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Short Review Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go SmartWatch

Daniel Schmidt (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 01/08/2014

Mr. Bond sends his regards. The Simvalley smartwatch is not like any other smartwatch on the market. It is not only designed to be an input and a display of a smartphone, it is also actually a smartphone. A dual-core processor from MediaTek provides sufficient performance and the small watch even has a camera. Our practical review shows what the smartwatch is capable of.

For the original German review, see here.

The smartwatch Mobile AW-414.Go from Simvalley boasts that it is the only smartwatch with a fully integrated smartphone. The performance can be compared with an entry-level device; the dual-core CPU MT6572 from MediaTek is more than sufficient for Android 4.2. The integrated graphics ARM Mali-400 MP is not the fastest GPU, but that is not necessary for the low display resolution of 240x240 pixels.

The same SoC is also used in the recently reviewed Acer Liquid Z3 Duo, but other entry-level smartphones like the Huawei Ascend Y300 or the Sony Xperia J are interesting for the comparison as well. Especially since all devices cost around 100 Euros (~$135), which is significantly less expensive than our review unit. It has a massive RRP of 399 Euros (~$541), but it is currently available for 199 Euros (~$270) from the mail order company Pearl.

Case

A screwdriver is required to remove the SIM card.
A screwdriver is required to remove the SIM card.
The micro SD card is hidden underneath the battery.
The micro SD card is hidden underneath the battery.

The smartwatch Mobile AW-414.Go has a pretty large footprint with 45.3 x 44.3 x 14.1 mm (width x depth x height), but we were surprised that it only weighs 91 grams

The metal case of the smartwatch appears bulky and the design is pretty functional. However, the device is very solid in return. It is neither susceptible to pressure nor torsion and there are no creaking noises either. Finally it is IP65 certified, which means it is protected against dust and hose water from all directions. Even a heavy shower should not be a problem. 

The micro SIM card sits behind a small metal cover and can easily be inserted or removed. Even the battery is replaceable; you just have to remove the bottom cover by loosening four screws. After the removal of the battery you can also access the micro SD card slot. It was a bit tricky to assemble the smartwatch with an SD card since the cover of the slot does lift the battery a bit. 

The strap is made of rubber while the buckle is made of metal. Both parts are well finished and the wearing comfort is good, especially for people who like to wear big watches. All in all the device leaves a positive impression, only the design is pretty simple.

Connectivity

The connectivity of the Mobile AW-414.Go is pretty limited because of the size. The manufacturer only uses a contact interface at the bottom for charging. The micro USB port of the charger unfortunately does not support data transfer, so data has to be exchanged via cloud or memory card. The micro SD slot supports SDHC cards with a capacity of up to 64 GB.

Software

The Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go uses Google Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Similar to any smartphone, apps can be installed via the Play Store. The user interface was redesigned to suit the small screen, but the changes are basically limited to the visual design of the icons. New apps are automatically located on the home screen, so it can quickly become confusing. We recommend using folders to improve the situation.

App GPS Test: Outdoors
App GPS Test: Outdoors

Communication & GPS 

The communication features of the Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go can also be compared with an entry-level smartphone. The WLAN module supports the IEEE standards 802.11 b/g/n in 2.4 GHz networks. Signal quality is below average, the signal was very weak with a distance of 10 meters from the router (Fritz!Box 6360) and there was a noticeable delay when we opened a website. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported.

There is no detailed information about the integrated WWAN modem. The manufacturer only lists HSPA compatibility with a maximum transfer rate (download) of 7.2 Mbps. A comparison with a Nokia Lumia 920 in the same network showed that the Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go has a worse reception. The problem is most likely connected with a limited number of frequencies and the less powerful antenna. It is, however, sufficient for the occasional price comparison or mails.  

We were positively surprised by the GPS module. The signal strength was reasonable outdoors and we could even locate our position in buildings. Routes are also pretty accurate and benefit from the clever position of the module in the strap. Our comparison device (Nokia Lumia 920) was, however, more accurate.

Telephone Functions & Voice Quality

You can also make calls with the Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go, either via integrated hands-free functionality or via Bluetooth headset. The voice of the recipient was easy to understand during a test call to a landline, but his voice was pretty muffled and slightly distorted. The recipient did not understand us at first, despite a calm environment. We had to turn our wrist and speak directly into the microphone. We therefore recommend a Bluetooth headset if you plan to make longer calls with the smartwatch.

Cameras & Multimedia

The Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go even has a camera with a 3 MP sensor, which should be sufficient for barcodes and the occasional snapshot. The former can be quite tricky and only works under good lighting conditions and a flat surface.

Pictures are taken with a resolution of 1728x1728 pixels, which meets the square screen ratio of the display. The quality of the pictures is not very convincing; they are blurry and some colors are distorted. Even good lighting situations do not change these results.

Canon EOS 450D (reference)
Canon EOS 450D (reference)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go


Accessories & Warranty

The number of provided accessories is comparatively generous. The box reminds us of a normal watch and the AW-414.Go is also secured with a small pillow. Besides the charging station and the USB cable there are some spare screws for the covers as well as an according screwdriver. Unfortunately, there is no power supply unit. This is no problem if you already have a modular PSU, but otherwise you will have to buy one. 

We could not find any information about the warranty period. Buyers within the EU get the standard two-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Input Devices & Handling

Using the smartwatch is not really comfortable due to the small touchscreen. The capacitive display surface recognizes two inputs simultaneously. That does not seem to be very much, but you will not use it very often in practice. Even a simple gesture like two finger zooming is tricky on the display, but you will have to use it quite often when you are browsing the web or you will have problems with the readability. 

Two physical buttons support the inputs. One is a power button of the smartwatch, which can also be used to put the device in standby. The other button activates the home screen and a longer push shows the activated apps. There is no return button; it was replaced by a swipe gesture from the right side of the display that works well. 

An additional input pen is attached to the strap, but you always have the impression of losing it. Inputs with the pen are unfortunately not very precise and they are not always recognized either. You will probably ditch the pen after a little while and use the fingers because it does not improve the handling at all. It is the same situation with a normal pen, even though it is even more precise than the provided plastic version, but the reliability issues are still there. 

The virtual keyboard is tiny, but inputs with the fingers are surprisingly precise after a little learning period. The keyboard also occupies most of the screen, so you cannot see what happens on the website. 

Another problem is the presentation of apps. Some are adjusted to the screen content, but most of them are just cropped at the bottom. You cannot scroll down either, so some control elements cannot be used. This was also the problem in the app Runtastic and we could not login with our existing account as a result. 

You can only use the smartwatch on the left wrist without restrictions, otherwise the camera and the buttons are moved to the right side and the camera cannot be used anymore. It is not possible to rotate the smartwatch because the content cannot be rotated.

The keyboard is tiny and the content is barely visible.
The keyboard is tiny and the content is barely visible.
Some apps are cropped and control elements cannot be used anymore.
Some apps are cropped and control elements cannot be used anymore.

Display

The glossy 1.5-inch display of the Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go has a resolution of 240x240 pixels, which results in a pixel density of 226 ppi for the square panel. Even smaller fonts are easy to read, but more complex websites quickly become a mess because the display area is just too small. 

The manufacturer uses an AMOLED display, but this is not really visible when you turn it on. Blacks are not very rich, colors are not as bright as we expected from this display technology and the viewing angle stability cannot convince us either. There are no problems when we change the vertical angle, but that does not apply for horizontal changes. The brightness is quickly reduced and colors start to invert with an angle of around 50 degrees. All these results indicate a common LCD display and not the advertised AMOLED. 

But the biggest problem of the panel is the flickering. There are always small waves across the display; they are especially visible with plain backgrounds. According to the FAQs from Simvalley this does not seem to be an isolated problem and the manufacturer recommends contacting the retailer. 

The screen leaves a positive impression outdoors. The readability is usually quite good, but the glossy glass surface creates annoying reflections under brighter light.

AW-414.Go outdoors
AW-414.Go outdoors
Glossy surface
Glossy surface

Performance

The Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go is powered by a MediaTek MT6572 SoC and 512 MB memory. The dual-core processor has a nominal clock of 1.2 GHz, which is also advertised by the manufacturer. However, every application (Stability Test, Geekbench 3, CPU-Z, CPU Identifier) determines a clock of 1.3 GHz. These apps show the correct result for the identical CPU in the Acer Liquid Z3 (MT6572 @ 1.0 GHz), so the smartwatch uses a higher clocked version. This is also supported by the benchmark results that are superior to the Z3, but they can obviously not keep up with a high-end device. 

Graphics are handled by the integrated ARM Mali-400 MP, which is not one of the fastest chips. However, the GPU benchmarks show that it does not have to be very fast. Especially onscreen benchmarks benefit from the low display resolution and the smartphone is often ahead of its competitors. The NenaMark 2 score, for instance, is even the new high score in our database. More relevant benchmarks like 3DMark or Epic Citadel could not be installed on the device, so we could not determine any off-screen results. However, gaming on the device is hardly possible anyway; the display is just too small.

Linpack Android / IOS
Single Thread (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
59.33 MFLOPS ∼6%
ZTE Blade III
24.65 MFLOPS ∼2% -58%
Sony Xperia J
38.884 MFLOPS ∼4% -34%
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo
45.961 MFLOPS ∼5% -23%
Sony Xperia Z1
445.922 MFLOPS ∼44% +652%
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
88.446 MFLOPS ∼4%
ZTE Blade III
22.432 MFLOPS ∼1% -75%
Sony Xperia J
37.382 MFLOPS ∼2% -58%
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo
73.461 MFLOPS ∼3% -17%
Sony Xperia Z1
963.81 MFLOPS ∼40% +990%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
325 Points ∼7%
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo
254 Points ∼5% -22%
Sony Xperia Z1
912 Points ∼20% +181%
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
586 Points ∼4%
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo
473 Points ∼3% -19%
Sony Xperia Z1
2817 Points ∼18% +381%
Smartbench 2012
Productivity Index (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
2117 points ∼20%
ZTE Blade III
905 points ∼9% -57%
Sony Xperia J
1054 points ∼10% -50%
Huawei Ascend Y300
2117 points ∼20% 0%
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo
1798 points ∼17% -15%
Sony Xperia Z1
9642 points ∼93% +355%
Gaming Index (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
3299 points ∼72%
ZTE Blade III
1592 points ∼35% -52%
Sony Xperia J
1585 points ∼35% -52%
Huawei Ascend Y300
1766 points ∼39% -46%
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo
2378 points ∼52% -28%
Sony Xperia Z1
4449 points ∼98% +35%
NenaMark2 - --- (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
67.3 fps ∼100%
ZTE Blade III
18.8 fps ∼28% -72%
Sony Xperia J
19.6 fps ∼29% -71%
Huawei Ascend Y300
31 fps ∼46% -54%
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo
47.2 fps ∼70% -30%
Sony Xperia Z1
60 fps ∼89% -11%
Basemark ES 2.0 - Taiji Free (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
56.27 fps ∼93%
ZTE Blade III
6.02 fps ∼10% -89%
Sony Xperia J
5.8 fps ∼10% -90%
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo
34.3 fps ∼57% -39%
Sony Xperia Z1
59.36 fps ∼98% +5%

Legend

 
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go MediaTek MT6572, ARM Mali-400 MP, 4 GB Flash
 
ZTE Blade III Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 MSM7227A, Qualcomm Adreno 200, 4 GB Flash
 
Sony Xperia J Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 MSM7227A, Qualcomm Adreno 200, 4 GB Flash
 
Huawei Ascend Y300 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Play MSM8225, Qualcomm Adreno 203, 4 GB Flash
 
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo MediaTek MT6572, ARM Mali-400 MP, 4 GB Flash
 
Sony Xperia Z1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash

Web browsing is certainly no priority of the smartwatch, but we tested it anyway. The overall synthetic benchmark results are reasonable and surpass the immediate smartphone competition, but you really need optimized websites to use the small display for web browsing.

Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
1430.1 ms * ∼36%
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
1741.7 ms * ∼43% -22%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
546 Points ∼9%
ZTE Blade III
Adreno 200, S1 MSM7227A, 4 GB Flash
200 Points ∼3% -63%
Sony Xperia J
Adreno 200, S1 MSM7227A, 4 GB Flash
287 Points ∼5% -47%
Huawei Ascend Y300
Adreno 203, S4 Play MSM8225, 4 GB Flash
325 Points ∼5% -40%
WebXPRT 2013 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
144 Points ∼10%
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
111 Points ∼8% -23%

* ... smaller is better

According to the manufacturer, the Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go is equipped with 4 GB storage, but you can only use around 1.3 GB after the initial setup. If you want to take pictures or listen to music you should get a micro SD card to expand the storage. 

The performance of the integrated storage is okay and can even surpass the rivals. Especially the transfer rates for reading operations are very fast.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
77.47 MB/s ∼28%
Huawei Ascend Y300
Adreno 203, S4 Play MSM8225, 4 GB Flash
12.07 MB/s ∼4% -84%
Sony Xperia J
Adreno 200, S1 MSM7227A, 4 GB Flash
29.64 MB/s ∼11% -62%
ZTE Blade III
Adreno 200, S1 MSM7227A, 4 GB Flash
33.67 MB/s ∼12% -57%
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
50 MB/s ∼18% -35%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
11.46 MB/s ∼15%
Huawei Ascend Y300
Adreno 203, S4 Play MSM8225, 4 GB Flash
4.26 MB/s ∼6% -63%
Sony Xperia J
Adreno 200, S1 MSM7227A, 4 GB Flash
5.3 MB/s ∼7% -54%
ZTE Blade III
Adreno 200, S1 MSM7227A, 4 GB Flash
5.28 MB/s ∼7% -54%
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
6.57 MB/s ∼9% -43%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
12.37 MB/s ∼34%
Huawei Ascend Y300
Adreno 203, S4 Play MSM8225, 4 GB Flash
4.68 MB/s ∼13% -62%
Sony Xperia J
Adreno 200, S1 MSM7227A, 4 GB Flash
6.49 MB/s ∼18% -48%
ZTE Blade III
Adreno 200, S1 MSM7227A, 4 GB Flash
7.69 MB/s ∼21% -38%
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
11.87 MB/s ∼33% -4%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
1.31 MB/s ∼9%
Huawei Ascend Y300
Adreno 203, S4 Play MSM8225, 4 GB Flash
0.19 MB/s ∼1% -85%
Sony Xperia J
Adreno 200, S1 MSM7227A, 4 GB Flash
0.25 MB/s ∼2% -81%
ZTE Blade III
Adreno 200, S1 MSM7227A, 4 GB Flash
0.51 MB/s ∼4% -61%
Acer Liquid Z3 Duo
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
0.53 MB/s ∼4% -60%

Emissions

Temperature

The surface temperatures of the smartwatch are never inconvenient. It does get warm with combined load for the CPU and GPU via the app Stability Test for one hour, but it is still manageable. This scenario is also very improbable in practice.  

The surface temperature of the metal case is quickly transferred to the skin when you wear it on the wrist.

Speakers

The speaker of the AW-414.Go is surprisingly loud. The quality is not overwhelming, but the component is quite usable nonetheless. High tones are pretty muffled and tend to distort with higher volume settings; medium and high tones are hardly audible at all. The speaker would be sufficient for phone calls, but that is not really an option because of the poor microphone performance. 

You should get a headset if you want to make calls or listen to music with the smartwatch.

Battery Runtime

Battery runtimes of the Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go can be compared with older smartphones. The 2.22 Wh battery (600 mAh, 3.7 V) lasts for more than two hours, even with combined CPU/GPU load and maximum display brightness. We determined the maximum runtime with minimum display brightness and activated WLAN. A browser script simulates the reading of a book, which is not a very realistic scenario in this case. The smartwatch managed eight hours and 15 minutes, which is not a very convincing result. The problem is most likely the higher energy consumption of the WLAN module. The statistics also confirm this assumption: The WLAN module consumed 48% of the energy; the usual value in this test is somewhere around 10%. 

The device is also interesting for athletes, so we performed an additional test to determine the stamina of the battery with activated GPS. The display brightness was once again reduced to the minimum value and all wireless connections, except for the GPS module, were deactivated, while the app GPS Test continuously located our position. The smartwatch managed a runtime of seven hours and 43 minutes, which should be more than enough even for a marathon.  

With typical use you will have to recharge the watch every evening. A complete recharge does not even take one hour.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
8h 15min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 12min

Verdict

In Review: Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go SmartWatch. Review unit courtesy of www.pearl.de.
In Review: Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go SmartWatch. Review unit courtesy of http://www.pearl.de.

The AW-414.Go smartwatch from Simvalley Mobile reminds us of a typical accessory from a James Bond movie and it is more than a high-tech gadget. Unfortunately there are also some drawbacks. The usability is limited because of the small display size, but the biggest problem is that you can only use the watch on the left wrist. It should really be no problem to rotate the display by 180 degrees to use it on the right wrist. Another drawback is the flickering of the panel. We never had this problem with a smartphone and the camera is not very usable either. 

The case, however, is well-built and also certified according to IP65. The performance is more than sufficient for the device and there should be no bottlenecks. The battery runtimes are also reasonable, even though the energy consumption of the WLAN module is comparatively high.

The AW-414.Go is certainly interesting for athletes that do not want to use a smartphone or an expensive GPS watch. The smartwatch also acts as a phone and playback device for music and audio books. The review unit combines many devices in one, but you will have to make some sacrifices. There is still a lot of room for improvement for the developers, especially when you consider the price.

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In Review: Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go SmartWatch. Review unit courtesy of www.pearl.de.
In Review: Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go SmartWatch. Review unit courtesy of http://www.pearl.de.

Specifications

Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go

:: Processor
:: Memory
512 MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
1.5 inch 1:1, 240x240 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, AMOLED, usable with pen, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
4 GB Flash, 4 GB , 1.04 GB free
:: Connections
Card Reader: MicroSD up to 32 GB (SDHC), Sensors: Accelerometer, Position sensor, Digital compass, GPS, waterproof (IP65)
:: Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth, GSM (850, 900, 1,800 und 1,900 MHz), HSPA up to 7.2 Mbps
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 14.1 x 45.3 x 44.3
:: Weight
0.091 kg Power Supply: 0.05 kg
:: Battery
2.22 Wh Lithium-Ion, 600 mAh, 3.7 Volts, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 75 h
:: Price
399 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.2
:: Additional features
Webcam: no, Camera: 3 MP, Speakers: one mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, Charging station, Input pen, Spare screws, magnetic screwdriver

 

[+] compare
Packed like a regular watch.
Packed like a regular watch.
There are many accessories in the box.
There are many accessories in the box.
Even the according screwdriver is provided.
Even the according screwdriver is provided.
1.5-inch AMOLED display.
1.5-inch AMOLED display.
Easy operation of the menus on the small display.
Easy operation of the menus on the small display.
The lock screen shows a clock.
The lock screen shows a clock.
The camera is located between the two physical buttons.
The camera is located between the two physical buttons.
The SIM cover is secured by two screws.
The SIM cover is secured by two screws.
With integrated SIM card.
With integrated SIM card.
A spring mechanism ensures easy replacement of the SIM card.
A spring mechanism ensures easy replacement of the SIM card.
The whole case is made of metal.
The whole case is made of metal.
Four screws secure the cover.
Four screws secure the cover.
The battery can be replaced.
The battery can be replaced.
It is quite tricky to insert the micro SD card.
It is quite tricky to insert the micro SD card.
The cover is flush without a card.
The cover is flush without a card.
Battery with 600 mAh.
Battery with 600 mAh.
Convenient charging station.
Convenient charging station.
It charges the battery by contact.
It charges the battery by contact.
Using the smartwatch with the attached charging station is not easy.
Using the smartwatch with the attached charging station is not easy.

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» Acer Liquid Z4 Duo Smartphone Review
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» Review Acer Iconia B1-721 Tablet
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» Review Acer Liquid Z5 Smartphone
Mediatek MT6572, 5.0", 0.147 kg
» Review Acer Liquid Z3 Duo Smartphone
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» Review Asus Memo Pad ME172V Tablet
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Links

Compare Prices

Pro

+Solid build quality
+IP65 certified
+Good GPS signal
+Reasonable battery runtime
+Bright display ...
 

Cons

-... that flickers
-Poor camera
-Only completely usable at the left wrist
-Imprecise pen input
-Bad microphone
-High energy consumption of the WLAN module

Shortcut

What we like

The build quality is good and the IP certification ensures a working device in bad weather.

What we miss

A display without flickering, but our review unit does not seem to be an isolated case. 

What surprises us

That the big manufacturers do not equip a watch with a full smartphone. This would also be an interesting scenario for a curved display.

The competition

There is currently no real competition. Based on the specs you could compare it with entry-level smartphones like the Acer Liquid Z3 DuoHuawei Ascend Y300Sony Xperia JZTE Blade III and Nokia Lumia 520.

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Short Review Simvalley Mobile AW-414.Go SmartWatch
Author: Daniel Schmidt, 2014-01- 8 (Update: 2014-01- 8)