You can get this new smart watch with a heart rate monitor for just 3,980 yen, or less than US$40!

Don Quijote is a Japanese megastore that’s a marvel for the senses. Each aisle and corner of this multi-purpose shop is packed to the brim with inexpensive products of all kinds, and music and videos are always playing, sometimes even competing against each other. Most people will remember the stores for their well-stocked adult section and strange (or appealing, if that’s what you’re into) selection of sexy outfits and lingerie, but they also sell everything from food and home goods to toys, clothing, and accessories.

As a mega store with a name for discounts, Don Quijote has been upping its private brand game by releasing its own line of affordable electronics, including super cheap 4K TVs and a laptop for under $200. Most recently they’ve jumped on the smart watch bandwagon with their brand new Active Gear Life Logger, which costs just 3,980 yen ($35). But is such a cheap smart watch even worth it? We had to get one to find out.

We picked out a white model that can monitor your heart rate. They actually sell another model that doesn’t have this function for 2,980 yen, but we figured, “Go big or go home!” So we got the (slightly) more expensive variety.

According to the packaging, this Active Gear Life Logger measures and tracks your heart rate, sleep time, and level of physical activity, so it seems like more of a fitness tracker than a smart watch. It does, of course, tell the time, too, and it also lets you know if you’ve received messages or calls on your phone, which is pretty handy.

Out of the package, it looks a little cheap, but it’s actually waterproof, dustproof, and can operate in temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit).

One particularly nice thing about the watch is that the face of can be removed from the band and charged simply by plugging it directly into a USB port.

It’s really a no-fuss product, which is quite nice.

To set it up, you use the designated app, AG Life Logger. There’s apparently a little bit of a difference between the Android version and the iPhone version, but this is what it looks like on an iPhone:

Upon downloading and installing the app, it first asks you to create an account. Once you’ve entered your information and logged in, the app asks to connect to your watch. It searches for the watch using Bluetooth, so it should automatically appear. Once it pops up, you just tap it and continue.

The customization of the watch face is done on the watch itself. We tried changing the watch from digital to analogue display, but the face of the watch is a bit small and it’s hard to see, so we decided to change it back to digital.

The main menu of the “Device” section of the app has five options: Add Exercise, Quick Camera, Alarm/Schedule, Inactivity Reminder, and Message Notifications.

Under “Add Exercise”, there are 21 different kinds of exercises that you can add to your activity. The device defaults to running, but you can change it to anything from ball sports to yoga to dance and swimming. It even has the option for a popular Vietnamese sport on there called đá cầu (also known as Jianzi in China)!

The Activity Monitor screen is pretty good, too. It has a step tracker and a calorie burn tracker, and underneath it shows your heart rate.

But there were a couple of things that bothered us about the Active Gear Life Tracker. First of all, the “Quick Camera” on the watch can only be turned on from the app, so you must have your phone on hand to access it, then use the touch panel on the watch to take the picture. It’s not a very “quick” or useful camera.

Also, while the device can receive messages and notifications from your phone, it can’t send messages or make or receive phone calls. Of course, you can’t really expect that much from less than $40, so that’s fairly forgivable. On the other hand, it’s pretty useful as a fitness tracker and activity monitor. It’s certainly no hologram wristwatch, but for what it does and the price you pay for it, we think it’s a pretty good bargain.

Photos ©SoraNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]