Let us preface that we wholeheartedly believe the Apple Watch offers, in all its flavors, the best holistic smartwatch experience for most people. There’s a reason you see more Apple Watches on wrists than any brand by far, haters be damned. Now that’s out of the way: WOW. The announcement of a $69 CMF Watch Pro smartwatch from Nothing’s budget-friendly accessories sub-brand CMF has us wondering whether some viable competition may be arising from the ground floor up. It’s literally about time.
At a glance, the CMF Watch Pro looks like a chunkier and less polished, if not handsomely executed, Apple Watch lookalike. It’s sleek and minimalist, with rounded corners finished with chamfered edges around its aluminum alloy case, obviously more than inspired by Apple.
The watch’s graphic user interface seems like a Shein version of watchOS, sharing some interesting simplified similarities, communicated by the brand’s characteristically red, black, white, and gray color scheme to a pleasing if a bit pedestrian unified degree (better less than more).
The smartwatch’s always on 1.96-inch OLED display offers 410 x 502 resolution, more than Apple Series 9 45mm model’s 396 by 484 specs. Unlike Apple, these watches are a bit dim – and dimwitted – in comparison, with a 600+ nits brightness rating versus Apple Series 9’s always-on 2,000 nits (3,000 with the Ultra 2) and definitely not as performance capable as the newly updated Apple silicon-powered S9 watch. Measured against those devices its cribbed from, the CMF Watch Pro will undoubtedly fall well short in every metric beyond total resolution.
What the CMF watch sacrifices in performance, it does seem to deliver in the basics department proficiently: built-in GPS, health tracking features, custom dial designs, and IP68 water resistance. Donning one onto the wrist, a wearer can tap into 110 sports modes, allowing for heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep, and daily steps analytics. You can also accept calls, control an Android or iPhone phone’s camera remotely, find your phone or watch, and use the watch face as a miniature flashlight, as is par for the course these days. Again, all the basics one expects of any smartwatch today.
Oh, but did we mention the CMF Watch Pro supposedly delivers up to 13 days of typical use between charges, with up to 45 days in power saving mode or 27 hours with GPS always on? This is the one shining benefit of a basics-only smartwatch with the display turned down to “3”. But the idea of owning any smartwatch with this size OLED delivering anywhere in the ballpark of a week’s worth of use between charges makes the $69 wearable a tempting proposition.
It’s as if Nothing’s CMF Watch Pro team distilled the most necessary and common uses of someone’s smartwatch and baked them all into their version, cutting corners in capabilities and extended features, and limiting updates to the brand’s own CMF Watch app.
Even with these major limitations, if the CMF Watch Pro can deliver in fit, finish, and sensors accuracy anywhere in the ballpark of a simply “good” experience, this smartwatch might turn out to become a tempting entry point for those seeking a smart – but nowhere smartest – timepiece.
Learn more about the CMF Watch Pro and its availability over at intl.cmf.tech.
Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.
The post Nothing Drops the Shockingly Affordable $69 CMF Watch Pro first appeared on design-milk.com