Quick Review: Cookoo smartwatch

By Adam Zeis on 2 Jan 2014 04:46 pm

I have to start off by saying that I’ve wanted a Cookoo for the longest time, I just never pulled the trigger as there were other watches or devices that I picked up instead. I love the idea of a analog watch mixed with a digital display — plus a standard battery I don’t have to charge. The Cookoo even looks cool which is always a bonus. 

That’s about where the fun ended for me though. The Cookoo is a great watch, but as a smartwatch it falls short on many things. 

The Cookoo first hit the streets at CES 2013 and has had a good reception ever since. It’s good to note that the Cookoo doesn’t bill itself as a smartwatch, rather a “connected” watch. This can keep it from being compared to other more robust watches and settling it in a lower category of “smart” watches. 

The Cookoo is available in a variety of colors ranging from flat black to silver to a limited edition green model. The watch weighs in at around 75g so it’s not terribly heavy for it’s design, but looking at the watch you can’t help but admire it. It’s extremely well designed and could totally pass for a high-end analog watch. The Cookoo features a simple digital display under the analog watch face that shows the icon alerts for notifications. 

The movement acts apart from the digital display, each having it’s own battery. Around the face are the crown for changing the time as well as four buttons that control the digital aspects of the Cookoo. There is the power/pairing button, a light button, command button and mode button. All of them flow right into the watch and don’t stand out at all - save for the blue mode button. The backlight works well and gives you a few ticks of light to see the time or your alerts. I found the included band to be quite comfortable which was nice, though you can swap it out as you see fit and Cookoo even sells replacement sets if you want to change things up with official bands. Wearing the Cookoo all day was comfortable and I didn’t notice any strain at all while I had it on. 

Where the Cookoo stands out is the battery life. It uses standard button batteries - one to power the watch movement and one for the digital aspect of the device. Cookoo claims about a one year battery life in standby or nine months with daily alerts. Not having to charge the watch is an awesome feature, especially if you’ve used watches that die after only a day or two. 



For now the Cookoo feels unfinished to me. The device itself is solid overall, but the phone apps are still lacking to the point that the watch is unusable at times. The Cookoo is really nothing more than an extension of your phone, acting as only a notifier when you receive and email, SMS, phone call or otehr alerts. Your can't see who is calling, who sent an email or even read your text messages.

I do like the idea for the Cookoo, but when there are some other great watches that do much more (like displaying actual notifications) it’s hard to recommend the Cookoo for any smartwatch fans. It sure does look nice though.

The folks at ConnecteDevices do have plans for a Cogito and Cogito Pop which are set to be unveiled at CES 2014. From what we’ve seen thus far the two look very similar to the Cookoo, but we can hope that they bring a bit more to the table. 

Buy a Cookoo at Amazon

Reader comments

Quick Review: Cookoo smartwatch

9 Comments

Thats too bad.

This is the only smart watch that had peaked my interest. I will definitely be watching (sorry) for future updates.

that is a sweet device that some one might be able to wear in a more profesional environment. wear a suit and tie? this is the watch for you. i had the sony ericsson mbw 150 music edition watch, and love the simplicity of it. back when i had the sony ericsson c905 phone, it worked flawlessly, but then i moved on to android, and it worked even better, since i was able to actually read texts and emails. But now that watch is dead (the screen is not as bright as it used to be, thus making it real hard to read it in night time, and barely in the day time.), and the moto actv is broken. i might just consider this watch. but then again, i work in an environment where i dont need to dress important, so i might just go to the galaxy gear, (way other side of the spectrum i know) but this watch is great as a good basic (discreet) notifications, in a professional environment.

Wish it had worked out better, seems like a great concept that I am looking for. Maybe the Cogito line will be a bit better? I don't necessarily need interaction, just some notifications that I should pull out the phone, which is exactly what this is.

As a fan of digital watches, I find it hard to real appreciate the smartwatch "analogue watch" form factor, as information on the screen is so limited.

That said, I really like the look of the Martian smartwatches.

This Cookoo smartwatch actually appeals to me but as you say Adam, it's functionality as a smartwatch is somewhat flawed.

Hopefully the next edition can improve on a promising start.

"The Cookoo is really nothing more than an extension of your phone, acting as only a notifier when you receive and email, SMS, phone call or otehr alerts. Your can't see who is calling, who sent an email or even read your text messages."

That is really all I want from a "smartwatch" standpoint. Now add fitness sensors for steps, heart rate/pulse skin temp and sleep monitoring and connect to an app and it would be the perfect watch for me. My phone is in my pocket and i do not always hear or feel it when something comes in. This would do it for me.

I'm sorry, but the Cookoo is a terrible watch with terrible support and a lot of "rah-rah" from Pete "the Piranha" (sic) who is behind this watch. My Cookoo didn't ship for over a year past its estimated ship date. When I got it, it didn't work with iOS, leave alone Android, which is my preferred platform. It still doesn't pair properly with iOS, and there isn't a single instruction manual that explains what the many (non-functional) buttons on the app do. I've been using computers since the days of the ][GS and I've never encountered a more cryptic and unusable application. On Android, it's even worse. If the watch fails for any reason, you basically have to wipe your phone to re-pair it.

I really wanted to like this, I really do - because there are moments when my beloved Pebble looks inappropriate with my attire. But there are devices so bad that you cannot in good conscience recommend under any circumstance, and this is one of them. Please remove the buy link - this is a terrible watch.