The No 1 D6 is an excellent smartwatch. The design is like the ZenWatch, and the build quality is actually quite good for a generic device. It’s manufactured by a no-name Chinese company, and it’s designed to be affordable.
Depending on where you buy it, you’ll spend anywhere from $50 to $100. Compared to other smartwatches – like the Apple Watch Series 2 – it is a fraction of the cost.
If you’re planning to buy a smartwatch and you don’t want to spend that much, the D6 is a solid choice. But make no mistake about it, it’s not perfect – though we could argue no wearable is.
If you’re wondering whether the No 1 D6 is the right watch for you, then read on.
No 1 D6 Smartwatch Review
The No 1 D6 is a smartwatch first, with optional fitness tracking features – they are nothing more than icing on the cake. The reason I am starting out the review this way is because while affordable, the D6 has its limitations. We will touch on those later. For now, just know it’s not a device you would buy for the fitness support alone. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly smartwatch, then it’s an option. If you want something more like the Fitbit, Garmin, or Jawbone trackers – then look elsewhere.
What makes this bad boy special is it’s running a full version of Android 5.1. It also has native access to the Google Play store which means you can install just about any app on it. This is practically unheard of for most cheap watches from the company. They do have one or two models running Android, but it’s not common. It’s a welcome addition too. It makes the watch so much easier to customize in terms of apps, usage, and watchfaces. We’ll get to more of that later.
There are three models of the D6 available, one in black, silver, and another in gold. They are all made from the same materials, have the same specifications, and include the same band.
The only difference between them is the color, so don’t feel like you’re missing out by choosing one model over another.
Our review unit was the gold model, with a brown ‘Italian sheepskin’ band.
But even at less than $100, the question remains: is it worth the money?
|No 1 D6 Smartwatch Review|
The No 1 D6 smartwatch is reliable and works great. Plus, there are a ton of features packed into an affordable package.
The battery will last for a day or so on a single charge, except under heavy use – and that’s including an active connection to Bluetooth.
The watch is not water resistant, and the build is stainless steel. The band is comfortable, which is good because you can’t change it.
It seems pretty durable. That said, we don’t recommend slamming it against a wall, but it should hold up to standard wear and tear.
The display is a rectangular IPS panel (1.63 inches) running at a resolution of 320×320. At the lowest brightness setting it’s barely visible in the sun but at the highest setting it’s great.
Features include notifications, remote calls, remote music controls, camera controls, and fitness tracking.
There is a heart-rate monitor on the rear, it’s not accurate but it works. There are a some other features you’ll want to know about too, which we’ll discuss later in the review.
All around, it’s a decent smartwatch and that’s true even before you consider the price.
- Overall: 3/5 – The No 1 D6 is decent, reliable, and it works as advertised.
The case is made of ‘316L’ stainless steel and plastic. The rear cover can be removed but it is incredibly flimsy. Mine actually cracked when I was taking it off, so you need to be extremely careful with it. It needs to be removed to insert a SIM card – because this watch does offer mobile connectivity – and if you want to replace the battery.
It doesn’t have a water-resistance rating, so there’s no telling how it would hold up against heavy rain. While wearing it, the review unit did come into contact with moisture and did fine but it was not splashed or submerged – so keep that in mind. Sweat does not seem to be an issue, however.
The band is billed as ‘Italian sheepskin’ with “resilient, classic, and high quality” properties. The clasp on the band is a thin metal.
Because of how this particular model is designed, you cannot change the strap – at least not without difficulty. This is because the band is essentially two layers sewn together, and housed between them are the wireless antennas.
The screen is covered with a ‘sapphire mirror material that is ‘anti-reflective’ and ‘abrasion-resistant’. At times, we did notice a glare but it didn’t cause major visibility issues, and no scuffs or scratches appeared during the review period.
There is a single physical button on the right side of the watch face, and it feels good. It doesn’t appear flimsy or cheap, so there shouldn’t be any problems with it after extended use. Some buttons tend to wear down or stop working after a while. We can’t know for sure, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.
On the bottom bezel are the three standard Android touch buttons for menu, home and back. They work as expected.
On the underside is a thin magnetic port to charge the watch. It can also be used to connect the device to a computer. The charging cable is a bit weird and can be frustrating to use. It has a magnetic connector and snaps onto the port, but it doesn’t secure well at all. When you sit the watch down it often comes loose, and you have to reseat the cable. It’s not an easy feat to get it charging, but once you do it works fine.
You can charge the watch by plugging it into a computer, or using an existing adapter – provided you have one that takes USB cords.
We wore the device day and night over a period of several weeks. Other than the cracked panel on the back – which began to come apart – the watch held up well. The strap appears to be quite durable as advertised too, and it’s not uncomfortable to wear.
- Build: 3/5 – The D6 is not totally indestructible but it is durable, especially for something that’s so cheap. But the removable panel on the rear is fragile and breaks easily. Once it does, it will begin to fall apart as you wear the watch.
The overall design of the No 1 D6 mimics a traditional wrist watch. It looks good too, especially for a watch of this caliber. We were asked on several occasions to stop and show off the review unit to passerby.
While worn, the only indication it’s a smartwatch is when the screen is solid black – if it’s off. There is an accelerometer inside, so you can enable a setting that illuminates the screen when you move your wrist. This allows the display to turn on by itself, and it works great. When you hold your wrist up to check the time it turns on with a slight delay. For onlookers, this would be another obvious indicator that it’s a smartwatch.
The button turns the screen on/off and returns to the clock face if you’re away from it.
To navigate, you use gestures and taps to interact with the touchscreen. A swipe from left to right will change screens, while a swipe in the opposite direction will move backward one context menu. Then, of course, you tap to interact with various options and elements on-screen.
Using the watch is simple and easy, and that matters. I wish I could say the same for the companion app, but we’ll get to that.
The No 1 D6 smartwatch is designed well for what it is.
- Design: 4/5 – The No 1 D6 smartwatch looks like a regular watch and it’s attractive. You’ll definitely turn some heads with it on.
For quick reference, here’s a list of the stock fitness tracking features:
- Sleep tracking
- Sedentary alarm
- Stopwatch/Sports Timer
Before we dive in, it’s important to point out this is a smartwatch not a dedicated fitness tracker. Because of that, the stock apps are not designed to track your activity automatically. You have to open the pedometer app and start it manually. Luckily, because the watch is running Android 5.1, you can minimize the app after you start it and it will run in the background. But if you forget to start up the app, it’s your loss – nothing is recorded.
Once you start the pedometer or sleep tracker it will continue to monitor your activity until you stop it again.
The heart-rate monitor is not meant for continuous use. When you want to check your heart-rate you open the app, give it a minute to monitor and calculate, and then it returns the result. That’s it. Unlike the fitness tracker there is no option to let it record your heart-rate during a workout.
All data is synced up with your Android or iOS phone via the companion app. It is a separate app from the one that delivers notifications and alerts. This means you need to have multiple apps installed on your phone to take advantage of all the features. It’s not convenient at all, but it works and that’s what truly matters.
But this thing is running Android 5.1 so if you don’t like the stock apps, you don’t have to use them and that’s excellent. On our review unit we installed Runkeeper, Google Fit, and several others and they all worked great.
This is especially great if you have a health insurance provider that lets you report personal fitness and activity habits.
Humana, for example, awards points for reporting exercise. They can help lower the cost of insurance premiums, or they can be cashed in for things like movie tickets. Your insurance provider may be a little different. But Humana supports Google Fit and Runkeeper. So, we were able to take advantage of this even though the stock apps were not compatible.
- Tracking: 5/5 – Everything you need is there, plus a heart-rate monitor and sleep tracking. Unfortunately, you have to activate the trackers manually. But since the D6 has access to Google Play, you can install whatever apps you want to replace the stock ones.
The No 1 D6 smartwatch works great. All the stock apps and features work as advertised and there were no issues experienced during the review period. The only issues we ran into came from the companion apps, which we will explain shortly.
To turn the display on – assuming it’s charged – you can press the middle button on the side, or you can simply move your wrist (if that option is enabled). The movement option was finicky with earlier models but seems to be improved here – maybe it has something to do with the better specs? Sometimes the screen will turn on even when you don’t want to when the gesture mode is enabled. For some this may be an issue, but for us it was not.
The display is difficult to read in direct sunlight, but only when the brightness setting is at its lowest. If you turn the brightness up – which lowers battery life – it’s not so bad.
The first screen displays the current time, and other information depending on the clock face you have chosen. These are things like remaining battery, notification icons, date, and more. With the G5 – which we reviewed before – the stock watch faces were decent, but limited. With the D6 there are dozens of watch faces to choose from. We also found a forum that specialized in creating digital watch faces for these types of watches, and it was easy to install our own.
By swiping in any direction you can move from screen to screen. To the left of the main clock – which you get to by swiping from left to right – is the standard Android notifications drawer. Here, you can see any and all notifications that come through to the watch, including those sent by a synced phone.
If you swipe from right to left you get to the shortcut screens. In order, they are: remote music controls, fitness tracker shortcuts, and weather.
If you swipe from the bottom of the screen up, it will open the Android app drawer. This is where you can see all the apps installed on the device, including those you install yourself. In the bottom corner of the screen is an option to access recently used apps.
Swiping from the top down on the main clock screen which show remaining battery life, signal strength, and several quick settings. There’s a brightness toggle, do-not-disturb mode toggle, battery save toggle, and gesture enable toggle.
To sync data with a phone you need to use multiple apps. One of the apps will handle the basic Bluetooth connection, notifications, calls, and messages. The other app tracks and beautifies the fitness stats reported.
The apps are functional, and really that’s all there is to say. There’s nothing special about them, and the language used can seem silly.
The battery will last for up to a day on a full charge, less if you use it often. It has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile connectivity so you can keep it synced no matter where you are. If you use the display a lot or keep it connected to a network, the battery won’t last as long, so keep that in mind.
We found it best to sync up the device occasionally and use the “smart” features when we were away from home. This allowed us to get notifications while the phone was nearby, and kept the battery life reasonable. The Wi-Fi access was a godsend too, and we wouldn’t want to go back to using a watch without it – or access to Google Play. It was nice to be able to install apps on the watch from a computer via the Google Play store for web.
If you have notifications on, they will show up on the display temporarily. When the screen times out, they revert to the Android notifications tray. This is convenient because it doesn’t clutter the display with unread notifications, and they’re just a swipe away when you want to take a look. Call logs and SMS notifications are kept separate.
Through the companion app, you can specify what apps are allowed to ping notifications to the watch so you have full control.
The watch can also take calls and send them – if you have a phone connected. There is a mic on the watch and the speaker is decent. We called several contacts during the review, including a spouse and everyone could hear us fine. That’s a bonus, especially if you intend to use this thing as a companion to your phone. If you have it connected to a mobile network, it will function as a phone which means you can make calls directly from it. You can also send text messages or browse social networks, although the tiny keyboard can be frustrating at times.
There is a contacts app. You can browse your contacts, choose one, and place a call to a stored number. It’s simple, easy, and works. If you sign into a Google account it will sync contacts to the device automatically. If you’re an iOS user, you might want to consider setting up a Google account to use with the watch.
- Functionality: 4/5 – The No 1 D6 smartwatch has so much to offer! Plus, it’s running Android 5.1 and has 3G mobile, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support. If you don’t want to sync a phone, you can make it your phone. It would be nice to see a more substantial battery, but it should last for about a day or so under most conditions.
The No 1 D6 is compatible with most Android or iOS devices. If you own an iPhone running iOS 8.0+ or Android 4.3+ with Bluetooth 4.0, you’re in the clear.
The Android apps are available via Google Play, and the iOS apps via the App store. The watch also includes a small Qr barcode you can scan to download the apps via a browser.
The phone we used for the review is a 2015 Moto X with Android 6.0 (Verizon).
- Compatibility: 3/5 – The No 1 D6 smartwatch is compatible with most newer smartphones including iOS and Android.
No 1 D6 Smartwatch Review: Conclusion
We can say, after a couple weeks of use we are more than happy with the watch. It works as advertised, and even though there are some minor hiccups it’s certainly worth the price.
You may notice that No 1 has a huge selection of watches, all with different styles. We can’t speak for all the models, but choose one that matches what you want and go for it. We reviewed the No 1 G5 in the past.
The D6 is so much cheaper than comparable devices, and it offers just as many features if not more.
If you’re a spec fanatic and want to know what the D6 has to offer, here you go:
- Chip: MTK6580 (Mediatek)
- CPU Specs: 1.3GHz quad-core
- Bluetooth BLE 4.0
- RAM: 1GB
- ROM: 8GB
- 1.63” IPS display at 320×320 (touchscreen)
- 450mAh Li-polymer rechargeable battery
- OS: Android 5.1
- GPS/AGPS location tracking
- Package includes watch, user manual, and USB charging cable
- Comes in 3 colors: Black, silver, and gold
- Battery life: Up to 24 hours (rechargeable)
- Touchscreen display
- Activity tracking:
- Calories burned
- Total active time
- Total distance
- Heart-rate (not continuous)
- Sedentary alarm (sitting or still for too long)
- Smartwatch Features:
- Call and text notifications
- Place and receive calls via stored contacts or dialer
- Anti-lost for phone – sets off alarm on phone to locate it
- Access phone contacts remotely
- Full access to the Google Play store
- Alarm, stopwatch, weather, voice recorder, and calculator tools
- Calendar and meeting reminders
- Various app and social notifications
- Vibrating alarms (on your wrist)
- Remote media controls
- Remote camera/shutter controls
We hope you enjoyed our No 1 D6 smartwatch review and that it proved useful in your search for the perfect wearable. Stay tuned for more coverage!
Where Can I Get the No 1 D6 Smartwatch?
You can buy the No 1 D6 smartwatch from Geekbuying for about $75. That’s one of the cheapest prices we’ve found so far.
But if you’d rather buy from a seller on Amazon, you can do that, as well.
Disclaimer: Geekbuying graciously provided the No 1 D6 for this review.