Detailed fitness tracking and GPS enabled smart wearables often require frequent charging. Having GPS turned on can be a big hit to battery life. But the new PowerWatch Series 2 offers something new – a smartwatch that never needs to be recharged. It generates its juice from two sources – solar and your body heat. Check out the video below for more details.
Out of the Box
When I first got the $500 PowerWatch Series 2 out of the box and took a look at it, it felt massive. Especially compared to the Withings Steel HR Sport that I usually wear (and because I have pretty tiny wrists). But once I put on the PowerWatch, it didn’t feel too cumbersome. It’s relatively lightweight for its size. It looks and feels very tactical. I’m used to wearing a watch, and this didn’t feel out of the ordinary. Because of its larger size, it did get caught more often on coats and sweatshirts, though.
One of the most noticeable upgrades of the Series 2 over the older PowerWatches is the addition of a full-color display. It’s an informative watch face with all of the necessary bits on the home screen. At a glance, you can make sure it’s connected via Bluetooth, see if you have any notifications, see the date and time, current daily steps, and ongoing daily calorie burn. Because the watch can track body temperature, the PowerWatch claims to track calories burned more accurately than other fitness trackers.
PowerWatch Series 2: Video
One of the other main features is heart rate monitoring. Comparing it to readings on the treadmill at my gym, it seemed pretty accurate. I enjoyed the detailed graph that is displayed along with any tracked activity.
200m Water Resistance
Further adding to the go anywhere, do anything design, the PowerWatch Series 2 boats 200m water resistance. That means you don’t need to take it off when going for a swim or worry about it if you get caught in a rainstorm.
The PowerWatch features GPS tracking, which allows you to leave your phone at home when you’re on the run, ride, or for a swim. When I went out for a run, it did take a little bit to acquire a GPS signal, but once it did, it was very accurate. Once you get back to your phone and sync the data, you get a lot of information that you can inspect within the PowerWatch app about your activity.
So now to the main feature of the PowerWatch Series 2 – it’s thermoelectric engine that means you don’t need to take it off to charge it. By using heat generated from your body along with solar power, the watch can recharge itself.
I’ve only had the watch for a few days of testing, so I haven’t been able to try this method of charging, but I never saw the battery indicator drop below full in my use.
The PowerWatch 2 app is colorful and matches the design of the watch. First, on your dashboard you can see how much power you have generated both from your body heat and from light, as well as quick snapshots of your daily steps and burnt calories. Selecting a specific category like steps or heart rate will dig into a further display of that day’s stats.
Keep on runnin’
Overall, the PowerWatch Series 2 is an excellent watch that won’t leave you stranded with a dead battery. The ability to charge via body-heat and solar is a game-changer for this kind of activity-tracking watch. With GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, and 200-meter water resistance, the PowerWatch Series 2 is a capable companion for any adventure. It’s not the cheapest companion at $500, but if frequent charging on adventures is one of your biggest issues, this will solve that.
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