A few weeks ago, Koala contacted me and asked if they can send over their latest smartwatch offering. Koala started their operations this year, and from the looks of their available SKUs, they are focused on selling smartwatches online.
Their “base of operations” online is their own website – koala.ph – and a Lazada Flagship store with 94% Positive Seller Ratings. Koala also started to put up popup shops in Manila and began stocking their products in selected Electronics Boutique in Manila. From a consumer’s perspective, it’s clear that Koala has the ambition to grow. I’m excited to see how they will fare in the industry where bigger brands such as Xiaomi, realme and Huawei are dominating in the AiOT product categories.
How does it look?
This Metallic Gold Koala Flexfit is mostly built with aluminum parts. The magnetic aluminum mesh strap can fit most wrist sizes, and I didn’t have any trouble assembling it. Yes, it comes unassembled, and it does not take a genius to put everything together.
Dirt can easily stick on aluminum mesh, so the strap is best to be cleaned once or twice a week. I suggest that you get the Jet Black colorway if you want your accessories to be low maintenance. If your wrist is hairy though, you will find the mesh to be quite irritating to wear.
The touch display measures 1.3 inches with 240×240 resolution. It can be charged using the included magnetic Pogo Pin with a USB Type-A end. The smartwatch is powered by a 32-bit ARM Cortex M4, and has 200mAh battery.
At 57 grams, Flexfit is light compared to other smartwatches. The frame feels solid and intact, which is a requirement for a device that is rated IP68. IP68 is unheard of for a device that costs PhP3,290 (PhP2,990 promo price)! This is one of the winning attributes of Flexfit because I haven’t seen an IP68-rated smartwatch at this price point. Its toughest competitor, realme Watch, costs PhP2,990 but does not have such IP-rating.
The lack of watch crown is quite a bummer though. I guess it’s Koala’s way of sealing it to acquire IP-68 rating. I personally do not like this, but I managed to get used to having a crown-less smartwatch. This now brings me to user experience.
The lack of dial does not impede users to conveniently use the smartwatch. You can easily wake the device’s display by raising your wrist or by simply tapping it. While I prefer my smartwatches to have dials, it’s surprising to see myself getting use to these simple gestures to use to it.
Speaking of gestures, Koala Flexfit’s display navigation is quite straight forward. From watch face, you can swipe left or right to access quick insights: training, step, and sleep. From the watch face, swiping up or down will bring out quick-access menus, which will allow users to use its other features such as training/workout presets, heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen, weather, music player, timer, and messages. You can also use the smartwatch as a remote shutter. Unfortunately, though, you cannot use the native camera application when you trigger the remote shutter. Instead, the companion app (Da Fit) will open a camera software, which will then be used to snap photos.
User Interface is basic… but functional
Don’t get me wrong. While Flexfit’s software looks basic, it has most of the features you will not normally find in other smartwatches. There’s no fancy transition from one page to another, and the icons’ looks can still definitely be improved.
You can easily change the watch face via Da Fit, its companion application. At boot, you’ve got 3 available watch faces to choose from and you can easily download more than 200 designs via Da Fit. Transferring watch face designs takes time and can be a little buggy, which might test your patience.
Accessing the features are very straightforward. You can just simply tap the feature you want to use, and eventually get the data you want. The accuracy of data is somehow consistent with what I got with my Huawei Watch GT2 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.
I find it surprising for a budget smartwatch such as Koala Flexfit to have features that are normally found on premium devices. In fact, this smartwatch even has a Blood Pressure monitor, which even my PhP13,000-worth Huawei smartwatch does not have. This says a lot about the value you can get from this device. While the accuracy of its BP monitor is subject to further test and interpretation, it’s impressive to see such a feature on this device.
The smartwatch also has 8 available training modes. You can activate this prior to engaging in the desired activity. It will monitor what you’ll do, and will provide stats, which you can then use for future reference: steps, mileage, consumption, speed, pace and average BPM.
Data is nothing if it cannot be used for other means. Unlike other fitness watch brands like Apple Watch, Samsung, and Fitbit, the data you’ll get from Koala can neither be shared to social media nor to other fitness data applications. This means that whatever data you’ll get from Da Fit is for your eyes only (unless you’ll take a screenshot and share it on social media).
Insane Battery Life
Koala said that Flexfit’s battery life can last for 15 days. This is a complete underestimation of its battery. I received this last November 26 and just today, December 14, this device still has 42% battery left. Rate of discharge at moderate usage is lower than I expected, and it’s definitely safe to say that this will last for at least 15 days from a single charge.
Buy this! At PhP3,290, the value you’ll get from this smartwatch is far more than you can ever imagine. Forget about its basic UI and the natively unsharable data you’ll get to “flex” your previous fitness activity. Koala Flexfit is definitely a great deal for the features it can offer.
You can buy the Flexfit on this link.