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Home > Smart Living> Innovation > Review: Noise ColorFit Ultra Buzz is at best a practical buy

Review: Noise ColorFit Ultra Buzz is at best a practical buy

The ColorFit Ultra Buzz is a basic smartwatch with a hands-free calling feature. But there are better options out there

The Buzz has decent aesthetics and a clean interface.

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Smartwatches have seen a clear uptick in market demand, driven by brands—Indian and foreign—launching products with a greater number of feature sets and decreasing prices. Gurugram, Haryana-based Nexxbase Marketing, which operates under the brand name Noise, recently introduced its ColorFit Ultra Buzz smartwatch in India—chasing Indian brand boAt for the top spot in the Indian smartwatch market.

Noise has plugged in all the features you would find in any wearable today and added the ability to receive phone calls via Bluetooth. This makes a big difference, since calling through smartwatches has largely been reserved for products in the premium segment. With this, Noise is probably hoping to capture a bigger share of the domestic wearables market.

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Can it, though? If you have used budget smartwatches earlier, the ColorFit Ultra Buzz, launched a couple of months ago, won’t surprise you in any way. It’s a pretty large and chunky watch, weighing 43g without the strap. Devices such as the Amazfit Bip U Pro or the Realme Watch 2 are lighter and easier to wear, even if they offer smaller displays. Weighing under 38g and with case sizes of around 40mm, the latter two are easier in all-day usage— with the Ultra Buzz, you may feel like taking it off every now and then.

This would matter a fair bit. If it’s your first smartwatch, you will most likely wear it through the day. Personally, at a budget of around 3,000, I would prefer an analogue watch for the aesthetics. But with all the connectivity and health tracking, the draws of a smartwatch are undeniable in today’s market.

The Ultra Buzz, however, is a tad too large—and thereby not the most comfortable to wear. It may, in fact, just be too large for many wrists—with a case size that exceeds 46mm, against a universally optimum watch case size of 42mm. Women in particular, with wrist sizes of around 40mm, may not be the right audience.

If the fit works for you, what you will like is the brightness of the display. The touch response is quite good too but the interface stutters a fair bit. The wake-up response of the smartwatch is good, compensating somewhat for the absence of an always-on display.

I like the overall menu layout. You get access to your call log to the left and your daily activity data to the right. The jittery interface detracts from the ease of use and experience, but it’s not too bad in terms of ergonomics. Sure, it’s no Apple Watch but at less than a tenth of the price, it would be unfair to compare the two.

The ColorFit Ultra Buzz’s fitness and health tracking features are at par with most other smartwatch offerings. However, it’s not particularly accurate when it comes to tracking steps and monitoring heart rate. Step tracking, for instance, shows approximately 30% higher numbers, which is a major deterrent if you want precise readings.

Heart rate monitoring, too, shows rather fluctuating numbers—even during a moderate evening walk, the ColorFit Ultra Buzz showed heart rates above 200 bpm. While the stress monitor showed fairly accurate readings, based on what I was feeling when I tried it, the smartwatch wasn’t too good at fitness tracking.

It just about works for the casual workout session, and gives you an approximate idea of progress in daily activities. It is this factor, more than its large dimensions, that undoes the good work of decent aesthetics and a clean interface.

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The pivotal feature Noise seeks to attract buyers with is the use of a Bluetooth calling interface, which makes it one of the most affordable smartwatches to support hands-free wireless calling. The feature works well with both iOS and Android, although there is a second-long lag in relaying the call notification from phone to watch. Thankfully, there are no lags in relaying the call itself.

The integrated speaker in the smartwatch isn’t particularly loud but gets the job done. This makes its main feature a reasonable success, so if you need a basic smartwatch that can deliver hands-free calling, the Ultra Buzz should be on your shortlist.

At 3,299, the Ultra Buzz is not an aspirational gadget. But it could be a practical purchase for a first-time buyer, despite its stuttering interface and inconsistent fitness tracking data. The watch looks well built and sturdy. It has plenty of watch-faces, and even though they take a while to sync to the watch itself, you will get quite a few quirky options. The hands-free calling works.

Even in terms of battery life, the Ultra Buzz does well enough, delivering approximately four days of use in a single charge cycle. For a full charge, the watch takes approximately two hours—something you may have to do twice a week.

Should you buy it? It’s not bad, and it gives you enough for a basic smartwatch experience. But there are better smartwatches in the market that are lighter, offer better fitness tracking, and a similar usage experience at about the same price. Unless you are intent on buying a Noise smartwatch, there’s no real reason why you should go in for it.

Specifications

Display: 1.75-inch LCD

Resolution: 320x385 pixels 

Battery size: 300mAh

Battery life: ~5 days

Case size: 46mm

Price: 3,299

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