Part traditional watch, part smartwatch, all mediocre
Despite its out-of-this-world name, the Martian Passport is, in fact, the most traditional-looking timepiece on test, confining its smart features to a small OLED strip, packing just 96x16 pixels, at the bottom of the face. The rest of the display is taken up by an actual watch, though not a particularly nice-looking one.
Despite the discreetness of the “smart” elements, the Martian isn’t lacking in features. It’s one of only two watches on test with its own speaker and noise-cancelling mic, meaning you can take calls and use voice commands to dictate texts without having to remove your phone from your pocket or use a hands-free set. However, it’s unlikely you’ll actually want to take calls as it doesn’t offer anywhere near the clarity, let alone privacy, of a smartphone.
You can interact with Apple’s Siri or Android’s Voice Search, though, by pressing the top button, as the Martian is compatible with iOS and Android, connecting via Bluetooth 4.0. Being able to ask a question of your watch is quite cool, even if in most cases the results aren’t read back to you but displayed on your phone’s screen.
Alerts come via the Martian app only – you can choose which ones to receive – but it only covers the basics, with notifications for texts, emails, calendar appointments and reminders. There’s no Facebook notifications (just direct messages) or general Tweets (only @mentions) and third-party apps are a no-no. Sure, there’s limited space available to display them, but it feels restrictive.
The smart features charge over micro US B and Martian quotes seven days of use on standby, though clearly that’s not much use. Longevity drops to just two hours if you use voice controls, but if the smart features die, the clock is handily on a separate battery that’ll keep ticking for up to two years. For a smartwatch, the smart elements feel tagged on. Love Voice control. Separate battery to keep analogue watch ticking Hate Pretty damn ugly. Limited display only offers basic info. No support for third-party apps T3 Says A fairly unattractive watch that doesn’t quite live up to its smart billing