ZGPAX S29 Quick Review

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tom13mcpherson

Senior Member
Nov 6, 2009
176
27
Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra
Hi everybody
I know there are a few reviews of the S29 around but I didn't find them useful for my decision to purchase the S29 so I'm going to throw in my own 2 cents (I'm Australian - if you don't know what 2c means then just google it). Hopefully if you are reading this review you are considering buying an S29 and probably (like me) you are faced with an overwhelming array of different devices and options. My plan is to present information that is helpful.

I decided that I wanted to get a smartwatch about three months ago because I'm a teacher and I don't like it when I miss important texts or phone calls from my wife. When I'm in class I will not bring out my phone, and sometimes I'm so busy teaching I don't even notice the phone vibrating anyway. Sometimes, if I had known that I had gotten a text or phone call, I could have gone at the end of the lesson to the staffroom, sorted things out in a minute, and proceeded to the next lesson.

I was also in a situation where the watch I used for running was really irritating me, and it had no way of telling me how I was going, other than the time it took me to run. If I run the same route, it's fine, but if I do extra bits then I have no way of comparing.

I'm also a bit stingy and a bit wary of buying into the next big thing when the price is high. The prices of first generation smartwatches have come down a fair bit in the last 6 months but I would have to spend at least $120 if not more for something that didn't have a great review of battery life and for something that my wife was telling me was a waste of money.

So, my criteria was that it needed to be cheap, have a battery that would last easily through a full day, show me texts and emails, have some kind of pedometer. I was also looking for some sort of storage just in case (some watches have very, very small amounts of storage) but things like camera, photos, and music weren't a big part of this decision for me.

I narrowed it down to about 10 chinese smartwatches that ranged in price from $30 (U8) to $80. Bear in mind that these were AUD.

As I was wading through all the information I decided that I was really drawn to the fake G2 look. Something about the colour and the icons just seemed attractive - it was just a personal taste thing. It wasn't a game changer for me, but looks count for something.

I really wanted a Bluetooth 4.0 or 4.1 but I decided that it was really going to go above my price range (I didn't really want to spend more than $60AUD) and that pretty much knocked that out. That really meant that the No.1 range was out.

After a lot of deliberation I ended up with the S29 and I have to say that I am really glad that I chose it. I managed to get it from Aliexpress for $55AUD (around $34USD) and I got it from China to me in about 2 and half weeks which is pretty good (so kudos to Aliexpress for that).

Having used it for half a week now, I can tell you a number of things about it. It's never going to beat any kind of Android wear for functionality and the software is fidly, but for what I wanted it is perfect.

The look and feel is great - very comfortable and just like the photos.

The software that you can download by QR scanning is useless on Lollipop so don't bother. I am using the Mediatek app (make sure you get the version that was released April 2015 or later) and it makes sure I get all my texts and emails. I have turned off my accuweather notifications (it didn't show the temperature) and chromecast notifications because they were just annoying and I could probably turn off a lot more. I haven't tried Facebook because I don't allow FB notifications on my phone (too many, too annoying, too distracting).

I have been for a run with it, and I'm pretty sure the pedometer works really well. I say pretty sure because it says mileage, but reads km. I knew the distance I ran and converted it from miles to Km and it was spot on.

Battery life is great. I've had a few days worth of fiddling around and changing things and hardly used any battery to do it. I'm up to day 2 without charging and it's still more than half full (according to the icon). I changed the screen on time to 15sec because I just don't need it to be longer and 15 seconds actually feels like a very long time once I've done what I need to do - it's not like a phone where I might be reading a lot of text and not touch the screen for a while etc.

Sound through the speakers is tinny which I expected but it's clear enough for me to listen to if I want - I just can't control the volume using the phone, and I can't get it through the audio icon (it goes for the bluetooth on the phone and opens up my podcast app - who knows why?) but I can get it through the file manager. The Camera is great for low resolution grainy photos but that's about it. The remote camera for the phone works really well. I accidentally had a conversation with my wife through the bluetooth (I haven't got a sim in it even though there is a spot for it) and it was clear enough and I didn't have to hold the watch up to my mouth and ear.

I have sent texts using the tiny keyboard without too many problems, but it's probably easier to get my phone out really.

I was pleasantly surprised by the "multimedia" function which is just sound or video recording - I haven't tried video, but sound was good enough and simple enough for a quick memo.

The interface is quite good. There's no real lag and mostly it's easy to get to the feature you want.

Here are my problems with it...
There is nothing on the screen normally so to see the time I have to press the button. I can't therefore surreptitiously look at the time.

The bluetooth is quite aggressive and wont let me turn it off if it is connected to my phone. I have to go to my phone settings to swap to my car bluetooth. Thankfully I have "trigger" (an app similar to IFTTT but simpler) and it there were enough options to create a rule to hand over the connection to the car and then back again afterwards without any dramas. I think the fact that I have the 450MH Battery is certainly an important part of the battery life with BT3.0 and I think they have made a good choice with it.

There is no way of recording the pedometer readings. I've tried a few apps but they just don't play nicely with the watch. It's no biggie to me, but if you were interested in that kind of thing then you would want to spend a little bit more for a No.1 watch and use Fundo (though be careful which app you download because fundo isn't a unique app name...) You'd also get a heart rate monitor which might be useful. The S29 tells you that it records your calories burnt, but really it just calculates your steps and comes up with a number of calories that you might have burnt.

The pop up notifications are just enough information to tell you who sent you a text and the first line, likewise with email but it's the name with a subject. I'd probably like a little bit more, but lets face it - it's a watch.

These are only very minor problems and I'm really happy with my purchase. My plan is to use it for about a year and then get something with android wear (or Tizen ... maybe).

At the very least I feel like I know the one feature I will have to have on my next watch is the ability to turn on the screen just by turning my wrist.

I hope this has been useful if you are making a decision about a smartwatch.
 

Tatsuumi

New member
Nov 10, 2015
1
0
Hi! Im planning on buying this ZGPAX S29. Have you tried the Watchmaker app with this? Does it really work?? Thanks in Advance!