Not interested in Nothing’s first smartwatch | ENBLE

Not interested in Nothing's first smartwatch | ENBLE

Nothing’s CMF Smartwatch: A Disappointing Missed Opportunity


In a recent announcement, Nothing introduced their new product line, CMF by Nothing. This sub-brand is focused on affordability, while still maintaining the sense of design and user experience that Nothing is known for. One of their latest offerings is a smartwatch, and although it looks visually appealing, there are some concerns about originality and software functionality.

A leaked marketing material and supposed renders of the Watch Pro have surfaced on a Telegram channel. The first thing that catches the eye is the watch’s bold orange aesthetics. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes apparent that there’s little originality in its design. The software situation seems even more disheartening, adding to the disappointment surrounding this highly anticipated device.

Let’s dive into the positive aspects of the CMF Watch Pro before addressing its shortcomings. The watch case is made of aluminum alloy and offers IP68-rated protection against dust and water. Its 1.96-inch AMOLED display boasts a decent peak brightness of 600 nits. Additionally, it offers support for 110 activities and features on-device GPS functionality. At a purported asking price of 4,499 Indian rupees (approximately $54), it seems like a decent smartwatch package.

However, while this price may be appealing to buyers in Western markets like the U.S., it falls short compared to rivals in Asian markets such as India and China. In these regions, competing brands offer smartwatches with more attractive designs and advanced features.

One of the major drawbacks of the CMF smartwatch is the absence of Wear OS. While this isn’t necessarily a cardinal sin, it follows the footsteps of OnePlus, where Nothing’s CEO Carl Pei made a name for himself. OnePlus’ first smartwatch also deviated from Wear OS and opted for a real-time operating system (RTOS) with a unique aesthetic skin. RTOS has its benefits, including being less resource-intensive and providing exceptional battery life. However, it also comes with significant drawbacks, such as limited UI customization and a lack of essential apps.

This limitation is significant for the CMF smartwatch. While it offers essential features like heart rate and blood oxygen saturation measurement, the absence of a solid smartwatch ecosystem and access to a wide range of apps diminishes its functionality. Nothing has always aimed to reinvent the fundamentals with each product they release, and this smartwatch was thought to be their opportunity to disrupt the industry.

The smartwatch market is in need of innovation. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch lineup has grown stale in terms of design, while the Google Pixel Watch prioritized aesthetics over a rewarding Wear OS experience. Nothing seemed like a glimmer of hope, offering unique features and surprises across their product lineup. Consequently, expectations were high for their debut smartwatch.

Sadly, the CMF smartwatch falls short of these expectations. Its attractive design and affordable price make it an easy purchase, especially when compared to other Asian brands competing in the same price range. However, it fails to deliver the smartwatch revolution that was hoped for from a brand like Nothing.

The potential for innovation within the smartwatch industry remains untapped, leaving users waiting for a true disruptor to emerge. While Nothing’s CMF smartwatch has its merits, it ultimately misses the mark and fails to provide the groundbreaking experience that many were anticipating.