Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Vector Luna Contemporary

Vector Luna Contemporary

A smartwatch – in one sense, at least

Smartwatches still feel like a bit of a white elephant, but they’re not going away. Apple has updated the software for its Watch, and more devices are coming from tech giants such as Motorola, Samsung and Huawei. This one is rather different: it’s from an independent British company, looks like a real watch, and offers a stripped-down approach reminiscent of the popular Pebble.

For a start, while the Apple Watch battery just gets through a day, the Luna Contemporary lasts a month. That’s six times longer than even the Pebble Time. Of course, this brings compromises. The display, though sharp and attractively designed, is quite dim, so it’s an effort to read in daylight. It does show the time constantly, though. Notifications appear only when you turn the screen towards yourself.

I’s not a touchscreen: to scroll and cancel notifications, you use the side buttons. Texts, emails, calendar events and so on are streamed from your iOS, Android or Windows Phone device, and you can add information such as news and weather. Very few compatible apps are available, but from this month other developers can create their own, so we’ll see if it takes off. A pedometer and heart-rate monitor are built in, and unlike with the Apple Watch, health data can be collected while you sleep.

Although quite thick, the Luna Contemporary isn’t too big and feels great to wear. With its stitched leather strap or link bracelet, it may be the most stylish smartwatch yet. The smart part, though, feels limited for the price.

Similarly priced watches do more, and Apple’s build quality is unbeatable, but for sheer style this is worth considering.

1.4in monochrome display • Stainless steel case • 11x44x44mm (HxWxD) • 5 ATM water resistant • Two-year warranty • Requires a device with iOS 8, Android 4.4, Windows Phone 8 or later