Wakemate Review

I’ve used the Wakemate for a while and the final verdict is that I love it. It’s a lot better than a regular alarm clock. However, when I first got my Wakemate it wouldn’t play nicely with my Samsung Epic 4G (Galaxy S). That’s a real shame as these are one of the most popular Android phones (Galaxy S) and the key with a product such as the Wakemate is that it works reliably across the board.

After much troubleshooting and testing I actually gave up on using it with my primary cell phone. (I would have tried my wrist band on my iPad, but unfortunately Apple’s policies forbid this… Don’t act so surprised) So instead, I bought an old Motorola Droid v1 from a co-worker. It works flawlessly with the Droid (which has Cyanogen Mod 7 installed) and I’ve loved it since.

It can really hurt when a product doesn’t work well at first, but in the case of the Wakemate, I’m glad I was patient and figured out a way for it to work for me.

How it works:

You install an app on your Blackberry/Android Phone/iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and it’s essentially an alarm clock with sign-in and Bluetooth capabilities. You sign into your Wakemate account, pair your wrist band (once) and then set an alarm. The device will tell your phone whether to wake you up at the specified time or up to 20 mins earlier; think of it as a wake-up window.

Here’s a Typical Night:

  1. I put the wrist band on & flip the tiny on/off switch (green lights flash)
  2. I grab the old Droid next to my bed and hit the Wakemate app icon. The app loads and I set an alarm time.
  3. Then hit the sleep button; it checks for wrist band connectivity one more time and wishes you a good night of sleep.

The device and phone check in every so often during the night and make sure they are still communicating. If they lose communication the alarm just wakes you up at the specified time (This has not happened on the Droid yet). The device checks your sleep patterns and decides when to wake you. A gentle alarm sounds.

Here’s a Typical Morning:

  1. The Alarm sounds and you check the phone’s screen. You press the wake up button (There is no snooze).
  2. It says that it’s downloading your sleep data from the wrist band (takes a couple of seconds).
  3. It presents you with a slider and asks whether you feel alert or groggy.
  4. Upon setting the slider and pressing OK, it uploads your data and you can turn the wrist band off.

The Web Interface

Here are a few screen shots of the web interface and some of my sleep data:

Verdict

Wakemate’s unpredictable Android experience has made my recommendations to my co-workers and friends cautious, but I still recommend it. I spent $60 for the wrist band and another $50 for the used Droid; that’ll be your worst case scenario. If you have an iPad or iPod Touch then I’d recommend the iOS version simply due to the difference in store reviews between the Android Market and the iTunes Store.

Do I think the difference it makes in waking up is worth the $110 I ended up spending? Yes.

I want to hear about your good or bad experiences with the Wakemate. Post them in the comments section.

4 Comments

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  1. Hi

    How long did you use the device?and did you wear it everynight!

    Thanks

    • I actually still use it every night. It works most of the time, but every now and then it stops waking me up and just shows an error at the default wake-up time. At that point, if you turn it off and on again, then press OK, it uploads your sleep data to the site, but then hangs on the next step forever.

      Like I said: it works, but not reliably. I still don’t know how to get it out of that state where it just gives the error every morning. I think that some combination of power-cycling and re-pairing the device to the phone can sometimes help.

  2. I just left this as my Amazon review and am ‘sharing’ it around the web elsewhere as a warning to others as well:

    I bought the Wakemate in July. I was disappointed to find that after almost 2 months it still wasn’t going off to wake me up. It would record data, but not actually go off at during the wake up window.

    I contacted customer service TWO months ago regarding it. At first, they were going to replace the device. After I shipped them the device, I waited a month before sending them another email. That email was replied to saying that they ‘hadn’t received my device’. After I sent them a message with the tracking information, I stopped getting replies.

    Worst case, this company is just a scam. You can’t find a number that will ring to a real person and they don’t reply to email or Twitter, which is bad when you have a device that has such a spotty record (take a look at some of the other reviews about this thing). Best case, they are just a small company that isn’t ready for prime time. Either way, I would steer clear of them and save your $60.

    You take your chances, and I would say that if you buy this device, you are not buying it with any warranty and don’t expect any support. I have no tolerance for companies that don’t stand behind their product, and while the information about my sleep patterns was interesting, the support failure makes this an automatic failure.

    • Hey John,
      it sucks that you had an even worse experience than I did. If you still haven’t heard from them, try emailing greg(at)wakemate(dot)com I had luck with him replying.

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