The Minecraft Watch

2023, Mar 19    

On a recent flight I spotted that within the less-than-stellar selection of items available for purchase in the in-flight brochure there was a digital watch, specifically a Minecraft-themed watch, available for purchase. As I was curious as to how good / bad the device would I purchased one ready for the inevitable take-apart session.

Minecraft Watch 01
The packaging isn't bad considering the intended audience

The packaging for the watch is smart and on the face of it shows the device to have some features that would impress children. It also includes a USB cable to aid in charging / file transfer (more on that later).

Taking the device apart (and removing the battery) reveals the internals. It's of no surprise that the internals are found in other watches at this price-point, though it does look somewhat odd in this packaging as the built-in SD-card reader isn't usable without opening the device.

Minecraft Watch 02
The internals of the watch (a PCB shared with others)

Minecraft Watch 03
One additional SD-card later

After navigating through the menus showed that the SD-card slot did appear to be active (albeit unpopulated), the next step was to fit one and see if it would be recognised. Thankfully the orientation of the slot means the card can be fitted with ease.

With the SD-card fitted it was immediately recognised by the device and the additional storage shown. That said, as the apps on the device are limited there isn't much to actually use the additional space.

Minecraft Watch 04
The storage is usable, though overkill for this device

As you can see from the next picture, the quality isn't great... Video clips aren't any better either. Even with the target audience for this watch being children I can see this being frustrating for all. Worse, trying to get the files from the device is a mixed-bag, as sometimes the device doesn't show as USB mass storage at all.

Minecraft Watch 05
The quality isn't any better even if exported via USB

Overall, while I can see the appeal given the Minecraft theme of this watch, I don't think it's a good idea to get one for most children given the lack of usability and poor camera. By no means am I recommending an Apple Watch (or similarly priced device), but there are better alternatives that they will get more fun out of (for not much more money). For most children I expect this to be something that is used for a week and then placed in a drawer / forgotten about.