The Kospet Tank T1 is the latest rugged smartwatch released by the manufacturer and this is actually the base model from the series since there’s actually a Pro version available as well. But the only relevant difference between the two rugged devices is the ability to make calls directly from the smartwatch (via Bluetooth) and it’s a neat function if you actually need it, otherwise, the base model should suffice (it’s also a bit cheaper).
|Kospet Tank T1|
|Coupon Code||KOSPET12E to get $10 off|
I have tested the Kospet Optimus 2 and the Tank M1, but, while I had a lot of fun with the former, it wasn’t really suitable for day-to-day use, and the latter had a particular design which may not have been on everyone’s taste. Which is why I think that Kospet got a bit more serious when they designed the T1 and the device did end up surprisingly elegant for an inexpensive rugged smartwatch.
Indeed, there is more thought put into the looks of the Kospet Tank T1, but there is more than that to the device because it is built to survive a beating and I also noticed that some changes have been made at the software level.
It’s not Android Wear or anything of the sorts, it’s still the lightweight software that’s very common on the cheaper smartwatches, but as you will see, Kospet did try to mimic the Apple Watch experience a little bit. That being said, let’s see if the Kospet Tank T1 can actually compete with and possibly beat the rugged smartwatches that are a few leagues above it. Because I think it can.
Design and Build Quality
There are expensive rugged smartwatches like those from Garmin or Casio and then there are the more inexpensive devices which struggle to go above the toy-like look and be suitable to a more formal attire. Not that Casio even bothered to do so, but the Galaxy Watch is definitely suitable for both casual and formal wear. What’s interesting is that the Kospet Tank T1 looks better than most of the rugged smartwatches that I tested so far, despite probably being one of the most affordable.
So how did that happen? It didn’t try to mimic the Apple Watch but it definitely looks a bit similar to the earlier Samsung Galaxy Watches. The case is circular and has that ribbed design on the frame, which reminded me of the rotating dial from Samsung’s rugged smartwatch. I also did like the narrow (almost invisible) lugs a lot more on the Kospet Tank T1. The case is on the larger side (49mm) and there are no smaller versions available, but you shouldn’t be spooked by its size since it actually ended up looking well on my narrow wrist.
The main reason for that is because the depth of the smartwatch is only about 0.4 inches (or 1 cm) which is uncommon for rugged smartwatches, but it makes sense when the battery is only 350mAh. I was a bit surprised to see that Kospet managed to fit into the budget a metallic bezel (available in two colors) and two metallic side buttons, but that’s about where the premium experience ends. That’s because the frame is made of plastic and so is the bottom of the smartwatch, and I admit I wasn’t really the fan of the silicone straps.
I have been using the TicWatch Pro 2020 on and off for the past couple of years and I actually really like their straps. They’re a combination of silicone and leather, and I really wish I saw something similar on the Kospet Tank T1; or maybe a textile strap, but that’s a bit of a personal preference (not that great for harsh environments).
The opening mechanism for the straps is the universal one and I did get an extra pair in the package (with a camouflage pattern). The topmost metallic button powers on the smartwatch and enables the display, while the second one is the Return button which, besides having the obvious return function, it also opens the menu.
The display is touchscreen, so you can navigate it using your finger as well, but yes, having two buttons is useful when you wear gloves (common in an industrial working space). On the rear panel of the Kospet Tank T1, there’s the proprietary charging port (I look forward to an universal one for magnetic chargers as well) and the heart rate sensor. The smartwatch is also able to measure the Oxygen level in your blood (SP02) and it uses a Pedometer to measure how many steps you take.
I noticed that similarly to the Tank M1, the Kospet Tank T1 has a Blood Pressure sensing app, but don’t get your hopes up, it’s not some technological breakthrough because the device uses the HR sensor, so it’s more like an approximation. You should stick to the dedicated medical instruments because it’s not going to be accurate on a smartwatch (for now, at least).
Is the Kospet Tank T1 rugged enough?
Unlike the rugged smartphones, a smartwatch is more difficult to damage unless you constantly bump your wrist into stuff, so a properly sealed watch should have a long life in most conditions. Even so, there are some elements that should ensure that your smartwatch is actually rugged and that you can confidently use it when you work in constructions or in an industrial environment. The first one is the screen protection.
The Kospet Tank T1 does have a slightly raised bezel which should ensure some degree of protection, although it’s less pronounced than on the TicWatch Pro. And there’s also a pre-applied protective screen, as well as a few additional ones in the package. Furthermore, the smartwatch is IP69K-rated, so it should be completely dust-proof and it should also be protected from water ingress, including powerful water jets directed towards the enclosure.
Additionally, the Kospet Tank T1 can withstand 5ATM of pressure which means that it’s possible to submerge the device down to 164 feet (50 meters) without suffering any damage. As I mentioned when I tested the Kospet Tank M1, you should not use this smartwatch as an alternative to professional gear which can make a difference in a life and death situation.
Then, there is the MIL-STD certification and the manufacturer says that the device passed 12 tests which includes drops from a greater height (40,000 feet?), it has resistance to abrasion and scraping and there’s anti-corrosion protection (5% NaCL). I also saw that the rugged smartwatch should survive extreme temperatures ranging between -40 to 158 degrees F (-40 to 70 degrees C).
The Internal Hardware and Connectivity
The Kospet Tank T1 has the same internal components as the Tank M1, so it’s pretty much the same device (on the inside). I haven’t opened the smartwatch, but the manufacturer has disclosed that it used a RealTek 8762DK CPU which is very energy efficient, but not really that potent; there’s also 128MB storage memory and 64KB of RAM.
Obviously, these specs don’t hold a candle to the Apple Watch or any other more expensive smartwatch brands, but they don’t need to. That’s because the software is so lightweight that it will function just fine with less than a MB of RAM. What’s interesting is that the T1 Pro uses the same chipsets, so Kospet is really confident that the Bluetooth chip will handle the constant stream of data.
Furthermore, just like the M1, the Kospet Tank T1 uses Bluetooth v5.0 which has proven to be more than enough for the basic communication between the smartwatch and the phone. And the coverage is a maximum of 30 feet if you have a few walls in between the T1 and the smartphone. You don’t really need to pair the smartwatch to the app, but you do lose some functions (such as long-term data retention) if you don’t.
The Kospet Tank T1 has a 1.32-inch TFT display with a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels, so, despite seemingly smaller than the Tank M1, it’s actually not. The bezels are narrower and the screen is circular (instead of rectangular), so you get pretty much the same screen real-estate, but with a better integration within the frame of the watch. Also, there is a bump in the resolution, so the colors should look better and the text should be crisper.
And it’s true that the text looks a bit better and the extra pixels do help paint a much nicer picture. But, this is a TFT display still, so the black levels shouldn’t be too deep and the white levels should be yellowish, right? I found that Kospet did really well in regards to the deep black and I think that the contrast is raised a bit to accomplish this effect. The whites are fairly clear, a bit on the cool side, but I did notice some glaring as well.
Furthermore, I noticed that the smartwatch doesn’t reach very high levels of brightness (while maintaining clarity), but I had no trouble checking out some data during a bright sunny day (and I get too many of those nowadays).
So, all in all, it’s a decent display especially for the price tag. But, I do have the same complaints as I did with the Tank M1. There is no double tap to wake (just add it, please) and the Tilt-to-Wake is peculiar. I have been using various smartwatches and moving the writs a bit towards my face would immediately enable the display, but not on Kospet Tank T1. No, I need to be fully committed and move the writs in a more ample manner, which ends up a bit dramatic and ridiculous. It definitely works, but I also end up just clicking the button instead (too many times), so this feature needs some fine tuning.
I had a bit of a curious experience with the minimal installation wizard because after starting up the Kospet Tank T1 for the first time, it asked me to select the language. Unfortunately, I misclicked and the menu disappeared in thin air, leaving me with Chinese letters.
Kospet Tank T1-
- The smartwatch has an elegant design
- Can survive harsh conditions
- The interface is responsive
- Two pairs of straps in the package
- Long battery life
- The Tilt-to-Wake is not that great
- The app refuses to connect to the server and load up the watchfaces
- No double-tap to wake function
Mark is a graduate in Computer Science, having gathered valuable experience over the years working in IT as a programmer. Mark is also the main tech writer for MBReviews.com, covering not only his passion, the networking devices, but also other cool electronic gadgets that you may find useful for your every day life.