Review: InPulse Watch by Allerta, Keep Track of Your Time, Calls and Messages

December 8, 2011 | By | 3 Comments

I’ve seen the inPulse watch featured on different sites, and my curiosity finally got the best of me. I ordered the watch and waited for it, which wasn’t long at all. The InPulse watch works with your BlackBerry and displays time and messages from your BlackBerry on the watch. Check it out…

First off, the website for inPulse shows the following features of the watch:

  • Push emails, sms, calendar alerts & caller ID
  • Customize fonts and colors
  • Set filtering options for emails
  • Manage notification/vibration profiles
  • Manage multiple inboxes
  • Download smartwatch apps

I had to get this just to see how much it does. When I received it, the inPulse came in a nice box, two bright orange rubber bands that kept the box and the Getting Started Card together. The Getting Started card has a barcode which you scan and the directions appear on getting your phone and watch prepared and loaded.

Here are the tech specs:

  • Physical Dimensions: 5cm long, 3.6cm wide, 1.2cm thick
  • 1.26″ Colour OLED Display: 96 x 128 pixels
  • Charges via micro USB in 45 minutes
  • Vibrating motor
  • Simple single button input (no touch screen)
  • CSR BC4-ROM Chipset
  • NXP LPC2103 ARM7 Microprocessor
  • 1MB SPI Flash
  • Programmable via Bluetooth to Mac, Linux, Windows
  • SDK is similar to Arduino, code in C

There are two colors available for the inPulse Watch: Chrome and Black. They start with a price of $149. I had to have the chrome, which has a black band and the chrome colored watch. I took off the rubber bands, scanned the card with my PlayBook, and opened the box. There sat my phone. Out of the box the watch has no software. It must be loaded on by your BlackBerry. So you need to download the app then go to the app store of the watch and download the software.

The band is somewhat wide and it’s adjustable. It fits a bit loose which is okay. The plastic sheets that cover the face and back have kept it nice and shiny. There’s a single button on the right side and the other side has a rubber port cover that comes completely off to reveal the charging port. The back is nice and smooth chrome with a black strip across. And of course, the name of the phone and manufacturer.

First off, I plugged the watch into the charger. After it turns on it gives you a Bluetooth pairing code which you’ll pair to your phone for the connection and the installation of the software. I downloaded the software to my phone, followed the directions while I had the watch charging, and after the app was loaded I went into the App Store of the watch app and downloaded the software and loaded my watch. It was really interesting to see the watch respond. I have a 9930, and the software works great with it. After loading, you can go into the app and change some features of the phone such as how it responds to different emails, set up the alarm, texts, time fonts, etc. I really like how easy it is to customize. One thing I did notice was sometimes if you stay out of range for too long, or if the watch runs out of life or the phone has to be restarted, it loses the Bluetooth connection. If it doesn’t reconnect, you have to go to the orange N icon and click on it, go to the InPulse App Store and click on the main software and it should reconnect.

Customer service is great too, they are quick to respond, answer any questions, and address your concerns. That’s really important for me. I played with the watch for a couple days, and here’s what I’ve seen. Battery life is a little over 6 hours. Not bad at all. There’s no display for battery life so you have to guess. The rubber port cover comes off very easily and is easy to lose, so please keep it somewhere out of the way of kids and pets. The Bluetooth feature works great but can disconnect if out of the range of the watch. I see the watch being a great feature for the business person in meetings and for etiquette can’t answer his phone, but needs to read his messages as well as for us who drive and can’t always answer our phones and pick them up because of Bluetooth laws (although I use Vlingo and let it read my messages as I drive). I found a great use for the watch simply because I can’t always answer my phone, but I can still read my messages without seeming rude. Your watch vibrates as you get a message, so you always know what’s coming through. The Bluetooth reconnects easily if you find yourself out of range of the watch.

Another great feature of the watch is if you are a developer you have the ability to design your own watch face and change the watch yourself. There are also other apps and clock apps available to download to your watch.

Pros: Messages are displayed and works great with your BlackBerry. It’s a nice style and customization is easy. It’s a fun way to read your messages at your wrist, know that you’re being BBM’d or who’s calling you. The caller ID works great, as well as showing which of your contacts is trying to reach you. The alarm works great. Charging the watch out of the box, connecting it, and loading the software is easy.You can decide the color and type of font, and the types of alerts which is a nice factor.

Cons: The BBM displays only a BBM page, not the message. There’s no warning when the battery life is running low and nowhere to see the battery except when it’s charging. I would like to see the charging port cover be adhered somehow to the watch. I’d like to see more than one button on the watch, but after you figure out how to use it. The disconnection and manual reconnecting can be a bit tedious when they don’t reconnect on their own.

When I first got my watch, I loaded it and had more frequent manual reconnects. I tried installing a different watch app from the store onto my InPulse and the watch died on me during install so the app when it charged was not functional and wouldn’t connect. I had to do a reset on the watch and reload the software, which I chose the default one. It then worked as perfect as could be. Whether it just needed to be reloaded or whether it was OS 7, I’m not sure. So if you get the InPulse and the watch is having issues, reload it. This is definitely a real neat gift for the tech lover and geek, even if it’s you. I can see the techie and the business person using this and finding the real value in this. I love it, I just wish the battery life were a little more long lasting and the Bluetooth connection stronger, but it’s hard to tell whether it’s the connection or OS 7. The app for the BlackBerry had been updated a bit ago to be compatible with OS 7. All in all, I love it. It’s also a great conversation topic when your wrist is buzzing and someone asks, “What’s that?”

You can purchase your inPulse SmartWatch here, starting at $149.00

[rating: 4.25/5]

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