Mono display; iOS app; slow interface
The Trakdot promises a lot. It supports both iOS and Android smartphones and looks a lot like the popular Pebble. But it lacks some of the polish of the Pebble and the iOS app had us scratching our heads on several fronts.
The Trakdot is distributed in Australia by Kogan. Like the Pebble, it has three buttons on one side and one on the other, although the orientation is reversed. The LCD screen is a similar size to the Pebble, although the entire watchface is a little thicker.
Set-up starts by loading an app on your smartphone – we used an iPhone 5s. The instructions, which like most Kogan products need to be downloaded as they’re not included with the product, directed us to a website that loaded an app independently of the App Store. However, iOS was smart enough to tell us what data and services the app was accessing, such as contacts, calendar and reminders. A quick scan of the App Store revealed the same app was available there, but we couldn’t get that version of the app to connect.
The app was clearly converted from another language, as some of the settings were a little cryptic or grammatically creative. For example, we’re not quite sure what the setting ‘Motor’ was for. We could use the app to customise the watchface. For example, we could have the watchface show the time, weather and unread text messages.
The watch itself works reasonably well. The LCD display is reasonably clear, although it was a little difficult to read in strong light. It’s easy, however, to reverse the display to show light text on a dark background, rather than the default.
We did find the watch laggy; for example, if we changed a setting on the app, it could take a while to show on the watch.
The included pedometer is a nice extra and the app provides real-time feedback on your speed and distance – handy for occasional exercisers.
In our view – we’d rather spend the extra $20 and get the Pebble, as it’s a more polished product that’s supported by a developer community. But if you’re after a basic smartwatch that delivers alerts it’s adequate – particularly if you can find it in one of Kogan’s frequent sales. We found it discounted by $44 at the time this review was written.