It's been over a year since I first tried a smartwatch from Kospet, smartwatch manufacturer brand born in China already in 2018, and I must say that an eternity seems to have passed compared to the great steps forward and improvements that the company has made on its models.
I recently received the new one for testing Kospet Tank X1, a device that actually looks like a cross between a smartband and a smartwatch: let's call it a smartband with a large display, because this is its nature in all respects. I respect the Tank M1 of a few months ago construction materials, efficiency but also the price change: let's try it in detail and find out who it can be useful for.
Kospet Tank X1 review
Design and Display
For those who have seen or read the review of the Kospet Tank M1 you will certainly remember its design, how can you forget it on the other hand: here, let's say that with this Tank X1 the company has made great strides on the quality of the materials used, but it certainly hasn't worked a lot on improving the design. This SmartWatch, however, is not placed in a market segment where design is fundamental, and above all it is not aimed at the target of users looking for a refined product to potentially combine even under a more casual jacket.
Also Kospet Tank X1, like its brother M1, is a "military" smartwatch, not only for the certifications that distinguish it, i.e. IP69K against water and dust, MIL-STD-810H and resistance up to 10ATM of pressure underwater, but also for the aesthetic aspect that is anything but usual: his is almost an armour, it is made of rather resistant aluminum along the entire frame and, although I have not tortured him in the freezer or with hammers like the his predecessor, unfortunately I subjected him to a few involuntary falls of a couple of meters from which he always came out unharmed.
The function keys are integrated on both sides of the smartwatch: on the right is the power button which allows you to turn the device on and off as well as wake it up when the is in standby, while on the left there is space for the sport key, which acts as a shortcut to reach the section of sports activities that can be monitored with the Kospet Tank X1. For all the other functions, such as going back in the various menus, you can use the classic gestures in use on similar products.
Great improvement has been made on the strap materials; while on the previous model there was that annoying problem that tended to "tear" the hair from the arms of the wearer, in this X1 the company has used higher quality materials, on a par with much more expensive devices. However, a spare strap is missing in the package, and replacing it is not quick with the usual easy mechanisms, but you will need to use a small screwdriver to remove the four fixing screws.
The biggest step forward, however, is certainly represented by display quality: the beauty of small brands like Kospet lies in listening to the community, but also to us reviewers who find ourselves giving public judgments on their products. The Kospet M1 had absolutely disappointed me on the display front, but this X1 comes with a nice type screen AMOLED from 1.47 " inches with 198 x 368 resolution, not among the highest but more than sufficient for the type of panel installed.
It has an important backlight that allows you to see the contents perfectly even in the sunlight; unfortunately, a sensor for automatic brightness adjustment is missing, so at night if you keep it worn I advise you to reduce it otherwise you would risk waking up so loud. No kidding.
The bottom is also made of plastic with a small central octagon inside which the sensor for measuring the heart rate is located; in addition there is also space for the two magnetic pins for recharging via the proprietary cable that you find in the package. All this is enclosed in a total weight of only 52 grams, very affordable to wear and poco bulky on the wrist.
Performance, monitoring and software
On the hardware front, I don't have many technical details to reveal to you about which sensors are installed exactly or which CPU the Chinese manufacturer has used; there is, as I anticipated, a sensor capable of monitor pressure heart rate and also useful for keeping blood oxygen levels under control or even the quality of our sleep. Obviously the smartwatch is equipped with Bluetooth to interface with our smartphones Android and iOS but unfortunately there is no possibility of responding to notifications or even answering calls: the maximum degree of interaction with our smartphone is limited to display of the notifications of most of the apps or by simply closing a call of which we are receiving notification on the smartphone.
To tell the truth, I thought it was a limitation in communication with my iPhone, but repeating the tests with an Android smartphone I found the same problems. However, notifications from the main applications used on smartphones are supported: there is Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, Telegram and dozens of other applications, but if you intend to receive a notification from an app not on the list, unfortunately you will not be able to do so. Another thing I noticed, however, is the relative absence of emojis within message notifications.
Compared to the cheaper model launched in the past, with this new generation Kospet has introduced the monitoring of over 70 sports activities starting from the more traditional ones such as running, swimming or cycling up to the less widespread ones such as cricket, boxing or horse racing. Furthermore, there is also an automatic detection of sports activities, which can be activated or deactivated as desired, but frankly it is not perfect: during the test days, for example, I happened to travel long distances by car and the smartwatch asked me constantly if I wanted to monitor my cycling session: no, I definitely wasn't cycling.
Monitoring for walking and running certainly works better, simpler and more widespread activities in which it is possible to have a fairly precise monitoring of the distances travelled. Unfortunately, runners will not be able to keep track of the route taken because of this Kospet Tank X1 it is not equipped with GPS and, therefore, will not be able to process some information.
The heart monitoring sensors work well where I didn't find big differences with my Apple Watch, while sleep monitoring isn't perfect; I don't go into detail on the sleep tracking itself, more so on the accuracy between the time I went to bed. In fact, it often happens that I stay in bed for a few minutes with my smartphone before falling asleep: in fact, however, the Kospet Tank X1 began to mark my sleep a few minutes before I actually fell asleep. Patience.
For the rest the software is proprietary: I found it improved compared to the previous model, but the fact that it is proprietary and not open as, for example, software based on WearOS, inevitably leads to some limitation in functions. In any case, there is the possibility of changing the watch faces among the dozens available, monitoring the weather (which is updated by synchronizing the smartphone), interacting with the smartphone music player or even taking pictures via the remote control.
LThe smartphone application is available on both iOS and AndroidIt is called Kospet Fit and is also this improved compared to last year. In reality, the application is very similar in terms of graphics to all the other proprietary smartwatch apps like this Kospet, which show a bit of a synthesis of all the values monitored by the smartwatch as well as the various menus that allow you to customize it to your liking .
Autonomy is one of the few aspects on which the Kospet Tank X1 I was fully satisfied; I have no idea how big the battery that the manufacturer has mounted on board is, but I can tell you that using it on my wrist with the various monitoring always active and the notifications active I managed to get about 12 days of autonomy, equal to what was declared by the manufacturer on the official product data sheet.
The situation can be further improved, however, with the sensors deactivated and a lower brightness; in this case the 20 days are abundantly exceeded, but it is certainly not the ideal way to use a product of this type.
Price and Considerations
Lo SmartWatch can be purchased in China via Aliexpress at a introductory price of poco higher than the 50 euro, a figure that despite all the improvements made, places it in the same market segment as its younger brother M1 that we tested last year. The considerations on this product are not completely negative, I want to encourage Kospet who has shown great ability to listen to feedback and is improving a lot with the various products on the market.
Without a doubt the two best features of this Kospet Tank X1 are the display, which has a crazy backlight, and the battery which could satisfy the most demanding users. Activity monitoring is not among the best ever, but especially if you are looking for a product that also makes you respond to notifications, well ... bad news, but you have to add a few 100 bills.
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