Kronaby Apex Connected Watch
I am a traditional watch guy. It is just the way I am wired. I have no real love for digital watches, and the regular smart watch just makes me cringe. I guess you can say I am a purist, at least when it comes to watches. I think of a watch as part of me, it is not just a tool to tell time or a piece of jewelry, it is an extension of my personality. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love technology. Iphones, Ipads, laptops, Bluetooth, voice activated lights, you get the point. I love jumping in the car and turning on the Bluetooth and now my phone is connected to my car. It is amazing. Offer me a “smartwatch”, and I will become a snob and turn my nose up. So why, you ask, would I be reviewing this Kronobay Apex Connected Watch? The answer is simple. It is not your average smartwatch, and while it does sync to your phone via BT, when it is not connected, it is just your standard good looking quartz watch.
Kronaby Apex Connected Watch Specifications:
- 43mm Stainless Steel Case
- 22mm Lug Width
- 13.5mm Thick
- 51mm lug to lug
- Double Domed Sapphire Crystal
- Kronaby connected movement BT001, 2 pcs 2- hand-bi-directional micro stepping motors, Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy (BLE), vibration motor, accelerometer
- 100 Meters Water Resistant.
- Kronaby App working with (or later version) Android 5.0 and iOS 9
Price: $595 USD
Back when Apple first released the Apple Watch, (don’t call it the iWatch, they get mad), I thought about getting one to review. I am an Apple guy, so I thought, why not? Then one of my friends got one, and I realized that I hated it and would not want to waste my time doing a review. I know that might seem short-sighted, but it is the way I felt. My opinion on them has not changed in the past two years either. I’m betting after hearing that it would surprise some of you to hear that I contacted Kronaby to review the Kronaby Apex Connected Watch. While there have been other watches on the market the past few years who have done something similar, either the watches did not appeal to me in design, or I was still in that “I hate anything that is a smart watch!” phase. Either way, I did not consider any of these watches until recently. Now let me be perfectly clear, you will probably not be seeing a lot of connected or smart watch reviews here on Watchreport in the future, at least not from me. This Kronaby has shown me what a connected watch can be, and I do appreciate it and have had some fun with it, but it is still not a watch I reach for on a daily basis.
Just because I will not be reaching for the Kronaby Apex Connected Watch all the time does not mean I do not like it. For the most part, I love the way the watch looks and I feel the build quality is much better than I ever imagined. Most people who know that I do reviews looked at it and had no idea it was a smart watch until I told them. They also assumed it was more expensive than it actually is, as overall the Apex is a damned nice looking watch. I imagine you have watched the video already, if not, please do so before continuing to read on. I show how to connect the watch to your phone and some of the basic functions as well, so I am not going to go over them here in the written portion of the review. I will share some aspects of the Apex that I really love and one or two things I think they can change.
Of the things I would change, would be the lume application and the thickness of the leather strap, or lack there of, on both accounts. With a regular smartwatch, say the Apple Watch, it is a display much like your cell phone, so no need for lume. Here, with the Kronaby Apex Connected Watch, you have an analog display and if you wanted to be truly connected at all times, being able to see it legibly in low light or complete darkness would be helpful. Unfortunately that is just not the case here, as seen below.
For the leather strap, It is actually very nice, and a decent leather. No complaints in feel or looks. It is very thin though, and it creases very easily, and long term, it might be only a matter of time before you would need to replace the strap, or switch it out to something else you have lying around. Many of us watch nuts have 22mm straps ready to go that would look great on this, but I wanted to point out that something more in the 3-4mm range would work better on this watch.
One of the great things, to me, about the Kronaby Apex Connected Watch is that you do not always need to be connected. When you turn your Bluetooth off, it is a standard analog watch that will keep accurate time and look good while doing it. When you are connected, the range is pretty damn good in my opinion, at least with my Iphone 6s Plus. The range can differ from phone to phone and different conditions, but I was able to leave it my phone on the back porch, go in the house through the kitchen, up the stairs and into the bedroom behind a closed door and was still able to activate the music player on my phone. Kronaby states that the maximum distance is around 40 meters, or 131 feet.
The Kronaby Apex Connected Watch is fairly easy to set up as I show in the video and overall I have enjoyed the functions. I have not delved into all of the alerts and things you can do, I have kept it pretty simple. The top pusher is set for music, so I press it and my phone starts playing. You can also skip to the next song with a double tap of the pusher and a triple tap allows you to go back. The bottom pusher I have set up as a remote for the camera on my phone. When you have the phone in a tripod, you can use the watch to snap photos. Alert wise, I have Gmail and text messages set up, and they have been flawless in functionality and the watch vibrates about 1-2 seconds after I get the email or message.
As I stated earlier, the Kronaby Apex Connected Watch would not be a daily driver for me, but I also am not really the intended audience. I personally think any of the Kronaby lineup would look better on the wrist than an Apple Watch or Moto360 etc. If you like and want the added functionality of being able to control your phone from your watch and get alerts right on your wrist, you can still do it, but it will not look out of place with your suit and tie at the office. I had fun wearing it and playing with the features, but for me, a non smart or connected watch is the way to go. That is not to say this could not change in the future, who knows. We never know what the future holds. When it comes to the present, I think Kronaby is on the right track and a few minor improvements and I think they will be even better. If you always wanted to try out a smartwatch but did not like the look, maybe give Kronaby a try. Or don’t. It is your dime. I’m just some guy on the internet. The Apex is pretty cool though in my opinion.
PS. Something I forgot to mention, which might not seem like a big thing to most, but I included a picture of the case back in the gallery of when the Apex first arrived. I believe transparency in what you are buying and where the item is manufactured, especially in the watch industry where there tends to be a lot of smoke and mirrors. The plastic film clearly states Assembled in China. No wool being pulled here.