Review Makibes DM98 3G Smartwatch Review

The Makibes DM98 3G Smartwatch is currently on sale for $69.99 at Geekbuying – but do keep in mind that the number of pieces in stock is limited!
What used to be absolute science fiction back in the 70s and 80s is slowly becoming affordable. The Makibes DM98 3G Smartwatch is basically a small smartphone: It got Android 4.4.2, the Google Play Store and a slot for Nano SIM cards. Selfies, Angry Birds and Skype: We’ve tested multiple different scenarios.

the Makibes DM98 smartwatch worn on a wrist

Display 2.2 inches with 320 x 240 pixels
Processor MTK MT6572 1.2 GHz Dual Core
Graphics chip ARM Mali-400 MP
R.A.M. 512 MB
Internal memory 4 GB
Camera 1.3 megapixels
Battery capacity 900 mAh
Connectivity GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, WCDMA 850/2100 MHz; 2.4GHz  Wireless LAN; Bluetooth 4.0; GPS
Features Google Play Store, Nano SIM, Step Counter, Push News
Operating system Android 4.4.2
App available for Android 4.0 or later
Material Aluminum alloy, plastic, TPU
Dimensions 5.9 x 4.2 x 1.2 cm  / 2.3 x 1.7 x 0.5 in
Weight 92.4 g / 3.2 oz.
AnTuTu Scores 4511 UX, 5395 CPU, 31 RAM
Vellamo Scores 749 Multicore, 590 Metal, 907 Android WebView, 841 browser

Packaging & Delivery

The Smartwatch comes in a simple black box, and is attached to a small pillow inside. Accessories include a 4-pin connector charging cable, an English manual and a cleaning cloth.

all the accessories of the Makibes DM98 smartwatch

Design & processing

The DM98 makes a fine first impression. Even when looking closer, there are no visible unevenness or the like on neither the aluminum housing nor the plastic rear side. With a weight of 92.4 g (3.2 oz.) and a size of 5.9 x 4.2 x 1.2 cm (2.3 x 1.7 x 0.5 inches), the clock is quite chunky and is therefore more likely designed for men. The wear comfort does not suffer though! The watch is lose enough, but generally feels pleasant to wear. With a length of 21 cm (8.3 inches), the TPU bracelet offers enough possibilities for larger as well as smaller wrists. The closure can be easily opened or closed and stays that way. An interchangeable bracelet would have been a cool feature, though.

the three available colors of Makibes DM98

Unfortunately the Smartwatch has no IP certification. That means you need to be careful when washing your hands so the watch doesn’t get wet. Small drops or sweat are however no problem.

Display

The watch has a 2.2 inch IPS LED touch screen with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. Unfortunately, the DM98 is not protected with gorilla glass, so there’s no telling how scratch-resistant it is – at least the watch comes with a protective film.

a closeup of the Makibes DM98 smartwatch display

The touch screen reactions are mostly reliably and astonishingly the rather small keyboard can also be used quite precisely. The display edges are slightly larger on the left and right than on the top and bottom and in total the display is about 4 x 3 cm (1.6 x 1.2 inches). It has a sufficient brightness to be able to see what’s on the display even in the bright sun. The color display is nice and vibrant. Unfortunately, the display is quite prone to fingerprints, which means the cleaning cloth needs to be used quite often, and there is no kind of Wake Up gesture.

Functions / APP

The DM98 already comes with some features without needing the app:

  • Pedometer
  • Calorie counter
  • Odometer
  • Sleep tracker (must be started manually)
  • Alarm clock
  • Alarm when wearer is sitting too long
  • Reminder for drinking water
  • Push messages

The vibration is not as strong as with other smartwatches and fitness trackers – If you are a deep sleeper, you will probably oversleep the alarm, because the volume of the vibration is also limited. So as long as you’re not called, disturbances in meetings, school or the like should not pose a problem. If the above functions are not enough, it is possible to install the app FunFit. It is available for Android 4.0 or later and the connection between the phone-app and the watch app is established via Bluetooth.

screenshots of the Makibes DM98 app

Since the clock is basically a small smartphone, the app for the mobile phone is just another feature and in no way needed. The pre-installed Play Store also allows you to use plenty of different apps – like Skype, because thanks to the built-in microphone and the 1.3 megapixel camera, you can even make video-calls. And even games such as Angry Birds are possible, but due to the size of the display, they are respectively small. Even racing games are easily possible in theory. It is important, however, to keep in mind that the watch does not have a gyrosensor, which most of the racing games need to work.

A Selfie taken with the Makibes DM98 Smartwatch
Selfie taken with the 1.3 megapixel camera of the Makibes DM98
Angry Birds running on the Makibes DM98 Smartwatch
Even games such as Angry Birds work on the DM98!

Nano SIM slot is  attached to the back of the Smartwatch. Thus, with the clock also telephone calls would be led! Supported are GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz and WCDMA 850/2100 MHz. The slot for a microSD card is unfortunately not possible.

the back of the Makibes DM98 Smartwatch
The backside of the Makibes DM98 Smartwatch with nano SIM slot and connector for the charger

Extras

Two nice extras are the location recognition (GPS) and the energy saving mode. For the background, 15 watchfaces are available; your own pictures can unfortunately not be included. A small bug, which is hopefully going to be fixed with the next update, is that the background is reset to the default image after every reboot.

Makibes DM98 Smartwatch Watchfaces

 

Battery & Runtime

The watch has a 900 mAh strong battery which, according to the manufacturer, should last for up to 280 hours of standby time. Since the DM98 is basically a small smartphone, the battery can run out after barely one day of active use. The smartwatch can be charged via the somewhat wobbly 4-pin connector charging cable in about 3 hours. And it should be noted, that the battery is firmly installed and is therefore non-replaceable.

the charging cable of the Makibes DM98 smartwatch
4-pin connector is held with only two small magnets on the watch

Conclusion

Overall, I like the watch quite well! Yes, it is a bit big and therefore not suitable for everyone. If you should decide on the Makibes DM98 however, you get a small smartphone for the wrist with many features. Especially the pre-installed Play Store and the Nano SIM Slot make the Smartwatch a great companion for everyday life.

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Pros:

  • Pre-installed Play Store
  • Usable without the app
  • Videotelephony
  • Nano SIM Slot
  • GPS

Cons:

  • Watch face bug
  • Non-replaceable battery
  • Missing IP certification
  • 4-pin connector charging cable
To the gadget
Profile picture from Thorben

Thorben

My special interests are smartphones from China and I am always keen to discover new smartphone accessories like smartwatches and headphones. 

Psst! Hey you! We finance the gadget tests mainly through advertising revenue.

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