The last watch I reviewed wasn’t really a smartwatch at all, it was a hybrid that was much closer to a real watch than a smartwatch. The Martian PTL 01 mVoice falls somewhere between a hybrid watch and a smartwatch. While it has all the looks and the feel of a traditional watch it also has a bit richer notifications system than that of a hybrid smartwatch. It’s important to note that we understand hybrid watches and watches like the Martian PTL 01 mVoice aren’t true full smartwatches, but there is a market of buyers for these devices. So without further ado, read on for the full review of the Martian PTL 01 mVoice smartwatch.
The Martian PTL 01 mVoice has the following features and specifications:
- Analog quartz watch with Miyota movement
- Anti-scratch glass crystal
- Resin case
- Stainless Steel case backs and strap buckles
- Interchangeable Italian leather straps
- IPX4 water/splash resistant
- Noise-cancellation mic
- Directional speaker
- 96×16 OLED display
- RGB LED light
- 3-Axis accelerometer
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Analog watch battery up to 2 years battery life
- Lithium polymer rechargeable battery (no indicated mAh from manufacturer) up to 5-days of use
- Less than 2 hours charging time
What’s In The Box
- Martian PTL 01 mVoice
- MicroUSB charging cable with extra long tip
- Documentation and warranty
The Martian PTL 01 mVoice design screams traditional through and through. As a matter of fact, I didn’t have one single person ask me if I was wearing a smartwatch because it looks nothing like what one identifies as a smartwatch. However, I did get compliment after compliment about how beautiful and attractive the PTL 01 was on my wrist.The watch face on the PTL 01 is black and orange and these two colors marry quite well together. The face just pops with nice big numbers at the quarter marks and good solid hash marks on the fives. The watch hands are also bright orange and I love the chunky style Martian choose for these. Solid watch face design.
The watch strap is also well designed and made of high-quality Italian leather, it’s really thick and supple. On the right side of the watch, you’ll find your three buttons for controlling most all of the functions of the watch, the noise-cancelling mic is also on this side. On the left side is the microUSB port along with the loudspeaker for making voice calls, listening to GPS directions, listening to Alexa, or any other sound you need to hear.
The watch case is made of Resin and a Stainless Steel back which feel nice but I felt didn’t feel as high quality as other hybrid watches I’ve reviewed. To be fair here, the Martian PTL 01 does house some different electronics inside of it which is probably why the company chose a Resin body as opposed to using a full Stainless Steel body. Though both the Apple Watch and the Huawei Watch are Stainless Steel, but I digress. The Resin body is nice and it feels very high-quality, I just wished they would have used a metal body instead.
Overall the design is very classic and timeless. The build quality is decent but I felt better materials could have been used. Still, this is a very nicely designed watch that is fashionable and very wearable as a jewelry piece.
Martian has redesigned their app since last we used it, though I believe the mVoice app is altogether separate from their other watch apps. The app is your central hub for controlling and displaying everything on the PTL 01. The home page of the app shows your lithium battery life, connection status, world time option, current weather, do not disturb, and find my watch feature. Along the bottom of the app, you have the alarm tab, which I think is self-explanatory, but if you must know… it sets the alarm. You also have your Alexa tab, which we’ll get more into a few sentences down, your alerts tab, and your settings.
The alerts tab allows you to set vibration patterns for pre-selected apps so you don’t have to look at your watch to know what app is notifying you. This works well if you’re driving in the car and you feel a vibration pattern you know is a text message. Knowing you have a text message you might glance down at the OLED screen to see who is texting. If you felt a vibration and you recognized it as an Amazon alert, you’d know that wasn’t as important as a text and ignored it.
Next up is Alexa. Alexa has been everywhere lately. The Amazon digital assistant has been open-sourced paving the way for multiple companies to incorporate it into their products and Martian jumped in with two feet. Alexa is great, far better than Google Assistant or Apple’s pathetic Siri mess. Alexa works by pushing the top button on the Martian PTL 01 for one second and then speaking your command or question. Just like my other Alexa experiences, the assistant does a great job of returning the information I need and I love having Alexa on the PTL 01. You can also use Alexa within the Martian mVoice app just by tapping on the Alexa tab.
That all being said, Alexa does have its issues on the PTL 01. While it didn’t happen all the time, I did find Alexa to be flaky from time to time. Pushing the button to invoke the assistant and trying to ask it a question didn’t always work. To be clear, it didn’t happen enough to be a deal breaker but it did happen a few times which made me get frustrated once or twice when I was in a hurry. It’s also important to note that the same button is used to call on Siri and Google Assistant. You quick press for the aforementioned apps and long press for Alexa. Overall, Alexa works well and you need to be sure your mVoice app is updated to the latest firmware in order to use the feature otherwise it will not work.
Finally, in the settings tab is where you’ll set up the rest of the watch. Here you can control the language, date/time, scroll speed of the OLED display, alert delay, vibration intensity, the LED, the leash, and the gesture controls. Overall the software and the features are very simple to use but it does take a little time to dive into all of what the watch has to offer so you can get the most out of it.
Ease of Use
Bluetooth pairing is a breeze and is done through the mVoice app in the initial setup. The watch works with both iOS and Android, equally well I may add. Setting the app alert vibration patterns (depending on how many you use) will take a bit of time as well as memory to know which apps are which through their pattern. Overall a very easy to use interface and software package. Alexa is the only portion that didn’t always work but not enough to make it a deal breaker and of course, the analog portion of the watch is a no-brainer.
The PTL 01 performed well and gave me all of the notifications I asked for, the vibration strength is good though I do wish it was a wee bit stronger. Or at least was able to be made stronger. The one thing I did like was this watch features a usable LED light on the front allowing you to look at the analog time in the dark, though you could easily push a button to bring up the time on the OLED screen. Speaking of that OLED screen, it delivers up notifications in a ticker-type format which you can set the speed for in the app. It works pretty well though it does get hard to read on longer messages that come through, but this watch isn’t for consuming the content. it’s more for informing you and giving you a snapshot of the content. Overall a solid performance.
The traditional watch battery should last for up to 2 years and that runs all the mechanical bits inside. The lithium-ion battery runs all the electronics and just like any cell phone battery, how long it lasts will vary on use and connection. Martian claims 5-days of use before having to charge and that’s mostly about right, I got about 5 days on one run and just under on another.
The Martian PTL 01 mVoice will set you back $195USD and it’s one of the more affordable hybrid-type smartwatches out there. We do wish the build quality was a little more premium though but for sub $200USD it’s acceptable.
This is a great smartwatch for those who don’t want a full-on smartwatch with apps but also want a little more than what a hybrid smartwatch offers. The PTL 01 serves up nice snippet notifications that keep you informed without having to pull out your phone. It’s got a decent build quality and nice design and the software works nicely though Alexa refused to talk to me a few times. If you want to get into a smartwatch with readable notifications then this watch and most of Martian’s offerings will probably work out for you.
*We were sent a sample of the Martian PTL 01 mVoice watch for the purposes of this review.
Last Updated on March 11, 2017.
Martian PTL 01 Smartwatch$195.00 USD
Ease of Use9.0/10
- Price is reasonable.
- Watch face is classy.
- Alexa integration is a nice feature.
- Simple setup.
- Alexa integration can be flaky.
- MicroUSB cable end is longer so don't lose this cable for charging, regular cables will not work.
- Build quality could be better.