Following the comments I received about the best means of being woken up on a morning, today I’m reviewing three vibrating watches kindly provided by Connevans. These include the Vibralite mini, the Vibralite 12 and the Amplicomms AW500.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a vibrating alarm clock then check out this review instead.
Vibralite mini (£32.39)
The vibralite mini, is the smallest of the range of vibralite watches. Its available in a range of colours including blue, white, orange, pink and black. Despite being the smallest watch on test, it had a good range of functions including 12 alarm settings (either vibrating or sound), a timer and backlight.
Strap and general quality – I really liked the Velcro strap which was very easy to adjust to your wrist size and to fasten. Due to its small size, the watch would probably appeal more to women than men and I would have thought it could even be suitable for children/teenagers.
The general quality seemed good but some people might find it a bit ‘plasticky’. Its probably more suited to those who like sports watches than a dress watch.
Set-up & Instructions – I found setting up the watch quite difficult and it certainly didn’t feel intuitive. I had to read through the step by step instructions several times to be sure of which button to press and in which order when setting the alarms and the time.
The set-up buttons are also small and quite difficult to press whilst the watch is on your wrist.
Display – The Vibralite mini has a small face but the time is easily visible. However, I did find the am/pm setting and alarm mode display in the bottom left hand corner quite difficult to see. The printing beside each of the button functions was also very small which meant I was continually taking my spectacles on and off between trying to set the time and then reading the instructions. In contrast, the backlight which I used during the night was very good.
Vibration – It has an intermittent, pulsing vibration that was enough to wake me up but perhaps wouldn’t be strong enough to rouse a heavy sleeper. There are 12 alarms so that different times can be set during the day for reminders as well serving as a ‘wake-up call’.
Vibralite 12 (£59.94)
The Vibrate 12, is, I think, a mid-range Vibralite watch which is available from Connevans in either black or white (although my test watch was a pink and white floral design).
It has a wide range of functions including 12 alarm settings (either vibrating or sound), an hourly alarm, three time zones (to help travellers), two countdown timers, a stopwatch and a backlight.
Strap and general quality – This has a thick sturdy plastic buckle strap which had lots of holes to adjust for a wide range of wrist sizes. The black and white versions have leather straps.
The watch as a whole has a good quality metal casing and is a more ‘dressy’ watch than its smaller cousin the vibrate mini. However, the watch body is quite thick and bulky.
Set-up & Instructions – Similar to the Vibralite mini, the watch was quite difficult to set up and again didn’t feel intuitive. However, the functions of each button was the same as the mini and so if you already own one of these and wanted to change up to the Vibratlie 12, then you’d find it easy to do so. In addition, the set-up buttons are more prominent than the vibralite mini and are therefore easier to press and make adjustments whilst the watch is on your wrist.
Display – The Vibralite 12 has a large, clear face with the day, date and time clearly visible. However, the alarm mode was slightly less easy to see in a small box in the bottom right of the screen. The printing beside each of the button functions was also very small but might be easier to see in the black/white watches than the demo I had which was a little obscured by the floral design. The backlight is excellent, lighting up the whole watch face and staying on for 2-3 seconds after pressing.
Vibration – Surprisingly, and despite the size of the body, I found the vibration of the Vibralite 12, less strong than that of the Vibralite mini. It buzzes about 10 times before stopping and doesn’t repeat so if it doesn’t wake you in the first few buzzes, you might sleep through it. It might have been a battery issue (although the light was working okay) so if anyone has any experience of the Vibralite 12, I’d be pleased to hear their views. Again, there are 12 alarms which can be set at different times of the day as reminders.
Amplicomms AW 500 (£99.00)
The Amplicomms AW500 is, (not surprisingly, given its price), classed as ‘a high quality analogue watch’. It is available with either a black or white leather strap and a stainless steel body.
The watch has 5 alarm settings (vibration only), and a backlight.
Strap and general quality – This is a good quality leather strap with metal buckle fastening. There are 8 holes to adjust for a range of wrist sizes.
The casing is stainless steel and is quite thick. However, it has a solid feel to it and feels quite a ‘dressy’ watch that would appeal to men and also women who are happy wearing chunky watches. (You can get some idea of the size in the above photo of my own wrist.)
Set-up & Instructions – This was the only one of the three watches, that I was able to simply life out of the box, set the time and alarms without having the refer to the instructions. Despite only having small symbols (rather than words) beside each button, they were simple to understand and facilitated an easy set up. The buttons were quite prominent, and it was able to make adjustment with the watch on your wrist. However, they required quite a bit of pressure to engage them fully.
Display – The Amplicomms AW500 has a large, clear analogue face with the time clearly visible. The alarm time can be seen in the small bottom window.
Unfortunately, the watch was let down by the very poor backlight which only lit up the alarm window, rather than the whole watch face.
Vibration – The watch had a very strong and resounding vibration that would definitely wake me up in the morning. It can be ceased with a press of any of the buttons. There are 5 alarms which can be set at different times of the day for reminders.
Which is the best vibrating watch?
So which, of the three, is the best watch to buy?
Both of the vibralites had a great range of functions, but I wasn’t quite convinced of the need for them, and the watches were let down by being difficult to set up. The vibralite mini also had a very small watch face which I found difficult to see and use.
On the other hand, the Amplicomms had a very clear face and was far easier to set up and use, but the number of functions was limited and the backlight was poor. (I wasn’t sure what the value was of lighting up the alarm time, but not the actual time in the middle of the night.)
On balance, however, and using the key criterion of needing something to be able to wake you up in the morning, I would have to go with the Amplicomms AW 500 as being the one to buy. Its stylish, easier to use than the Vibralites, has five alarms and a strong vibration which should be able to stir most people from their slumbers.
However, if money is an issue, or if you’d prefer more of a sports watch, then I’d recommend the Vibralite 12. It has a lot of features, is good quality, and with a great backlight. Be warned though, if you are buying it for the sole purpose of waking you in the morning, then you may need to have a fall back plan in case the vibration isn’t powerful enough to wake you up.
Do you have a vibrating watch? Let me know what your experiences are?