Walter Shillington writes about products he is familiar with. His articles focus on healthcare, electronics, watches, and household items.
I was in the market for a fancy new smartwatch. Unfortunately, it was nearing Christmas, and most of my money was already committed. I decided to monitor the price of a few of the less expensive models from Lemfo and Lige. Black Friday sales were approaching, and the deals would be coming fast and furious.
Then I noticed a Facebook ad from Best Buy. For a limited time, the Wear24 was on offer for a price that fit quite nicely within my budget. This smartwatch was being sold as used and supported by only a brief 90-day warranty, but it boasted of capabilities far beyond what either Lige or Lemfo could offer.
I checked around. This watch, which was now being deeply discounted by many retailers, had been developed for Verizon and introduced in 2017. It failed miserably because the Wear24 lacked a heart monitor sensor, and potential customers felt it was overpriced. Within a few months, Verizon gave up the good fight and sold their remaining stock to third party vendors. Since then, the price for the Wear24 has been steadily decreasing.
The price was right, and the watch’s specifications were incredibly good. I put in an order.
The Wear24 arrived in a simple cardboard box. Inside, protected by bubble wrap, nested the watch and its wireless charger. Although the package lacked a user’s guide, the manual could be readily downloaded.
This watch is circular in design, with a diameter of 1.65 inches. It is 0.53 inches thick and weighs in at four ounces.
The Wear24 is fitted with a brushed stainless-steel case and available in silver, gunmetal or rose gold. The matching strap is composed of silicon. Sadly, the band cannot be replaced because the LTE antenna of this watch is incorporated into the strap.
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 Processor powers this device. While harder on battery life than the latest processors, it is still extremely fast.
The 450mAh battery is rated for 18 hours of use before requiring a charge. It is not replaceable.
This device’s 1.39-inch AMOLED display has a resolution of 480 x 480, providing 290 pixels per inch. Because the Wear24’s glass face is fitted flush to the top of the watch, wearers must take care to avoid scratching its surface.
The watch is equipped with 768MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. It comes with a Verizon sim card and might be useable as a standalone phone if you are connected to Verizon’s wireless system. For everyone else, the Wear24 can be used as a phone only if connected to a cellphone via Bluetooth.
It is fitted with both a speaker and a microphone and, if desired, can be easily paired with a Bluetooth headset.
Included applications consist of VZ Message+, MyVerizon, Google setup, Home Google/Together, Agenda, Stopwatch, Timer. Alarm, Find My Phone, Fit, Flashlight, Messenger, Phone, Reminder, Settings, Translate, Weather, Google Play Music, Google Assistant. The Google Play Store can be accessed from this watch.
- Brand: Verizon
- Name: Wear24
- Model: QTAXU1
- Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.35 centimeters (1.65 x 0.53 inches)
- Weight: 113 grams (4 ounces)
- Color: Silver, gunmetal, and rose gold.
- Strap: Silicon. It incorporates LTE antenna
- Screen: 1.39-inch AMOLED display; resolution 480 x 480; 290 pixels per inch
- Battery: 450mAh (not-removable)
- Charger: Wireless
- RAM: 768MB
- Storage: 4GB
- Water Resistance: IP67
- Features: NFC, 4G LTE, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi
- Operating System: Android Wear 2.0 (upgradeable)
- Phone Connectivity: LTE B13Cat.3; (sim card)
The Wear24 was designed in partnership with Quanta, a Taiwanese company that manufactures laptops, desktops, and media players. This smartwatch was a Verizon exclusive and one of the first shipped running version 2.0 of Google’s Android Wear operating system.
The guts of this watch came enclosed within a gold stainless-steel case. Its light-colored strap provides good contrast although it does tend to attract dirt. The overall styling is conservative. While the design of the Wear24 won’t blow you away, it will nicely match both casual and formal attire.
Under normal circumstances, this watch will last a full day before requiring a recharge. I found that if I connected a Bluetooth headset and watched a lot of music videos, operating time was sharply curtailed. The device does charge quickly, however, requiring only two hours to reach 100 percent.
Display and Sound
The screen’s brightness is adjustable and can be easily read even while bathed in sunlight. When I streamed the Dark Side of the Moon, I was impressed at how well the watch displayed the video. Although the screen is small, the video progressed smoothly with accurate color and crisp and detailed features. The music, as expected, proved scratchy over the tiny speaker. When I connected my Bluetooth headphones, sound quality improved considerably.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Using my cellphone, I was able to quickly set up Wi-Fi at my home and the local coffee shop. From then on, the watch could connect on its own. Don’t be shocked if the ‘no connection’ icon shows up on the watch face. This smartwatch disconnects from the internet when it is not immediately required.
Bluetooth connections to my phone and headset were simple to set up and use.
I used Google Maps to pinpoint my position, using the watch in conjunction with my cellphone and Wi-Fi. It took about ten minutes to locate my location.
I tried again at the coffee shop, using only my watch. Then I spent 15 minutes walking home, continuing the test. I was unable to connect to a GPS satellite, suggesting this watch either does not contain a GPS receiver or that it is ineffective.
This smartwatch comes loaded with Android Wear 2.0. Within a couple of hours of use, it automatically upgraded to the latest version of Google’s Wear operating system.
It is relatively easy to operate the Wear24 by swiping across the watch face or pressing the timepiece’s crown.
Although I am an avid user of Amazon Alexa, I was impressed at how effectively this watch incorporated Google Assistant. I can verbally tell Google Play what application I want to purchase. When searching for information, all I need to do is push the watch’s crown for a couple of seconds and begin with the command Hey, Google.
Calls and Messages
Although I usually do not use this watch as a phone, I did make a call when the Wear24 was connected to my cellphone via Bluetooth. It worked but background noises were noticeable to the person I called, and the speaker of this watch is quite scratchy. The experience would have been better if I had used a Bluetooth headset.
All messages received by my phone were also pushed to the watch. I could read these messages and delete them from both devices, using the smartwatch. This, I found to be extremely convenient.
The Wear24 came with several selectable watch faces. I downloaded a number of free ones and purchased, quite inexpensively, a few more. My favorite is the Forecast V2 from Watchmaker. It provides battery status, weather information, date, and time. At the bottom, it can note either the wearer’s location, amounts of steps taken that day, or a guess of how many calories he has burned.
And, when I become bored, I can quickly select a new watch face for my timepiece.
If your primary use of a smartwatch is to monitor physical activities, the Wear24 is not your best option. It does not incorporate a heartrate sensor.
For everyone else, I consider the purchase of this timepiece to be a no-brainer. You are acquiring what is very close to a top-of-the-line smartwatch at a bargain-basement price. And, if you are a Verizon customer, you might be able to make calls even if your phone is not nearby. The Wear24 is highly recommended.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Walter Shillington