Imagine a world where you don’t have to plug your gadgets in overnight to charge. That’s the dream lots of tech companies would love to be able to sell us, and the Matrix Powerwatch may have just made it a reality.
This smartwatch doesn’t need to be placed on a wireless charging pad like the Apple Watch 3 or a Wear OS watch. Instead, the Matrix Powerwatch uses a game-changing technology that uses your body heat to power the watch.
It sounds like a revolutionary idea and it means just by wearing the Powerwatch (and having some body heat, of course) you’ll be pumping juice into the watch.
In this review we’ll dig into how the watch performs, whether the battery tech is all it's cracked up to be and whether it’s worth you buying this as your next smartwatch.
Matrix Powerwatch price and release date
- It costs $199 / £145 / AU$250 but you'll have to pay shipping on top
- You can buy it now around the world
You can buy the Powerwatch now from Matrix’s official website (opens in new tab) for $199. If you live in the US shipping will be calculated alongside it as well, but we don't know the exact prices so it may cost you a touch more.
If you live in either the UK or Australia you’ll find the watch for around £145 / AU$250, but that’s subject to change as it’s calculated according to the exchange rate for the country you’re living in.
You’ll also need to spend more on shipping, with it costing upwards of $30 (around £21/AU$38) to get it shipped outside of the US.
It’s worth noting the company has also launched an updated device called the Matrix Powerwatch X, which will set you back $279 (around £210/AU$380), but that's not what we're reviewing here.
Design and display
- Thick - yet light - design that won't be to everyone's taste
- Strap is a little uncomfortable when working out
- No touchscreen - instead you use a crown and two buttons
Here’s where the Matrix Powerwatch begins to fall down, and that’s probably as there needs to be lots of space in the watch to house this innovative charging technology.
The watch is thick, and is going to look gargantuan on your wrist if you have small arms and, at best, large if you’ve got bigger limbs. Multiple times people commented on the size of this watch, and it's not a particularly attractive device either.
The Powerwatch isn’t particularly heavy, but we found the design larger than pretty much any other smartwatch we’ve tried, which meant we were hitting it on objects accidentally when we passed by them.
You may get used to this after some usage, but it’s difficult to get excited about the design of this watch. There’s a metal bezel around the outside of the watch, but that doesn’t look particularly attractive as you can see the screws, giving it an industrial look.
It does benefit from water resistance up to depths of 50 meters though, which is a big deal if you’re planning to wear this while out in open water or even just into the shower.
To interact with the watch you'll find two buttons at the two and five positions with a rotatable crown in the middle for moving through the menus.
It doesn’t have a touchscreen display like a lot of other smartwatches though. Instead you’ll be using that crown to go through the menus and pressing the buttons, which works in a similar way to how it would on a hybrid watch that doesn't have a display.
Matrix has opted for a black and white display here too, so don’t expect your stats to look gorgeous and jump out of the screen at you. There’s no backlight here either, so we struggled to see our stats when we were out at night, which is especially problematic if you’re prone to go running when it’s dark.
This feels like a major downside to the display on the Powerwatch, and though it’s done to save on the battery it’s a feature many will miss immediately after putting on the watch.
The screen is a decent size though, so when the light is good you can comfortably see the stats you want to on your wrist, and rotating the crown will show all of these in an easy to view way.
Another downside to this watch is the strap. The Matrix website refers to it as a 'tough nylon' material, which describes it perfectly – it’s too tough to wear on a watch that’s meant to allow you to get sweaty when working out.
In day-to-day use it didn’t feel particularly uncomfortable, but once you start sweating you won’t be impressed by this tough material, as it feels more uncomfortable than other nylon choices from the likes of Apple and other wearable brands.
All in all, it’s difficult to get excited about the display or design of the Matrix Powerwatch. It may have a look that some will love, but it’s not a comfortable device to wear and that’s a big part of owning a smartwatch.