The popularity of smartwatches has skyrocketed, providing us with convenient access to various functions and fitness-tracking capabilities. However, acquiring a feature-rich smartwatch often comes with a hefty price tag. Haylou has emerged as a reputable brand in the market, particularly in the entry-level segment. The Haylou Solar Pro is their latest smartwatch offering, which proved a solution to this problem. Priced at around 35 USD, this smartwatch model provides an impressive range of features usually found in higher-end devices.
The Solar Pro or LS18 smartwatch is a budget-friendly device with its charming AMOLED screen and minimalist design, this smartwatch stands out in aesthetics. This detailed review will explore every aspect of this watch and delve into its specifications, battery life, display quality, and overall value for money. By the end of this article, you’ll have a thorough understanding of why the Haylou Solar Pro is a compelling option for those seeking an affordable yet comprehensive smartwatch experience.
Haylou Solar Pro Features
- Making & Answer Calls via Bluetooth
- AI Voice Assistant
- 1.43 AMOLED Display, Always On Display
- 2-in-1 Dual-chip
- 6 Days Battery Life
- +120 Watch Faces
- Upgrade Bluetooth 5.3 Chip
- Multiple Health Monitoring
- Multi-Sport Modes
- 2АТМ Waterproof
Unboxing the Haylou Watch R8
The HAYLOU Solar Pro arrives in a well-designed sturdy cardboard box with an attractive light gray color and vibrant orange accents that reflects the attention to detail. The box features the HAYLOU logo and the Solar Pro branding, accompanied by an eye-catching image of the device itself. showcasing the brand’s attention to detail. On the side, there is a QR code for easy app download.
Upon opening the box, you will find the Solar Pro smartwatch nestled inside. The simplicity of the packaging does not undermine its quality. The device is accompanied by a magnetic charging cable and a user guide, ensuring that you have everything you need to get started.
Design And Build Quality
Haylou, a prominent AIoT brand, has gained recognition for its affordable products that do not compromise on quality. The Haylou Solar Pro features a sleek and minimalist design that combines a rounded 1.43-inch AMOLED screen with a black rubber strap and an aluminum frame in a gray color. This combination creates a visually appealing device that complements any style. The watch’s size, with a diameter of 47mm and weighing a mere 43g, contributes to its comfortable wearability. So, Despite its budget-friendly price, the smartwatch boasts a premium design that goes beyond expectations. It resembles a classic luxury watch, defying its price tag of under 40 USD.
Its gray metallic finish adds a touch of refinement, making it suitable for various occasions. Unlike other ruggedized watches designed for extreme conditions, the Solar Pro Smartwatch caters to a different market segment – Gen Z users who desire a sporty yet stylish look. Despite lacking a rugged rubber exterior, the watch is surprisingly durable and built to withstand daily wear and tear.
The device features two buttons and a spin button, The top button acts as both the power and back button, allowing you to turn on/off the device and go back to the previous screen effortlessly. The middle button is dedicated to switching between watch faces, enabling you to find the perfect one to match your style or mood. The bottom button serves as the entry point to the sports mode, making it quick and easy to access your preferred exercise tracking feature. These buttons enhance the overall user experience and add a touch of elegance to the watch.
The backside houses charging pins and sensors, discreetly placed beneath a transparent plastic cover. These sensors are highly responsive and accurately track various metrics without requiring manual input. On the left side, you’ll find a speaker hole, indicating the watch’s support for Bluetooth calls.
The 22mm silicon rubber strap is soft and comfortable, featuring a quick-release mechanism for easy customization. The metal buckle adds durability and complements the overall design of the watch. And because it’s removable you can use any 22mm strap in metal or leather.
Haylou Solar Pro has an impressive water resistance rating of 2ATM. But what does this rating mean, and why is it significant? The “ATM” rating is a measure of a device’s water resistance, with each ATM representing 10 meters of water pressure. In the case of the Watch R8, the 2ATM rating implies that it can withstand water pressures equivalent to a depth of 20 meters. To put this in perspective, this level of water resistance is more than sufficient for most water-related activities that individuals engage in.
So, there’s no need to worry about taking off your smart band before getting wet. Its 2ATM water resistance ensures that it can handle the rigors of swimming with ease. Beyond swimming, the Band water resistance extends to everyday scenarios where your smart band might encounter splashes, rain, or accidental spills.
But, given that the watch features a speaker and a microphone, it’s advisable to err on the side of caution and avoid exposing it to water whenever possible. While the Solar Pro is designed to be water-resistant, it’s essential to remember that water resistance does have limitations. The device is not intended for use in high-pressure environments such as scuba diving or in saltwater, as salt can be corrosive. Additionally, exposure to hot water or steam may compromise the device’s water resistance over time. To maintain the longevity of your smart band’s water resistance, it’s advisable to rinse it with fresh water and dry it thoroughly after exposure to seawater or chlorinated pool water.
Haylou has invested heavily in the most important aspect of the smartwatch which is the amazing display quality, I am happy to say that I was completely impressed with its display on the Haylou Solar Pro. When I first turned on the watch, I was immediately greeted with vividly saturated colors and deep shades of black. I was shocked because this is a display offered on an under $35 smartwatch.
The watch boasts a 1.43-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 466×466 pixels and a high refresh rate, resulting in a smoother and more responsive user experience that sets it apart from many other budget smartwatches that often feature lower refresh rates. This display occupies a large part of the watch’s front surface, which is notably larger than most competitors in its category. It offers a level of screen real estate that’s not often seen in smartwatches of its class. The screen is flat, without the 2.5D glass found in previous Haylou smartwatches, but it compensates with a tactical-looking frame that adds to its overall visual appeal.
Moreover, the display quality is top-notch. Thanks to its high resolution and AMOLED technology, the colors are vibrant, the text is crisp, and everything appears exceptionally smooth, with the ability to produce deep blacks and high contrast. Also, The screen not only showcases vibrant colors but also offers exceptional brightness and clarity, ensuring that information is readily accessible even in bright outdoor conditions. This results in vibrant and eye-catching colors on the available watch faces.
Unfortunately, the Smartwatch does not have an auto-brightness feature, but considering its affordable price of $35, it’s understandable. However, the Solar Pro performs well in outdoor conditions thanks to its AMOLED display.
Multi Watch Faces
Watch faces are more than just a way to tell time. The Haylou Solar Pro comes with a stunning AMOLED screen, which serves as a canvas for a wide array of watch faces. With over 150+ watch faces to choose from on the App and some are built into the watch, there’s something for everyone. These encompass a wide spectrum of designs, including various colors, retro styles, analog, 3D, digital faces, and even the new dynamic dials. Moreover, you can use your photos as a watch face background or select any wallpaper of your choice, allowing for endless customization possibilities. With such a wealth of options, you’ll undoubtedly find the perfect watch face to match your mood and outfit.
The Solar Pro doesn’t just stop at its remarkable display quality; it also introduces the convenience of an Always-On Display (AOD) which is a feature that keeps a portion of the screen active even when the watch is on standby mode to quick access to information without having to raise your wrist or tap the screen. With AOD enabled, a part of the watch face remains visible at all times, which means that even in standby mode, you can still check the time, date, and other essential details at a single glance.
One might wonder if keeping a part of the display active all the time would significantly impact battery life. However, the AOD in this watch is smartly designed to minimize battery consumption. It uses minimal power by dimming the display and ensuring that only the most crucial information is visible.
Performance & User Experience
The Haylou Solar Pro stands out as an affordable and feature-packed option. While its price tag may suggest it’s a budget-friendly choice, its user interface and operation are anything but basic. So, we will take an in-depth look at the hardware, user interface, controls, and overall operation to help you make the most of this impressive wearable.
Navigating through the watch’s features and functions is a breeze, thanks to its well-designed UI with a 2-in1 Dual-core chip, and Bluetooth 5.3 chip, This advanced chipset ensures faster response times and efficient data processing without lag, providing a user experience that is exceptionally fast and efficient, also, offers Low power consumption dual-core architecture improves the performance of the processor by 70%. So, The touch responsiveness is notably smooth, making interactions with the smartwatch effortless. Moving between menus and applications is seamless, and there is no noticeable lag in response time. This smoothness in navigation enhances the overall user experience, allowing users to access various features with ease.
Navigating through the user interface is intuitive and straightforward. Swiping from the top provides access to Quick Settings while swiping from the bottom reveals notifications. Although there is no quick reply functionality available, the interface is generally well-designed and easy to navigate. The watch supports three different menu display options, allowing users to customize their experience based on their preferences.
The quick settings panel, displays smartphone connectivity status, battery level, date, weather information, media playback controls, screen timeout settings, display brightness adjustment, QR code for the companion app, and Do Not Disturb mode.
Within the menu, you can find options such as call history, contacts, and a wide range of training modes. Other functionalities include notifications for alarms, music control on your smartphone, weather updates for the current and upcoming days, and detailed camera shutter control from the watch itself. However, it’s worth mentioning that the stopwatch and timer functions do not work in the background. Additionally, it includes a calculator, activity tracking, calendar, and other system functions. While these features may not be as comprehensive as those found in high-end smartwatches, they cover the essentials for day-to-day use.
Sensor Performance and Accuracy
The Haylou Solar Pro offers several sensors to enhance its functionality. The heart rate sensor performs reasonably well during day-to-day activities, providing accurate readings. However, during intense workouts, it may struggle to keep up with rapid fluctuations in heart rate. It’s worth noting that the Solar Pro does not have a built-in GPS, relying on connected GPS from your smartphone for accurate distance and location tracking during outdoor activities.
Exercise and Health Tracking
The Haylou Solar Pro has comprehensive fitness and sports tracking capabilities which are equipped with a reliable pedometer that accurately tracks your steps throughout the day. It provides valuable insights into your daily activity levels, making it an excellent companion for those aiming to achieve their fitness goals. Additionally, the built-in sleep monitor helps you understand the quality of your rest. By analyzing your sleep patterns, it offers suggestions for improving your sleep quality, ensuring you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
Health-conscious individuals will appreciate the blood oxygen monitoring feature on the Solar Pro. This function allows you to measure your blood oxygen saturation levels, providing insights into your overall well-being. Monitoring your blood oxygen levels can be particularly valuable during workouts or high-altitude activities, helping you stay safe and optimize your performance.
The sensors are designed to provide users with comprehensive health tracking. These sensors monitor heart rate, oxygen levels, sleep patterns, and even stress levels. One notable feature is the sedentary reminder, which prompts wearers to stand up and move around, making it an essential feature for individuals leading predominantly sedentary lifestyles. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that, while convenient, relying solely on a budget device for health tracking may not be as accurate as dedicated medical devices or more expensive smartwatches.
While it may not have the same level of detail as high-end models, it still provides valuable insights into your workouts, such as heart rate monitoring and calorie tracking. The inclusion of these features ensures that you can monitor your progress and make informed decisions about your fitness goals.
What truly sets the Haylou Solar Pro apart is its vast selection of sports modes. With over 100 different options to choose from, you’ll find a mode tailored to virtually any physical activity you enjoy. Whether you’re into running, cycling, swimming, or yoga, this smartwatch has you covered. The watch’s workout and running modes are especially noteworthy, offering specialized features for tracking outdoor activities with precision. The Solar Pro takes your fitness regimen to the next level by providing real-time data on your workouts. From monitoring your heart rate during high-intensity intervals to tracking your pace during a long run, this smartwatch ensures you stay on top of your fitness game.
Step counting, on the other hand, appears to be slightly underestimated when compared to dedicated step counters. The watch is generally consistent, but it might not keep up with the exact number of steps taken. Nevertheless, it provides a reasonable estimate for daily activity tracking. In addition to standard fitness tracking, the Solar Pro doubles as a personal trainer. While the accuracy of some metrics, particularly in activities like running, might be questioned, and offers trend analysis rather than pinpoint precision. For its price range, the wealth of health-related data provided by the Solar Pro surpasses expectations.
During activities such as running, the watch provides essential data like time, heart rate, pedometer, cadence, and calories burned. While the stress level monitoring function helps you keep track of your overall well-being. The Haylou Solar Pro also includes a breathing exercise feature, assisting users in managing stress and improving relaxation. A specific feature for women, the woman health or cycle feature, offers insights and tracking options related to menstrual cycles.
Haylou Fun App & Pairing
On the phone side, the work Haylou has done on the Haylou Fun app has been painstaking, though it reminds us of other Chinese companies and how they designed their fitness apps. If you have used an Amazfit or Huawei watch, this app will look very similar.
This can be easily found on the Apple Store and Play Store and is free. It is therefore simply necessary to open it, add the smartwatch, and wait for the entire configuration phase.
How To Pair The Haylou Solar Plus
Connecting the smartwatch to your phone is very simple:
- Turn on the Bluetooth of the watch and mobile phone.
- Click Add Device in the APP to connect the watch to the APP or scan a QR code on the watch.
- While the permissions might seem extensive, they contribute to unlocking the full potential of the smartwatch.
How Haylou Fun App Works
Once all operations are completed, the various information detected by the wearable device will also be quickly reported on the APP. As in previous models, the user interface is easy to navigate, which at least from a graphic point of view is coherent and intuitive. In fact, from the main screen, we can instantly get an overview of our activities, as well as take a look at our heart rate, sleep monitoring, pressure, and body weight.
Set various heart rate monitoring options, enable notifications from different apps, set a reminder, and much more. Not only that but in addition to all the various information on the smartwatch itself, it is possible to display more data within each area on the main page of the application. By clicking on the heart rate square, for example, we immediately see the full graph for the day, with all the different measurements, as well as data on the average frequency, and maximum and minimum beats.
Furthermore, the watch supports data synchronization with popular third-party applications like Google Fit and Strava, ensuring seamless integration with your existing fitness ecosystem.
Notifications & Messages
Notifications on the Haylou Solar Pro arrive quickly and are clear and easily readable. And you won’t miss important messages or notifications. However, you cannot reply to messages. The watch syncs with your smartphone to display incoming calls, messages, social media (Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter), and other app notifications, allowing you to stay connected even when you’re on the move.
Making and Receiving Calls
The Haylou Solar Pro stands out from the crowd by offering a seamless calling experience. While many smartwatches merely notify you of incoming calls, this watch takes it a step further – it allows you to answer your smartphone calls directly from your wrist. All you need to do is sync your smartphone with the watch via Bluetooth 5.3 and when a call comes in, a button will appear on the watch’s screen. Simply tap it to answer the call. What sets the Solar Pro apart is its integrated microphone and speaker. The microphone delivers remarkably clear sound, even in noisy environments like on the road, ensuring that your calls are audible and clear.
To enhance efficiency further, the smartwatch lets you save your important and frequently-called contacts, eliminating the need to sift through a lengthy contact list when you’re in a hurry. Additionally, it features a dial pad that enables you to make calls quickly and conveniently. With these calling capabilities, the Solar Pro offers a practical solution for staying connected while on the go.
Battery Life and Charging
Battery life is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a smartwatch, and the Haylou Solar Pro excels in this aspect. With regular usage, the smartwatch can last up to an impressive 20 days on a single charge. This extended battery life is a result of efficient power management and optimization. However, if you utilize the extensive sports and health features, such as continuous heart rate monitoring, the battery life reduces to approximately 7 days. Despite the slight decrease, the Solar Pro still outperforms many other smartwatches in its price range.
However, this is on paper but in reality, it may differ slightly since when fully charged, the watch barely managed to reach the end of the third day. This difference in endurance is mostly due to the always-on feature, which may have affected performance. When it’s time to recharge, the smartwatch can be fully charged from 0 to 100% in approximately 1 hour and 42 minutes, ensuring that you spend less time waiting and more time enjoying its features. Despite all this, I can say that the battery of the Solar Pro is impressive.
Haylou Solar Pro is one of the most popular smartwatches on the market right now. It is a high-performance smartwatch that is available at a very affordable price. It comes with features that you would find in relatively expensive smartwatches. The smartwatch comes with a 1.43″ AMOLED screen with the ability to make calls and many useful features that you will need every day.
It also comes with amazingly accurate health and sports sensors. In addition, it has a 2ATM water resistance capability with over 100 sports modes, which will track your exercises and help you achieve your fitness goals. The battery life of the smartwatch is amazingly long. The battery life is 5 days longer than many of its competitors in the market.
I like wearing the Haylou Watch R8 on my wrist even though it only provides the basic functions, it knows how to do it! It is also light in weight and looks much more expensive than it costs. I can wear this watch comfortably on my wrist for an entire day without feeling any fatigue at all. While it may not match the performance and accuracy of more expensive competitors, the Solar Pro provides a compelling option for those seeking a feature-packed smartwatch on a budget. Consider your priorities and requirements, and if the Haylou Solar Pro meets your needs, it could be an excellent choice for your wrist.
So, It will undoubtedly be difficult to exclude it from our list of the best affordable smartwatches in this category. Making it stand out from the rest of the smartwatches on the market and deviating from the usual in terms of screen, hardware, and even the new software was more than wonderful. Even the rest of the features were more than satisfactory including the overall performance and smooth system navigation as well as the good battery. Therefore, it is among the most accurate watches we’ve seen.
In the market competitive landscape of smartwatches, the Haylou Solar Pro emerges as a budget-friendly marvel. Priced at around $30 to $35, If you’re interested in purchasing the Solar Pro after reading this review, you can find it in the official Haylou store on AliExpress. However, keep in mind that there might be occasional discounts or special offers available. Happy shopping!