What do we think of low-cost smartwatches?

Full disclosure, I have limited experience with smartwatches in general, bear with me on this

A few years ago I bought a cheap smartwatch on Amazon simply because I liked the way it looked and it only cost €19,99. It had a square bronze-coloured dial with matching chestnut rubber strap and a variety of features which I never used. Not once. I know that kinda defeats the purpose of a smartwatch but that's the point. I'm no smartwatch guy. I totally understand the appeal and as somebody correctly pointed out (in the comment sections here on DT, a while ago), I'd rather spend £500 on a "watch I wear and use all its features right now, instead of a watch that might become valuable in the future". That's a far point. I'm not averse, I just don't think they're for me.

Earlier today, as I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, I saw a sponsored post for the smartwatch(es) you see here. I normally ignore sponsored products but this one said "Florence" in the name so I thought I'd take a look and found out that this brand, called Florence Marlen, was founded in Florence, Italy, which made me feel duty-bound to do a bit of digging.

As it turns out, they produce two different models, the FM1R and the FM1S, coming in with a classic round-shaped case and rectangular-shaped case respectively. They're both iOS and Android compatible, the FM1s has a slightly better battery life with 4 days as opposed to the 3 days. They can be both synced to your smartphone camera and music player, and they both offer useful things like a fitness tracker, heart rate and sleep monitor. A plethora of perlon and leather straps as well as stainless steel bracelets are available.

And the price? I'll give you a few seconds to have an educated guess. Nope, it's a little less than that. They're currently available on Amazon for about €60-70. I still maintain that smartwatches belong in the "tech" section of a shopping mall because your Apple Watch shares a lot more in common with your iPhone than it does with your Casio. If you like smartwatches and you're willing to invest a little bit of money to buy one, I don't think you'll be easily steered away from an Apple Watch. However, if you're just looking for a cool watch with some tech features or, like me, you're still a bit wary and don't want to spend an excessive amount of money on a watch that's powered by an OS rather than a movement or a module, well, why not?

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Comments (20)

  • 1. about the last thing I want is for my watch to start beeping at me as my phone and laptop do.

    2. I simply cannot believe that electronics can be made this cheaply, and still withstand the common use and abuse of a watch. Just a sapphire crystal alone usually goes for $60+. So this one isn't, but it's big and unprotected - it's a dome - so it's going to be scratched beyond belief.

    3. And I know a coupe things about designing the insides of an electronic device, and, as soon as you add movement and bumps and vibrations and elements, it's not easy - nor very cheap - to make something that will last.

    That said, Casio manages. But Casio is very, very good at making electronic things. And they don't look like this.

      6 days ago
  • I am no fan of these. I bought a smart watch years ago and found I preferred my phone. I forgot to charge the watch one day then just forgot about it.

      7 days ago
  • I have to say I am an old man on this... not into digital watches 🙄

      7 days ago
  • No. I don’t wear the watch I own. Hardly turn on my phone - tired of smartphone addiction.

      6 days ago
  • would you buy a low-cost smartwatch? @tribe

      7 days ago
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