The U8 Smart Watch was a grey label smart watch from 2015, its dated in comparison to modern smart watches but was a relatively cheap alternative to other watches like the Samsung Gear S2, Apple Watch and the Pebble branded watches from that time.
The watch came with a companion app that was not downloaded from a store but was available from an FTP site, likely due to the fact it would send data back to its creator, IT news site TheRegister reported a year into owning mine.
Since then it has sat in a drawer and I thought it is about time I dug it out and opened it up, before disposing of it.
I tried turning it on but it was flat, and it would not take a charge because the battery had dropped below the lithium battery protection boards minimum threshold.
In order to get the U8 Smart Watch to work, I’d need to open it up and power the battery terminals manually to allow the watch to accept a charge.
Opening the U8 Smart Watch
On the back of the watch was a metal plate, removing it revealed four small screws which I removed, then I removed the watch from the housing and applied 3.3V directly to the pads of the lithium battery, which allowed the watch to turn on.
I then plugged in the watch and saw on my meter it was taking a charge, so removed the supply. The watch screen lit up as it had done back in around 2015.
Unfortunately, without the companion app, the watch is mostly useless, I tried connecting to my phone’s Bluetooth but the pairing would always fail.
I turned the board over to reveal the insides,
The smartwatch featured a nifty MediaTek MT6260DA processor, and I am not going to pretend to know if that is any good, but it certainly fulfilled its purpose at the time. I was able to find a draft PDF dating the processor back to December 2012.
Attached to the board was a speaker, vibrator combo unit for incoming messages and notifications. I think if I remember correctly you could make calls on the device.
It had a 180mAh lithium battery and charged over USB, had a small but very usable screen and in general the apps that ran were slow but acceptable. Notifications that had a progress bar would often buzz for periods of time until it was complete.
Anyway, so long… Into the bin, unfortunately without good conscience I cannot allow this watch to see the light of day again and it means I don’t have to put it back together.