Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Martian Notifier: A smartwatch you don't even have to look at

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January 8, 2014

Gizmag checks out the Martian Notifier, a smartwatch that lets you know what's coming in w...

Gizmag checks out the Martian Notifier, a smartwatch that lets you know what's coming in without even looking at it

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We've already gone hands (wrists?) on with the Pebble Steel and Neptune Pine smartwatches this week at CES 2014, but earlier this week we caught up with Martian, makers of an incognito smartwatch that lets you use Siri and Google Now on your wrist. With its latest version, the company has added custom vibrations for notifications, ditched the voice control, and dropped the price. Read on, as Gizmag checks out the new Martian Notifier.

Like the voice control Martian Watch, the Martian Notifier doesn't advertise to the world that it's a tech gadget. On the contrary, it looks almost completely like a regular watch, save for a small horizontal screen on its face. That's where you see those notifications, which have replaced voice control as the newer model's bread and butter.

What's that you say? Every damn smartwatch under the sun already does notifications? Well, we won't argue with that, but the Martian Notifier does add a new twist. It lets you customize your own vibration patterns for each different type of notification.

Several more Martian Notifiers on display at CES 2014

So if you have your arms full of groceries, the pattern of vibrations you feel will let you know right away what kind of notification just came in. Long-short-long? Just an email, no rush. Short-pause-short? That's a text, might be the one you're waiting for. You customize the patterns for each type of alert and instantly know what type of notification is coming in without looking at the watch.

Smartwatches in general keep you from having to look at your phone so often – but the Martian takes that a step further and keeps you from even having to look at your watch so often.

Like several other smartwatches, the Notifier also lets you choose which apps to receive notifications from. Get swamped with emails and prefer to only get alerted to, say, texts and calls? No problem. Another nice perk is that you can also now scan your history of notifications. So if you're in the middle of a conversation and miss an alert, you can check back a few minutes later to see what it was.

They have blue covered too

The new model continues Martian's trend of eye-catching designs. The band is made of plastic, and will be available in several different colors (including blue, red, orange, black, and white). A classic analog ticker dominates the watch's face, making its smarts known only to those who look very closely. Those beans are spilled by the 96 x 16 pixel OLED display that sits at the bottom of the face, with a classic winder and two buttons living on the sides.

Though the lack of voice control takes away what I considered to be the standard Martian watch's killer feature, the Notifier takes something else away that you'll probably find more appealing: it's going to ring up for just US$129. That's a full $170 less than the voice-control version, but it's also the cheapest of all the major smartwatches we've handled. If you're looking for a budget notification-focused watch, it's going to be worth looking at next to the $150 standard Pebble.

You can't buy the new model just yet, but Martian says the Notifier will ship sometime in Q2 2014.

Product page: Martian Notifier

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
4 Comments

$130.00 and they give you a cheap plastic watch band? The case itself looks cheap as well. I'll pass :)

Joe Sobotka
9th January, 2014 @ 02:25 pm PST

Joe - What a grump you are! All that electronics wizardry and you complain about the watchband? Perhaps, like the 'Pebble' they will bring out a metal case and band version, just for you - then you will complain about it being more expensive, I suppose. I would like a version with the choice of either voice commands or as at present, probably more useful in the long run.

The Skud
9th January, 2014 @ 04:57 pm PST

Is this watch water-resistant?

It looks like I can change the watchband.

I like the glow in the dark dial markers. It would be great if they made these water resistant 10-30ft.

This phone works with both Apple and Android smartphones and i know the licensing fees they have to pay to these 2 companies is going to affect the prices as well as quality materials to make any kind of profit, so I understand why Samsung made 100% dedicated Galaxy Gears for their devices only.

Let's see what version 2 release brings with it.

pita frampton
16th June, 2014 @ 06:45 am PDT

Joe you need to get out more. I think you have subscribed to the wrong website. I'd read the article again if I were you.

Rob Brooks
26th June, 2014 @ 07:43 am PDT
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