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    Reviewed: Haylou Solar Smartwatch

    Budget Smartwatches have started flooding the market. The revolution comes as smartphone manufacturers slowly roll out these devices to build their wearables ecosystem. The Haylou LS05 Solar Smartwatch backed by Xiaomi is a value smartwatch with a sub- PHP 2000 price. But at that price range is it any good?

    DESIGN: 4/5

    The Haylou Solar is definitely a good-looking smartwatch when you consider everything about it. The unit itself is composed of a metal body with rubber watch straps. You can remove the watch straps but there’s no official band customization support as far as I know.

    The watch face is a 1.28-inch TFT touchscreen with 240 x 240 resolution. On the side of the watch is a button that functions as the return button in most cases. The back is a heart sensor that is covered by plastic, and the charging pins.

    HARDWARE: 4/5

    The Haylou Solar has an ultra-low dynamic optical heart sensor and accelerometer. The watch doesn’t offer many connectivity options except Bluetooth 5.0 and the magnetic proprietary charger. The always-on heart rate sensor does much of the device’s heavy lifting, with it the watch offers 12 sports modes and sleep monitor.

    The Haylou Solar displays basic information such as the time, your heart bpm, your total sleep time, your steps, calories supposedly burned, and total distance traveled. The companion Haylou Fit app does it one better, providing in-depth statics of your activities.

    USER EXPERIENCE: 4/5

    Prior to getting the Haylou Solar, I had my doubts on the effectiveness and longevity of cheap smartwatches being sold online. Among the highly sought-after smartwatch on the different e-commerce platforms was Haylou’s LS01 smartwatch, a sub-PHP 1500 smartwatch.

    As I dug deeper, I found out that Haylou was among the companies providing OEM and Bluetooth devices to some of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in China, among which is Xiaomi who actually sold Haylou’s new smartwatch the Haylou Solar on their Youpin platform.

    On the watch itself, the Haylou Solar definitely surprised me first with it price and second with the performance it gave. The Haylou Solar offers most functions smartwatches have at less than half of its usual cost.

    The always-on heart rate monitor delivered on its promise and did not provide false readings. I tried fooling the device by giving it to another person and the bpm changed immediately since the person just woke up from a nap. The same goes for the sleep monitor which accurately recorded my sleep time.

    Aside from the sensors the watch’s Bluetooth feature also added some quality of life updates. The music controller allowed earbud users like me to control music without reaching for my phone. The phone finder feature was also usual for a klutz like me who likes to throw my phone around the house.

    One downside of the Bluetooth phone finder is that it’s limited due to Bluetooth’s range. The Haylou Solar sometimes doesn’t reconnect immediately to your phone once you leave the Bluetooth range.

    The Haylou Solar does have an IP68 rating but is not recommended to be used in water. Technically you can take a bath with the device but Haylou recommends wiping the device after. It isn’t recommended to swim with the device either.

    Personalization is not the device’s strong suit. The Haylou Solar only has a limited number of watch faces that you can use. The Haylou Fit app also doesn’t offer any options to customize the watch either. What you can control from the App are the notifications that can be displayed on the watch. Notifications can’t be scrolled on the app, so you’ll need to open your phone to read them. You also can’t answer calls on the watch itself since it doesn’t have microphone support, but you can deny calls instead.

    VALUE: 4.5/5

    The Haylou Smartwatch costs around PHP 1,800 making it one of the cheaper smartwatches in the market. Now if you’re hesitant to take the Haylou Solar smartwatch because it’s a relatively unknown brand, worry not. The Haylou Solar is part of the Xiaomi Ecosystem under its Youpin platform. While the smartwatch is not made by Xiaomi, the company has still backed the device.

    Specifications:

    • Display: 1.28 TFT touchscreen (240 x 240 resolution)
    • OS: Proprietary; supports Android 4.4 and above, iOS 8.0 and above
    • Sensor: Heart rate monitor, accelerometer
    • Connection: Bluetooth 5.0, Magnetic charging
    • Protection: IP68
    • Battery: 340 mAh li-ion
    • Dimensions; 43.5 x 11.4mm (watch body), 22cm (watch strap)
    • Weight: Approx 54g

    What’s Hot:

    • Price
    • Metal Design
    • 24-hour heart sensor
    • Functional
    • Decent battery life
    • Magnetic charging

    What’s Not:

    • Few watch faces
    • Not customizable watch band
    • Not for water use despite IP68 rating
    • App can be better
    • No GPS and Wi-Fi

    Bottomline:

    The Haylou is definitely a value smartwatch that offers essential functions.

    Reviewed by Gabriel Pe
    Also published in Gadgets Magazine July 2020

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