KOSPET Tank T3 Ultra Smartwatch review – If looks could deceive – The Gadgeteer


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REVIEW – The KOSPET Tank T3 Ultra Smartwatch gets a lot right, but even as a new release has a few features that should be better. Are the shortcomings of the Tank T3 Ultra enough to tank it, or are they easy to overlook? It’s a beauty but let’s get under the hood and see what needs a tuneup.

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What is it?

The KOSPET Tank T3 Ultra Smartwatch is a new smartwatch release from KOSPET.

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What’s included?

KOSPET Tank T3 Ultra Smartwatch
Quick release watchband
Protective glass screen cover and cleaning pads
Charging cable
User manual

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Tech specs

Click to expand

52.7mm width stainless steel unibody in black or silver
22mm silicone band with stainless steel metal clasp (all metal band available)
Weight: 2.89 oz
470mAh pure cobalt battery
1.5 hour total charge time
AMOLED Corning Gorilla Glass screen at 466 X 466 resolution
Brightness: 1000 nits
Dual band 6 satellite GPS system
”15 U.S. MIL-STD-810H Certifications & Passed 28 Reliable Internal Tests”
Compass function
Barometer / altimeter function
IP69K water and dust resistance
165 feet (5ATM) submersion rating
170 sports modes, 6 auto-recognized
OS requirement: Android 5.1 and above, iOS 10.0 and above
Monitoring: Heart rate, Blood oxygen, Blood pressure, Stress levels
Alerts: Abnormal Heart rate, Blood oxygen, Stress levels
2 year warranty

 

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Design and features

The IP69K rating on the KOSPET Tank T3 Ultra Smartwatch means the product is completely dustproof and can withstand a water washdown at pressures of 80 to 100 bar/1,160 to 1,450 PSI, in phases of 14 to 16 liters/min, and at temperatures up to 176°F.  KOSPET approves the watch for snokeling.

Apps on the watch are Call (phone calls out or incoming), Daily activity, Workout, Workout records, Heart rate, Sleep, Blood oxygen, Stress, Music, Voice assistant, Weather, Compass, Barometric altimeter, Breathing exercise, Notifications, Stopwatch, Alarm, Timer, Calculator, Remote shutter, Flashlight, Find phone, Women’s health, Settings.

Assembly, Installation, Setup

I recently reviewed the KOSPET Tank X1 smartwatch so I already have the KOSPET Fit app on my phone. The app recognized the new watch quickly and setup was simple and easy. I only had to tweak a few settings in the app for the new watch, and make some routine settings on the watch itself such as screen-on duration, always-on screen choice, watchface choice, brightness, vibration intensity, etc.

I attached the band to the watch with its quick-attach / release watch band pins. The band is a soft and stretchy silicone and is very comfortable. When I wore the T3 Ultra snugly in hopes of feeling the notification vibration it was comfortable that way as well.

A glass screen protector is included in the box. For my first time ever, I got a screen protector placed perfectly on the first try. I think the rigidity of the glass helps place it correctly vs. some of the flexible plastic screen protectors I’ve used.

The T3 Ultra came with an 88% battery charge. I topped it off to 95% and got started working with it. The battery charge increased at about one percent per minute.

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Performance

The build quality of the KOSPET Tank T3 Ultra Smartwatch looks perfect to me. The watch is as well made as the Samsungs or Withings smartwatches I’ve owned.

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Note the sensor array in the center and charging contacts below.

I like larger watches and the T3 Ultra scored on size, comfort and looks. The buttons have a soft but solid click feel, and the screen is as good as the bigger name brands.

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The biggest disappointment from the KOSPET Tank T3 Ultra Smartwatch is the ultra-weak vibration intensity and ¼ second vibration duration. The vibe is as brief as you can say ‘bzzt’. I often can’t feel notifications from the T3 Ultra when I’m driving, walking or sleeping.

I’m a light sleeper and this is the first smartwatch I’ve owned that cannot wake me up with its vibration. (I prefer silent wakeup alarms so I use a special app for that.) Timers I set while cooking or for tasks were too easy to miss. Thankfully, timer vibrations buzz once per second for a minute at the notification times so there is a somewhat better chance of feeling those.

But only one, single, quick vibration for alerts for calendar appointments, To Do tasks, text messages, and other app alerts? C’mon KOSPET.

I’ve been using the app, Notify for Smartwatches for vibration customization for some of my smartwatches. That app can’t make vibes any stronger, but allows for more of them per app and per notification. It didn’t help the T3 Ultra much because of the weakness of the vibe module itself.

The built-in watch alarm function has sound with its vibrations but the volume doesn’t always follow the watch system volume. When it worked, it saved the day for my marital happiness. ‘We’ don’t both like to be awakened by shockingly loud alarm sounds. I tried to tone down the T3 Ultra’s volume enough to wake me but not the whole house. On several random days the alarm would blare at full volume, in spite of the watch volume setting being at its lowest setting. Not helpful.

On two random days the watch alarm did not sound at all. Better use a back up alarm if you need to wake on time.

On the good side, the screen output is clear and sharp, and you can set a brightness level that is visible in bright outdoor light. The screen is responsive to touch, usually on the first tap or swipe. Sometimes it takes a second tap but that’s the same with every smartwatch I’ve owned.

Step tracking from the KOSPET Tank T3 Ultra Smartwatch is fairly accurate. I took 500 steps and used a tap counter app on my phone. I carefully tapped the phone screen at every step with my right hand while leaving my watch arm to do its normal thing during those steps. At the end of 500 steps shown on the counter, the watch reported 498 steps had elapsed. To me that is right on target. I may have even made a tap error on that test so I’m calling the T3 Ultra accurate for step tracking.

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I took a walk and initiated the workout tracking with the watch. At the end of the 1.25 mile walk there had been no GPS tracking of my route. Don’t laugh at these stats. I was walking the dog so ignore my speed. Frequent stops were for the investigation of every fallen leaf.

The next day, I did the same walk. That time, I started the workout on the KOSPET Fit app. It appeared that the KOSPET Fit app was going to track the walk using GPS. Streets of my neighborhood appeared at the top of the KOSPET Fit app Walk workout screen. I pressed ‘Go’ and off I went.

At the end of the walk I looked at the workout results. There is a tab to see ‘Tracking’ but the KOSPET Fit app continuously crashed. I rebooted my phone and the app still crashed. So I was unable to see the results of workouts on the KOSPET Fit app if I started workouts from the app. But wait – –

The next day a KOSPET Fit update came through Google Play that fixed that issue. It’s good to see attention being given to the KOSPET Fit app, yet a bit more is needed.

Other walks started from the watch showed data from the walk (duration, calories expended, average pace, cadence, stride, step count and heart rate) but no GPS mapping of the walk. GPS seems to apply only to walks/runs started from the KOSPET Fit app.

This is how the walks started in the KOSPET Fit app show their data. Thanks to that OS update, this is the intended walk/run tracking functionality. The dog slowed me down again. As far as you know.

From the T3 Ultra website description, extra tracking has been designed into swim tracking with the T3 Ultra. I have no pool access so I couldn’t test swim tracking.

About the automatic sport tracking and X number of ‘sport modes’ in some smartwatches… Most of these modes track elapsed time, heart rate and little else that is useful. ‘Leisure sports’ is listed as a workout that can be tracked. That seems pretty non-specific. Frisbee, Hula hoop, Fishing, Fly kite and Darts are listed. I’d recommend KOSPET skip such fluff and design the app and watch to track serious exercise with parameters that really matter to people.

Phone calls made over the T3 Ultra seemed clear to people I called. No one said I sounded like I was on a cheap headset. Audio clarity from the watch during calls is acceptable but is only utilitarian.

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The T3 Ultra can hold 11 watch faces, 4 of which can be chosen from the KOSPET Fit app, and 7 are built in. One Always-on display (AOD) watch face can be chosen from 15 choices in the app. The OS allows for one custom AOD face to be displayed, or the one that follows the chosen main watch face.

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These two emerged as my favorite combo of active watch face and AOD watch face.

KOSPET would do well to make all of their AOD watch faces closely follow the screen-on watch face. Some do, and some do not.

Many of the watchface choices look professionally made and there are several good choices beyond the overly artsy, teen-style faces seen on some of the other KOSPET watches and others made in China.

There are plenty of the artsy watch faces in the KOSPET Fit app, but there is now a balance among the 105 choices, plus the 15 AOD faces. KOSPET’s website claims there are 500 watch faces for the T3 Ultra in the app. I count 120.

The T3 Ultra measures resting heart rates fairly accurately. When I compared the watch results with my actual pulse count taken via watch vs. artery palpation the T3 Ultra was within 2-3 beats per minute of my actual heart rate.

Accurate exercising heart rates seem difficult for less expensive smart watches and exercise trackers. The T3 Ultra did not report heart rates correctly during intense workouts such as weightlifting. When my heart rate peaked right after an intense routine the watch showed a two digit heart rate for several seconds, then would increase close to what the peak rate had been, but was often short of the actual peak number that had occurred.

The T3 Ultra took about an hour and ten minutes to charge from 50% battery to full. Using the 50% point as my charging prompt, I had to charge about every 2 to 2.5 days. Since I was testing the T3 Ultra I installed lots of watch faces, used every watch function possible, made and received calls on the watch, and used all of its apps frequently. Normal usage patterns should yield better time between charges.

The barometer / altimeter is an interesting watch function. I have a neighbor ⅛ mile away with a $200 weather station they feed to Weather Underground. I can see the readings from that station 24-7. The T3 Ultra was usually off that station’s barometric pressure reading by .50 to .60. It may seem like a small margin but that station is at the same altitude as my house and probably shouldn’t vary much from my address.

Using barometric pressure as a surrogate for altitude doesn’t seem to be accurate to me. While pressure would increase as you increase in altitude, the T3 Ultra tells me one day I’m at 44m above sea level and the next day I’m -4m below sea level. I’m at the same desk checking the reading. Pressure changes vary day to day, but my altitude didn’t when I checked the readings.

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The KOSPET Tank T3 Ultra Smartwatch Compass seemed fairly accurate right after calibration. It had to be recalibrated frequently as it would indicate north in odd directions. Calibration involved waving the arm in a wide figure 8 motion, then the readout matched my old Scout compass. I wouldn’t count on the T3 compass for serious navigation.

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What I like about The KOSPET Tank T3 Ultra Smartwatch

Excellent design, construction and comfort
Excellent screen sharpness, brightness and color
Good selection of watch faces

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What needs to be improved?

Vibrations should be of longer duration, greater strength, greater number, and customizable
Alarm volume should be adjustable
Results from workouts started on the watch should be viewable in the app

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Final thoughts

I hate having to shelve the KOSPET Tank T3 Ultra now that my testing is done, but apart from accurate time keeping, the main thing I need from a smartwatch is un-missable silent notifications for when I’m in environments where phone sounds would be a disturbance. Sadly, the KOSPET Tank T3 Ultra misses that mark. An OS update from KOSPET probably can’t make the T3 Ultra vibrations stronger but can make them longer and customizable. But if you need a hot looking, macho watch that’s an accurate step counter, phone call assistant, run / walk tracker, and resting heart rate monitor, the T3 Ultra may be for you.

Price: $119.99 ($30 off until April 3, 2024.) Free shipping.
Where to buy: KOSPET and some watches are available on Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided for free by KOSPET and the company did not have a final say on the review and did not preview the review before it was published.

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