Lilygo TTGO ESP32 T-Watch-2020

TTGO WATCH

OK, that’s a mouthful… The Lilygo watch is particularly interesting to us technical folk as it runs on an ESP32 processor. I’ve been after one of these for ages for those tech moments – i.e. for the few times I get to go drinking with other technically minded folk who don’t want to talk endlessly about sport. As far as instant tech-credibility goes, I figured the TTGO would be likely to say so much more than a fancy t-shirt.

So, as appropriate for such a device, let’s go through the technical specs. The TTGO is powered by an ESP32 and the watch includes accelerometer, real-time clock, speaker, vibration motor, and an IR receiver.

I should point out right now that this is a full colour watch – the display is often depicted in ads as monochrome but at least in the 2020 version, I can confirm it has lots of pretty colours – and as you’ll see further down, you pay fo that in power consumption. Being an upgrade of the original T-GO watch, it is less bulky than the original and is similarly oriented towards “hackers and tinkerers”.

I got off to a bad start with the TTGO, having waited patiently for it for AGES as (probably my fault) it was delivered to the UK by mistake and had to be forwarded onto me in Spain.

I opened the pack which contains minimal information but a quick scour of the web and I discovered what to do with the side chromed panel and button. The former opens for USB charging (lead provided) and the latter turns the unit on (2 seconds) and off (6 seconds) – sadly the first thing to happen was the button dropped off. The watch had no charge at all after its long round-trip from China via the UK to Spain – so the first thing I did was pop it on charge for an hour.

While waiting to play I went off scouring for more specs – 520KB SRAM, 8MB PSRAM, 16MB Flash. The TT-GO has a 1.54″ colour display, buzzer and can receive IR signals. In addition it handles WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 and Bluetooth low-energy.

There is a BMA423 3-axis accelerometer and a real time clock (would not be a lot of use without the latter).

The micro-USB port is used for both charging and programming (remember – oriented to hackers) and there is a library for the Arduino IDE. In short this is definitely for tinkering with rather than end-users. The watch is also inexpensive (see link at the top).

You can get example sketches but I won’t go into detail here, that Github link I just gave you has lots of information.

Settings – the numbers are way too small for my fingers – time setting – not at all obvious. There’s a slight display flicker when scrolling. The battery showed 99% when charged yet within minutes of full brilliance tinkering. the figure was down to 84%.

By 9am the next morning (less than 18 hours after receipt and charging) the power was sitting at 45% – subscriber Ion Ciubotaru (see comments) kindly pointed me to this description which warns about turning off WiFi, Bluetooth and other peripherals as the watch, when in non-sleep mode, consumes 4ma even with the peripherals off – As I left everything on it was using up to 65ma. I looked at the Github library and could not see the SimpleWatch example shown in the above link.

Lilygo

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