A really THIN 6 weeks Smart watch, “T8”, (And “R18”)

(here with a loop band)

Merely 7.8mm thick (6.9 excluding small protrusion, and down to 4.0mm at the edge), AMOLED with AOD.

By far the most wearable smart watch I’d ever seen!!

ADD 20240210: I just found out that a new slightly thinner TN88 exists, made a post here.

UPDATE: I have revised this thread to include the various update over the year I have used it.

Currently at $25 including shipping…. Even better stamina than expected, six weeks! (less nine hours)
(This post is an ongoing project, the last was to add info on blod pressure, 20240224)

This has grown a bit over the months, since I got it 2022-12-27, so first a

TL;DR summary on T8

  • ø43mm round
  • Less than 7mm thick
  • 6 weeks stamina, with all monitoring ON (v1.00.24, earlier slightly less)
  • All metal. (Zinc alloy I believe – Nickel free)
  • About $30, including shipping (less any local taxes)
  • The 1.3″ AMOLED display, can be used with AOD, though that hits the stamina.
  • No NFC nor GPS
  • Software works, but it’s weak.
  • All the usual HeartRate+Sleep+SpO2 monitoring, but BloodPressure also.
  • Works offline without a phone. Holds data 6+ days for fetching into the app later. (No known limits inside the app)
  • The usual sports stuff, plus some period stuff – both out of my scope.
  • The usual notification stuff, call control and camera control, if hooked to a phone.
  • No mic, speaker jack nor SIM-slot.
  • As no mic, there are no Alexa or similar.
  • Three colour variants: ‘Gold’, ‘Silver’ and ‘Black’ (+bands, 20mm standard pin)
  • Arm difference 2023/2022. arm-to-arm length 48/50 mm.
  • Hardened glass, possibly Gorilla Glass, or a competitor

 

The longer version…

I got really exited when I found this one. ø43mm, and only 7.8mm thick, and 6.9mm outside the 20mm protrusion, 1.3″ 360×360 pixels AMOLED display (277PPI).
(The mean thickness as volume divided by area is 6.5mm, see later on that)
At first I thought that this was almost too good to be true, But it is real, and at the price it was surprisingly good value for money for US$38 (including shipping and 25% VAT 2022) – that was about $30 with shipping, but ex VAT. And after twelve months my excitement is still high. Sure it is not perfect. But in my book there are NONE of the other I would rather have, no matter the price!! And NO it does NOT have a cheap plastic feeling to it, all metal case and band, with no complaints on workmanship. But the software/firmware are where it is weakest.

The currently cheapest I found is here. at $25 including shipping and (excluding local taxes, $31 incl DKK taxes and shipping). The price vary wildly from different vendors, and over time, so browse a bit before buying, a few try to push it for ten times the price….

Many of the images below ar of the early 2022 variant, that got longer arms, but I generally written the old one out.

I bought more than a dozen the last years, for gifts and as spares.

I’m pretty sure that the actual producer is Sovogue see e.g. this, as they offer 6 colour-variations, most places they only offer four. Several offer people to put their own brand on them if they buy 100+, so I guess that is why all advertising images, the retail box and manual are all ‘Anonymous’.

Short videos from Azhuo (that I believe to be a wholesaler) can be found here and here. And some pure advertising renderings with exaggerated display size (but outer dimensions OK), NOT the physical product here.

One could fear that such a thin unit would have a very short stamina. Not so!! With my usage pattern, it is 6 weeks with 2023 model and newest 1.00.24 firmware.

 

Physical design and wearability.

Beyond the ø43mm, the band ‘arms’ stick out a bit, so the length ends at 48mm (was 50mm for the 2022 version), making it less suitable for lesser arms, though they do also point downwards.

The advertisement images that can be found in above links are clearly faked, to make it look (even) thinner. Here I added a real image scaled to same width under the fake one.

And they also try to make the display coverage appear larger

vs

(Notice how the top right “0” of “200” reaches just outside the display area and have been clipped, and the slightly grey display area, showing the actually active display size)

The actual display coverage is 59%  of edge to edge, and 68% of the glass surface (5mm bezel, including a 3.5mm bezel-ring under the glass)

Here I’ve added a thin green ring to make it more clear

The case is unfortunately only available in a glossy golden, ‘silver’ and black – But the golden is a rose-gold not too far from the skin colour of a pale European. I would have preferred a mate case finish over the glossy one. But at the least the band (and clasp) is not glossy.
It is solid colouring of the metal (not just gold plating). No mis-colouring or anything after half a year.
Luckily It uses a standard 20mm band, so easy to swap to something else when/if that gets ugly. I personally prefer Milanese loop bands, so swapped it quickly.

The band has a neatly looking closing mechanism:

The mechanism is a bit complex to mount around the arm with one hand – but I guess that is just a matter of getting used to it. If your hand can curl enough, a hint is to lock the band in the outermost position when taking it off, so it is only a matter of tightening with one hand when back on.

The T8 exist in three but are now only sold in two colour variants (plus the same cases with different bands)
The band attachment is a standard 20mm, so you can change it with any of the zillions available.

(Still with various protective plastic on)

The black one is no longer produced, according to what a person at Sovogue told me, (but I was lucky to get a single of the black ones)

I’m not sure what material the band and case are made of. I have seen “Alloy” and “Zinc alloy” in various listings. It does not react on magnets. (Well part of the buckle, and the small band attachment-ends do react slightly to magnets). This goes for all above colour variants and their bands.
Usually my skin reacts in a few days if a watch/band contains Nickel, I have NOT had this on the ‘gold’ variant, so if present it is in low concentration… 🙂
(ADD: After over years daily usage, still no skin irritation, so none or minute amounts of Nickel)

The case thickness also makes it very wearable, as the centre part ‘sinks’ into the arm, even when not wearing the watch tight:

Note how close the mesh band goes to the connection pins on the front side. Most Milanese mesh bands end in some clumsy chunk. (I’m yet to find a Milanese LOOP band that has such a nice ending…)

As can be seen on the last of these images of the 2022 model  there is quite a distance between the case and the band. And though this seems silly at first it DO allow for the usage of a Milanese LOOP band, directly around the pin, without the usually ugly ‘connection piece’.
Surprisingly the newer ones from 2023 has 1.5mm shorter arms, so ends at 48mm total length, and looks better. You can still use loop bands directly with the shorter arms.

Here a loop band with magnetic hold, without and with a connection piece: (long arms model)
vs  

Here is how it  looks on the arm with loop bands of different colours:

The wearability is not only due to the objective measured thickness of the case but also due to the ‘conic’ shapes of the case and its protrusion.

and the same with some quick helper lines, to better see the profile:

So it looks and feels (even) thinner on the arm than the measurements says. I guess a uniform 4-5mm ‘coin’ would look much the same placed on the arm (Slightly larger than a £5 coin).

You need to have REALLY tight cuffs on your shirt or wear a very tight sweater for it to hang on the T8, note how they even slanted the top edge of the frame, so there are only 3mm for the garment to get caught at.

In general protrusions on say a phone is a PEST, as they usually make the phone wobble on a desk. But on a smartwatch a protrusion is an advantage! The reason is that a flat watch would need to be mounted much more tight to get a good sensor-skin contact, than one with a small protrusion. (think of standing on flat feet versus on your toes)
Obviously the protrusion should not be so wide/deep that the case edges no longer reaches the arm, as this would make a ‘trap’ to catch a shirt sleeve.

The small crown is nicely designed like a classic watch crown, but though it do rotate, it is just a push button, and the design merely made to make it look like a classic watch. (BTW the blue centre you see on it in some images above is a protective foil I overlooked…)

The weight of the watch without band is 24g, with the 2mm Milanese band 62g, and with a third party 1.6mm Milanese loop band 53g (The similar numbers for a “Huawei Watch Fit New” (“HWFN” below) are 20g and 47g with a 1.7mm Milanese loop band, so quite close, considering that the HWFN is plastic and the display area of the T8 is 11% larger – 7.7 vs 8.6 cm²)

Despite being so thin, they still managed to squeeze in a vibration-unit powerful enough to wake me up, I had not dare to hope for that.

 

Sensor

As can be seen above the T8 got three ‘windows’, It seems to be two emitters of various colours on both sides of a sensor. (click to enhance):

And a crop from a disassembled one:

The T8 offers blood pressure measurements with optics only. I found this on the how this can be done:

“Research has shown that pulse transit time (PTT), which is the time delay between the electrocardiogram (ECG) signal and the signal from a photoplethysmogram (PPG) sensor, can be used to estimate systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) without the need for a cuff”

Though this watch can not do ECG, I assume it is a simplified version of that, it is using, and if you look at the formulas in the link that might be why they need your height and weight!

The heart rate seems to be measured as the distance between each individual stroke (and not by counting the number of strokes over a period), and you can get the live number in the app. (I assume that what they register as measurement is also done after some filtering and mean over a short period – but just guessing)

 

A little on the mean thickness

As this watch has an unusual (and I believe very well thought through) profile, it is a little hard to talk about the thickness. It would not be fair to take the thinnest 4mm, nor would it be fair to only see at the rather small protrusion and say 7.8mm, as it actually is important that it DO protrude. One could take the largest flat surface and say 6.9mm. But I think a more fair way to do it would be to find the volume (less crown and band-arms) and divide with the area, and thus get a mean thickness.

The profile-thickness as a function of the radius (r) can be described as
r≤9.3mm : 7.8mm
9.3mm<r≤10.0mm : linear from 7.8 to 6.9mm, α=-1.3
10.0mm<r≤17.0mm : 6.9mm
17.0mm<r≤21.5mm : linear from 6.9 to 4.0mm, α=-0.64
21.5mm<r : 0

Integrating that over the area, gives a volume of 9.463cm³, and the area is obviously 14.52 cm² [=ᴨ (2.15cm)²], and dividing the two gives us the mean: 6.5mm.

(In this I ignored that the top edge is slanted at the last about 1 mm, so strictly a fraction less)

 

A few extra spec-infos

The water protection rating is IP67.
CPU/Main chip: RTL8762.
Heart rate sensor: VC32S.
G-sensor SC7A20.
Bluetooth: BLE 5.0
Vibrational motor: Non-SMD motor 820 (Nice that it’s NOT mounted on the main board, so vibrations can not destroy its solderings) – see disassembly section later.
Android min v4.4, Ios min v9.0
Neither NFC nor GPS (though unsurprisingly offers to use the location from the phone).
I see no mentioning on the ‘crystal’, so I guess it is Corning Gorilla (or similar).
The glass disc is ever so slightly lower than the bezel (about a hairs width), so that could protect it a tiny bit, e.g. if placed up side down on a table with some fine but sharp dust.
No scratches or the like after the first four months, so points at something harder than just ordinary glass, unless I have been extremely lucky – but it has been the season of long sleeves, so could be mere luck.
Tested on a defective unit (DOA, bad battery): A Mohr 6 stone leaves no marks, a Mohr 7 can with substantial pressure, Mohr 8 fairly easily, so hardened glass, definitely not sapphire (Mohr 9). So consistent with the Mohr 6.8 of e.g. Gorilla Glass.
The timer max is 24h (less one second).
The stop watch allows for 10 lap times.
Notifications can be wiped individually, or a s a whole.
The watch keeps up to a weeks data if not connected to a phone. (well 6 whole day, and then depending on the time of day, as it wipes days as a whole for reuse at midnight)

 

High wearability in contrast to others…

Believe it or not the below left image is actually a crop from an advertising image for a “Huawei Watch Fit 2”, not a scare campaign!! (taken from here)

 vs

The Fit2 is far by the only one out there with such poor wearability, but I think the difference is quite striking. (Huawei´s previous versions are substantially better than the Fit2 here, see e.g. below or this post).
The Fit2 has a 6% larger display than the T8 though (9.1 vs 8.6 cm²), and the case area is also 6% larger (15.4 vs 14.5 cm²).

Of course my arm is a bit wider, but that far from explains the whole difference in wearability. The 10.8mm vs 6.9mm (both ex protrusion) makes a huge difference, as does the more flat back of the Fit2. If I tighten the T8 band, the crown sinks ‘into’ the arm.

For further compare I just took a picture with their better designed predecessor “Huawei Watch Fit New” and one with my beloved Omega Seamaster Polaris

So the T8 looks much more like a real elegant watch on the arm, than yet another pill-box-on-a-string or diver’s watch lookalike, and has actually replacied my beloved Polaris as my standard watch.

Usually the manufacturers go to great length to not show how poor wearability their devices offer – so kudos to Huawei for being honest about the Fit2…

…And really odd that the T8 advertisement images do not show how thin it is worn on the arm. Maybe it is a matter of not dissing the long list of other smart watches they have in their portfolio, that has just as low wearability as any other brand??

 

Software & Firmware

The software used is “Qwatch Pro” for Android (also exists for Ios). And in general it works OK, but certainly with room for improvements. Worst of is that IF it is not currently connected to your phone (App killed, phone off, out of BT reach…) any other phone with the software can connect to the watch, interact with it, and disconnect, without I would ever notice!!! (well it do vibrate shortly when a new connection is made, But I’m NOT requested to confirm the connection).

As they offer (NOT required!) to make a user account it would be fairly easy to link the ID of the device with the account, and do a lookup on any connection attempts, and deny if not the same account – a simple solution, without the need of correcting the T8-firmware. (tried to send as a feedback – not fixed after a year!)

The lack of connect-confirmation is also seen on other smart watches, also using other software, so (unfortunately) by far limited to this one…

The device offers measurements of “Heart Rate”, “SpO2“, “Blood Pressure” and Sleep. Plus some sports and period-cycle stuff, that are both outside my scope.
It does not only (like many other) offer ad hoc measurements of the HR/SpO2/BP, but also offers automatic measurements of the HR every 5min, and SpO2 and BP hourly. Plus detection of Sleep-state (Awake/Light/Deep), though it does not separate out the REM-phase as e.g. the Huawei ones does.
(You can not select how often it probes)
And the measurements seems to align fairly well with what the HWFN reports, But I do believe the HWFN is more accurate..

The software offers to nag you on “Sedentary” and “Drinking water”, BUT luckily you can turn both off! It also allows you to set your daily goals so high, that you don’t risk being disturbed by reaching it – nor nagged when you do not (e.g. you can set the daily distance to 100km, exercise time 11.5h etc)

The software offers 189 dials to choose from (has grown slowly over time). The watch supports four faces, where one is fixed, one is digital only (with user selectable background – see below), and merely two are user selectable. (click to see detailed collage)

Some are nice and neutral e.g these (the white balance of the photos is a bit off due to the red background though)

(the first with the original band, the second with a loop band, with the less elegant band-end above 12 o’clock)

Here a dump from the configuration for the user selectable background:

Nice detail that you can tone down the image, if you have troubles finding a suitable contrasting colour.

A silly detail in the firmware (And this is not just the T8, many others e.g. the HWFN has the same issue) is that there seems to be missing a setting for the wear direction, that is you can not select to have the display logically rotated so the crown would get to the left, if you should prefer that… As this is only a button and not a real active crown (AFAIK), the issue is mostly cosmetic, but why not give people the choice?

The T8 also offers AOD (Always-on-display), where it shows a clean watch-face (independent of what you have uploaded/selected).

Can’t hardly get much more classic watch than that 😀
Though I would have preferred if hands and markers were ‘matching’ the case ‘gold’/’silver’.

It would be really cool if they offered something (even) more minimalistic (also) :

Apart from looking cool, this would also be better for the AMOLED, than having the same LEDs on, all the time (that is why I removed the hour markers and cut the centre away also in the mock-up)

I experimented with AOD a bit (see later on battery). You can select a time window for when AOD shall be active, if the watch is still for over five minutes, it turns AOD off temporarily so If I have not enabled the Raise-to-Wake, the screen IS off when I wake!

A clever little detail: Like so many other smart watches, the T8 offers the feature of raise-to-wake, and a setting for how long the display should stay on after last interaction. BUT they extended this with the neat feature that if you touch the display again within 3s after the screen has gone off, it wakes again. This feature is really nifty if you have been interacting with the watch, and for some reason paused so long that the screen goes off. (Obviously you can also just press the button or twist your wrist)
If you reacitivate it within 10s of the display going off within some deep menu, you are returned to the place you were. Longer than that and you will start at the watch-face, simple and effective.

Though you can turn the raise-to-wake off/on quite easily, it would be handy with a setting for on, but display only, where you could set the touch passive until button-press. That could be nice if you were doing something that might trigger the raise-to-wake inadvertently. But I guess the AOD On with raise-to-wake Off, could do the trick here.

The T8 should also be praised for its quite fast synchronization of its collected data, data from the last 24h is transferred within about 3-4s, it takes much much much longer on the Huawei Watch Fit, usually over 30s. Also the transfer of new watch faces is reasonably fast. I have recieved watches with three different versions of firmware, but the older has not been offere an OTA update, though I know from the predeseccor (R18, see almost at the botto) using the same app, that the app suppotrs OTA updates. The newst I bought got 1.00.24_230728 , the previous was 1.00.23_221215 , and the old 2022 with longer i initially bought arms got 1.00.22_221012.

The app do not need any of the permissions it requests for basic functionality. On Android there is a strange coupling between scanning for BT and Location. So during the initial pairing it DO need Location though. But for general functionality, you can disable it as soon as it is paired. Obviously disabling something will remove some matching functionality.

If you do not want it to handle notifications, or track an exercise, there are no reason to allow it use data in the background, and you can even restrict it from running in the background at all under Battery. The storage permission is only needed to select one of your stored pictures as a background!

After a fairly recent update, the app will nag you on launch about ‘missing’ Location and Storage access, by opening apps-settings. But you can just exit it and continue, and it works fine!! I guess they REALLY want to steal our data, and do not like when we try to prevent/limit that…

I do not use it for notifications, but this is what it offers, I assume they by the last option mean from any other app indiscriminately.

Looking for other apps supporting the device I tried “Laxasfit Pro”, and “JYouPro” and though they recognise the device, and reads the firmware version, they do not work with the T8.

The “TFit” can see it, but does not even get the firmware version out.

On the other hand the “QiFitPro” works just fine, and clearly very close to “QWatch pro”, with a smarter selector for watch faces, though only presenting a subset. I would guess the original to be the QWatch pro that has been forked to a specific vendor.

 

Battery and stamina

The Stamina seems slightly improved at each update. and is currently an impressive six weeks!

The battery is 185mAh (and 3.8V).

I measured a full charge from 0% to 100% on two watches and they charged at a completely consistent rate of 1%/minute, so 1h 40m for 0-100% charge. It charges with 5V, and starts pulling with just 125mA, and falls as in this table

Percentage 0% 60% 90% 95% 100% 100%+5min 100%+10min 100%+15min 100%+16min
Current 125mA 101mA 81mA 66mA 38mA 26mA 16mA 10mA 0mA

Note that it still pulls 38 mA after “100%” is reached, leaving it attached for an additional 15 min, it falls to 10mA and then drops to zero) So leaving it attached for 2h, will charge the battery as much as possible. The weird ‘beyond 100%’, also explains why it stays at “100%” for days.
The first charge with 1.00.22 I did for below graph (are likely not to have been 15m over) it stayed at “100%” for over 24h, it had ‘dropped’ to 99% after 36h. I later charged it to its max Feb 9, and it stayed at displaying 100% until 3.5 day only reaching 99% Feb 13 after four days!!)

So “100%” is a bit odd as it keeps charging after reaching “100%”, and also stays at “100%” for days, if I interpolate linearly, it is as if it starts around “115%”… I GUESS this is a little ‘trick’ to make sure it can still show “100%” when the battery gets a little worn, but just my guess.

I stopped the 1.00.22 after reaching 22%, as I expected it to plummet below 20% as so many phone does. And I faked the offset by 2½ days to get the 99% at four days for the combined graph
The 1.00.23 I let do a full discharge to 1%, and it took 38 days (to the minute),
The 1.00.24 did slightly better, and less nine hours reached 6 weeks!!

Combining the numbers, you will need to charge it slightly over a quarter per week!

Here a combined graph for the three versions I got (click for details)

All possible monitoring ON: Sleep, Heart rate/5min, SpO2/h, Blood pressure/h and Steps on, two daily alarms, AOD OFF.

Note that I in the combined graph above reversed the numbers from an original 1.00.22 graph (where I lost the source numbers in a windows update crash!).

I registered the remaining percentage at about 09 and 21 (almost) every day starting at 100% 2022-12-27 21:00. And still 23% remaining capacity after three whole weeks was really impressive! (though later versions do even better)
The red is a HWFN recorded since 2023-01-09 09:00.

The steep drop from from 85% to 82% within an hour,was due to experiments with AOD and other settings, including various watch-faces, so the blue is a little worse than it ought to be, and should have reached at the least four weeks had I let it run to 0%.

 

A similar stamina test with AOD turned ON, is not quite as easy to do, as it (temporarily) turns AOD off if the watch is still for five minutes, and that easily occurs at night.
So I selected to let it have AOD turned ON between 08 and 24, and OFF between 00 and 08.

This gave a mere 52.3h or slightly over two days, or subtracting the sleep-periods we are down to 40.3h, on 1.00.23

To get the exact point where it turned itself off, I looked at the last heart-rate measurement recorded, as this records every five minute.

You may notice that it oddly used over three times as much at night in this AOD temporarily off state than it does when AOD is turned completely OFF, going 4% points down in a mere 8h, that must be a firmware bug of some kind, all else was the same… The test was done on a 1.00.23 unit, I have not tested if this bug is fixed on a 1.00.24 unit.
Strictly if I stayed active with no sleep I would get a few hours more since we would not have the two 4% periods, but it would be less than 48 sleepless hours, and these numbers can not be taken as accurate anyway, for a single measurement. As so many things can vary from day to day usage. From external stuff like weather to what I did those days.

I’ve experimented with AOD turned ON (before the above graph), and it gives this warning when turning it ON:

After 4 hours it was still at 100%, and after 6h 98%, after 12h 78% so though the “battery runtime” might be “massively decreased” it is not to an extent I would categorise as “extreme power consumption“.
Maybe the consumption is reduced from “Extremely lean” to “lean”, we are clearly still talking stamina in days not hours, Though as the above later test shows only two days.  Quite a contrast to the 6 weeks, with AOD turned Off.
Even the 2 days is a respective stamina for such a thin watch with AOD activated though, IMHO.

But overall, I would not recommend to use AOD ON in daily usage. But only for social occasions to look more discrete like a normal watch. Especially as AMOLED is known to burn-in if kept on continuously.

 

I assume the much longer than expected stamina I get is due to:

  • I do not use the T8 for all the sport-stuff that many likely would.
  • Apart from all the automatic measurements in the background, I don’t interact much with it during the day, except raising to check the time.
  • In the test period I synchronized the watch and app about once a day checking the percentage after. (For the original 1.00.22 twice a day, Both the T8 and the HWFN  )
  • It has been on the arm (almost) all the time (less bath), and covered with the sleeve of a fleece during the day, and by a duvet at night, so roughly constant temperature, I would guess about 30°C

So depending on your usage pattern, you are likely to not get the same long stamina – I mean they do advertise it as “5-7 days“. Yet it with my usage pattern ends at 6 weeks, and the T8 clearly has substantially better stamina than both the Huawei Watch Fit New, and the Huawei Band 6, that advertises “7-10 days” respectively “up to 2 weeks” (both these advertising estimates matches the actual stamina I usually get/got from them, down to about 20% , with similar usage pattern as the T8).

 

Disassembly

I disassembled a defective unit. (broke cables doing so)

Here some pictures. (as usual click to enlarge).

I disassembled it using a heat gun heating the whole thing, removed the foil with windows for the optical sensor/emitters, and then pushed the sensor-board, battery and display out from the bottom. This brutal way I broke the ribbon cable for the sensor-board, obviously I ought to have used a suction cup, pulling the display off, but the one I had was too big for the display…

 

Unusual watch to app usage possible, 1:m, n:1 or n:m

If you want to control multiple T8s from one phone, or to control a T8 from multiple phones, this is possible.

You can not have more than one connected at the time though, so to have a different T8 connected to a phone you would need to disconnect the current from within the app first.

If you want to control one T8 from multiple phones, you could also just after usage kill the app, or disable BT on the phone currently holding the connection. Then it will remember the watch it was connected to when relaunched.

Each watch holds data for today and six previous full days, so you would need to connect at the least every six day (well seven if done shortly before midnight) to keep the history for each device on the phone(s) to hold history.

 

Wishes for firmware improvements

  • Number one on the list is that connections from a new phone/tablet required a confirmation on the watch
  • A more AMOLED friendly AOD display, The hour-markers and centre could be made as a fixed background we could choose on/off. (see mock-up above)
  • It would be awesome if the above AOD screen came with hands in ‘gold’ or ‘silver’ matching the case. (perhaps as option)
  • The AOD should hook onto the existing sleep detection and turn AOD off during sleep. It turns AOD temporarily off is the watch is still for 5 minutes.
  • The timer ends with a single short vibration, with no repetition, that could easily be missed. A more persistent pattern (e.g. like the alarm) would be nice.
  • A way to turn off the display when the timer is counting down, important if it is not just a few minutes. Could be done by turning it into a one-time alarm, when the display is selected off. To simplify, only allow if more than 15 minutes left, and round to nearest minutes, so existing alarm system with integral minutes can be used.
    (We can select up to 23h 59m and 59s – And I highly doubt anyone would plan to watch that counting down…)

 

Wishes for next model

It would be great if they for the next version could manage to squeeze in a proximity sensor to turn the display off when covered with say a sleeve or duvet. Would be awesome combined with AOD.

And a little extra memory, so it could hold more than 2 user selectable watch-faces would be nice too. Though in all fairness it is quite fast (10s) to fetch another one from the app, and after playing around initially in reality I keep coming back to the same two faces as my preferred ones anyway.

If possible a larger screen in same body – that is less bezels – would be great.

I’m not a big fan of the attachments arms being of equal width, would prefer if they ‘integrated’ into the case like the R18 (or any classical watch) would make the whole thing look less fragile. I have tried to be a bit brutal on the disassembled unit, and the arms certainly are stronger than they look.

 


Variant R18

They also got a model R18, that is the 2020 predecessor.

Sold as “2020 Smartch 7.3mm Super Slim Smart Watch Womenhere, the “R18” is on the box. Like the T8 it is sold under many brands, and wildly varying prices, as so many other cheap Chinese goods

Slightly more compact and 1mm ‘thicker’ – still thinner than anything else I found out there!

It is 8.7mm including the ø18mm protrusion, and 8.1mm outside that. (Some advertising falsely claims 7.3mm thick)
The diameter is 42.2mm and the length is 47.6mm including the arms.
The R18 case looks more ‘Classic’ with its integrated arms than the T8. The newer T8s are a mere 0.4mm longer (the 2022 T8 was 2.4mm longer than the R18).
The display is 1.1″ 240x240pixels, IPS (218PPI).
Why they made the 3mm bezel-ring pink and not ‘gold’ is beyond me. (It is more pregnant on the ‘silver’ model, but works OK on the ‘gold’ one), here advertising renders (with exaggerated display size):

Video from Azhuo with real images here.

Real image taken from this video

My guess for the reasoning behind the ‘pink’ ring, is to split the 6mm bezel-ring under the glass into two rings (2.5 and 3.5mm).
The display coverage is 44% of edge to edge, and 49% of the glass surface, but 64% of the area within the pink ring, so a clever trick, to make the bezel look less huge. 🙂
Actually the glass disc seems to be the same 40mm as on the T8, so less metal bezels on the R18.

The R18 also uses standard 20mm bands, and came with the exact same band as the T8.

It is the same Qwatch Pro software that is used as for the T8, but the R18 offers four user selectable dials among 106 (versus the mere two for the T8) – which makes sense if the allocated memory is the same, with the over twice as many pixels on the 40% larger display of the T8 (9:4).

The battery is 150mAh. I do not know what the stamina is, but would expect it to be shorter than the T8, due to 19% smaller battery (and older chips).
I found these specs

5 days normally use;
30 days standby

But as the T8 is rated “5-7 days Normal mode” and “30 days Battery life” officially, and actually is 6 weeks(!) with my usage pattern, I would expect the R18 to last well beyond a week – depending on using patterns of course, but even the advertised five days is tolerable, as it will easily last an extended weekend out, without the need of bringing the cable.

R18 usage feedback

I got some feedback from the one that got the R18, and after a few days with an Iphone, and it is bad news:

  • The alarm does not always work as it is supposed to.
  • Some notifications from an Iphone are missed.

(I ordered her a T8 instead, despite having slightly larger footprint, she reported that the T8 does not have these issues, but are a bit too wide for her arm)

 


Alternatives…

Pebble Time Round…

The ONLY previously existing smartwatch looking smart like a watch was the ancient 2015 Pebble Time Round! Below is an image taken from here.

That was 7.5mm thick, ø38.5mm, had a flat back, a 1.0″ e-ink display with a huge bezel ring around the display, and no sensors at all, except a microphone. It came with either arms for 14 or 20mm standard pin bands. Despite the e-ink, it only had two days of stamina.

Waiting!

Unfortunately (AFAIK) nothing else comparably thin exists currently.
So will have to keep waiting for the more substantial brands to wake up and create some decent sized smartwatches that can match the cheap R18 and T8 talked about in this post!