul, no heritage and no long-term value. Even a cheap mechanical Seiko watch had more charm and value than a smartwatch. It was then that I made the decision to free myself from the shackles of a high tech wearable. Don’t get me wrong, I still think smartwaches are great, but perhaps for specific uses. I could still see myself wearing one when I go to the gym or out for a run. But for everyday use, I was going back old school. After resurrecting my old mechanical watches, I realized that I sort of missed being able to get notifications on my watch. So after searching high and low, I found a solution called Trivoly on Kickstarter. The idea seemed like the best of both worlds. Their slogan is, “turns any watch into a smartwatch”.  I decided to back the project and after a few months of waiting, I finally have my Trivoly. Let’s see if this unique little gadget lives up to its promise.

Specs

Trivoly 2

• Full fitnes tracker: optical heart rate sensor,
pedometer, stairs, sleep, sports (works with
Strava, Google Fit, Apple Health and more)
• Messages, notifications, calls, alerts
• Control your smartphone from your wrist:
Camera, Spotify, iTunes, SONOS
• Works with any watch
• Sleek, ergonomic design
• Hypo allergenic: certified skin friendly
• Water resistant
• Up to 4 days battery life
• USB-charger

Trivoly 1 EUR 99
Trivoly 2 EUR 129

Design and use

The concept of the Trivoly is quite ingenious. Just stick this tiny disk behind your watch and it will basically turn it in to a smartwatch. While you obviously can’t read messages on it, at least you could get a vibrating alert every time you get a call or notification. The Trivoly has two versions. One that only gives notifications and the other version has some fitness tracking features like a heart rate sensor and step counting.
As with any Kickstarter project, there are risks involved. The first snag was the delay of about 4 months from the promised delivery date. The second was the negative feedback and comments I was seeing from the first batch of users. When it finally arrived, I was really excited to use it. Unfortunately, it seemed like the negative comments I saw were true. First of all, it’s not as thin as I had hoped. It makes your watch to sit too high on your wrist. It’s also a bit uncomfortable to wear and it leaves a mark on your wrist. Secondly, the build quality is pretty bad. It feels like it was made in a rush with no regard to fit and finish. It would be a sacrilege to put this under a Rolex. Lastly, the Trivoly Android App itself is quite terrible. It only supports a handful of third party apps. There’s no support for Viber, native Samsung text messaging app and alarms.










Verdict

While it may seem that Trivoly is a disaster, it’s not really that bad. To be fair, it does work as advertised. I was able to get call notifications, Whatsapp, Gmail and I was even able to control Spotify on it. Unfortunately, my stock messaging app for Samsung won’t work (you have to install a third party message app which I don’t want to do), no alarms which is probably one of the best features of a smartwatch and no Viber support. The heart rate and step counter are not accurate. In fact, the heartrate monitor would fail half the time. On the bright side, most of these issues are fixable if they update their app. What is not fixable is the build quality. I posted some photos to see what I mean. In the end, the Trivoly seems more like a prototype than a finished product. The makers of Trivoly truly have a bright and innovative concept. If they don’t straighten up their act, I sure hope someone else does.

The Good

Great idea
It works

The Bad

Build Quality
No Viber support
App needs improvement
Heartrate sensor does not always work

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