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.