The design of the watch is the first hint at its ruggedness aspect, which should be good news for those who need a watch that can withstand rough usage, but don’t want to spend a lot of money The affordable smartwatch market is, and you don’t even need to look too closely, is a vast sea of sameness. Very few exceptions to what is now a rule. Brands seem happy in getting their hands on watches that seem to be rolling off a conveyer belt, stamp their branding alongside a few tweaks to the software. Amidst this, some watches stand out. Such as the Indian tech company Fire-Boltt’s Sphere. The uniqueness here is the extreme ruggedness capabilities, though a round dial and screen on a smartwatch doesn’t go entirely amiss Incidentally, the round dial is something Fire-Boltt does quite well, and often. The circular display size is 1.6-inch, which is at par with most square-er sized smartwatches but feels much bigger to look at. That’s the illusion of the form factor. It isn’t difficult to notice the ruggedness aspect from the chunky dial size or the rubberised straps that come as default. The Fire-Boltt Sphere has the IP68 water resistance rating, which means it can stay submerged up to a depth of 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. While also being protected from dust the rest of the time. The glass above the screen is what the company calls ‘highly durable glass’, though they don’t get into the specifics.

You Will Notice Groove Patterns On The Right And Left Side of The Watch.

That’s part of the design which makes the innards shock resistant. Yet, the body is a mix of metal and plastic, and not just plastic. he dual chamfered design on the crown has to be noticed, because it gives a sense of attentiveness to designing this watch. There is a definite heft to this watch design, which in a way is reassuring while it lends personality too. The Fire-Boltt Sphere has a rather vivid display to look at. The 400 x 400-pixel resolution is a good foundation to build on, with very readable text across the interface and within apps. It peaks at 600-nits of brightness according to the spec sheet, yet in the real world, even level 1 (there are 5 setting intervals for screen brightness) is brighter than what you may ideally want. We could not find an auto display brightness setting, which also points to a larger problem with the interface – the settings menu is complicated. There is the night brightness setting though, for which you can set a daily time window. It is a largely very usable interface. Swiping right to left on the home screen takes you through the activity and health counters, such as heart rate and steps, as well as quick access for calls and music playback controls. The app list can be configured in multiple different ways. This is where we also noticed the screen sometimes has inconsistent touch response, instead selecting an app and opening it rather than simply swiping. There is a fairly standard set of health and fitness monitoring functionality at play in the Fire-Boltt Sphere smartwatch. Heart rate tracking and blood oxygen monitoring are available, as is sleep tracking. The only real challenge with the latter is – would you be comfortable wearing a smartwatch as thick as this, to bed? Then there are the 22 different sport modes to pick from, including walking, running, cycling, hiking, aerobics and elliptical. If you are using the Fire-Boltt Sphere for all purposes as it is designed to do, including activity tracking, health monitoring and a companion for your phone, this battery will last you about 5 days on a single charge. Reduce usage and it can go up to 20 days or so, but then again, you won’t be using the watch to the fullest. The Fire-Boltt Sphere for ₹3,299 definitely has a level of uniqueness that most other smartwatches in this price range don’t. That itself adds the sort of personality and value which lends credence to splurging on this watch. There are still some rough edges to the package, such as an interface that tries to do too much from time to time, or the fact that I didn’t really like any of the watch-faces that are on the menu. But these are small stumbles, in a larger package that delivers a promise of ruggedness. Which is rare in affordable smartwatches.