TECNO Sonic 1 and Watch 2 Review: Great wearables for a song

The TECNO brand has been impressing us here in the Hypertext office of late, so when we were offered the chance to review two new accessories from the brand we jumped at the chance.

The accessories in question are the TECNO Sonic 1 Active True Wireless Earphones and the TECNO Watch 2. Sitting at R1 499 and R999 (R899 through Vodacom) respectively these products are well priced. We’ll concede that there are cheaper wireless earbuds to be had, but the Sonic 1 has a lot to offer, foremost of which is the 800mAh battery contained in the charging case.

We’re jumping ahead though so let’s get into the thick of it, starting with the earbuds.

Sonic 1 is pricey, but so well thought out

The Sonic 1’s carrying and charging case houses an 800mAh battery. Each earphone is packing a 45mAh battery as well. Outside of the case you can listen to audio for around seven hours before needing to juice the batteries up. A charge takes around 45 minutes depending on how low they were when you started charging them.

In total, you can expect to get around 50 hours of life from these earbuds before needing to plug them into the USB Type C charger.

The sound profile with no equaliser favours higher frequencies. For pop fans this is great but if you like anything with more of a bass line you will want to do a bit of equalising through your favourite app or AudPub for Android. This is TECNO’s recommended app for equalising the Sonic 1.

After installing the app will prompt you to take a EQ smart listening test. Here a series of frequencies will be played and you will need to answer how many times you heard the tone – if you did. The app will then create a custom EQ for you that, when activated, will be applied to all audio coming from your smartphone.

Given that the test is using your own hearing to create the EQ, it’s rather accurate and something we can’t believe has taken this long to be applied to a product. It’s insanely good but the app only works for the TECNO True 1 and the Sonic 1.

No matter which EQ you use, these earbuds respond very well and offer a dynamic range we tend to find in more premium brands. Whether you like the trebles high or the bass thundering, the Sonic 1 will deliver.

But there is more to love about these earbuds.

One of the worst parts of reviewing earbuds is switching off the rubber domes. This can prove to be a frustrating experience and we tend to just cram whichever default domes the buds shipped with into our ears.

TECNO decided it hated this practice as well and fitted the Sonic 1 with magnetic tips. Simply press against the tip and the magnet will disengage allowing you to switch out domes as you wish. What’s more is that the case has magnetic holders for these domes so you could potentially carry two different sizes with you. Interestingly, even with no domes fitted to the earbuds, they stayed firmly in our ears while walking and headbanging.

Our one complaint is that the touch controls are overly sensitive and we wish we could turn them off, but even with AudPub there is no option to do that. If you tend to brush your long hair behind your ears, you are going to accidentally touch these controls often.

Even with that having been said, we can easily recommend these earbuds given the premium experience they offer in terms of sound.

Watch 2 is cheap, cheerful and oh so well appointed

At R999 we weren’t expecting much from the Watch 2, but it exceeded our expectations.

For that price you get a wearable that is able to deliver notifications, monitor nine different exercises, monitor your heart-rate, monitor your blood oxygen levels and last three weeks without breaking a swear. Actually, it would have lasted longer had we not caved to anxiety and connected it to a charger for an hour to juice it back up to 100 percent charge.

The Watch 2 sports a 1.69inch display with with a 240x280p resolution.

While you can interact with the Watch 2 directly, you will be using the My Health app for most things including customise the display, tracking activities and upgrading firmware.

Through this app you can also select which apps send notifications through the wearable and whether you want to receive call notifications on the watch. To be clear you can’t answer or take calls on the watch but you can hang up a call and mute the notification on the wearable.

How accurate are the sensors though? We aren’t especially confident about this, but we noted an average resting heart rate of 71 bpm and an active heart rate of 101-110bpm which is in line with what we tend to see on devices of this calibre.

As for the blood oxygen sensor, as a smoker I was expecting this to be lower than the 99 percent reading we noted on several occasions so, we’d take that with a grain of salt.

At R999 though, the Watch 2 is a decent device to track your health and motivate you to reach your daily step goal. The wearable can remind you to stand up and drink water. It’s just a very useful piece of tech and we can’t ask for more than that really.

We’re very impressed with TECNO’s offers here. The Sonic 1 offers up a premium experience while the Watch 2 is so useful we can’t believe it only has a three figure price tag.

Overall, if you see these accessories in store, given them a try, you won’t be disappointed.




About Author


Related News