My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: US$349 MB Chronowing Wristwatch - HP's Overpriced Notification Tracker caters to Luxury Market on a Gilt Trip

Thursday, November 6, 2014

US$349 MB Chronowing Wristwatch - HP's Overpriced Notification Tracker caters to Luxury Market on a Gilt Trip

 Surprise! It seems that before the Christmas season is out, almost every Silicon Valley Company will debut a smartwatch or Fitness Tracker.

Microsoft , to their credit did the US$199 Microsoft Band that, albeit basic, is a potential contender against the Apple Watch as explained in my blog article entitled “US$199 Microsoft Band - Fitness Tracker with Microsoft Health Apps and Windows Phone Executive Perks with Cortana Voice Commands”.

Now here comes HP (Hewlett Packard) throwing their hat into the ring with the US$349 MB Chronowing smartwatch as reported in the article “HP smartwatch is light on features, but looks like a normal watch”, published October 31, 2014 By Mike Flacy, DigitalTrends.  

Designed by American fashion designer Michael Bastian, its more Nautica, Tag Heuer or Gucci than futuristic based on its aesthetics alone. US$349 MB Chronowing smartwatch is a limited edition smartwatch being sold on Gilt and is clearly being aimed at the Nouveau Reich in American Society!

The chronometer lookalike designed by famed American fashion designer Michael Bastian does away with the geek couture for a simple Jack Daniels style Black and White interface reminiscent of the US$249 Pebble Steel as detailed in my Geezam blog article entitled “US$249 Pebble Steel rocks James Bond Playboy joie de vivre on your Wrist”.

US$349 MB Chronowing smartwatch - HP's smartwatch focuses on the Notification Basics

Like the US$249 Pebble Steel, the MB Chronowing is really more of a Notifications Tracker as can be seen from the watch face layout below.

Unlike the US$249 Pebble Steel, it has no support for Apps, as the Notification services are baked into the smartwatch as noted in the article “HP's MB Chronowing smartwatch is more watch than gadget”, published October 31, 2014 02:02 pm By Dan Seifert, The Verge.

At this point I’ll refrain from calling it a smartwatch and revert back to calling a wristwatch!

It’s made with 44mm circular face made of Stainless Steel Casing that sports three (3) interchangeable straps:

1.      Leather
2.      Nylon
3.      Rubber

Apparently Metal isn't so cool right now for wristwatches. If you really wanna go all out though, there’s a US$649 version that sports an alligator skin band and an unscratchable Sapphire Screen display. Waterproof up to 50 meters or 5 atm, the  US$349 MB Chronowing  is literally begging to be a Fitness Tracker for swimmers or even skydivers. Too bad it isn’t a Fitness Tracker, as that's the next upgrade that this Notification Tracker, if there is gonna be one, need to get to be competitive.

A Digital Clock does tie in the upper left hand corner of the watch face with the rest of the screen and is dedicated to receiving the usual slew of real-time Notifications:

1.      Calendar Alerts
2.      Date
3.      Emails
4.      Missed Calls
5.      Sports Scores
6.      Stock Price ticker
7.      Text messages

The MB Chronowing wristwatch has three (3) buttons for its basic functions:

1.      Handling screen backlight
2.      Controlling Music
3.      Accessing Menus

Yes, controlling Music as the MB Chronowing wristwatch is Bluetooth enabled, making streaming Music to a Bluetooth enabled speaker, headphone or mobile headphone a trend that's blogworthy and which I'd predicted some time ago as state in my Geezam blog article entitled “Apple patents Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds as Wireless Bluetooth Speakers take Flight”.

US$349 MB Chronowing smartwatch weeklong Battery Life - The Overpriced Notification Tracker caters to a Luxury Market

The US$349 MB Chronowing wristwatch’s battery life is exactly one week, which is kinda bad as it’s not a smartwatch but has a smartwatch’s battery life for the extra perk of a monochome LCD screen.

If you decide to purchase this baby, rest assured that it’s compatible with the Apple iPhone iOS as well as Google Android smartphone version 4.3 of their OS. Good to note no support is mentioned for Windows Phone or Blackberry smartphones, who along with Apple iPhone users are more like to buy on the basis of style rather than functionality.

With those caveats snuck into my article on the sly, it's clear I'm not so sold on the price. Aside from the alligator Strap with Sapphire screen version, which I think should really be US$349, even on the Website Gilt, where it is one of the most expensive wristwatches in its class.

I'm not so sure that the US$349 MB Chronowing, which does only Notifications with a monochome LCD screen that has no Fitness Tracker and can't download Apps should in all good conscience be sold for US$349 let alone US$649 just for including a dead reptile and the crystalline Oxide of aluminum as the faceplate.  Even if it is a limited Edition smartwatch!

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