When I was a child in the 80s, the big technological brands did not yet exist and we still talked about PlayMobil, Lego or Majorette in the playground. There were however some exceptions like Casio for example. Whoever had a Casio watch in the playground was sure to catch a glimpse and if it was the model with a built-in calculator, it was even better. I remember a friend who had one and everyone came to see him at recess to do calculations on his watch. Today, the Casio brand no longer has the aura it had at the time and it is now a Chinese brand that has just marketed an 80s-style Casio-inspired watch with the Zeblaze Ares. [b] br> Zeblaze is a Chinese brand that has existed since 2014, Zeblaze mainly markets smartwatches with models that have made their way to Europe like the Zeblaze Thor or the Zeblaze GT. Ares is the name of the god of war in ancient Greece, I do not directly see the relationship with the watch and its positioning but obviously the Chinese of Zeblaze like European mythology, there is also the Zeblaze Thor. [b][b] The Zeblaze Ares is an entry-level watch, so it will not revolutionize the market but it brings a touch of originality with its retro design. [b][b]
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The main argument of this watch is its retro design, but I think it is above all its price that will contribute to its commercial success. Zeblaze seems to be targeting a young and trendy audience but this audience did not experience the 80s, so the price and functionality of the watch may be stronger than its design. [b][b] The Zeblaze Ares costs around twenty euros, it's one of the cheapest watches I've tested, I'm not even sure you can find a normal watch of decent quality for that price. So yes, the Zeblaze shows the time well but it also allows you to monitor your heart rate, your activities and your sleep. There is nothing new here compared to other watches except that this watch costs around twenty euros! [b][b][b]
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The packaging of the Zeblaze Ares is very simple. The watch is placed in a plastic molding and accompanied by a manual as well as a charging cable. When I received the box, I thought it was empty because it was so light. It's no wonder because the watch weighs only 33 grams, I've never seen that.
Zeblaze has not developed its own app, so you need to download the GloryFit app to be able to control the watch. I had already had the opportunity to test this application with other Chinese watches and I will come back to this point later on this page. Setting up the watch is super simple, just search for the watch with Gloryfit and pair it with the app. Synchronization is almost immediate, then all you need to do is configure the watch to your preferences. Beyond the watch settings, you can also customize your screen and even add a photo of your choice. [b][b]
The Zeblaze Ares is an entry-level watch, for 20 euros and 33 grams you shouldn't expect too much. The watch is mostly made of plastic with a matte texture, so the level of finish is basic. [b][b] The screen is not very large (1.3 inches) and it is protected by a thick anti-shock border, it is also this border that gives the retro identity of the watch. The touch screen allows you to interact with the watch and the two buttons on the side allow you to turn on the watch (first button) or access the list of supported sports (second button). [b][b]
The Zeblaze Ares connects in Bluetooth 5.1 with your phone, it does not have other types of connectivity (wifi, gps, ...)[b]
The battery plays a big role in the weight of the watches and since the Zeblaze Ares is ultra light I expected poor battery life but it is not. After 2 weeks of daily use, the battery was still at 25%. I use the watch every day to see the time, read my messages, play with the personalization options and I had done 1h30 of sport. It's not the watch with the best battery life, but it still has remarkable battery life for a watch at this price. If you exercise every day, you will probably get 5-7 days of battery life.[b]
The Zeblaze has a small screen but I was surprised by its definition, the pixels are barely visible and the colors are very vivid. This is not seen in the photos because the phone I used to take the photo could not render the right colors but the colors are really good. The Zeblaze interface is made up of numerous graphics, they are perfectly readable. On the other hand, the texts displayed on the screen are sometimes really small (especially in the parameters).
The Zeblaze Ares works like the vast majority of watches in this price range, it doesn't stand out in terms of functionality either, but the functionality / price ratio is pretty good. The Zeblaze Ares has the following features: [b] - heart rate measurement [b] - sleep measurement [b] - step count [b] - blood pressure measurement [b] - weather forecast [b] - control of the phone's music player [b] - timer [b] - stopwatch [b] - reception of messages [b] - sport modes : 13 modes [b][b]
Entry-level watches are never very reliable when it comes to heart rate measurements. If you are an athlete and want to assess your performance, you should move towards more expensive models. I tested watches between 60 and 100 € which produced good results. [b][b] I did several tests over 30 minutes and got some pretty crazy measurements with the Zeblaze Ares. Over a 30 min session, my Polar H10 belt gives me an average of 128 heartbeats with a maximum of 144 beats and for the same exercise (measurement made on the same exercise) I obtained an average of 95 beats and a maximum of 110 pulsation with the Zeblaze. The difference is therefore significant. [b][b] To better understand the behavior of the Zeblaze (and other Chinese watches) I filmed the evolution of the pulses with the Polar H10 and the Zeblaze at the same time, here is what it looks like : I notice that as long as the heart rate is low, the Zeblaze remains in values close to the Polar H10 but as soon as the heart rate increases, the values move away sharply and not always in the same direction. Towards the end for example, I stopped moving and the pulsations measured by the Polar decreased while those of the Zeblaze increased. It seems that the watch does not know how to manage the movements of the wrists well and that it interprets the movements of the arm as an increased heart rate. [b][b] For a watch costing 20 €, I expected no more and you should not buy this kind of watch for sports performance.[b]
The GloryFit app allows data from multiple watch brands to be synchronized, so it offers more features than what is available on the Zeblaze Ares. The Gloryfit app is available in many languages but I can see that the app developers have used machine translation. Some translations are really bad but the rest of the app is well designed and those bad translations shouldn't stop you from using the app to its full potential. [b][b] I have not encountered any problem syncing the Zeblaze Ares with the Gloryfit app and the first setup did not cause any problems. Gloryfit offers many parameters to configure the watch, you can customize the screen with about twenty predefined screens but you can also create your own screen with a photo of your choice. You can also configure how you want to receive the notifications / message on the watch, set the sleep ranges, configure the vibrations and many other things. [b][b] Gloryfit collects information from your watch and then stores it as daily, weekly and monthly data. So you can easily go back a day in the past to see where some applications aggregate data and what is in the past is just a summary of information. [b][b]
The Zeblaze Ares is compatible with any recent phone capable of running the Gloryfit app.[b]
The Zeblaze operating system is a closed system, so you cannot modify it or install applications. This is not abnormal because watches with an open system are much more expensive and the added value is very low. The operation of the Zeblaze is very simple, the reflexes acquired on other watches also work on this watch. The home screen is customizable by long pressing on the screen, all features are available on the left in a text menu, shortcuts in the form of widgets are available on the right. The top screen is reserved for configuring the watch and the bottom screen lists all the messages you have received. [b][b] I find the Zeblaze Ares to be very easy to use, the translations are not always present so there is a mix of English and of French but it is not a blocking problem. Sometimes you have to insist on switching to another screen, but it's all a matter of finger position. The position of my finger while filming is not the same as when the watch is strapped to the wrist.[b][b]
Not yet available / tested[b][b]
Compare Zeblaze Ares with the others
I assigned a score of 1 to 10 for each test that determines the strengths and weaknesses of a product. I am using 0 for criteria that have not (yet) been tested. A score of 1 to 3 indicates poor performance (and yes, it does), a score of 4 to 6 indicates average performance, a score of 7 to 8 indicates good performance, and a score of 9 and 10 indicates exceptional performance. . The score is calculated based on my measurements and when there are no measurements, it is a subjective opinion based on my experience.
The scores are not static, they change over time because the performance of new products changes and this must be taken into account.
Reliability of measurements
Ease of use
Global ranking 1. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 52.5 / 77 2. Kospet Optimus 2 49.5 / 77 3. Lemfo Lem15 49 / 77 4. Kospet Prime S 49 / 77 5. Amazfit Gts 48 / 77 6. Haylou Rs3 47.5 / 77 7. Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite 47.5 / 77 8. Kospet Magic 3 43 / 70 9. Amazfit X Curved 42.5 / 70 10. Kospet Rock 41.5 / 70 11. Huawei Watch Gt Active 41.5 / 70 12. Mi Band 4 41 / 70 13. Mi Band 5 40.5 / 70 14. Mi Band 3 39.5 / 70 15. Fobase Magic 39.5 / 70 16. Zeblaze Ares 38.5 / 70 17. Mibro Air 38.5 / 70 18. Umidigi Uwatch Gt 38 / 70 19. Mi Band 6 37.5 / 63
Test / Review conclusion
The Zeblaze Ares is an entry-level watch that sells for an almost ridiculous price tag around $ 20. At this price point, I expected a poorly completed product or one that did not work well, but this is not the case at all. The Zeblaze is ultra light, it has a well readable screen with good color saturation, an operating system that works well and is easy to use. The watch offers most of the functions that we can expect from a connected watch, the sports functions are not reliable but the rest works very well (reception of message, control of the music player, ...) . [b][b] For such a price you can't have everything, so you have to see this watch as a normal watch with some additional features that will accompany you on a daily basis. The retro design is nice but I think they should have gone further by transforming their operating system into something that looks like what Casio was doing at the time but again, for that price this Zeblaze offers a good value for money for those who want a connected watch without breaking the bank.[b]Strengths[b]Price [b] Easy to use [b] Battery life [b] Screen saturation [b] Ultra light [b][b][b]Weaknesses[b]Unreliable sports measurements [b] Unreliable blood pressure measurement (it's the same on all watches) [b] Some fonts are really small [b][b][b]
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