Mykronoz ZeTime, 2 years after

When Mykronoz ZeTime hybrid smartwatch hit the shelves, 2 years ago, I was curious, quite interested but uncertain about the bulky design and the proprietary OS.

At this time I was mainly using a Pebble Time Steel and was extremely happy with it.

The first user reviews for the ZeTime weren't good. The watch was often described as very slow, unstable, frequently loosing connexion. So I didn't bought it.

Time passed, I forgot about this watch and then 6 monthes ago I discovered and fell immediately in love with the Fossil Hybrid HR.

Some days ago I had the chance to get a used Zetime for a small price. Time to try it ! 


So I propose you this totally subjective review. This is nothing more than my experience with this device, it is not supposed to be universal.

After charging, the first thing I did was to download the Mykronoz app, associate the watch and launch the big update. The system have been updated recently to version 2, promising new functions and a better user experience.

My experience with this unique watch is quite different from all the old reviews I found on the web, probably because I have never used the 1st version of the system.

This a very late review (or non-review). The watch is not sold everywhere and is on sales on Amazon where you can get it for about 70/80€. No doubt this watch will soon disappear from the stores, maybe to be replaced by a ZeTime 2 ... if ever a ZeTime 2 is actually planned. We haven't got any news from Mykronoz since ages.

Let's go to the main points right now.

Is the ZeTime a GOOD smartwatch ?
YES, actually I'm surprised how useable and efficient it can be, at least now with the update.

Is the ZeTime WORTH 80€ ?
YES ABSOLUTELY, I think it's a bargain at this price.

Is the ZeTime a good SPORT watch ?
NO, activity tracking is limited, it is perfect for people not so much into sports who want to check they got enough activity every day and check their heart rate.

Is the ZeTime a good SMART watch ?
YES, very good actually, it is not as smart as an Apple Watch, a Samsung Watch or a Fossil one running Wear OS. But it is a lot smarter than any Huawei GT or GT2 or any Honor watch, or any Amazfit, or the Fossil Hybrid HR.

Is BATTERY LIFE good enough ?
YES, very good ! The watch is supposed to last 30 days for the hands movement but only 3 days for smart functions. I actually get 6 or 7 days of use for smart functions which is very good ! Maybe it's the update or maybe it's my settings but this battery life is excellent and it is so convenient to charge only once a week.

How is the SCREEN ?
AVERAGE, it is not a beautifull OLED screen but a quite good IPS panel, blacks are not so deep, colors are not so amazingly vivid bit it's not bad either. The only real problem is the tint : the color temperature is very cold, giving a blueish hue. That is something I personnaly notice a lot but most people won't care at all.

What about BUILT QUALITY ?
VERY GOOD built quality. The watch case is full stainless steel, even the back. The glass is saphire crystal which is a lot harder and difficult to scratch than any Gorilla Glass. If we compare with other brands, quite often backs are made of plastic ... and quite often the back is actually thick enough to be a part of the sides too.

Is it GOOD LOOKING ?
YES and NO this is highly personal but the watch is bulky and some design choices make it look even more massive. The color changes a lot the perception of this device. The black one really seems less massive and the screen looks bigger on the black versus the brushed stainless steel model.


How is the overall ERGONOMY of the USER INTERFACE ?
UI is a bit outdated and too simple, there is no scrolling animation, for example. Fonts shows aliasing, which is a bit strange in 2020 ! Overall design looks a bit outdated and could be more aesthetically pleasing. That being said it is very functional and even gestures work fine... but flicking your finger accros the screen without scrolling animation is a bit strange.

Is the PHONE APP any good ?
YES VERY GOOD there are lots of options, activity tracking is well presented (switch the graphics to bars), ergonomy is quite good and there are plenty of settings to personalise the watch behavior. There is a watchface editor included that is quite good and a lot better that what other brands can offer. You can select your own background, add marks from a wide choice of styles and any relevant widget with different layouts of your choice.

WHAT CAN IT DO ?

- There is no app store so it is not possible to install any app.
- There is no storage for music either.
- The watch cannot be used as a bluetooth headset to make a call.

- NOTIFICATIONS it can show you notifications from any app you choose and it will show more details about texts and MMS. It will not display pictures in messages but it will show basic emojis (which is not possible on Huawei watches, for example).

- ANSWERS to TEXTS and phone calls (Android only) you can answer to texts by canned responses you can write by yourself in the app or simply by choosing one of 6 basic emojis.

- DECLINE PHONE CALLS and send canned messages.

- CALENDAR it will show you a list of the next appointments, you can scroll in the list and select an item to get more details. It can show a full calendar grid too, where you can scroll for the next monthes. Days with events will be shown in yellow.

- ALARMS you can set alarms but you have to use the phone app to create it.

- MUSIC REMOTE it will show you track infos and basic touch controls (play/pause, next, previous, volume +/-).

- WEATHER with min/max temperatures and forecast for 3 more days.

- BASIC ACTIVITY TRACKING with steps, distance, burnt calories, activity duration there is no specific sport mode.

- HEART RATE you can set automatic measure frequency in the phone app or take an immediate mesure from the watch.

- SLEEP TRACKING you can choose your sleep time goal in the watch and launch directly sleep analysis.

- CAMERA REMOTE you have to launch the camera mode in the MyKronoz app on the phone and then the watch will be a simple remote to take a picture.

- CHRONOMETER

- TIMER you can set your timer directly on the watch.

- FIND MY PHONE makes your phone ring.

- CHANGE WATCHFACE

MY FINAL IMPRESSION

This is a very good watch but maybe not for anyone and especially not for geeks who would like a most advanced device, even at the expense of battery life or overal ergonomy.

Actually I enjoyed so much this ZeTime that I got the black model on Amazon too.

WHAT OTHER HYBRID COULD YOU LIKE ?

Its direct counterpart is the excellent FOSSIL HYBRID HR.

The ZeTime can do more things, has a more advanced app and a color screen. It has a better build quality too.

The Fossil Hybrid HR has no color but an always on e-ink panel, a better design, a bit more activity modes and 2 weeks battery life.

Comments

  1. I switched from ZeTime to Hybrid HR. I liked having colors, and the step counter was way better. Also loved the "night mode" (marks and arrows lightened up behind the physical ones, looking a bit like the fluorecent of the Hybrid, but only and always when wanted - and on button press instead of "tapping" the screen with full force until it finally works, like the backlight of the Hybrid HR...).
    But I constantly had troubles with lost connections, and they didn't manage in over a year to let the app autostart after a phone reboot, so notifications etc. didn't work until manually started. Additionally, the sync was unreliable and sometimes didn't even work manually. But then again, the Fossil app annoys me with "Hey, I didn't sync in days, please do it manually!" notifications instead of just f****g doing it silently in background automatically.
    In other terms they're pretty even up. Features are about the same (heart rate, steps, notifications, weather, timer, stop watch; with ZeTime offering slightly better response possibilities and schedule display and Hybrid HR offering slightly better fitness displays). Colors vs. always on is a bit "matter of taste", as is the touch screen of the ZeTime (easier/faster navigation in some situations, but smears the display). And both did some weird UI choices - ZeTime with weird menus (two "main menus", different "sub menu" handling), Hybrid HR with unintuitive long press handing for "back" and getting to a "menu" for functions not assigned directly to buttons.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, are you sure your phone's battery optimization doesn't kill MyKronoz app from running in the background ? It is a common problem with most smartwatches, you have to manually forbid the system to kill unused processes that are involved in the watch synchronization.

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