First look: Metawatch's iPhone-connected Meta M1 smartwatch

in General Discussion edited September 2014
With Apple expected to announce its entrance into the wearable devices market on Tuesday, established smartwatch maker Metawatch is looking to differentiate itself from the rest of the herd with the new Meta M1.

Meta has no app store, or a color screen, or even activity tracking features. What sets the M1 apart is the intention with which it was created: The M1 aims to be a smartwatch for people who wear a good wristwatch. If you're familiar with Tissot or the TAG Heuer Formula 1 line, the Meta might be for you.

Made out of heavy stainless steel, the Meta is available in a number of finishes and straps. A sample provided to AppleInsider came with a stainless steel case with brushed steel bracelet. The links are solid, and the weight of the bracelet and watch is similar to that of a good diver's watch. Other finishes available are a rose gold, black on black bracelet, or vanilla-scented rubber straps.

The M1 is meant to exude quality, and physically, it achieves this. It's been designed by Frank Nuovo, who previously led the design group behind the luxury mobile phone manufacturer Vertu. The weight, materials, articulated lugs, solid end-links, and etched or engraved signed clasp, caseback, and pushers are all hallmarks of a traditional well-made wristwatch.

There are a few things about it we would have reconsidered. The watch is signed META in silver at the top of the screen. We don't know that it needs the branding, it's distinctive enough. It's also equipped with a backlight that works best in complete darkness. The screen is the same e-paper screen used by Pebble and employed in Sony's new Smartband. Charging is via a plastic micro-USB-to-4-pins charging pad that holds to the back of the watch with a magnet.

It looks and feels like a watch, but the question remains, how does it work? For us, the answer is very well, for the most part. Navigating the interface takes a small amount of getting used to, but the overriding interactions are, middle left and middle right pushers (with the engraved M logo) navigate between the major functions: time, calendar, weather, notifications, music player, and timer. The upper and lower right pushers navigate through the different pages of a major function, with the exception of the music player, which defies any convention, but has play/pause, next track, and volume up and down.

To summarize, you rotate through a top level of these major functions. Then you scroll through the additional information of a major function, with some exceptions. The notification screen is an interesting one, because it lets you rotate through calendar, text messages, missed calls, phone battery status, and emails. This is easier to think of as a hierarchical structure, and the interface for controlling it isn't the same as the other pages - here you use top right to cycle through this nested level, and bottom right to read notifications.

It pairs with a phone using Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth 4.0), and gets time, weather, and data from the phone. The Meta app allows re-arranging the order of the major functions, and enabling or disabling the notifications that will appear on the watch from the phone. There's lots of room for META to extend functionality in the app, but they're keeping things simple for now, to fit with their new tagline, "The Art of the Glance." The notion is, you glance at your wrist, don't really need to interact with it, and then decide if you need to reach for the phone. Mostly, the experience lives up to the tagline, although longer messages do require scrolling.

And that's what Meta have arrived at: a platform that is simple, elegant, allows them room to grow, and is the most elegant watch-like smartwatch we've seen so far.


  • Reply 1 of 31
    Meta is Beta...
  • Reply 2 of 31
    oh my got, how ugly!
  • Reply 3 of 31
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,299member
    Looks interesting. But what is the price range?
  • Reply 4 of 31

    Does anyone really thinks it looks that much better than a pebble steel, while it lacks the 'app store' yet costs twice as much in stainless.

  • Reply 5 of 31

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post

    Looks interesting. But what is the price range?

    $250 to $450

    no mention of sapphire or gorilla glass - it certainly NEEDS something like that

  • Reply 6 of 31

    what a long way we have come /s

    , hey, who loves ya baby


  • Reply 7 of 31
    AI really ought to fix the 1.6MB .png files. And this time you can't even blame Huddler for it. It's a royal screw up.

    Sorry, OT. Watch is nice, I guess. Definitely different.
  • Reply 8 of 31
    frykefryke Posts: 217member
    "If you're familiar with Tissot or the TAG Heuer Formula 1 line, the Meta might be for you." - No. If you're familiär with the mentioned brands: No.
  • Reply 9 of 31
    That thing is ugly. And I like big, metal watches.
  • Reply 10 of 31

    It's pretty risky to make something like this when there are strong rumors that Apple is about to come out with a competing device that will most likely be a huge game-changer. It's like rushing to announce your smartphone right before Apple announced the first iPhone.

  • Reply 11 of 31
    Casio: the dork watches of the 1980s are back! Now's your chance to get back into the game!
  • Reply 12 of 31
    I'll buy two -- to replace my brass knuckles :D

    Ha! That makes me think of Harley ...

    Harley was a Manufacturers Rep for several electronic component manufacturers -- Silicon Valley was his territory and stomping ground. Harley always had the latest electronic gadgets -- he would come by our Sunnyvale store to show off his latest acquisition to any and all. In the 1979-1980 timeframe Harley was one of the first to get a car phone installed in his Mercedes.

    He came by to show it off. The demo went OK ... But someone said: "Harley, if you really want to impress people -- you need to install two car hones in your Mercedes ... That way, when you're driving around talking to some executive -- you can say: "Hang on a minute -- I've got a call on my [I] other line."[/I] Impressive!

    What's better than wearing an electronic watch ... Wearing two Electronic watches ... Three ... Fourteen ... Twenty-seven ...

    ... Think of the notifications ... You'd be so well-informed that you couldn't do anything!
  • Reply 13 of 31
    Do we have a barf emoticon? That's pretty horrid looking to me. Looks like plasticky-chrome instead of metal. Should be called the ChromeWatch ;)
  • Reply 14 of 31
    fryke wrote: »
    "If you're familiar with Tissot or the TAG Heuer Formula 1 line, the Meta might be for you." - No. If you're familiär with the mentioned brands: No.

    Yeah...Tag Heuer is shaking in their boots....from laughter.

    Let's fix this.

    "If you're familiar with the 80s, or the Casio calculator wrist watch series, the Meta might be for you."


    Kairos Watch
  • Reply 15 of 31

    All these 80s references are overlooking the aesthetic... this looks like a prop from "Lost In Space" (the 1960's b/w original).

    (That was not a compliment... those tall bezels around every button, yikes.  Think Robot.)

  • Reply 16 of 31

    Just looks like another attempt at bring back the 80's version of a Timex or Casio watch of the day. It kind of like trying to bring back the 70's Bell Bottom Jeans and Colorful shirts they look silly then and are still silly today

  • Reply 17 of 31
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    Why would they even bother?:no:

  • Reply 18 of 31

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Why would they even bother?:no:

    It must be the exit strategy.  Once iWatch is out, the market is supposed to explode, so the big guys may try to grab something already available to jump start competition.

  • Reply 19 of 31
    Goofy and Dopey.
  • Reply 20 of 31
    pscooter63 wrote: »
    All these 80s references are overlooking the aesthetic... this looks like a prop from "Lost In Space" (the 1960's b/w original).
    [SIZE=11px](That was not a compliment... those tall bezels around every button, yikes.  Think Robot.)[/SIZE]

    "iWatch killer, Will Robinson! iWatch killer!"

    That's the only quote I could think of from the series.
Sign In or Register to comment.