Matrix Powerwatch X review: Infinite battery… but wha…

Matrix Powerwatch X review: Infinite battery... but wha...
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It’s handy to never need a watch charger.

Smartwatches are frustrating for many reasons, but the need to constantly recharge them is the worst. Some watches are finding ways to last more than a week, such as the Amazfit Bip. But what about lasting forever?

The Matrix Powerwatch X is a watch that’s powered entirely by body heat. Thermal gradients, to be precise. The watch uses the difference between skin temperature and the outside air to generate a current that activates and charges everything. Sound weird? It is. Maybe it’s the future of a world of wearables where everything is body-powered. Like… oh, yeah, that’s why the company is called Matrix Industries.

I first met with Matrix Industries a couple of years ago. Its first product, the Matrix Powerwatch, debuted in 2017. The Matrix Powerwatch X is a more advanced watch, with step counting, sleep tracking and buzzing notifications.

I’d love a watch to last forever and be great. The $280 Powerwatch X does one of these things. 

The big, bulky look of the Powerwatch X is eye-catching. It’s like a supercharged metal version of a G-Shock. But it won’t appeal to everyone, that’s for sure.

That’s a big watch.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Sturdy design, crazy thick

If you’re not into super-sized watches, read no further. Wearing it made me feel like a bit like a dad commando.

The ridged outer casing has a purpose, though. The ridges act like a heat vent. The watch doesn’t get hot, or even warm, but the case has a subtle two-part design between the inner and outer layers. A temperature differential is helped by the heat vents, which are silent, with no fans. These are like heat sinks on computers.

A rubber watchband felt surprisingly comfy on my wrist. Despite the watch’s thickness — and tendency to cause my wrist to sweat in humid July New York weather — it was easy to wear.

The watch is also water-resistant up to 200 meters, which at least means it’s pool-friendly. But it won’t track swimming.

05-matrix-powerwatch-x

Sarah Tew/CNET

Always-on display

Think this looks like a Casio G-Shock? Well, the screen looks like one, too.

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