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Hello. Today I’ll be trying out this Power:bit Watch kit by Elecfreaks. Why? Because watches are mildly interesting, I suppose — AHeM. I mean, because they are literally my only passion in life. I love watches. Why else would I be reviewing this kit?
There isn’t much to the product description on the GetHacking website: it basically says that you can DIY a watch by doing some “simple assembly.” Uh. Since that wasn’t much to go by, I did some research with best-friend-Google and managed to find a lot more information about the watch kit here on ElecFreaks-Wiki. The Wiki is a collection of product info pages, tutorials, guides, and more — I’m surprised that there isn’t a direct link to it in the kit itself.
Or is there? Maybe I should actually open the box before I make that assumption.
There is not. Actually, it doesn’t look like there’s much of anything inside there. That’s probably just the deceptively compact packaging.
Alright, deceptively compact packaging removed. From top-left to bottom right, we have a micro:bit (not included in the box — I stole it from another kit), a power:bit, an acrylic case, an 8-bead rainbow LED ring, a nylon watch band, and a lot of screws.
You also need two CR2032 3V lithium coin cell batteries. Just thought I’d mention it because I don’t see a “Batteries not included” label on the package. You’re welcome. Oh, and get a screwdriver for the screws.
Putting the actual watch together is pretty simple and straightforward. Just follow the assembly drawing in the Introduction section of the watch kit Wiki.
Some pictures for reference:
Alright, moving on to the micro:bit part. It’s time to turn my boring watch into a super cool smartwatch, I guess.
At this point, I think I’m supposed to be creative and program something on my own like a game or a fitness tracker, but I’m feeling slightly lazy at the moment, and the Wiki conveniently has like five sample projects just sitting there. Let’s play with some of those instead.
After a few projects, I can see that the micro:bit watch is really quite versatile and customizable. If you can think of a cool idea to program, you can probably incorporate it into your watch. And if you can’t, then you might just be thinking too hard.
The only thing is that all of the watch’s capabilities come from the micro:bit itself. If you don’t care for the watch in particular and are more interested in the programming aspects, then just the micro:bit would do. But if you’re interested in the kit, then you probably want it for the watch… it’s fine.
Verdict: Overall, I’d say the Power:bit Watch Kit is a solid purchase for anyone who wants to make their own DIY smartwatch or learn to program a micro:bit project. Ok. Goodbye now.