The AN1 Reviewed (I Think Comprehensively)
Here's what you need to know about the watch, which I've used for several days. It's more a sweet novelty than a gadget of genuine use. But it works. It's basically a mini-tablet phone (or phablet) and functions via the exact same Android protocols, except the master controls are hard, physical buttons built into the left and right sides, rather than soft touch-buttons on or below the screen. And of course the interface is configured to adapt to the tiny size. Yet at two-inches, that screen is a bit big for comfort if you like wearing the watch face on the inside of your wrist (which I do). So I sometimes rotate it to switch position.
Touch sensitivity seems excellent, as well as touch accuracy, which is hugely important given the minuscule QWERTY keyboard that pops up when you need to enter text. Unlocking the startup screen is frustrating at first until you figure out that you have to swipe the icon up or down, not to the side, as on bigger screens. There's no icon or hard control to access the active-apps screen (from which you can toggle back and forth between active apps and turn running apps off); as on certain larger phablets, you get to it by long-pressing the home screen button.
Because the AN1 is small, its WiFi receptivity is modest (the signal is strongest the closer you are to the source). So's volume but it's not bad for the size. You won't hear much through the earphones except in relatively quiet places, unless you have a separate sound booster; but in quiet places it isn't bad. However, it's impossible to attach the earphones one-handed; at least it is for me: You have to hold open the protective soft plastic flap that covers the mini-USB port (which is where they attach), which means you can't wear it while setting that up. That said, the AN1 will also transmit to Bluetooth headsets. And video/audio playback is very smooth. Even impressive, all things considered. Not a gamester, so no idea how gameplay would go. But with a two-inch screen, why would you want to?
Believe it or not, eBook reading is also a very decent experience in either the page or landscape aspect, though for simple eye-to-text positioning, page view works best if you take the watch off and operate it two-handed. In landscape view, though, you can make like Dick Tracy. The only reading app I've tried so far is Amazon Kindle, but every feature seems to work per normal. Whatever normal is at that size.
No problem with the phone detecting a SIM card or storage-expansion microSD card (I added the 32G max, which costs all of $10 on eBay). But the cards are tricky to insert, because the lock flaps that secure them in place are so flimsy. However, once they're in, they're in. And insertion of the expansion card is critical, since the Internal Storage provided is write-protected; you won't be able to download (via internet) or sideload (via computer) files or apps without providing extra storage.
The battery is built into the back cover. Comes the time when it no longer holds a charge, one would need a replacement cover. I assume those are available or will be made so eventually.
There's no Playstore app included; plus it's futile to sideload-and-install Playstore from another source, since the app quits as soon as it boots. There is instead the HiMarket app, whose store features mostly Chinese text; but if you know the apps you want/need, you can still enter a search in English and find them -- most of the time. Sideloading and installing other apps also seems to work -- most of the time.
And oh, yeah -- in the "Good safety tip, Egon" department -- don't wear the AN1 (or any other Android watch of similar concept) in inclement weather. With an exposed speaker grille and exposed miniUSB access port (the protective flap doesn't fit snugly), not to mention hard buttons that aren't part of the case proper, bringing this out into very moist air or, worse, active precipitation, would be like putting your iPad in a filling toilet tank to see how high the water has to go before it fries.
Not encountering anything much in the way of buggyness yet. All in all, the AN1 does precisely what it claims to do. And for the conversation-pieceness of it, and frankly, the satisfaction of my curiosity, I'm happy to be an owner. It won't collect dust. But it's not for the customer looking for significant enhancement of his electronic life beyond what he already has.