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Hands On Review of Nevo Minimalist Connected Watch

Nevo Watch Review
On the surface, Nevo is a classic analog watch, clean and minimal, true to its French design. But in reality, it’s a lot more. It’s a Bluetooth connected watch with the ability to track your daily activities and alert you of your smartphone notifications.

Nevo was created as an alternative to activity tracking bands that many people give up on shortly after use. It gives you all the benefits of an activity tracker, and more, without adding yet another gadget to your life. It is minimal in every way: its design, how it reports of your activities and notifications, and how it requires no maintenance on your part: no charging, no plugging in… all you have to do is wear it like you would with your regular watch.

Nevo started as a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, the company was able to raise over $300,000 in funding, which is proof that there are many people in the world who still appreciate minimalism even when it comes to technology.

The watch was provided to HolyCool by nevo for this review.

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Specifications of Nevo Watch:


  • French design.
  • Swiss timekeeping.
  • Sapphire glass crystal.
  • 5 ATM water resistant.
  • Tracks steps, running and swimming activities.
  • Calculates calories burned.
  • Sleep monitoring.
  • LED indicators for instant goal progress feedback.
  • Silent vibrating alarms for waking up or daily reminders.
  • LED notifications for calls, texts, emails and more.
  • No charging required. Solar option available.

What’s In the Box:

Nevo Watch_Package
Nevo arrives in a beautiful minimal package that compliments its design. Inside the box, you’ll find everything perfectly fitted in a felt compartment that should keep all your watch accessories safe. The watch I received was the Shanghai model, which is a Champagne gold case with Blueberry strap. What you’ll receive is:

Nevo_Box Contents

  • The Nevo watch.
  • Genuine leather strap, which has quick release bars already attached to them.
  • Black fabric sport strap.
  • Extra quick release bars, which you’ll need for the fabric sport strap.
  • Battery removal tool, which helps you remove the back of the watch with a simple twist.
  • A quick start guide.

The box should also include an extra battery, but unfortunately that was missing from my box due to restrictions by the courier, so whether you’ll get one or not depends on your region/courier. However, it’s not a big deal as the battery is widely available.

Putting the watch together shouldn’t take you long at all. The quick release bars are true to their name, they attach to the watch in a snap. Your next step will be to connect the watch to your phone.

Activating Your Nevo:

After you’ve downloaded the application, which is available for both iOS and Android devices. Activation is only a tap away. First, you’ll have to enable the Bluetooth on your watch by holding the 3rd button until a blue LED flashes on the watch, then you’ll tap connect on the app. Your watch is now connected.

The Nevo App:
Nevo App

On the Nevo app, you’ll be able to do all sorts of customization:

  • You can set your daily steps goal.
  • Set your alarm.
  • Set your phone notifications and assign an LED color to each one.
  • Enable/disable Link-Loss notification which alerts you if your watch lost connection to your phone.

By default, the daily activity goal is set to 10,000 steps. You can choose from Light (7000 steps), Moderate (10,000 steps) or Intensive (20,000 steps), and each of these goals can be further customized by you.

For phone notifications, you can enable or disable alerts for calls, email, Facebook, SMS, calendar or WeChat. There are 6 different LED colors that you can assign to each notification.

With silent alarm, you can set your watch to vibrate at any time. The watch will gently vibrate 10 times and the LEDs will flash. While I believe it’s great for setting reminders, I’m not sure how effective it would be for waking someone up. Personally, I’m unable to sleep comfortably while wearing a watch, so I don’t see myself using this feature for waking up, but would definitely use it as a reminder.

The application also connects to Apple’s Health app and Google Fit. Right now, there’s no option to view your daily activity history, but this should be available soon with an app update.

Activity Tracking:

Nevo Goal Progress
Once you’ve step up your daily goal, tracking your progress can be done through the LED indicators on your watch. As you progress with your goal, more LEDs will light up. The exact number of how many steps you’ve taken is shown in the app.

As for running and swimming tracking, it’s not ready just yet, but it will be available soon as a free firmware upgrade, which is done through the app. Burned calories indicator will also be ready soon as an app update.

Phone Notifications:

Nevo LED Notifications
How notifications work is quite simple. Let’s say you receive a call that you’ve assigned the color Red for. Once you receive a call, the watch will gently vibrate and the red LED will flash for 3 times.

So far, you can track most phone notifications. In the app, there are options for calls, email, SMS, Facebook and WeChat. I was told by nevo’s team that custom notifications for Whatsapp should be available soon. From my testing, the watch did not alert me of Whatsapp messages, but for all other notifications, and my testing included: iMessage, Line messages, Snapchat notifications and even Instagram notifications, all lit up on the watch as SMS notifications.

The Battery:
As mentioned before, Nevo requires NO charging, ever! Which I absolutely love, because I really don’t need yet another device to add to a line of devices that I charge daily. The watch is powered by two batteries: the standard 364 watch battery for timekeeping, which should last you up to 5 years. And another CR2025 battery for the smart notifications that runs for about 6 months. If you opt for the Solar powered watch, you’ll have 364 for timekeeping and an Li-po rechargeable for the smart features, which will run indefinitely.

Should You Buy a Nevo Watch?

Nevo Watch Colors
Nevo makes the perfect choice for someone who is looking to keep track of their daily activities but isn’t keen on wearing an ugly silicone band. Nevo, being a watch, isn’t something you feel obligated to wear. And because it’s such a stylish watch, you’ll really want to not only wear it, but also show it off.

On the other hand, Nevo isn’t for the avid athlete who wants detailed information of their workouts, for example. The information Nevo provides is just enough to help you develop a healthier lifestyle, it makes you aware of how active you are with a quick glance. It certainly helped me become aware of how inactive I am from day one. I was shocked at the fact that I didn’t even get past 2,000 steps on the first day of using it, and now, I am actually making an effort to be more active on daily basis.

The subtle phone notifications will be appreciated by someone who does not want to be interrupted with continuous flashing messages that require much of their attention. The watch will give you a quick alert to let you know that something is up, and it goes away.

As of the time of writing this review (May 2015), the Nevo app isn’t developed enough to unlock all features of the watch, but you’ll find everything you need to get started. The best part is, the firmware of the watch is upgradable through the app. What does that mean? It means that in the future, many features could be added to your existing watch, making it an evolving product.

Nevo Watch is available in three colors: Paris (Granite case with Truffle strap), New York (Blacksmith case with Coffee strap) and Shanghai (Champagne case with Blueberry strap – which is featured in this review). Additional leather straps with the color of your choice can be purchased separately.

For more information, visit: http://www.nevocollection.com

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After using the Nevo watch awhile longer after this review, we encountered a lot of connectivity issues. The watch is simply unable to remain connected to the phone for some reason, which is quite frustrating. And unfortunately, none of the released updates seem to fix it. We’re told that Nevo is aware of this issue, and they’ve revamped their watches entirely to fix this issue. We’ll be happy to do a follow-up review on the new watch if we receive a sample.

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