Cubot C3 is a new round hybrid smartwatch that looks like an actual mechanical timepiece. The C3 looks chiseled and has a waterproof rating up to 5 ATM. This means you can wear it while swimming or even in the shower.
Round smartwatches are getting more common and affordable. The C3 is no exception and is priced attractively at just USD 40. I have been using the Cubot C3 for quite a few days now. So let’s get some unbox therapy prior to the full review.
Cubot C3 Unboxing
The flat box has the C3 watch, an extra strap, charging cable, and a user manual. As usual, charging brick or power source is your responsibility. Nice of Cubot though to include a second watch band for free in the box.
Cubot C3 Hardware Impressions
I like the look of the round shape along with the subtle matte finish on the metal zinc alloy case. There is one button on the right-hand side that basically wakes the device up or helps you return to the home screen. The review unit sports a black silicone strap similar to a conventional watch strap. Thank goodness for this. I am definitely not a fan of the clasp type straps that are a copy of the one Apple makes for its smartwatches.
Display Quality Is Surprisingly Very Good
One thing cheap hybrid smartwatches cut corners on is the display quality. The Realme Watch S on the other hand has a stunningly clear and crisp 1.3-inch display. Outdoor visibility is excellent and there is no pixelation whatsoever. The smart display adapts itself to the brightness of the ambient light seamlessly so it is easy to view the information indoors as well as outdoors.
Using The Cubot C3 On A Daily Basis
Operating the C3 is quite easy and intuitive. The top button or Power button on the right side will power the device On/Off with a long press. Whereas a single press usually results in ‘Return to Home’. In addition, navigation is possible by swiping up or down and left or right. Swiping up from the home screen brings up the notifications. Swiping down from the home screen shows you the settings menu. The settings include connection with the phone, adjusting brightness, alarms, DND mode, and battery level. The only adjustable item here is the brightness level.
The bottom shortcut button is mainly to enter the sports activity monitoring list.
Swiping left brings you to step counter, sleep tracking, heart rate, and back to home – very basic. This means the C3 is an easy-to-use smartwatch but on the downside, very few options are available as well. So if you are looking for weather or music controls then those things are lacking here.
Long pressing the home screen allows changing of the watch face on the home screen. However, the options available are quite paltry whether on the watch itself or those available via the H Band app. If you like changing the watch face often then you are out of luck since the selection is only 5 watch faces. Again this is an issue I hope Cubot rectifies via a future app update.
Connecting the Cubot C3 Via Bluetooth to the H Band App
Cubot C3 pairs via Bluetooth 5.1 with your Android smartphone. Note that for optimal results, it’s best to download the H Band app from the Google Play Store. Cubot makes it easy to download the app from the Play Store via the QR code on the back of the box.
The functionality here is basic so there is no GPS or altimeter on the C3. GPS tracking is available only via the app on the paired smartphone. And that smartphone must be with you during the activity. Since this is a budget wearable there is no NFC option for contactless payments.
But if you plan to use the C3 more as a conventional watch and for movement, basic notifications, and heart rate/sleep tracking it is more than adequate.
How Accurate Are The Sensors?
Cubot C3 has a heart rate sensor on the back and is capable of continuous heart rate monitoring. I find this feature to be quite useful in terms of keeping an eye on heart rate, especially during strenuous workouts. As far as tracking sport activities go, the C3 enables you to track heart rate, distance, calories burnt for 10 different activities.
During my review period, I used Outdoor Walking mode the most. And just like my other smartwatch reviews, I compared the sensors on the C3 with my daily activity tracker which happens to be an Apple Watch 4. The output from the Heart rate sensor is pretty close to the results from my AW4. And surprisingly enough distance and calories burnt are not too far off either. On average these two metrics were around 5-10% off when compared to the AW4 numbers.
I can’t comment on Sleep tracking data since I detest wearing a watch while sleeping so my apologies for not covering that aspect of the C3.
Battery Life on the Cubot C3 Is As Advertised
Cubot C3 packs a 260 mAh battery onboard. While not as large as some other hybrid smartwatches, it still offers decent battery life. In my review period, I saw about 35% battery drop in a week of continuous use. Again, not wearing the watch while sleeping probably helps battery life as well. So with heavy use, my prediction is that the C3 should easily last 10 days or more on a full charge.
As far as charging goes, using a 5W output brick with the charging cable in the box should get you a full charge in a little over an hour. This is not bad considering you are looking at doing that perhaps 2 or 3 times every 4 weeks.
Cubot C3 Verdict: Stylish Chronograph like Hybrid Smartwatch For Under $50
Looks-wise, the Cubot C3 impresses. It looks like a regular chronograph but with modern technology as a hybrid smartwatch.
From a daily use perspective, the Cubot C3 is easy to wear for long periods of time. Build quality is excellent and so is the bright display. Stellar waterproof capabilities, great battery life, relatively accurate sensors, a decent vibration motor are nice features to have as well at this price point. In addition, the C3 is quite easy and intuitive to operate. The H3 Band App is a bit lacking when compared to offerings from Realme or Xiaomi but this is a situation that can improve in the future with updates.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a stylish chronograph like fitness tracker/hybrid smartwatch then the Cubot C3 should be on your list.