A few years back, Alcatel surprised plenty of people by announcing its own smartwatch, the originally-named, uh, Watch. Now, the company has arrived at IFA 2016 with the follow up, that takes much of the same technology but puts it in far nicer clothes. The MoveTime WiFi uses the same basic operating system as the Watch, and has the same optical heart rate monitor, but gains a WiFi radio for better connectivity. The big selling point is the more mature case, and the new device looks a lot more mature, even if some of the original device’s uniqueness has been lost in the process.
Your eyes will be staring into a 1.39-inch, 400 x 400 AMOLED display that, in Alcatel’s ultra-dark booth, looked pretty good. I’m sure, however, that it’ll be worth checking this out in bright sunlight to see if it stands up in the real world. Tucked inside are both 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 radios, although that’s pretty much expected at this point. Alcatel’s representatives did mention to us, however, that the MoveTime has a built-in speaker and microphone, enabling you to make calls (via your phone) while speaking into your wrist.
While the operating system remains the same, it’s had a makeover that brings it a lot closer to Android Wear in terms of style, if not specific details. Gone are the primary-colored icons in bright boxes that had a hint of Sesame Street about them. In comes smaller icons with text descriptors that you scroll through vertically, rather than horizontally.
MoveTime WiFi is the flagship in a series of Move-branded wearables, including a Fitbit-esque Moveband, Movetrack, a portable GPS tracker, and Move Track & Talk, a tracking smartwatch for kids. The series will become available in Europe towards the end of the month, although details about a US launch and pricing are thin on the ground. Given that Alcatel’s first-generation Watch retailed for $150, its likely replaement shouldn’t be too much more expensive. We just hope that the company has tidied up some of the flaws in its homebrew software that we found in our review.
We’re live all week from Berlin, Germany, for IFA 2016. Click here to catch up on all the news from the show.