Return of the Titan

The quintessential Indian watch brand has its eyes set squarely on the global citizen with its new smartwatch, the Juxt Pro

The Second Coming

Last year, India’s most loved watch brand made a paradigm shift by introducing its very first connected device, the Juxt. I hesitate to call it a smartwatch because at its core was still a beating analog heart and it served as more of an alert device. It’s 2016 and Titan is ready with their proper assault on the smartwatch market with the new Juxt Pro. Armed with a full circular screen without the ‘flat tyre’ syndrome of some other Android Wear examples, Titan claims this is a project that has taken more than a year to come to fruition and a lot of customer feedback has gone into it.

As expected from a watch company, construction is top quality with a big, chunky metal casing front and back with stainless steel lugs that are contoured to hug the wrist. Despite its generous size, wearing the Juxt Pro is a pleasure due to perfect weight distribution and it doesn’t feel heavy at all. An all-black or a grey/black combination are available as options, both with a black leather strap that can be replaced at any of the thousands of Titan outlets for anything else that catches your fancy.

All the right buttons

But since this is a smartwatch, we’re obviously interested in the smartness of it all. Building on its own OS, the Juxt Pro uses its 1.5in screen quite well with all the real estate dedicated to a fantastic selection of dials (watchfaces). Twenty of these are preset and another 5 can be customised for colours and complications. It’s a better selection of dials than the Apple Watch or most Android Wear watches, so full marks to Titan for experimenting with fresh yet legible options.

Swiping left will show all your notifications and swiping up brings up the menu with options like Calendar, Music, Weather, Phone Finder, Camera, Settings, Tutorial, Converter, Notifications, Stopwatch, Timer, Alarm, Safety and Fitness. The ones that stand out are the Camera, Safety and Music apps.

The Camera app on iOS allows you to control the shutter button from a distance while on Android, also throws up a preview of the captured picture on the screen for you to evaluate. Safety is a more meaningful app that allows you to set up a group of close relatives or friends who can ‘shadow’ your movement on their own phones via maps and track you until you’ve reached your destination. While I could not test this yet, Titan promises the app should be pushed via an update within the next 15 days.

Lastly, it was the Music app that caught my eye (ear, to be precise) because of the 4GB on-board storage - 2.4GB is free for you to use to either fill up your watch with MP3 music or even just use it as a USB storage device for a Bond-ish entry to a corporate presentation.

City slicker

Of course, what would make all of this really usable is the GUI and its associated smoothness. Thankfully, Titan has done its homework and sprinkled the Juxt Pro with translucent transitions, responsive touchscreen and simple swiping gestures that will take all of 30 seconds to master. Only two hard keys take up space on the right side of the bezel. One controls the power and general on/off of the screen, while the other is a dedicated Titan Safety button. This seems like a waste, and ideally, should’ve been customisable given that now this is a proper smartwatch and the use case scenarios will differ from person to person. Not everyone needs a safety net all the time!

Dig deeper into the settings menu and you find an ‘always on’ mode for the screen that brings up a dark watchface with minimal graphics so as to conserve battery yet provide a constant time feed. You could revel in the full-colour dial the moment you flick your wrist, obviously. There are useful perks like pinging your phone to locate it if misplaced, a handy units converter and the usual fitness tracking, but I did miss the auto unlock when you unlatch the watch from your wrist.

Built like a tank

Its 3ATM water resistance allows you to use the watch in almost all outdoor conditions. I was warned against going swimming with it on, but also emboldened to try it, so it really is up to the individual whether he or she wants to risk dunking a brand new smartwatch to its untimely demise. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 has been used for the screen, but pixel density could’ve been a bit higher as the seconds hand on some of the watchfaces suffers from jagged edges. This isn’t a deal breaker but more of a nit pick, since we’ve been spoilt by the Apple Watch’s brilliant graphics and resolution. What is commendable though is a 36-hour battery life and full charge from 0% in 70 minutes only!

A practical choice

Titan has been mindful about its heritage as a specialist watchmaker and thus, the focus here is clearly on top-notch build quality and “feel”. In that, they have succeeded effortlessly. The design is reminiscent of fine Swiss examples and the oversized dial makes a statement without being shouty about it. Notifications from all third party apps are displayed as a small window within the dial - you tap on them to expand the stories. It’s non-intrusive and easy.

Sure, it doesn’t have a microphone to allow you to convert speech to text nor does it have a heart rate monitor, but for ₹22,995, it does give you a rather special smartwatch ownership experience, including the traditional expensive watch box it comes wrapped in. Updates are being promised regularly so Titan will keep improving the Juxt Pro OTA, adding more features and making it an even more desirable alternative to the usual.

It also supports both iOS and Android, potentially widening its target audience and I do feel that if you still care for a well-built watch over just an over-teched-out toy, the Juxt Pro provides the best of both worlds. While some of the features are still not fully functional, Titan has promised that every app for iOS and Android should be up and running in the next fortnight and we will be bringing you an updated review as we spend more time with Titan’s newest passion project.