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I couldn't stop myself from playing with the new watch so I decided to make a quick review of the watch itself , how it behaves in the pool, I'll try to do during the weekend.
Warning: I'm just a beginner freediver with very limited experience and this is my very first diving computer, so I have nothing to compare it to but my own expectations.
Why this watch?
Because I'm not sure when, of if ever, I'll also do the scuba course, I decided to get computer specifically for freediving and avoid overly complicated devices with function I don't need now. And because I'm a nerd with need to analyze everything and I love charts, it had to have USB connectivity and preferably heart rate monitor, because I think heart rate is quite important in freediving (and it also makes a nice chart ) After some research, I found out, that UP-X1 is literally the only computer matching these requirement. I also considered the Aeris F10/F11 (F10 is a bit cheaper, and far as I know, there's no HRM, I know couple of people who got the F10 because of the price, but were unpleasantly surprised, because there was no USB cable in the package.), Uwatec Meridian (more expensive, HRM needs to be purchased separately and it also has scuba and gauge modes) and Suunto D4i (basically same as Meridian, except there's no HRM at all, AFAIK).
UP-X1 was a clear winner. Only drawback was, that at the time of the purchase (November 2014) there were literally no reviews or comparisons with other watches, I found only two unboxing videos. But I decided to risk it and get it anyway (I even found retailer with some discount )
What came in the box?
- the watch, obviously
- heart rate monitor
- three chest straps
- clamp style USB cable
- quick guide
View attachment 39896 View attachment 39909
The computer itself is built really well and feels very solid. Case feels like really hard plastic, but not cheap at all. Back cover is stainless steel and there's carbon fiber ring around the display. Buttons are big and they feel well even in gloves. (Sorry, didn't have banana for scale, so I used 2€ coin, as you can see it's rather large device.)
Back cover states it's water resistant to 100 meters (which is way, WAY beyond my limits ), but on some page I read that it already had been taken to 140 meters and it worked just fine (sorry, can find the article now)
View attachment 39912
The strap is nicely wide, maybe even too long for bare hand, but I'm certain if you put the watch over a wetsuit, it will be just right. If you look at the watch from the side, you can see what I think are the attaching axles, so it might suggest it's even replaceable.
View attachment 39911
Besides the buttons, there are sensors on the right side and the speaker on the left side, which would suggest it should be nice and audible under water.
Menu and display
Display is big and readable, just common monochrome LCD. Menu is nice and simple, I was able to figure out the navigation and most of the functions myself, without the manual. I won't go over the functions now, they are nicely described in the full manual, which is available here:
View attachment 39906
One thing I'm not sure about, is the battery. I didn't find any info how long the battery lasts (there are 2 battery saving functions) or in which matter is the battery replaceable. I asked the retailer and they suggested to have the battery replaced by certified service. But if you take a look at the back of the watch, there's a groove and inscription OPEN->, which would suggest an easy replacement by just unscrewing part of the back cover, but I didn't dare to open it yet, because of the warranty reasons. I think I will write directly to Omer to ask about it.
View attachment 39907 View attachment 39910
HRM is a bit bulky (if you put it under the wetsuit it might look like a xenomorph breaking through you ribcage ), probably because of the water resistance. On the second image it's compared to micoach HRM (again, the not-banana for scale ) It's yet to be seen how it works under water. I didn't find any possibility to link other, replacement strap to the watch in case of malfunction, so that's another small drawback. But the battery is replaceable.
I tried to wear both of the HRMs to compare the accuracy but they seem to be interfering with each other (micoach is Ant+ device), so I could not check whether it's accurate or not.
How well the strap works, I'll see in the pool.
... To be continued ...
During the weekend, after I take it to the pool, I'll finish the review of the performance, software and the USB cable, but so far I really like it.
Thank you Booman!
Great first impressions video, handy feature set too!
How much does it weigh?
Does it have a user replaceable battery? - how is the battery life?
Does it scratch easily?
Does it have a continuous countdown timer?
I'm looking forward to your report on actually using it in the water.
From seeing it on your wrist, with the feature set it looks like a winner too me.