A miniature watch-phone, the Rogbid KING connects to 4G and WiFi networks, allows voice calls in speakerphone mode or via Bluetooth headset, has a GPS receiver and a version of Android 9 that can be used with almost any app in the Play Store.
The Rogbid KING has pulse and oxygen concentration sensors, and can take on the role of a fitness tracker for monitoring sports activities and sleep quality. Last but not least, there are two cameras (front and side) to take snapshots and shoot spy-movie style.
KING Ceramic Handmade 4G Smartwatch
The brainchild of Asian manufacturer Rogbid, the device can be used both in conjunction with your main smartphone, synced via Bluetooth to retrieve call alerts and notifications from your mobile phone, but can also work completely independently of it if you don’t want to carry a smartphone in your pocket. The Rogbid KING comes with a circular colour screen, speaker and microphone, two cameras, pulse sensor and pedometer function for activity monitoring. All of this comes in a package that’s a bit bulky, but light and comfortable enough to wear on your hand every day.
The circular dial houses a 320 x 385 pixel colour display with touch interface and a physical button on the side. A short press performs the Home/Power function and a long press opens an additional menu for accessing the list of recent applications. On the back we find the pulse and oxygen concentration sensor, and the front camera can be glimpsed on the dial, applied above the rectangular-shaped screen. The side camera replaces what could have been the second physical button and is pointed in the direction of the palm, so to take pictures all we have to do is point our hand in the desired direction while framing the image on the screen. Surprisingly powerful, the speaker is very discreetly placed at the bottom, just to the right of the detachable strap. Sound is picked up using two microphones placed left-right, the system allowing effective blocking of background noise during voice calls.
Other supported functions include sleep quality monitoring, date and time display, Google Assistant voice commands, voice dictation of text messages, voice recorder function, stopwatch, calculator, phone calendar, call menu, SMS messaging, recent call list, notification list, Find Device function, alarm, calendar, camera interface, media player interface, file manager. To these we can add our favourite apps that we can optionally install from the Google Play store: Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, YouTube, etc. Just like on the smartphone, we can initiate video calls from the smartwatch by switching between the front and side camera. Being a 4G smartwatch, video calls work at high resolution even if you’re not within WiFi range.
Before the first use, it is necessary to charge the battery using the adapter provided with magnetic fastening system, connected to a USB port. About an hour later we can make the first settings for logging in to our Google account, setting our contact calendar, app updates, etc. Optionally, we can also sync the smartwatch with our mobile phone if we want to use it as a companion for it, syncing notification messages and activities with the fitness app. The procedure consists of scanning a QR code and installing an app from the Rogbid manufacturer’s website. Important to know, in watch phone mode the call function is only available on the smartwatch via the SIM card. Connected to your mobile phone, the Rogbid KING will vibrate and emit audible alerts when we receive calls or notification messages, loud enough not to go unnoticed when in crowded areas.
My Rogbid KING experience
The Rogbid KING uses a rectangular screen, slightly taller than wide and slightly cropped at the corners. The ergonomic shape and relatively large surface area allows efficient navigation of both the Android interface and installed apps. For example, you can seamlessly browse your Facebook content feed and read web pages rendered with Google Chrome. There’s also a full-QWERTY keyboard that you can use quite well once you get over the settling-in period. Alternatively, you can also use Android’s voice recognition feature to communicate effectively via text messages.
The LCD screen is very well lit, wide viewing angles and enough resolution to not mess with the readability of text elements. The device’s functions are controlled almost exclusively using the touch interface, but the side key is useful for exiting apps and turning on the screen. Optionally, we can also activate the automatic screen start function when we turn our hand forward.
Equipped with an 850 mAh battery, the Rogbid KING can run 12-24 hours on a single charge, using the LTE connection for sporadic internet access and voice calls. It must be said that the battery life is reduced to 4-5 hours if we use the device heavily in 4G LTE mode for video and video calls. Functions such as navigating with Google Maps, listening to YouTube music and making voice calls using the SIM card will quickly deplete the battery. This can be alleviated by setting up connection to nearby available WiFi networks.
Built around the Spreadtrum SC9832+PAR2822 chipset (quad-core CPU at 1.3GHz, Cortex-A7) and aided by 4GB of RAM, the Rogbid KING is comparable to an entry-level smartphone, being able to run almost any Android app available in the Play Store. For example, you can install the YouTube Premium app and listen to your favourite music using Bluetooth headphones, without having to carry your smartphone with you.
Your device comes with a collection of pre-installed apps that can be expanded by visiting the Play Store. The Rogbid KING can count steps taken throughout the day, distance covered and effort exerted (with the pulse and SpO2 sensor), sending the measurements to the app installed on your mobile phone. It includes a phone recorder function, web browser, player for MP3 music stored in the 128GB internal memory, camera capture app, pulse monitor, file manager, photo gallery, calendar with alarm setting function, SMS messaging, calling and SIM contacts.
The interface can be customised by choosing from a selection of exchange “faces” for the watch. The notification list is accessed with a swipe from the left to the centre of the screen. On the right we find the list of apps, from the bottom we pull down a list of daily activity statistics (e.g. number of steps and distance travelled) and from the top down we pull down an Android-style quick setup menu. Spread over 5 pages, it shows information about SIM card status and Bluetooth connection, a list of shortcut buttons (GPS receiver activation, screen brightness, WiFi, Bluetooth, data connection, Airplane mode), RAM cleanup, media playback buttons, weather station.
No big claims on the graphics side, the interface responds well to commands, and apps start fast enough.
Adding to the build quality, the Rogbid KING doesn’t disappoint in the slightest, with the device coming in a ceramic-finished casing that’s very sleek and pleasant to the touch. The screen also has a very high quality oleophobic coated mineral glass applied, making it easy for fingers to slip and fingerprints to wipe off. The strap is removable, the package contains both a soft rubber strap, useful for those with an active lifestyle, and a more elegant and surprisingly good quality imitation leather strap.
The only gripe concerns the installation of the nano-SIM card. Inexplicably, the manufacturer opted for a rudimentary mechanism, with the cover fixed in two unsightly screws. To make this easier, the accessory pack includes a screwdriver. Once removed, the gasketed cap exposes the slot where the SIM card is inserted like a microSD card.
Although, a bit large by smartwatch standards, the Rogbid KING makes up for it with the extremely varied functionality it offers. Basically, it can successfully replace your smartphone, functioning as a mobile phone with video calling function, photo/video camera, media player with access to streaming services, fitness accessory and even GPS navigator, using Google Maps or Waze app for orientation.
Simple to use and packed with cool features, the Rogbid KING can be a great smartphone replacement for those days when you’re out cycling or jogging. Behind the wheel, the combination of the Rogbid smartwatch and a Bluetooth headset can work just as well, providing voice guidance via the Google Maps app, voice call pickup and voice-activated call initiation.
Equipped with pulse and SpO2 sensor, GPS receiver, WiFi and 4G LTE, two cameras, accelerometer, proximity sensor and the ever-present pedometer for monitoring physical activity, the Rogbid King can be ordered from the TOMTOP store offer for 169.48 euros in the 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage equipment, respectively 109.66 euros for the 2GB+16GB memory equipment.