The hero of today’s review is the Air Pro smartwatch from the Chinese brand Fobase. Hardly a well-known name, but Fobase Air Pro itself looks pretty interesting. In addition to the standard set of features inherent in such devices, there are sensors for measuring pressure and oxygen levels in the blood. Considering the low cost of the watch, it looks like a godsend. But are there any downsides? They must be. Let’s try and find out.
Fobase Air Pro
- Fobase Air Pro Features
- Display: 1.54”, touchscreen, 240 × 240 pixels
- Sensors: accelerometer, heart rate monitor, pulse oximeter (SpO2), thermometer
- Processor: RK8762C
- Storage: 128 MB
- Wireless interfaces: Bluetooth 5.0
- Compatibility: Android 4.4, iOS 8.0 and newer
- Battery: 200mAh
- Protection standard: IP67
- Body: metal, tempered glass
- Strap: silicone, total length 26 cm
- Weight: 54.7 g
What’s in the box
Fobase Air Pro comes in a solid white cardboard box, which looks sturdy enough. On the lid there is an inscription “Smart Watch” (who would have guessed) and not much else. That is, neither the brand name, nor the model name, nor any other identifying marks are provided on the box. No information at all. In general, packaging design leaves a lot of questions. But what’s inside?
Here you can find the smartwatch itself, a charging cable with a standard USB connector on one side and a magnetic cradle on the other, and a small accordion manual in Chinese and English. But you probably won’t be using it since the interface is easy to understand. But if you suddenly need to familiarize yourself with any of the Fobase Air Pro settings, you need to have at least elvish vision to make out the text. As a last resort, you can use a magnifying glass, but really, who has the time?
Neither the packaging nor the user manual are informative, which can be a problem for the uninitiated.
Positioning and price
You can buy Fobase Air Pro in the official Fobase store on AliExpress. The price is $42, but at the time of writing the review, taking into account the discount, it’s no more than $34. Add coupons from the seller and the store itself, and you can knock off another couple of bucks.
The declared functionality of the Air Pro is quite extensive, but the price for such devices is puny. Imagine buying a good smartwatch for a price of a Mi Band. The closest thing to the Air Pro in terms of price are Realme Watch and Amazfit Bip Lite. But even with such a comparison, Fobase Air Pro looks more attractive both in price and in functionality.
Where to buy Fobase Air Pro:
Design, materials and ergonomics
Fobase Air Pro looks almost exactly like one of the most recognizable smartwatches on the market. In general, in terms of design, there is nothing unique here, but there is not much point in focusing on this, since Fobase is not the first and not the last device to copy Apple’s design.
The rectangular body is made of metal and is IP67 dust and water resistant. Quite an unexpected decision for this price segment. The front part is occupied by a touchscreen display with rather large bezels around it, rounded corners and edges.
To the right of the screen you can see a functional button that resembles the crown of a classic watch and, yes, Apple Watch. Despite the fact that the button is spinning, the watch only perceives a press, and the ability to turn it was made purely for decorative purposes, for more similarity with the Apple Watch. For the same purpose, there’s an imitation of the side oval button, which is located under the crown. The element is absolutely useless, since it is not even a button, but a dummy. But at a cursory glance, Air Pro really looks Apple-like.
On the back, you can see the main sensors of the smartwatch and charging terminals.
The silicone strap is also almost indistinguishable from Apple. Although the promos of the Air Pro show the classic clasp, I only had an Apple lookalike for review. You can’t fix the extra length of the strap, but the “tail” is hidden between the hand and the fastened bracelet. For many, this method of fixation is more convenient, and I also like this format more – if the hand is on a table or other surface, there is no pressure from the bracelet clamps.
The strap is removable, although at first glance this is not obvious. But it just slides to the side. Some buyers report that the seller may add a second spare strap to the package, but our box did not include one.
And one more nuance – the strap accumulates dust, and after a while you can notice small abrasions on the ends.
Now about ergonomics. The watch is very comfortable to wear. When you put it on your wrist, there is a pleasant chill from the metal body. Over time, of course, it heats up from the warmth of the arm, but still. Thanks to the clasp, Fobase Air Pro is fixed securely and comfortably – nothing gets in the way. The strap is made of high-quality silicone, so there is no discomfort. The watch is not weightless, but its presence on the wrist does not distract in any way.
In the end, Fobase decided not to bother with the design at all and follow the example of Apple Watch down to the smallest detail. Some people may like such plagiarism, while others may be categorically against the budget equivalents of Apple Watch. Still, Fobase Air Pro looks presentable, offers great build quality and high quality materials.
The 1.54″ screen in Fobase Air Pro is touch-sensitive and has a resolution of 240×240. The screen technology is not declared either on the official page or in the technical specifications in the user manual. But this is an IPS matrix. There are wide viewing angles, which do not distort the picture, and when you press the display, the image does not “float” like with TFT, and, of course, black looks dark gray here, so it’s definitely not OLED. If my assumptions are correct, this is pretty good for this budget segment.
The display itself is pretty good: there is a large margin of brightness that can be adjusted in the settings (4 modes), pleasant color rendering and, as mentioned above, wide viewing angles. But two facts are somewhat upsetting. The first is the large bezels around the screen. As long as you look at the watch with the display off, everything looks great. As soon as you activate the screen and see the matrix itself, it becomes a little sad.
The second point is low screen resolution. This is not particularly obvious with icons, but when displaying text (menu items or notification text) it is more noticeable. But then again, what do we want from a budget smartwatch? When we remember the cost, all these issues turn into nitpicking, nothing more. For a $30 device, the screen has far more pros than cons here.
Interface and control
The watch is controlled by a touchscreen display and a wheel button that performs the Back function. The appearance of the main screen can be changed – there are 5 watchfaces to choose from, from informative to stylish. And in that top five, there is a watchface that is very similar to the standard Apple Watch screen. There is no store with apps and screens, so you will have to be content with what already is there.
The screen can be awakened in three ways: by lifting your wrist, tapping on the screen or with the side button. Moving around the main menu is done with left-right swipes, by pressing one or another menu item is selected. You can return to the previous item either with the button or with a swipe to the right. By swiping from top to bottom, you can quickly call up the settings, and from bottom to top the screen with notifications. By the way, notifications are displayed here as a list and it is very convenient to navigate between them. The name of the application, the author, the time of submission and a small piece of text are immediately visible. The emojis and stickers, as usual, are not supported.
Let’s walk through the menu. If you scroll from left to right, then the first in line is the temperature measurement function. Next is an activity screen displaying the distance traveled, calories burned and the number of steps. The next 3 screens are for heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels. Further, training modes, weather, notifications, a stopwatch, a search for a smartphone and a settings menu were added. If you scroll the menu in the other direction from the main screen, then the order of functions will be reversed.
It is also worth noting that the interface of the watch itself is available in different languages and you can install it through the application, which we will talk about below.
Fobase Air Pro functionality
There are really a lot of features there. As a fitness tracker, the device counts steps, records distance and calories burned, monitors sleep quality, and measures heart rate. In addition, the watch measures body temperature (albeit on the surface of the skin with a certain margin of error), pressure and oxygen level in the blood.
Despite the ambitious groundwork, the high accuracy of these sensors is unlikely. At least the device understands when I try to measure inanimate objects.
In general, I am both happy and amazed at how quickly the market reacts to global changes in the world. Measuring the level of oxygen in the blood, in the light of recent events, has a rather high priority and will obviously not be superfluous in wearable gadgets. True, it is almost impossible to check its accuracy, but still. I remind you that normal blood oxygen levels should be between 95% and 100%. If the indicator falls below, it makes sense to pay attention to your health.
There are 24 modes of workouts, among which are Running, Jumping rope, Treadmill, Football, Dancing, Yoga, Bicycle and more exotic ones like Rugby, Cricket, Baseball and Rowing. The last is the free mode, which will simply collect data about your workout – heart rate, speed, distance traveled, calories, etc.
The Fobase Air Pro smartwatch shows notifications from apps and incoming calls (you can only skip the call). There is also a weather widget, a where’s-my-phone function, a stopwatch and camera control on a smartphone. For complete happiness, the only thing missing is music control.
Despite the fact that the Fobase brand is little known and creates rather cheap gadgets, it still has its own software. The GloryFit app is available for both Android and iOS.
The app collects statistics on activity and general physical condition, and also gives access to detailed settings of the smartwatch.
GloryFit has 4 main tabs. The Home page displays your current daily activity: steps, distance, calories. Under the activity block we have the data received from the sensors: heart rate, pressure and temperature record. In the settings, you can add sleep monitoring if you go to bed without taking off your watch. There is also a small weather panel in the upper left corner.
The next screen is “Sports”. This will create a map of the outdoor training route. Modes for running, walking and cycling are available. Since GPS is not provided in Fobase Air Pro, you will have to take your smartphone with you to build an accurate route.
In the “Device” tab, access to the basic settings of the smart watch opens. Above you can see the model name and the remaining charge. In the list below, you can set up automatic measurement of heart rate and temperature, select apps which will send notifications, turn on notifications about incoming calls, set up a signal that will remind you that you are sitting still, set an alarm and activate the Don’t Disturb mode.
In the “General Settings” there is access to a simple camera application, which can be used to shoot by tapping on the screen. It leaves much to be desired: the settings in the GloryFit camera app are pretty primitive and only allow you to shoot in manual mode. You can toggle the flash, and switch to the front camera, but the maximum resolution is only 2 megapixels. Technically, these restrictions make camera control from the watch useless – what can you shoot at 2MP with the cut-down manual settings?
In the “General” you can set up the time, the screen backlight, activate “Search for bracelet” function, and change the UI language.
The last tab is called Me. Here you’ll find account and personal data settings, goals and training, background apps and system settings.
Overall, the app is pretty handy and useful. Yes, the camera control looks extremely dubious, but the proprietary GloryFit still has more advantages. In any case, statistics are here, and there is also access to the watch settings, which is good.
The Fobase Air Pro has a 200 mAh battery and, according to the manufacturer, it will last up to 10-15 days in standard mode and up to 30 days in the “watch” mode. With different smartphones, the Air Pro charge is consumed in different ways. Provided that the heart rate is constantly measured and the temperature is measured every 10 minutes, usually the charge of a smart watch lasts up to 8-10 days, but in conjunction with some smartphones it melts in one day.
For testing, we used Redmi Note 8T, Huawei P40 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S20+ and Xiaomi Mi 9. When connected to the first three devices, Air Pro showed excellent results – battery consumption averaged about 10-20% per day, depending on activity. But in conjunction with the Mi 9 with similarly included sensors, the charge decreased by 20%, but in a few hours. And when the constant monitoring of the pulse was turned off, the charge consumption returned to normal.
This result could be attributed to the conflict between the Fobase watch and MIUI, but with the Redmi Note 8T, the battery life was at the declared level. So it’s hard to explain. Perhaps a nuance of a particular sample or a smartphone bug.
As for the claimed 10-15 days of autonomy, the manufacturer went a little too far. You can safely count on a week of work on one charge, and for 2 weeks you will have to turn off the constant heart rate measurement. On the other hand, 7 days is still very good.
The charging process is convenient. The charging cradle is securely magnetically attached to the terminals on the watch. When charging, the main thing is to leave the Air Pro alone, as the the cradle is a bit unstable. By the way, you need to be careful about the charging info in the app. When the battery is low, the application shows a full charge after 15-20 minutes. But when put the watch on your hand, the application shows 70-80% of the charge. I recommend charging for about an hour to be sure.
Despite some issues and flaws, the Fobase Air Pro smartwatch still looks very interesting. The design, of course, is not unique, but the the build quality is surprisingly good. And this device really has tons of features, especially for the price. I wish you could control music, but still, the Air Pro looks like a good way to invest $30.
Where to buy Fobase Air Pro
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