It’s about 80% cheaper than Apple’s Watch SE, but has all the features you’d expect from a good budget smartwatch.
Pretty much following exactly what the leaked images said, Nothing’s sub-brand CMF has announced its first three products, the Buds Pro TWS earbuds, the Power 65W GaN charger, and the Watch Pro, an affordable but mighty smartwatch that hopes to bring the Nothing experience to even more users with its pocket-friendly price tag. At just Rs. 4,499 INR (or $54 USD converted), the Watch Pro shouldn’t really come with any expectations, but it exceeds whatever I have with a feature-packed design. It sports a “mighty” 1.96-inch AMOLED always-on display accompanied by a single hardware button. The watch lets you answer calls via Bluetooth (with an AI noise reduction algorithm), tracks as many as 110 sports/activities, has a comprehensive heart monitor, a built-in GPS, IP68 dust and water resistance, and a whopping 13-day battery life. Did I mention it costs just $54 bucks?
Designer: CMF by Nothing
What immediately stands out with the Watch Pro is the fact that it’s nothing like Nothing. There’s no transparency, no fanfare, not even as much as an online event or even a video. The reason lies in Nothing’s underlying strategy to pretty much conquer the budget market with well-made gadgets that are recognizable, but don’t affect Nothing’s own brand positioning. The CMF devices aren’t transparent because that’s the Nothing visual DNA. Instead, they come with opaque designs that are punctuated by the use of a bright orange, either in the hardware, or in the software. The name CMF stands for Color, Material, Finish – a reference to the abbreviated term used by designers and engineers.
While the design isn’t overtly revolutionary or innovative, the watch does deliver quite the bang for its buck. On the hardware front, there’s a whole lot to write home about. The watch obviously tells the time, lets you monitor the weather, has GPS tracking, and even has Bluetooth support so you can answer phone calls without taking your phone out. The folks at Nothing say their AI noise reduction algorithm was trained on over 100,000 noise models, allowing it to work remarkably well at isolating your voice when you’re in a crowded or noisy space.
It even supports up to 110 sports modes, letting you track all your sports and activities right on the watch, with a comprehensive breakdown of your reps duration, calories, heart rate, pace, steps, and distance. The comprehensive health monitor tracks your heart rate, blood SpO2, sleep, stress levels, etc. to enhance your health journey. There’s even a water reminder thrown in there so that the Watch Pro constantly ensures you stay hydrated.
What really does set the Watch Pro apart from any other smartwatch we’ve seen, however, is the OS. Most smartwatches distil down their respective smartphone OS or rely entirely on Android Wear to power their experience, but the Watch Pro is an entirely different experience. The smartwatch’s UI quite literally uses just a combination of 4 colors – black, white, grey, and orange, but achieves so much with its limited palette. The interface is this minimalist Bauhaus-inspired work of art that practically uplifts every screen, from the multiple watch faces to the functions/features within the watch. It might be a $54 smartwatch, but it feels nothing like one, with a kind of cleanliness that’s only reserved for flagships.
The Watch Pro comes with a respectable 13 days of battery life with moderate use, going down to 11 days with heavy use. This includes the fact that the Watch Pro has an always-on display that’s ever ready to give you the time of the day, the date, the weather forecast, or any notification you may need to see. Partnering with your smartphone, the Watch Pro has Find My features to help locate both your phone as well as your watch. There’s also a built-in Voice AI as well as music control for playback on your phone or your TWS earbuds.
For now, the Watch Pro along with other CMF products are just limited to an India launch. It makes sense, given Nothing’s flagship production center is in India too, as is a majority of its audience.