Wristcam review: No FaceTime on your Apple Watch, no problem

Ever since the announcement of the very first Apple Watch back in September 2014, Apple enthusiasts and journalists have endlessly speculated just when Apple would go full Dick Tracy and integrate a camera into their beloved Apple watch product line. After 8 generations, Apple has not managed to make FaceTime or video calling on the Apple Watch a reality. Which leaves their faithful masses to wonder if this is only a pipe-dream. It ‘s understandably a complicated ask. A camera in a small form factor like a watch-face requires more processing power which, in turn requires more battery life, something the Apple watch already seems to be pushing the limits of with an always on display and a day and a half of real world usage. 

Enter Wristcam.

Wristcam incorporates two cameras (a selfie camera angled slightly to accommodate a one on one video experience), as well as a front facing camera used for shooting video or taking pictures without needing to pull out your iPhone. A separate battery powers everything independently from your Apple Watch. 8 gigabytes of storage is also included for video and picture storage. It’s worth mentioning here that this is an iPhone only product.

Priced at $300 USD, the Wristcam comes in black or gray and accommodates all watch sizes including the new Apple Watch Ultra. Wristcam also recently released some limited edition colorways which quickly sold out, but it says that new blue and white bands will be available soon.

The specs are impressive. Wristcam’s cameras boast an 8 megapixel front (outward facing) camera capable of 4k photos and high definition 1080P video. As well as a 2 megapixel self-facing camera. Both cameras use high quality Sony image sensors. Wristcam’s battery runs for a full day and is also IPX68 water resistant (up to 1 meter for 30 mins). The band’s 8 gigabytes of flash storage will store a full hour of video or up to 2000 photos. Also with Bluetooth 5 and wifi connectivity, you’ll stay connected whether you’re on a hike with your iPhone or at home on your wireless network.

Wristcam definitely followed Apple’s lead when it came to packaging this product. Wristcam comes bundled in a beautiful blue keepsake tin that carefully holds the two straps (for different wrist sizes) as well as the Wristcam module itself, manuals and the magnetic charging cable. The tin is definitely one of my favorite elements of this product. Packaging means a lot to me, so when a company goes the extra mile to package something special that everyone worked so hard on, it reflects the care and thoughtfulness that went into making a great product.

I’m not going to lie, setting up Wristcam wasn’t the easiest process. But I should tell you that it’s definitely worth opening the included manual or the quick-start guide and reading through it while your Wristcam is going through its first charge before diving into the app and the device’s functions. Setup involves downloading the Wristcam app on Apple’s IOS App store, sliding off your old band and replacing it with the Wristcam module and matching band that best fits your wrist size. Pairing is done via Bluetooth and is straightforward. Once everything is set up, I was able to include the Wristcam functions like video calling, photos and video messaging into the complications on a special Wristcam watch face. There’s also a physical button on the strap which serves multiple functions like power and shutter control.

The band is considerably thicker than the regular bundled Apple Watch band to accommodate the cameras, battery and flash storage. At first, I was a little self conscious about the noticeable lump that it created under my shirt sleeve but after wearing it for a week, it went unnoticed by everyone. But shooting pictures and video from an Apple Watch definitely drew some curious bystanders.

Image quality is perfect for sharing online or among family members and the 2 megapixel self-facing camera does just fine for video calls and messages. I would have preferred a higher quality camera here, but I completely understand the reason for the 1080P self-facing camera. It’s fair to say that image quality shot from Wristcam won’t rival images shot from your iPhone cameras, but c’mon, you’re taking pictures with your watch!

Video Calling on the Wristcam was a little bit more complicated. The process involves using the Wristcam video calling app. It’s also important to note that in order for a potential caller to receive a call from your Wristcam, they must have the Wristcam app downloaded on their iPhone. They must also be signed up for an account and currently logged in, or be a Wristcam owner themselves.

In the end, I’m a huge fan of Wristcam. Kudos to them for adding the missing element to an already fantastic product in the Apple Watch. Is Wristcam perfect? No, but for first adopters with some cash to spare or Apple Watch lovers looking for video calling, this is the perfect solution!

Note: Our reviews are always 100% independent but Gearadical receives a small affiliate amount if you purchase the product on Amazon.