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Vector Luna Review

6.5

Posted: , by Chris P.

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Vector Luna Review

Introduction


According to Juniper research, Apple grabbed over 50% of smartwatch sales in 2015, and the Android Wear ecosystem accounted for under 10%. That leaves quite a bit of room to relatively unpopular makers that have—at differing points in time—jumped onto the smartwatch bandwagon. London-based Vector is one such manufacturer, and the Luna is its latest creation.

Vector Luna Review
Vector Luna Review
Vector Luna Review
Vector Luna Review
Vector Luna Review
Vector Luna Review
Sold for anywhere between $299 and $399 in the US depending on the model, the Vector Luna is rather pricey, but tackles this with two unique selling points: a 30-day battery life and compatibility with iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. Is that enough to set it apart from the crowd, and should you consider dumping some serious cash into it, however?

Let's dig in and find out.

Design

This one is for the appreciators of classic design

When smartwatches started popping up back in 2013, one of the fundamental challenges in front of makers was to make a nerdy product that didn't look like one. Alas, they failed. The first round of smartwatches were all square or rectangular in form, and looked like something that would best fit on the wrist of the likable hero in a sci-fi flick. As of 2015, however, we've seen a change of direction, so much so that vendors are increasingly (and successfully) targeting timeless, classical designs.

With a round, stainless steel case in black and a brown leather strap attached to the lugs, our unit of the Vector Luna ranks highly on the list of more conventional-looking smartwatches. At 44mm in diameter, the watch is on the larger side, but sits well on a bigger man's wrist. 22mm in width, the wrist band is also appropriately wide and is removable should you decide to go with something custom. What we hate is the creaking sound the band makes when you move it up or down due to friction between the lugs and the leather. When on the wrist, however, this problem disappears.

In terms of thickness, the Luna is no slimmer nor thicker than the smartwatches of the day, nor is it heavier or lighter. It does, however, come with the added benefit of 5ATM water resistance, meaning water shouldn't leak inside and damage the internals when showering. In theory, it should withstand pressure up to 50 meters deep, which is quite a bit compared with most smartwatches out there.

On the right side of the smartwatch is where you'll find the three physical buttons—rounded rectangles on top and bottom for moving up and down throughout the interface, and a circular crown in the middle to select and exit menus. Travel time for these is rather short and awkward, and they're a bit on the rigid side, so we weren't exactly pleased.



Overall, we can't say our world was rocked by the Vector Luna, though it's certainly among the more attractive wrist computers you can get right now. For those curious, the smartwatch is also available with a round case made out of rose or champagne gold, and with silicone and steel bands in various colors.


Display

The E Ink display is the Luna's secret sauce, but we were hoping for a higher pixel density.

Vector Luna Review
Alike to the Pebble Time smartwatch, the Luna lacks an LCD display or even a touchscreen for that matter. Instead, it makes use of a grayscale E Ink panel, which is what allows Vector to market the watch as capable of lasting up to 30 days. This is possible because E Ink displays are “bistable”, meaning that no power whatsoever is consumed so long as nothing changes on the screen. And because there's no back lighting (unless you press the middle button), the Luna has its screen always on, with only minimal impact on the power reserve. At night, you can click the crown to get some dim—but sufficient—lighting for about 5 seconds.

Anyway, after having spent so much time wearing touch-enabled smartwatches on our wrists, we actually found that we needed a day or two to get used to not swiping on the display. That's all the better since the glass covering the tiny screen is a beast of a fingerprint magnet, with the added “benefit” of smudges being extra hard to get rid of.

Vector doesn't market the actual size of the round display, but we measured it at about 30mm in diameter, which puts it in the same category as the Samsung Gear S2 (~1.2 inches). That's smaller than most competing products in the category, but more than sufficient when touch input isn't required and the interface is as simple as on the Luna. Unfortunately, we can't say the same about the pixel density of the unit—it leaves a lot to be desired, with the hour and minute hands looking a bit pixelated. We're also no fans of the very thick bezel around the panel.

4 Comments
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posted on 21 Jan 2016, 09:01

1. ibend (Posts: 3128; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


6,5? so its better than moto 360 sport? lol
http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Moto-360-Sport-Review_id4145

posted on 21 Jan 2016, 09:29

2. jontaylor07 (Posts: 161; Member since: 12 Oct 2015)


As a Windows phone user this actually looks pretty good. It doesn't scream gadget when worn, you don't have to worry about getting it wet, and I don't have to charge it every night. If I were buying a medium-priced watch right now it would probably be this one.

posted on 21 Jan 2016, 13:49

3. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5710; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


the cross platform support, the watch's handsome design and the battery life definitely make this an interesting option but i'd wait to see what's new from Pebble first to see if they shrink the bezel this year.

posted on 03 Feb 2016, 17:02

4. neonix (Posts: 64; Member since: 04 Aug 2014)


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