While I could go on and on about the features, the battery life, and the fancy software, the Meta Watch M1, the latest from former Fossil engineer Bill Geiser and designer Frank Nuovo, stands out because it’s not ugly. Designed to look more like a regular watch than any smartwatch I’ve seen so far, all of the functionality including call pick-up and control, music management, and PIM notifications appear on a watch that looks quite a bit fancier than your average smartwatch.
The M1, which is shipping today, is the culmination of Geiser’s vision for intelligent timepieces. Geiser, who created the original Palm watch for Fossil in 2003, has been working on the Meta Watch project for years. The new piece, which starts at $249, has six buttons. The ones at 3 and 9 o’clock control the back and forward functions while the corner buttons, integrated into the lugs, control the light and menu. The watch syncs with any iOS or Android device and allows you to see any notifications that appear on your mobile device. It also includes a handy weather feature as well as sports scores.
Is this watch better than the Pebble? It obviously depends on how much you like the styling. As you can see, the piece is made of steel and comes on multiple bracelet and band styles – this one is in black rubber. I prefer the synthetic and leather bands to the bracelets, however, simply because they are a bit more elegant.
The watch has been very easy to wear and, more important, lasted almost a week on one charge, a truly amazing feat in the smartwatch world. While beauty is in the eye of the watch wearer, I can say that the M1 is finally a smartwatch that I’d wear with regularity and, even given the potential for future Apple wearables, I’d wear this thing over a color OLED unit any day. While it doesn’t play Flappy Bird (yet), it’s definitely one of the smartest smartwatches I’ve seen in a while.
We’ll do a bit more on the M1 after I’ve worn it for a bit, but as it stands I’m honestly preferring this new model over my plastic Pebble.