Smart-wearable market in India is currently at a nascent stage with only a handfull of companies having dared to test the waters in the country.
Tier-1 brands such as Apple, Samsung , LG and Motorola have put up smartwatches for sale in India, but all premium devices' cost ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs. 9,90,000 (Apple Watch edition).
India being a price-sensitive market, these companies have tasted very little success in sales. Now, home-bred consumer electronics firm Wickedleak has come up with a smartwatch Alpha, which offers almost all features seen in top brands, but with an affordable price tag.
In our test run, Wickedleak Alpha has been able to impress us in most aspects.
Here's our take on Wickedleak Alpha:
Design, display and build quality-
It features classic rectangular design having 1.54-inch 3D curved touchscreen with 240x240p resolution.
On the back, it flaunts a sturdy plastic cover with IP65 waterproof certification and CNC steel frame around the corners providing premium feel to the budget smartwatch.
It weighs 48 g and comes in 22mm leather strap with black and white colour options.
Operating system and features-
Wickedleak Alpha runs on the company's proprietary OS. It does not have a particular name as such and it is also quite odd that the Alpha's smartphone companion application has a different moniker for iOS (Fundo Wear) and Android (Alpha Connect) platforms. More weird is the fact that both the apps cannot be found neither on Apple store nor on Google Play store.
The users have to put smartphone cameras on QR Core printed on the Alpha smartwatch package. It directs us to the Wickedleak's official web page and instruct us to download the APK package manually on the phone.
[Note: Alpha is compatible to Android Smartphone running v4.4 KitKat OS or later version. Whereas, Apple iPhones have to be on iOS v8.0 or higer.]
That said, we were impressed with Alpha's software features and MediaTek MT2502 processor's performance. As Shakespeare's iconic phrase says -- What's in a name, the moniker of Alpha watch software does not matter as long it offers rich user experience.
Its interface is simple and comes with options of four and one feature icons per screen. With Alpha smartwatch connected to the handset, the users can check phonebook, dial contacts, look call log details and read messages.
It also boasts of fitness tracking features such as sleep monitor, pedometer, heart rate sensor and stopwatch. We have tested all three features.
Sleep monitor just states the amount of sleep a user had and if it is below hours, it will show the remark "poor".
As far as pedometer is concerned, the Alpha watch uses smartphone's GPS feature and calculates distance covered and reveals the kilo calories burnt. [The users have to first put the height and weight details]
To test Heart rate sensor, the users need to first check their normal heart rate while standing and check again after a short sprint on treadmill to see if there is any change. Both treadmill's heart rate sensor and the watch's display showed almost same results. It also comes with 'heart rate repeat' feature, which shows live change in heartbeat rhythm.
All-in-all, fitness tracking features of Wickedleak Alpha gets a big thumps up from our side.
In addition to these, the smartwatch also comes with value-added features like gesture control.
How to activate gesture feature:
Go to Settings >> Motion>> select one of the five features- Flip to mute incoming calls, Flip to mute alarm, Wake up gesture, Shake the main menu page to change options and Shake to answer call.
It also comes with find-my-phone feature, wherein if the user misplaces the phone on a sofa or on bed, he/she can ring up the device by a smartwatch to find the location.
Wickedleak Alpha also offers remote image capture on smartphone. With the watch connected to smartphone via Bluetooth, the users can snap group images with the smartphone.
Other notable features include calculator, sound recorder and Yahoo weather app.
Alpha houses 280 mAh battery. It may sound low for some, but it was up and running for two days with mixed usage. We repeatedly tested pedometer, taking calls and the heart rate monitor. While on standby mode, it lasted more than four days in our tests. That's really impressive compared to rivals like Android Wear. Apple Watch hardly goes beyond a day-and-half with mixed usage.
Wickedleak Alpha gets 4 out of 5 stars from us. It's really an impressive piece of smartgear. Armed with feature-rich software and affordable price tag of Rs.5,990, Alpha can give a stiff challenge to tier-1 brands in India.