Wyze is known for its low-cost devices such as webcams, a connected scale, and a smart thermostat, to name a few. So when the company launched the $20 (plus shipping) Wyze Watch, I ordered one. I wanted to see how well it worked as a health tracker and smart home controller. After nearly two weeks of wearing the Wyze Watch, I can tell you I’m generally disappointed with it.
To be clear, I wear an Apple Watch 6 daily. It is definitely not a $20 watch. It cost me around 20 times more than the Wyze Watch.
But I’ve also used lower-priced devices similar to Wyze’s wearable over the years. I’ve had at least four Fitbits, two Garmin watches, a Polar smartwatch, a few Android Wear (now called WearOS) watches, and even a Microsoft Band. So I’m trying to temper my disappointment based on those experiences and the higher prices of competing wearables.
To that end, the Wyze Watch is worth the price you pay. Even with an aluminum alloy frame, It feels like and behaves like a low-cost knockoff or a child’s smartwatch to me.
Still, there are some good features and for a very particular subset of smart home users, it might be worth the money. I’ll explain that after sharing the good and the bad of my Wyze Watch experience.
On the plus side
If you like the Apple Watch design, you’ll probably like that of the Wyze Watch. At a glance, the two look very similar and Wyze’s product is generally comfortable to wear. A silicone wristband is included and Wyze sells optional bands if you like to change them up.
I bought the larger model with a 1.75-inch, 320×385 TFT LCD touchscreen. It’s definitely bright enough indoors but a little washed out in full sunlight.
The touch interface is relatively simple, although a bit laggy when scrolling: From the main display, you swipe left to see your health data. A right swipe from the time shows you app shortcuts for the preinstalled software. Swiping down shows phone notifications, while swiping up displays a few key settings: screen brightness, battery life, a do-not-disturb button, and a way to ring your phone. Because the Wyze Watch relies on Bluetooth, it requires your phone to be nearby and connected wirelessly for data synchronization and notifications.
Underneath the watch base are a few sensors. These are used to track your heart rate and blood oxygen level. Inside is an accelerometer for step and exercise tracking. I’d say all of the “table stakes” sensors are here. The watch is also IP68 rated and can withstand water of up to 2 meters for 30 minutes. Yes, you can go out on a rainy day with this and not worry about destroying your wearable.
The range of included apps is a little light but again, the basics are here: The aforementioned heart rate and blood oxygen tracking, an exercise app for moving around, an alarm, timer, and local weather. Also included is an app that you can fill with smart home shortcuts (think automations) for Wyze products; these worked well with my Wyze bulbs. You can also use to app to share your health data with Apple Health, which worked well in my testing.
Wyze uses a 350mAh battery inside the larger watch I bought. And I have to say battery life is stellar. Based on my usage, a two-hour recharge is only needed once a week to restore the battery level from nearly empty to full. The proprietary charging cable uses magnetic pins, so you don’t want to lose it.
Now for the not so good
Let me start with the battery life I just mentioned because although it’s fantastic, it shows the limitations Wyze imposes that allow for just one recharge every seven days or so. By keeping features to a bare minimum, Wyze keeps battery usage low.
For example, there’s no speaker or microphone, meaning no digital assistant, voice responses to incoming texts, or music playback that would eat up the battery. You’re limited to Bluetooth as there’s no Wi-Fi radio to free you from your phone around the house. By default, the screen display doesn’t stay on very long, although you can configure this at the cost of battery life. And there’s no GPS radio for tracking distance: Step counts and computed distance are all you get.
I’ve had basic health trackers and smartwatches in the past like this. Some of them are relatively accurate when computing distance based on step counts. The Wyze Watch? It’s average at that computation. And the step count. And for the other metric tracking too, for that matter.
Wearing both the Apple Watch 6 with its GPS radio, a two-mile walk turned into just 1.89 miles of distance on the Wyze Watch, for example. Sleep tracking between the two devices varied even more: The Wyze Watch generally counts all of my time in bed as “sleep” with various times of light and deep sleep. By comparison, my Apple Watch only captures my actual sleep time; not the total time I was in bed. It also shows much more awake time and I know this because I’m often awake for an hour or two in the middle of every night.
The story is the same with step counts, heart rate, and blood oxygen here. They just aren’t nearly as accurate on the Wyze Watch as another device. I tested it against a pulse oximeter and saw nearly an 8 percent difference. I wore a Garmin smartwatch along with the Apple Watch and Wyze Watch during a step count test walk. The former two devices showed fairly close results while the Wyze Watch shortchanged me more than 15 percent.
Perhaps these results can be addressed by software updates, perhaps not. For now, I wouldn’t rely on the Wyze Watch health data for realistic numbers. It’s best suited for data trends at this point.
It’s also best suited for people who are entirely invested in Wyze smart home products. You can’t control any other connected device brands with the watch. That’s why I said earlier that the Wyze Watch is best suited “for a very particular subset of smart home users”.
Even if you’re in that camp, there are other reasons to be wary. While you can mirror notifications from your phone, you can’t interact with them much. And even when you get them, they can be truncated and not appear properly: Here’s a text message from my son with an example of both.
I understand that I’m a bit spoiled by a watch that cost $400. The Wyze strategy is to keep prices low and keep products simple. And if that’s the bar to measure it by, the Wyze Watch does the job.
However, the experience and feature set is like a smartwatch from 2014, not from 2021. I think most people would be better served by a sub-$100 Fitbit tracker or its equivalent if they want health tracking. No, those products don’t offer smart home controls, but the Wyze Watch only works with… well, Wyze devices.
For me, the Wyze Watch is a no-go. It’s too limiting from a smart home perspective, isn’t accurate enough to meet my health tracking needs, and simply isn’t polished enough to stand out from the competition. Unless you only have $20 to spend on a wearable that is. Even if that were the case, I’d still be on the fence at best.
Peter Gowdy says
Wyze isn’t interested in impressing us IoT junkies at all. They’re going for the consumer market. And they specifically do not want anyone with Home Assistant or any other home automation system to connect in any meaningful way to their stuff. This $20 watch seems like a pretty decent product for the masses. Comparing it to an Apple Watch that costs 20 times as much seems rather silly. Like comparing a Chevy Spark to a top-of-the-line BMW.
Kevin C. Tofel says
Completely fair points, Peter. My point of view is for readers of this site, which probably aren’t mainstream consumers for the most part. If I were writing for a mainstream audience, I would have framed this differently.
Eric Novak says
I agree and as someone who has bought one….i just wanted the novel idea of having a simple, cheap smartwatch to wear once in a while
Sergio Schubert says
It does more than a Casio in the same price point and should be compared to same, not a Fitbit 5x as much or an Apple Watch 20x as much. A fair comparison would be to $30 generic no name “smart” watches on Amazon.
Kevin C. Tofel says
No argument. But the fact is, regardless of the price, you’re not getting accurate health data. That’s the bigger takeaway meant from the comparison. If health trends are worth the $20, then the Wyze Watch will do the job.
“Single quotes”? Do you mean apostrophes?
As my daily driver is the top Rolls-Royce silver Ghost, I find that when I’m forced to drive a Hyundai Excel there seem to be several things missing in the experience. I can’t imagine why any of you peasants would not drive the same car as I simply because you’re lacking the funds to purchase a car 20 times more expensive. Now over the last few years I’ve driven BMWs, Benzes, Maseratis, a few Porsches, the lower end Ferraris, and I have left them all behind over the past 6 years in my vast garage. They simply didn’t live up to my exalted expectations. What’s wrong with you people?
Keith D says
You’re review is accurate, but I think also a little bit of a Captain Obvious review. Nobody, not even your audience here, would expect it to compete with a Samsung or Apple watch. The Wyze watch isn’t even really meant to be a general-consumer budget smartwatch. It’s targeted toward Wyze hardware owners. So how well does it do at the task it was designed for?
I do feel like your review was a little light on addressing the cool factor for that intended audience, namely those who use Wyze devices in their homes. You touched on it in a paragraph but it’s a feature of the watch that should be front and center. I believe most of any review on the device should be centered around that function.
Chevette’s don’t compete in Formula One racing, so any review should reflect the realm it’s made for, not sponsored racing. Chevette’s were small, budget cars for cities with packed roads; they were great at their job. On the other hand, a Formula One car wouldn’t be a good fit on any city’s roads, so I guess F1 cars are all 1 star vehicles.
I’m probably aging myself by bring up Chevettes…
Leigh M McBain says
I wear a Fossil Sport (WearOS) watch and have had Fitbit, Samsung Gear II and some inexpensive ($50) smart watches. The Wyze watch is just okay, nothing special but I think that Wyze really needs to decide where they want to be with this product when a $50 smartwatch can do so much more and offer a much better experience for not much more money. One area that makes me shake my head is how basic the notifications for their own Wyze products (cameras and such). You would think that they would have at least spent more time and effort on the integration with their own products.
Kevin C. Tofel says
Thanks, Leigh! You get what I was saying, although based on some of the other reader comments, I might not have made the message clear, which is on me. Cheers!
JD Norther says
I purchased this watch on a whim. I have 3 Android watches spanning over 4 years. I love this watch. Who needs HPS in a watch. I have my phone for that. As far as text and reminders, they work great. Why do I need to talk to my watch?
This is all I need and for $20 it is a bargain.
Wyze specified specs for this watch on their website. Consumers knew what they were getting for $20. Your argument will be valid if consumers were promised something with Apple watch’s specs. Let Wyze watch users stay in their lane while Apple Watch users stay in their lane as well. Diversity is what makes this ecosystem interesting and exciting.
I too bought the Wyze watch with the larger screen. Very disappointing. The screen is way smaller than advertised and I can’t imagine how small the regular screen would be. Very slow processor too. Only a few watch faces. They said it was an intro price and would probably retail for about $40 – $50 when officially released. Skip it and buy something else with your money. Wrote to them several times but have never heard back. Poor customer service.
Todd Taunton says
I totally disagree ,I have the large size for 20 bucks build quality impressive, perfect for a spare watch, i normally wear a Fitbit versa 2 and as far as apps go you get what you pay for but come on for 20 bucks a nice watch that has Bluetooth for notifications is great , this article should be about new OnePlus watch , this needs to be compared to watches in this price range and if you do that it gets 5 stars
wyze is well aware of the deficiencies of their watch. the solicited a review from me (47 watch), and after i provided the review below, they first pointed me to their helpdesk articles and then REMOVED the review!?
$20 is an impulse purchase, and the watch can easily end up in the drawer, along with my wyze band. it is disappointing that the company seems more focused on releasing all sorts of products out fast (in hope of getting acquired?) than in ensuring that the products they HAVE released actually work. full disclosure: i own every camera they ever released, subscribe to cam plus, own the band, bulb, scale, watch, alarm, thermostat. and am still waiting for the vacuum. i like wyze and want them to succeed. unfortunately i won’t be buying any more of their products until i can trust that they will simply work
ok for the v1, but a long way from being useful
good when it works. unfortunately, too often it doesn’t. unreliable connection, misleading sleep data, no weather data, notifications, etc. the only things that are consistently reliable are time/date, heart rate and o2 (hopefully)
So I ordered the 47 a couple days ago on a whim. For $20, why not? Well, there are MANY reasons why. It arrived today and I will be sending it back tomorrow. While it technically “works,” the near non-existent functionality it has is so severely limited, that it is basically useless. Also, there is no way this has 9 days of battery life. I charged is up fully and updated the firmware and with minor usage – there isnt all that much to test – it lost 15% of its power in about 6 hours. That was the last time I checked, it was probably lower by the time I gave up and factory reset it. Being generous, that means it would lose 50% a day. Heck, even if I was extremely generous, at 33%, it would be dead in 3 days. I dont know how something so bad can be released. I an 100% serious when I say that a Palm Pilot from 1997 has infinitely more functionality than this garbage.
My watch performed well and was happy with until it just stopped working. Took it off for bedtime and had 50% charge. Next morning it would not turn on. Put on the charger and 6 hours later it is still dead.
After a Fitbit that had its up and downs and my Samsung Galaxy Watch that loses its connection to my phone all the time. I always have my phone so I do not care about the GPS or no radio or other such fluffy things. I either have my phone or within Bluetooth range so I can use my earbuds. I like how it lets me know the time, steps, and who is trying to reach me when I am at work. Not everyone wants all the bells and whistles.
The “health tracker” features are niceties that are pretty irrelevant. I like the pulse and O2 sensor features but I’m not looking for a health tracker. I wanted a device that linked to my home and business automations first, a watch, second, and then offered other features I MIGHT find useful. And the Wyze Watch does that in spades.