The company that is “for gamers, by gamers” has made a smartwatch that it doesn’t want you to call a smartwatch.
While at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, we got a look at Razer’s interesting new device, called the Razer Nabu Watch, and the first thing we noticed is how chunky it looks. Like, for real. This thing is huge. But, then again, most smartwatches on the market at the moment are pretty hefty.
The thing about the Nabu Watch is Razer has described it as a digital watchwith “smart functions” – or even “a watch that’s smart”. Okay. So, it’s a smartwatch. Moving on… Nabu Watch is also priced very low, especially when considering the Apple Watch tops out at $10,000.
Priced starting at £129.99/$149.99 and available at RazerStores and atRazerStore.com right now, the Nabu Watch is a rugged-looking beast with a monochromatic backlit display, and it has all the usual timekeeping features, such as auto time, world clock, stopwatch, timer, etc.
All that makes this thing seem very traditional. But here’s where it gets smart: there is a secondary display toward the bottom that’s used to display fitness-tracking data as well as notifications for texts, calls, emails, and alerts from your smartphone via the Android/iPhone app.
The watch connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth LE and makes sure to keep the time accurate using the phone’s clock when paired. Nabu Watch can also wirelessly exchange data (from Facebook and Twitter) with other Nabu Watches, Razer’s Nabu, or Nabu Xfitness bands.
While you can’t install apps from an app store or tap your way through an overly-complex interface like you can with Apple Watch or Android Wear devices, you can take comfort in the fact that this watch outlasts most of those rivals. That’s because it has two batteries.
A replaceable coin cell battery fuels the main display and lasts for a year, while the second, rechargeable battery for the bottom screen can go for a week between charges. No more hourly or nightly juicing. Nabu Watch lives for weeks and months, and we absolutely love that.
We also loved the watch’s strap. Well, we loved its functional design. It is perforated with holes that allow the fasteners on other end of the strap to easily slot in, thus making the watch a breeze to put on. We’ve tried many watches, and this strap is by far the quickest to wear.
Beyond the stock Nabu Watch, Razer has also released the Nabu Watch Forged. It’s the same thing, but instead of green buttons accenting the fullblack finish there are steel buttons. It also costs £159.99/199.99, so $50 more.
We’re not sure who will buy Nabu Watch. But it is smart, and it is cheap. It’s also really huge and not exactly the most attractive thing to slap on your wrist. One thing is for sure: Razer diehards will love it.