Omate TrueSmart first impressions | Connectedly

Omate TrueSmart first impressions

By Adam Zeis on 14 Feb 2014 02:23 pm

This post comes from the Smartwatch Fans forums courtesy of forums member scoats. I haven't been able to get my hands on a TrueSmart just yet, but when I do we'll have plenty more content on this little guy. Scoats does a great job of going over the basics of the device for the first time, so if you're at all interested in the TrueSmart there is some good stuff here. Give it a read and hit up the forums for more discussion!

Omate TrueSmart is a nice piece of hardware with amazing capabilities crammed into a tiny package and has potential to take care of anything I would want on my wrist. 


My first impression is how heavy it is, but I am already getting used to the weight on my wrist. I also haven't been wearing my Pebble recently so maybe I'm just not used to a watch. I normally wear watches a little loose, but the weighty Omate flops around too much for that. When I tighten it, it helps that the band is a comfortable soft matte rubber. The band is also a lint magnet. It would be less of a dust collector if it was less matte or less soft.

Other than the band attracting dust, everything is very well built. It feels very solid. The casing, glass, and even buttons feel high quality. My SIM cover is very slightly uneven even though it is made to contour with the body. The screen might be a little off center because one side seems to be slightly more raised than the other, but not generally noticeable. The only other minor thing that I see is a little glue or scratch where the camera component contacts the body, but this is hardly noticeable. Overall it looks and feels good even if it is a little thick, but not excessively so. I would happily give up the microSD if it could be any bit thinner. However, I am sure some are very pleased with the option to expand storage. 

The speaker is loud and better sounding than I expected. I haven't yet spent any time in Google Music with Bluetooth headphones, but in brief experiences I didn't have any trouble with paired headsets. In short video recordings the microphone performed acceptably and picked up everything that I would expect. I have not yet tested call quality using the built-in speaker and mic. I also don't plan to use it like that except on rare occasions. 

I have a 1GB/8GB US version. In everything that I have done, it is very quick and responsive. The touch screen does seem very sensitive and leaves me wanting smaller fingertips. A finer tip stylus might work great. It seems that the screen sometimes activates even before I actually touch it. The right side of mine seems to be particularly sensitive, even activating something with no finger near, but it's been cold and I have been wearing fleece jackets so static electricity may be to blame. 

The screen is bright. I immediately set it to minimum brightness. Even outside under bright only slightly hazy sky this was very readable. In a dark room it is a little bright. The resolution is adequate and works for everything that I have tried. That said, I may be a bit spoiled from phones with 1080p and would prefer more pixels. I think that 320x320 would be much better. On TrueSmart's 240x240 display, things on the status bar are a bit unclear. Everything else is readable, but could still benefit from higher resolution. 

The SIM slot worked, but you will not want to be swapping SIM often. The screw heads strip easily and will almost certainly be lost if they make it off your work surface. The included screwdriver seems a little off and barely fit in one of the screws. I will definitely try one of my own next time. 

Firmware and Google Apps 

I installed Google Play Services 4.5 apk downloaded from Android Police. Just search for it. The Google services hack doesn't seem to work now with the firmware on mine which is 20140120.154604_V2.0 as shipped which reports Android version 4.2.2. I have no idea what is in or not in this firmware. Hopefully it has some of the fixes from developers. That said, I'm not too worried about it because I will only be using a few Google apps and some other well known ones like RunKeeper and Twitter and not viewing websites. I haven't really spent any time with the included applications nor do I plan to, so I will let others comment on them. I was in the browser briefly and not impressed, but I don't think you can provide a reasonable browsing experience on a watch. I opened a YouTube link in the browser from somewhere else and somehow without asking it used my Google account that I had signed into Google Play with. For that reason, I might disable the browser and install Chrome for the rare occasion that I use a browser. 

Unfortunately Bluetooth tether still is not working in this firmware. Tethering to my phone over Bluetooth would be the ideal data connection for me. I don't know about the other way around, but I am not interested in that. For now I am using Wifi tether which works fine but is going to use more power. Wifi and cellular signal strength seem pretty good especially considering the size of the device. 


It has excellent standby battery life. I have been using it with Wifi data via tether to my phone, sometimes Bluetooth on, GPS on, and a SIM installed and connected to a network but not for mobile data. With light use, you will probably get 24 hours from the battery. I was on track to reach 48 hours on my first full charge, but I also don't have any accounts syncing yet. 

When the screen is on the battery drains much more quickly. Screen on, GPS tracking with maps is probably on the order of 1% per minute. With the screen off and RunKeeper tracking it probably drained at about 0.3% per minute. Pulling constant Wifi or cellular data will certainly take a toll. I don't plan on playing video or streaming anything. I will only be playing some cached Google Music. 


I used RunKeeper for a half hour in the car. It took a bit of time to get GPS signal in the car and was still way off for a couple miles but then seemed to track accurately. Outside GPS locked on accurately fairly quickly (several seconds). Google maps seems to work great, though I did not try navigation yet. 

Swimming Test

I'll leave this up to other people to test with their watches before I give it a try. Actually water resistance is very important to me because I plan to run with it and will need to at least rinse off the sweat. I also have some silicon grease to ensure that the seal is good if/when I have to take it apart for a battery pull. 

Other Notes

I am not looking to do anything crazy with the watch. I only want call and email notifications and to track my runs while playing some music. In my normal every day use, Pebble 2.0 will do what I need. I want Omate TrueSmart to occasionally leave my phone behind for jogging or outdoor work. In those situations, I would still like to be connected to get notifications for my primary email accounts and have phone capability available. I also want Bluetooth music and GPS. The TrueSmart does all that for me. Since the watch can sync accounts on its own, I only need a companion app to notify me of phone calls on my cell. Phone call notification is most important since I never notice vibration in my pocket if I am not sitting still. That's where Pebble was most valuable to me. I have linked my new prepaid number for TrueSmart to my Google Voice number, but that only helps for calls to Google Voice number. At this point, the ideal solution for me is probably sticking with Pebble and only switching to TrueSmart when I don't want to take my phone. However TrueSmart is only a software update away from doing everything I want from a watch. 

Since I expect to be mostly tethered to my phone (hopefully via Bluetooth soon), I purchased a prepaid SIM from Lyca Mobile. They are a T-Mobile MVNO (which means generally no 3G service on 1900MHz) with some reasonable plans. I am using pay as you go for 2¢ minute, 4¢ text, 6¢ MB. For my purposes I should only use a few dollars per month. I know some people were hoping to use the T-Mobile 200MB free tablet plan and I would be interested if that works, though I do like having a simple voice option available. 

I am looking forward to try the Minuum keyboard on TrueSmart. Currently I am using Google keyboard since I haven't spent enough time yet with the default keyboard. 

Did I mention Bluetooth tethering? That is number one on my wish list. 

I am excited to see what comes out of Google I/O this year. With the rumors of a Google watch, I think there is a real chance of something announced at I/O and that could bring some great things to the TrueSmart. I have not tried flappy bird yet. I have not tried it on my phone either, nor do I plan to.

Discuss more in the Smartwatch Fans forums

Reader comments

Omate TrueSmart first impressions


Thanks for this, it was useful. Am looking forward to future coverage to find out more.

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App on my Motorola XT890 RAZR i

I use GV as well but ported my number to Google so all call to my number ring on multiple devices no matter who the carrier is.

I use the T-Mo $30 plan. That gets me HSPA+ for up to 5GB and unlimited texts. I don't talk much so the 100min is not an issue and tend to use SIP/VOIP when in 3G/4G areas anyway.

As far as battery life and the crazy bright screen (min is brighter than an N4 at 50%) there's a fix for that.

Nice "real use" review. I can't wait to read your future posts once you've used your Omate more. I'm intrigued by being able to leave my phone behind while jogging. That's why I thought about getting a TrueSmart. In the end, I ended up ordering a Pebble Steel. I'm still waiting for them to ship. If they take too long, I might find myself getting an Omate.

Wonderful review. I hope the Omate folks see it and respond to your suggestions. Keep us updated or start a blog on your experiences with it! Would love to see your weekly or 30 day impressions.

Thanks for the review. Very helpful. I'm interested in a standalone phone watch, but given today's technology it is a lower priority for me. Higher is bluetooth connection for notifications and for initiating calls from my phone.
Thanks again.

I can't speak to the experience of the watch itself because I never received the one I paid for. I can speak to the experience I've had with the company though. I pre-ordered this watch in October of last year with high hopes. When the company had shipping issues I asked for a refund. That was December of last year. Since then I have been given the run around, been ignored and been lied to. If you purchase this watch and are one of the few to actually receive it, expect terrible, if not completely missing in action customer support. I'd wait for a legitimate company to release a good product instead of taking a chance of losing $300 like I did.