- Using the Cookoo
- Cookoo Smartwatch Aesthetics & Design
- Cookoo Smartweatch Build Quality
- More About the Cookoo Smartwatch
The Coookoo smartwatch began its initial Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in May 2012. With a target amount of $150,000, Cookoo eventually wound up raising more than $300,000. Since the launch of the first Cookoo, the company has released the Cookoo 2.
Cookoo campaigned on the idea that it was the first real watch that also had smartwatch functionality. The Cookoo 2 expands on that idea.
HOW WE REVIEW WATCHES
Our reviews are based on our first-hand experience with the watch. All photos and media are created by us (unless otherwise credited). Learn more about how we review watches.
The Cookoo is far from the smartest smartwatch you can buy. Offerings from Apple, Samsung, LG, Pebble, and a host of competing brands keep the smartwatch market fresh. But, they are all much more expensive and much more elaborate than the Cookoo. Ultimately, the value of the Cookoo depends on how much you value quick connectivity to your social circle. If you’re in love with Facebook and the like, the Cookoo will be a good fit for you.
Cookoo Smartwatch Technical Specifications
- Model Number: CKW-KB002-01
- MSRP: $130
- Case Diameter: 44mm
- Alternate Models: Different color and versions available
- Movement: Quartz
- Complications: Smartphone integration, notification alerts, programmable buttons
- Power Reserve: 1 year smartwatch, 3 years quartz movement
- Water Resistance: 50m/150ft
- Crystal Material: Sapphire
Using the Cookoo
The Cookoo requires its companion app – Cookoo Life – in order to connect to your phone. During testing I used an iPhone 5 and was initially thrown off by another app – also called Cookoo – that activated some but not all the smartwatch functions. If you are currently reading this trying to use your Cookoo, make sure you have Cookoo Life and not the other app.
The actual timekeeping function is handled via the crown.
How To set the time:
- Pull crown to the furthest position (position 2). Turn the crown clockwise to set the time.
Cookoo Smartwatch Functions
- Incoming calls/missed calls
- low battery
- social media alerts
- Find your phone/proximity alert
- Remote Music control
- Remote Camera control
Cookoo Smartwatch Aesthetics & Design
The photos I took wound up being quite sterile, so I’ve included one from the Cookoo’s Amzon page (hint: it’s the one with color).
It feels as plasticky as it looks, though. I guess it’s a function of its $130 MSRP, but nothing really feels or looks good. It’s not bad either, just very mediocre. This feeling continues to the rubber strap and buckle. The bulbous case feels large, even larger than a 44mm usually feels.
It’s not exactly subtle, either. Because of its height it is noticable under most cuffs, not that you’d want to wear it in a setting that required one. Cookoo’s rubber-coated design language gives it a little bit of a Fisher Price feel. As a watch designed for kids, I think the Cookoo is brilliant.
I know style is subjective. I’m not commenting on how it looks – because it doesn’t look bad – but on how it feels. The materials. The finish. The way the Cookoo vibrates when you get a notification. It all works to cultivate a feeling, and the feeling I get from this is very… youthful.
Cookoo Smartweatch Build Quality
The steel/rubber/plastic combination seems built to last. As a side-effect of the materials used, this watch feels like it will last a while. It is almost impervious to damage, showing almost no wear after considerable use. It got completely submerged in a river while rafting and it looks and performs exactly as it did prior. Good build quality, in my opinion.
Crystal, Case, and Dial
The slight lip from the bezel to the crystal protects the mineral crystal. During the time I reviewed the watch the crystal continued to look new.
The case and dial also look no worse for wear. The black metal/plastic combo hides most wear marks really well, and the materials themselves are of decent quality. The quartz battery life is estimated to be as long as 3 years, and I from what I can tell the Cookoo will weather 3 years or more just fine.
Strap and Clasp
The rubber strap quickly snaps back to a straight position any chance it has. No matter how tight I made it the strap never showed any signs of wear. No cracking, warping, discoloration… nothing. It’s a durable rubber, definitely, but not the most comfortable to wear.
The clasp is standard, also black, and shows a little more wear than the rest of the watch.
More About the Cookoo Smartwatch
Cookoo uses a traditional quartz movement for the timekeeping. The smartwatch functions are computer controlled, as are the notifications on the face. Battery life is about 1 year if connected to your phone regularly, or about 3 years if used only for its timekeeping functions.
Value for Money
I’d like to tell you that the Cookoo is good value for money, but the fact is that it simply isn’t. (December 2015 Update: The Cookoo now lists on Amazon for around $90). At $130 it is priced in a weird place for the smartwatch market. Higher priced options from Pebble, Samsung, Apple, etc. aren’t really that much more expensive. $300 – $500 isn’t a lot of money to spend on a watch, or a phone.
$130 for a smartwatch feels really inexpensive, but in reality it is more cheap than inexpensive. The compromises made in terms of design, size, and actual functionality detract significantly from its low price. The fact is that its functions are limited to either notifying you about something, or slightly altering your way to interact with your phone. It has no screen so you can’t read notifications, and the software can go on the fritz sometimes sending the phone into a notification frenzy.
I think that if you want a smartwatch that it makes sense for you to spend a bit more on a true smartwatch. If you want a basic quartz watch, there are options priced well under $130 that look, feel, and are built better.