Inspect-a-Gadget is a monthly segment where we feature a tech toy our editors have been playing with.

Smartwatches are by no means new tech. Sure, they gained new life and prominence with the release of the first Apple Watch in 2015, but wearable computers can arguably be traced back to the early ’80s, with the launch of the Pulsar NL C01.

In 2018, it seems virtually every tech manufacturer under the sun is getting in on the action, with powerhouse companies like Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, Garmin and Huawei all vying for a place on your wrist. 

But for China dwellers looking to invest in a smartwatch, dropping USD400 on a brand name gadget isn’t the only option, as myriad lesser known domestic companies have entered the fray – offering a selection of reasonably priced, practical ‘wrist comps.’   

Of the local brand offerings we’ve sampled, one really stood out: the Maibu Watch M1.

The water resistant watch case boasts a basic digital screen, four buttons for program navigation and a stainless steel back. 

For the reasonable price of RMB399, the Maibu Watch M1 proves highly functional, with an assortment of handy apps that can be uploaded to the watch via Maibu’s mobile phone app. 

In addition to the usual suspects (weather and step counting apps and countless quirky watch faces), the M1 can also support basic games, tell you your altitude and act as a remote (via Bluetooth) to control music being played on your mobile device.

This digital accessory is by no means the most cutting edge smartwatch on the market, but its simple design, useful programs and low price point make it an easy investment for individuals looking to join the wearable tech community. 

Detractors will likely note the Maibu Watch M1 has a black and white screen, but we’d argue it adds a retro feel to the device. And heck, if you want a color screen, the Maibu Watch Maia offers all the aforementioned goodness and a color display for RMB528.

RMB399 Maibu Watch M1; available on (search麦步M1)

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