BYD's first smartwatch can replace your car key

Max McDee, 21 March 2023

BYD becomes yet another company to wade into the smartphone accessory market. While Xiaomi went into making cars, Huawei went into supplying carmakers with its technology and Nio is making its first smartphone, BYD decided that the best idea is to start small - with a smartphone accessory.

Enter the BYD smartwatch. A car key that is impossible to misplace, that is always with you and that doesn’t get in the way of everyday life. With a smartwatch replacing the car key, we end up having one less device to carry around. Sure, it’s not always an issue to have car keys in your pocket, but what about a morning run? What about going for a quick swim? What about all those situations where we wish we didn’t need to put the keys safely away?

BYD smartwatch poster BYD smartwatch poster

BYD's solution comes in the shape of a traditionally circular smartwatch. It doesn’t just lock and unlock the car, though, it comes with all the traditional smartwatch bangs and whistles - activity tracking, notifications, and Bluetooth call handling.

When it comes to car control, the smartwatch offers keyless entry and smart locking, meaning the car recognizes you, and there’s no button to press - simply get close to the car and get in.

If the vehicle isn’t electric, the smartwatch offers remote start - bad for the environment but an excellent feature in cold weather. Windows can be closed and opened remotely, and the trunk can be controlled from the smartwatch as well.

BYD claims the watch is compatible with most Android smartphones, but it also supports Apple devices. The watch runs an undisclosed operating system, and its 200 mA battery it 30-day standby time or 5 to 7 days of continuous use. That clearly means it's not a proper OS it's running, but rather some custom UI.

BYD smartwatch supports all the functions expected from a smartwatch BYD smartwatch supports all the functions expected from a smartwatch

While this isn’t a new or revolutionary approach since Apple Watch supports car-key function and cars with Huawei’s HarmonyOS can be unlocked with smartphones and smartwatches, it is a first for a car manufacturer to make a smartwatch. On top of that, it doesn’t look half-bad - its masculine shape may leave female car owners disappointed, but nobody said a second version isn't coming.

For now, BYD is giving access to its smartwatch to a small group of Chinese social media influencers who will post reviews and first opinions. It will be interesting to see the public reaction, but on the surface it looks like a great idea to make our life easier.

Smartwatches have become inseparable from us, and giving them one more, actually usable function, makes a lot of sense. You can see luxury car brands jumping on the bandwagon - Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari maybe? They all sell watches already, and one that opens a car will be a must-have accessory.



Reader comments

  • Anonymous

great ... educates people to shackle themselves ... and feel smart ??? really confusing ...

No, it is a downright useless feature as this will become standard in Android, iOS and later as a part of every smartwatch. Same way you can store payment on your smartwatch, you will be able to store a car key. They are only banking on time b...

  • DAL

Smart move by BYD. A clear differentiator from other smart watches, and a definite value add for all the BYD car owners.



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