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Review: Cookoo Connected Watch

The Cookoo Connected Watch is another one of the so-called “smartwatch” variants to come out, along with the Pebble and the I’m Watch and a few others. I already have a Pebble watch and I’m quite happy with it, but I was interested to check out the other watches. When we got a Cookoo review unit, I jumped at the chance.

First of all, why the name Cookoo?

Obviously a play on “cuckoo clock”, the Cookoo is big, bold and brash, a just a little bit heavy. It comes in a plastic box that looks like an old school cuckoo clock, and it has inside the watch, a multi-language instruction manual and an extra battery.

It features a large analog clock face measuring 1.75″, is almost an inch thick, and supported by an equally thick .22mm silicone wristband. The strap comes in black, white, blue or pink, with similarly accented watch faces and you can get any number of combinations of them, or swap out the strap entirely for something third-party and different. If you don’t mind the large circular clock face, thickness and heaviness of the watch, this’d be perfect for you.

Unlike the other smart watch variants, the Cookoo’s display is powered by a large, common CR2032 battery, which is good for about three years, and the analog mechanism by a smaller SR626SW battery. Takes a lot of worry out of losing the charge, which is a bit troublesome for the other smart watches like the Pebble, which you have to charge every week. You can replace the battery yourself by using a coin or your fingernail to unscrew the big cover off on the back of the face. There’s no need to go to a service center. The Cookoo is also waterproof and shatter-proof, and you can wear it anytime, anywhere.

There are four buttons around the bezel, the MODE and COMMAND on the right side, and CONNECT and LIGHT buttons on the left. There is a large knob in the center of the right side by which you set the time, as it doesn’t automatically do it, much like a normal watch.

It’s meant largely for iOS device users, and the Cookoo is meant for those iOS devices that support the low-power Bluetooth 4.0 spec—the iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad mini, the 3rd and 4th generations of the iPad, and the 5th generation of the iPod touch. By itself, it looks like a formidable, big analog watch, and by that alone this timepiece would be worth it, but wait til you get it going.

You have to download the free Cookoo app before you can access the connected features of the watch. Once the app is there, you can tether the watch via Bluetooth to your iPhone or other iOS device with a few simple clicks, and then really take off from there.

Arranged around the watch face are small LED icons to indicate activity on your device, and they light up and vibrate according to the activity. The Cookoo currently supports icons, beep and vibration notifications for:

  • Incoming call and missed call alerts
  • Calendar and reminder alerts
  • Low power and critical battery alerts for your device
  • New SMS, email and voicemail
  • Out of range alarms
  • Facebook notications
  • Alarm clock or countdown timer

Additionally, you can set it to either find your phone, find out your location and drop pins on a map, do a Facebook check-in or you can use it to snap pictures using the COMMAND button remotely. Pretty soon, updates to the app will include options to control your device’s music, among other things. The thing to remember is that the Cookoo is a device that’s still in development, much like the other smart watches, and time will tell if it’ll improve or not.

It’s kinda hard to see the icons if you’re in direct sunlight, which is why the Light button is a good thing. Of note is the fact that these are just icons that appear to notify you that your device received something, and there is no text to preview the alerts like the Pebble.

Which of course begs the question: why have a device like it at all? Why do you need a smart watch to tell you your phone received something when you have to pull the phone out anyway to find out what message or alert arrived? Why do you need an intervening device to tell you your device received an alert but doesn’t tell you what it was and further complicate things?

To tell you the truth, I don’t really know. Because you can?

Whatever the case may be, the Cookoo Connected Watch is still a big, attractive analog watch to have, if only for that, and whatever Bluetooth-connected capabilities there are are nice bonuses.

You can get the Cookoo now for P6500 at any Beyond The Box or Digital Hub branch, and you can find out more about it at



Adel Gabot is a freelance writer, editor, teacher and Palanca award-winning fictionist. In his spare time he loves Macs, his iPad and iPhone, old Sean Connery 007 movies, Stephen King books, his Kindle Paperwhite, his Nexus 7, his video games, Green Tea ice cream, Aeropressed coffee and a good Merlot. His favorite noodles: Ma Mon Luk mami.

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