TranyaGo Smartwatch Review
The Apple Watch has taken the world by storm. And with that success, a number of other companies now offer a variety of watches, usually with fewer features and a much lower price. I’m not talking about Samsung Gear, Garmin or Fitbit—I’m talking about companies like Tranya, who previously focused on wireless earbuds, several of which we review on Serious Insights. Tranya now offers the Tranya Go smartwatch that borrowed its general aesthetic from Apple while delivering basic fitness and phone integration features across iOS and Android.
What we like
The Go Smartwatch includes a beautiful 1.69-inch LED touch screen. While not OLED quality, it is a very good-looking LCD panel. It doesn’t reach peak sun performance as Apple’s watches do, but it is clear and crisp under most normal activities.
And the 200mAh battery lasts for days. Tranya has optimized the screen, screen time awareness, and battery. With little use, the watch ran for over 7 days and was still going when I started the evaluation in earnest. Charging requires a proprietary Tranya cable. Don’t lose it! Battery status can be seen in the app (more later) and when charging. I could not find an on-watch battery life indicator except on a couple of watch faces. It would be great to have the battery status on the setting screen. Charging only takes a couple of hours.
A major differentiator from Apple’s Watch is compatibility with Android, though the look and experience lean on Apple’s design aesthetic. In some ways, it improves on Apple by implementing a single button. I know Apple has patents around the crown that it wants to leverage, but on most technology, less is more, and one button on the TranyaGo is a good design choice.
So what does the TranyaGo do?
The TranyaGo focuses on tracking basic health indicators and metrics like heart rate, steps, calories burned, miles walked, and sleep. A number of sports modes help calibrate activities to performance.
Built-in apps display the weather, control music playback, and display text messages. The watch also includes a stopwatch, a countdown timer and a flashlight mode. The TranyaGo offers its own “find my phone” feature.
The Go also includes multiple watch faces, though currently no way to create custom faces. The watch faces provided, however, provide a range of insights and images that should fit most needs.
The GloryFit app consolidates the Go’s data and manages the watch. It includes watch face management. The app presents a library of faces—some of them really fun, but no customization despite a custom dial page. And it appears that only one watch face can be synchronized at a time. Loading a new watch face overwrites the previously synchronized one. The app also helps manage alarms, states, notification switches, and firmware updates.
While the TranyaGo states a very strong IP68 rating for dust and water, the documentation includes a number of caveats, including a caution against using it in hot water. I don’t usually see that many items listed that seem to undermine a product’s robustness rating.
Overall I liked the look and the basic functions. The TranyaGo isn’t as refined as high-end smartwatches, nor as capable. It is an inexpensive entry point for people who just need basic fitness features and don’t want to shell out for a Samsung or Apple product.
What could be improved
As with all technology that competes with iconic products, the list of what could be improved when compared to Apple Watch features isn’t fair given the price difference. The TranyaGo doesn’t support credit card payments, third-party apps, synchronizing photos, wake on lift, or replies to text messages. It does not store music or connect to headphones, and it does not support cellular connectivity.
That’s a long list until you see the Amazon price of $29.99 (much lower than the $89.99 on the Tranya website, a discrepancy they should address). That price makes you realize how much software engineering goes into Apple’s products, along with their steep brand margins. Tranya leaves many features on the table, but for an entry-level device, it proves a very functional bargain.
The software in the user interface isn’t well refined which results in a less than stellar user experience. Brightness, for instance, sits at the top-level control screen and in the setting screen one level below. It only needs to appear in one place. When built-in apps don’t support vertical scrolling, they respond to attempts to move them. I would rather the attempt to scroll be ignored.
The sports app would benefit from additional profiles, including baseball and American football.
I like that the straps fit a variety of arms, but they feel thin. They are, however, removable and can be replaced. Tranya would benefit their community by sharing where to purchase compatible watch bands.
It looks like the GloryFit app was developed for the TranyaGo. If that is the case, I would suggest the company rethink branding to something like TranyaGoFit so the relationship between the app and the watch is clearer.
TranyaGo: The Bottom Line
Tranya’s Go Smartwatch proves to be more a fitness tracker than a general mobile platform like Apple’s Watch. It’s inexpensive, but looks attractive and offers enough functions for its low price. At $29.99 it’s a contender. $89.99, however, is overpriced for a device this limited. It will be interesting to see where the price settles after initial promotions.
Tranya provided the TranyaGo for review. Images courtesy of Tranya.
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