Hands-on with the Smartlet - wear your iPhone as a watch!

For a while now there have been accessories, primarily aimed at joggers, that let you wear your iPhone on your upper-arm. Now there's one that lets you wear it on your wrist like a really big watch. Adam Zeis of our sibling site SmartwatchFans has the hands-on, and the interview:

The idea is simple — strap the Smartlet to your wrist and slide in your iPhone to the "unidirectional locking mechanism" and you phone is safe and sound on your wrist. It's there but it's not. If you get a call or notification just pick up your wrist to check it out — no worrying about first looking at your watch, then pulling out your phone. You can easily type out messages while the phone is in the Smartlet, make voice calls or have a chat with Siri.

The video can be found up top, the interview via the link below. Check both out and let me know what you think - are you ready to wear your iPhone on your wrist?

Source: SmartwatchFans

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Hands-on with the Smartlet - wear your iPhone as a watch!


I would not use this, mainly because I wouldn't want my phone on my wrist and the accidents that could come from that. I get the premise of not having a device that acts as a go between but this reduces the ability to put your hands in your pockets and reduces your mobility more so than a watch.

I actually thought the video was a joke at first. I don't see any real world use for something like this. But hey, somebody out there will enjoy it.

Sent from the iMore App

Good question. It's actually just as secure as if you were holding your iPhone in your hands. We designed a lock to keep it secure. Someone would have to really rip it from your arm if they would want to run away with it.

Redo this video exactly and replace it with a smart watch running iOS 7 and literally everyone will instantly recognize, understand, and respect the use case. When you pull up the phone in your video to look at the notification it's not even in landscape. I understand you were going for something like an armband that you can actually use in a location that makes it useable like on your wrist but no one wants their phone hanging on their wrist they want a watch like device because of the unobtrusive, light, and sensible form factor that can do all the things you demonstrated.

I like that someone has wanted a fully functional iWatch so bad that they have created a solution to their need.
I would probably wear this like I do my watches - on the inside of my wrist... Unless it came w/a really cool Predator-like self destruct feature to dare people away!!
I will be waiting for Apple's official offering.
Best of luck w/your project! :D

Sent from the iMore App

Hey guys. Thanks for the comments. We are really interested in getting some feedback. Putting the comparison to a smartwatch aside, isn't the concept just as acceptable as an iPhone armband?

Seems very comparable to an arm band. I don't know why I didn't see that right away.

Sent from the iMore App

I stumbled on your kickstarter page a week ago and I could not believe this was real. No offense but it is the most unpractical way to carry a phone. What about theft, damage, cases? Not to mention the decrease in mobility or the fact that the iphone mainly works in portrait mode and your video shows that it is most convenient to use it in landscape mode.

I have a pebble smartwatch and I can control my music, take photos, look at incoming emails, messages and answer phone calls without ever touching my phone. Please explain to me how this is better than a nice case or a peripheral device such as a smartwatch. At the end of the day I think the product is 100% useless and can serve as an example of what not to make so we do not produce excessive waste in our environment. Sorry

So here's the main difference:

The armband is generally used in a specific situation (running or biking, for ex, but not always), and your watch scenario (I assume) is intended as a full-time use case. So while it's fine for me to strap on an armband when I go running, I might not want to use my phone ON MY ARM as a full time watch. Yes of course lots of folks use their phone AS their watch, to pull it out and check the time, I do have to question whether people will want their phone strapped to their arms full-time. Just a thought, but I also questioned the viability of big huge phones, so what do I know....

I'm sorry if I seem harsh or whatever but every armband I see encloses the phone in a case that is securely strapped to my upper arm. The weight is in a location that wouldn't make it awkward for using my hands to do things like type, write, open doors or reaching for something and accidentally scraping or dinging it. Unfortunately the average consumer viewing that product has little trust in it regardless of how reliable it may actually be. I look at it an I'm instantly terrified of dinging it, someone stealing it, or me moving my hand really fast and it slipping out. As unreasonable or reasonable as that may seem it's clear by reading the comments that consumers in general have that instant reaction. Presentation and communication that would set aside those worries is important. Unfortunately I personally think the design concept overall presents itself to the average consumer as untrustworthy.

This is a joke right. Who would want to walk around with their device on the wrist. I'm just trying to understand the need for such an item.

Sent from the iMore App

Looks like something Android would do as they've done with their huge phones. Wow it looks insane, but then again so do tablet sized phones, so who knows?!?

I have created many, many things. Possibly things that benefit you in your daily life. But what I have done doesn't change that this is just a bad idea.

The developer is hanging out here and trying to be helpful. I thought readers of tech blogs had respect for developers and entrepreneurs.....try showing a little class, hmm?!

He might as well take all the "constructive" criticism in the way it was intended, as a spontaneous and genuine response to his product.

I actually think it's quite clever. It could come in very handy for workers who often need to refer to diagrams, technical info, etc.

This is a great idea, ever leave the house with the phone and no pockets? I've been looking for/wanting to design something like this for when I take my dog out. I use a Phubby, but it isn't easy to see the screen. And no, just holding the phone in one hand is not practical when walking a dog. My question is, my phone has a cover, would it work with this? Or does It only work with no iPhone cover?

Interesting concept but not a product I would find useful. Good luck with the project though!

Sent from the iMore App

I never understood the concept of a case/ band that held the phone screen side out. Unless you have a fairly robust screen protector you are going to scratch and scuff the hell out of that phone screen.

1. Someone could so easily jack your phone and run and you might not even notice immediately.
2. How many time have you accidentally whacked or dinged your watch on something by accident? Like hell I'm gonna put my iPhone in the same spot.
3. It looks RIDICULOUS
4. It's further proof of what kind of applications a dedicated smart watch could bring and why form factor is EXTREMELY important.

I give it an A for showing exactly what we need a iWatch for and F for everything else possible.