The Matrix PowerWatch, like so much of the latest technology, came about through crowdfunding, taking 1,000 percent of its target pledges.
What makes the Matrix different to the likes of Fitbit et al is the way it powers itself. Rather than rely on cable recharging, it gains its power from your body heat via thermoelectric generators housed within the 15mm deep case.
It’s a big achievement, because according to Matrix, the top of the wrist is one of the least efficient parts of the body to harvest heat for energy from — the head and feet are best.
The watch is 47mm in diameter, not including the crown, the case is matt finish aluminium mounted to a nylon-webbing strap, so looks suitably rugged.
A companion app is available for Android and iOS, and it syncs with your phone via Bluetooth. It automatically adjusts to your current time zone, so if you’re a frequent flyer there’s no need to fiddle with settings.
The PowerWatch tracks your steps, calories and sleep, and functions include a stopwatch and running watch, tracking running steps and distance using the app for accurate distance measures.
Matrix claims that the heat-harvesting technology, with its always-on power meter, is the most accurate way of measuring burned calories on the market. It will handle most wet outdoor conditions thanks to its 50m water-resistant rating, which is more than pretty much any other smartwatch.
The PowerWatch is pretty new and, as yet, the collected data isn’t transferable to other fitness apps, but Matrix tells us it’s working on it. The company also promises to offer a few options on the screen layout, with five alternatives to the main time screen coming with future firmware updates, which came thick and fast throughout testing.
As a fitness tracker the Matrix does just enough, but for cycling I’d like options such as heart rate. Unless you’re serious about cross training, the running measures are moot.
It’s stylish and, because of the way it charges, you’ll get lots of use out of it as a watch. The issue is it’s more a good-looking digital watch with fitness elements rather than a full-on fitness tracker. For sport use there are plenty with superior functionality.