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UnaliWear

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LAST UPDATED: November 23rd, 2022

UnaliWear is a medical alert company seeking to help vulnerable populations increase their independence while maintaining dignity. UnaliWear’s main product is the Kanega Watch. The company's founder, Jean Anne Booth, got the idea for the Kanega Watch when trying to get a medical alert system for her aging mother. Her mother would not wear a neck pendant and Jean Anne, as an electrical engineer/entrepreneur, felt she could work with her team of developers and investors to create a best-in-class medical alert alternative. The Kanega Watch is that alternative.

The only medical alert watch with built-in fall detection, designed to be worn everywhere (bed, shower, out shopping, visiting family, etc.), uniquely connects to both WiFi and cellular (for the best coverage) and never needs to be removed to charge – so you can truly be protected 24/7. To get help, simply use your voice or the watch’s alert button or automatically via the watch’s fall detection functionality. 

Any of those will immediately connect you to a 24/7 emergency response operator based in the United States with a TMA 5-Diamond and UL certification. The operator will seek to speak to you through your watch. If you are unresponsive, they can contact your emergency contacts as well as dispatch emergency services to your GPS location. 

Customers are charged a one-time fee upfront along with monthly charges to cover monitoring and cellular service. The cost of the Kanega Watch is more expensive than others on the market; however, the watch’s unique fall detection, voice activation, continuous wearing and multiple connectivity features rationalize the increased expense for many wearers – particularly those turned off by neck pendants that can be more stigmatizing

The watch comes in three accent colors: rose gold, black, and champagne gold. The watch is resistant to sweat and water making it easy to wear in the shower or while exercising. The design is both sleek and discreet making it a great companion for everyday activities. 

Keep reading the pros and cons of choosing the Unaliwear Kanega Watch. 

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The Good

  • Fall Detection Machine Learning 
  • 3 Ways to Get Help (Including Voice Activation)
  • 30-Day Risk-Free Trial 
  • No Need to Remove to Charge
  • Wide Call Coverage

Fall Detection Machine Learning

Over time, the Kanega Watch learns your daily routines and movements to create a more accurate fall detection feature. You can also customize how sensitive you want the watch to be. The watch can detect when you’ve fallen and contact the operator to send emergency services. This automatic fall detection is a patented technology exclusive to the Kangea Watch. The technology is meant to cut back on the false fall alerts that notify medical alarm call centers even when there is no emergency.

Other companies often charge for an additional pendant whose sole purpose is to detect falls. UnaliWear offers the convenience of having these features along with others all include in one device. 

3 Ways to Get Help (Including Voice Activation)

Pressing little buttons on a small watch interface can result in a frustrating experience. When you’re in an emergency situation, you need to be able to communicate quickly.  That’s why UnaliWear created a watch that uniquely offers three ways to get help – fall detection, button, and voice. You can also press the watch button to connect with the response center based in the United States. The watch wearers can also set up medication reminders in the online portal. 

The watch does not require a landline or cellphone to work. The Kanega Watch has its own Wi-Fi connection and LTE technology. This gives you the freedom to leave the house without a phone while still keeping a communication device on you. 

30-Day Risk-Free Trial 

All purchases include a 30-day risk-free trial. That means if you are not satisfied with the product within the first 30 days of purchase, you can return the watch for a full refund. Risk-free trials show that the company believes in its product quality and value. 

None of the plans include a contract. You can cancel at any time for a pro-rated refund of all the unused months paid upfront; by simply returning the equipment back to UnaliWear in good condition. The initial set-up fee is not refundable after the 30 days have passed. 

No Need to Remove to Charge

One of the most convenient features of the Kanega Watch is its long-lasting charge. Each purchase comes with four rechargeable lithium batteries. You never have to worry about remembering to charge the watch at night and put it back on in the morning. Just swap out the batteries daily to stay protected. 

Watch batteries are easy to replace and require minimal finger strength. There is also a backup battery in the watch that provides GPS location and enough power to make a 15-minute call or remain on standby for up to 8 additional hours. 

Wide Call Coverage 

The Kanega Watch stays connected to Verizon’s cellular network at all times. In addition to the cellular connection, the watch also has Wi-Fi connectivity capabilities to keep your connection strong while you’re at home. Not all homes have reliable cellular service so this Wi-Fi connectivity helps ensure fast and consistent service. 

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The Bad

  • No Wearable Neck Pendant Options
  • Higher than Average Monthly Cost 

No Wearable Neck Pendant Options

The majority of providers offer medical alert pendants you can wear around your neck or wrist. UnaliWear only sells a smartwatch, rather than wearable pendants. However, this may not be seen as a disadvantage if you prefer a smartwatch over a wearable pendant. 

Expensive Monthly Cost 

UnaliWear offers a monthly and an annual payment plan. The annual plan includes an upfront cost of $199 for the watch and an ongoing service fee of $59.95 per month, paid upfront for the year (with a prorated refund for canceling during the year).

The monthly plan is a little more expensive with a one-time fee of $299 and a $69.95 service fee per month. 

Other medical alert smartwatches have comparable up-front prices with a range between $49.99 to $199.00. Some medical alert companies offer the equipment for free on lease and only charge you a monthly service cost. Based on our research, UnaliWear has one of the most expensive monthly service charges for its smartwatch. This is something to consider if you are trying to find an affordable medical alert option. 

Note: The company offers discounts for individuals buying two Kanega watches in the same location. You can also get a free month of service if you are an AARP member or a family member of active duty military or veteran. 

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The Bottom Line

UnaliWear has taken medical alert smartwatches to the next level by including several exclusive features such as voice-activation, smart fall detection, and Wi-Fi compatibility. The long-lasting battery makes it easy to wear the watch day and night. Individuals won’t have to worry about forgetting to put it on every day. 

The Kanega Watch is priced above other traditional medical alert products. This watch may not be the right fit for you if you have a tight budget and need a very simple medical alert pendant. 

The company does not offer other medical alert devices. However, the Kanega Watch is a versatile product that works in the home or when you are outside. UnaliWear’s watch is a good fit for individuals seeking a simplified device that provides safety and independence; particularly for those looking for a fall detection device that does not require wearing a neck pendant.

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UnaliWear

Unali means “friend,” and Kanega means “speak” in the Cherokee Native American language. So we aspire to be “the friend that speaks to you” and helps you stay independent with dignity.

The Kanega Watch is the only medical alert watch with built-in Fall Detection. Until her mother passed away in late 2018, Jean Anne Booth, our founder, continued to run every prototype by her mother to make sure her tech made sense in the real world. Her mother had the title of "Senior Experience Officer" – both literally and figuratively.

That's why the Kanega Watch is waterproof, voice, button and fall detection activated, and it never needs to be removed to charge (among other key features) – providing real round-the-clock peace of mind for wearers and those who care for them.

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Star Rating

3.8

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149 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

42%

4 grade

20%

3 grade

21%

2 grade

9%

1 grade

7%

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CarylAnn Singleton Anderson, SC

I have a love hate relationship with my watch. I recently had a fall and it did its job. However, there was was no followup from the company to make sure help was recieved. My other issue is the cost of this device. Very pricey and the watch and the charging station are both very bulky. The watch is also very sensitive and goes off when I just brush against my couch.

1 week ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

First of all, we are happy to hear that the watch did its job in your time of need. That is our North Star. Regarding follow up, we reach out to every wearer when an ambulance is dispatched. Did your fall detection lead to an EMS dispatch? Regarding price, you are actually not buying the watch - you buy the service and the watch comes with the service. As you know, you sign no contract and can cancel the service at any time and receive a prorated service refund just by returning the watch and charger to us in good condition. The watch face is about the size of an Apple Watch, but the band is bigger, since that is where the rechargeable batteries go. Our wearers find that design fits their needs, as it ensures they never have to remove their watch to charge (unlike every other medical alert device on the market - as well as the Apple Watch). Regarding sensitivity, our Customer Success Team will reach out to you to adjust the sensitivity on your watch to your liking. All the best and stay well and safe.

Nov. 25th, 2022

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Wegener Bellingham, WA

For my mom's use it has tended to be too sensitive and she can't hear the responses very well. We have had quite a few false alarms and 2 911 responses because of that. Most of the problem is due to her inability to feel the bumps and hear as her hearing has been failing more rapidly now. Your service response has been great in attempting to make adjustments to suit her need

1 week ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your thoughtful review. We are doing our best to match the watch's alert features to her lifestyle. Thank you for working with us. Please contact our Customer Success Team if we can be of any further help in customization/optimization. One thought if you have not already tried this - the watch has one of the most powerful speakers in the industry. You can make volume adjustments only to a certain point on the watch, but we can increase the volume further remotely (it will cause some distortion, but might be a good trade off for your Mom). All the best and stay well and safe.

Nov. 18th, 2022

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Iris Porta Greenville, TX

Service is excellent and the customer support people are very responsive. There are only two things I don’t like. The Fred Astaire function rarely works. I’ve tried using a suction bulb on the hole it uses to “hear”, and that sometimes works, but only for a short time. By the same token, if I place a test call, the person that on the other end can’t hear what I’m saying. The other issue is the battery life . If I remember correctly, the batteries were advertised to last 2 years. In my experience, they only last about 3 months. They do replace them for free though.

3 weeks ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your thoughtful review, Iris, and for being a Kanega Watch wearer for two years and counting. A few quick follow ups on your comments: 1. Regarding the microphone/Voice Activation, you are rather a unique case, because of your cat sanctuary, which causes the microphone hole to get consistently clogged with cat hair. Your issue has motivated us to work on a solution that hopefully will resolve this for you in the future. We will, of course, reach out when we have that long term solution for you. 2. The batteries do have an average lifespan of 18 months, and the vast majority of our wearers experience that lifespan or longer. We are really sorry your batteries have had such a short life. Hoping this will not be your experience going forward but, as you indicated, we did replace them free of charge. All the best and stay well and safe.

Nov. 9th, 2022

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Adele E. Zimmermann Embudo, NM

Rugged. Responsive. Some false fall detections. Option to reduce sensitivety. Not completely waterproof, some water

1 week ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your thoughtful review. You can wear it in the shower but we do not recommend submerging it in the bath or a pool. All the best and stay well and safe.

Nov. 18th, 2022

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LISA KIMBALL Kitty Hawk, NC

The batteries fell off of our first watch. The watch and band were replaced. The metal adjustable part of the new watch band is of lesser quality the the first band. I guess 'flimsy' is the word I would use. It works but it is not as formidable as the first watch.

3 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We are a bit confused by your review, as the metal part of the band of your new watch is the same as for all watches. Most people love the mesh stainless steel. All the best and stay well and safe.

Aug. 26th, 2022

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BARBARA R MYERS

I have had several problems with the watch itself and am on my fourth replacement watch. Problems included microphone not working; watch draining battery power too quickly; chipped battery compartment and broken hinge. However, I do have peace of mind knowing that I can reach a live person at the monitoring service 24/7 if I am in trouble. Customer service has been excellent in providing quick responses to each problem I have had with the watch.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your kind review. We are sorry you have had the number of issues you have had with your Kanega Watch. That is not the normal experience for our wearers. We appreciate your understanding and willingness to help us resolve these issues for you promptly. We hope your experience from here on in is flawless and we can continue to provide you the discreet peace of mind that you deserve. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jul. 19th, 2022

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Ellen Naor Seattle, WA

I love the Kanega watch and the extent to which it is designed and engineered for older people including those with arthritis or other dexterity issues. The only problems i have had with it are the difficulty in getting a stretchy band small enough to fit my wrist snugly while allowing it to slip over my enlarged knuckles (small magnetic mesh band is still too large); and secondly, the batteries fall out and get lost rather frequently. However, Unaliwear has always been quick to replace the batteries at no charge, and to work with me in trying to get an ok fit on the band.

4 months ago

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Shirley Lundin La Grange, IL

Contacts are very responsive, but the ultra-sensitivity of radiio contact has created some unnecessary alarms that have brought help when none was needed. This mornng, for example, the watch picked up a radio commentator's voice and reported it as an alarm, while we were still in bed. Responders came and woke us up. I suppose this can be considered "a learning experience."

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We are sorry you are experiencing this, Shirley. Note that the Voice Activation feature is listening to activate the watch if it believe it hears the wake word and Get Help - so lots of ambient noise (like a loud TV or radio over extended time) can sometimes trigger it. Note that you can contact our Customer Success Team to reduce the sensitivity of your watch's Voice Activation. We can even turn it off remotely, with your permission, if that is something you would prefer. The most important aspect of the Kanega Watch is that you wear it, so if you are finding these alerts annoying, know you have options to make it better for you and your lifestyle. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jun. 17th, 2022

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Ruth Yonkers Muskegon, MI

While in the shower, the watch indicated that I needed to change the battery. One night it was lit all night long, not sure why.

1 month ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your review. The watch will notify you when your rechargeable batteries need to be replaced. It's unlikely to happen in the shower, but it is possible. Regarding the watch staying lit all night long, that is not how your watch should perform. If you experience that again, please contact our Customer Success Team at 888-343-1513 for assistance. They can conduct a remote reset of your watch which should immediately address this issue. All the best and stay well and safe.

Oct. 28th, 2022

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Joe Paulson Litchfield Park, AZ

I'm so happy everyone is doing good with the watch

1 week ago

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Judy Ray

They are extremely helpful and patient on the telephone for questions. Reading the numbers on the batteries is very hard to see. I keep track of batteries just put in watch and those in charger. Then I know which ones work best.

4 months ago

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Mrs. Carol Pfister Palatine, IL

My watch frequently sends an alert when it shouldn't. I do prefer it to those worn around the neck. One of the contacts, James, often answeres before listening to the complete question, answers before he knows what I asked and makes noises when he is on the phone, so I am not sure what he is doing.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your review. Regarding the alerts, please note that the Voice and Fall Activation sensitivity can be customized to your preferences, which would reduce the number of alerts you are getting. Please contact our Customer Success Team if you would like to discuss those options further.

Jul. 7th, 2022

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Carol Wessel Green Valley, AZ

Excellent operator support but watch goes off far too often, when there is a phone call, when there is a loud voice, when the tv is high. Sensitivity is supposed to be adjusted after the first few weeks but still having many "false alarms." Customer support for batteries and trouble shooting is excellent.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your review. The alerts you are referring to are all voice activated - and we need to reduce that sensitivity through our Customer Success Team. They will reach out shortly to discuss your options.

Jul. 7th, 2022

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Dorothy Mattson Naugatuck, CT

Have not needed to use it, but it seems to be aware of my moves.

2 weeks ago

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Tricia Baughman Phoenix, AZ

I have severe migraine neck issues which prevent me from wearing a typical fall detection device around my neck so, the Kanega watch is my best solution. It does tend to be over-reactive to supposed verbal requests for help among other things; however, the comfort of being able to be in 24/7 contact with their customer support system more than makes up for it. Also, while they tell you that the batteries will last 24-36 hours, in my experience over the past year plus… that is definitely a stretch! It would be nice if batteries lasted longer AND if there was some way to charge it in your car instead of only being able to charge it in an electrical outlet.

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We are happy that the Kanega Watch gives you a medical alert option that works for you given your neck issues. Regarding the over-reaction to voice activation, please contact our customer success team if you'd like us to reduce the sensitivity of your voice activation, which would alleviate that issue. In addition, the batteries are designed to last 24-36 hours on a full charge - the lower number is for those that are mostly out of the house on cellular all day and the higher number is for those that are mostly at home on WiFi (which drains the batteries more slowly). If you are finding that is not your experience, please contact our customer success team for troubleshooting and assistance. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jun. 29th, 2022

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Robert Ledogar New York, NY

The Kanega watch is the best in all categories except one, durability. I found its construction to be very fragile. The watch broke on me twice and in the end I returned it. Subsequently I got an Apple watch but that lacks the key safety features that the Kanega has. I wish that the Kanega were more robust.

3 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your compliment. We are really sorry to lose you as a wearer in our growing community. You are one of about 2% of our community that has experienced repeated breaks of their Kanega Watch's battery carriers. Alternatively, we have many wearers who have had the same Kanega Watch for 3+ years with no breakage issues. We hope to have an option to serve you better in the near future and will proactively reach out when that is available. All the best and stay well and safe.

Aug. 12th, 2022

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Catherine Rosengren Saint Paul, MN

Very reliable, very responsive to calls and movements that are questionable.

1 month ago

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Jerry Robinson San Francisco, CA

I really like some of the features, such as waterproof, easy battery changes, and live phone calls. I do find some of the features are not so easy to use, although the manual is certainly helpful. The fall detection is probably very good, but as expected I am getting many false detections, one resulting in the appearance of the Fire Dept. I seem to have had a number of difficulties using the product, that has included having to return the watch for a replacement a couple of times. Recently, the plastic, or whatever material, that attached the watch face to the band simply broke. A new watch was promptly received. I have had to return the watch for a replacement a couple of times

6 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for review and allowing us to continue to keep you safe; within seconds of a emergency response agent 24/7 through your Kanega Watch. Yes, a small percentage of our wearers can find the battery changing a bit challenging and, forcing the batteries into and/or pulling them out can cause immediate breakage of the band or small fractures that can cause unexpected breakage over time. I would encourage you to contact our customer success team to review the process of changing these spring loaded batteries again so this is no longer an issue for you going forward. Regarding the Fall Detection, we can reduce the sensitivity of your Fall Detection so those alerts are not as bothersome for you. All Fall Detection is predictive, but we are the only company in the world that offers a medical alert device in which the Fall Detection sensitivity can be customized. We hope you take advantage of this unique feature to ensure you get the most out of your Kanega Watch experience. All the best and stay well and safe.

May. 31st, 2022

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Amy Johnson

Great product. Band could be improved. A little rough for fragile skin and clasp sometimes comes loose and can fall off.

4 months ago

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Denny Baker Glen Burnie, MD

I like te fact that tyhe knwga watch is designed to address the 2 major areas of risk of falling. The ability to hide that one is wearing such a device , whji;le not a concern for mis also well done. And I tloime thatgthe company backs up their committm,ent by readily providing replacements if the hardware should fail. I remail fully committed to Unaliwear and the kanega watch

6 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you so much for your kind words. We are a mission based company so knowing we are providing you and our many other wearers with this kind of peace of mind is what drives us everyday to make the Kanega Watch experience better and better for our growing community. All the best and stay well and safe.

May. 31st, 2022

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Lois J Bjelke

The watch is a bit clunky, needs to be waterproof for swimming. Great customer service when my watch broke.

4 months ago

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Linda L Parish Chesapeake, VA

Watch works great, but quality needs to improve> I have numerous replacements of batteries, straps, etc.

4 months ago

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Benjamin J Weinraub Philadelphia, PA

Great concept, simple and easy to use. Would prefer metal housing on the watch/batteries for durability.

4 months ago

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Barbara Cambria Kilmarnock, VA

I feel pretty secure, but a piece of wire/fabric from watchband has poked out and catching on fabric, annoying

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your review. Our Customer Success team will reach out to you shortly regarding the replacement of your watch band.

Jul. 7th, 2022

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Joyce Wynn Chesapeake, VA

I have only had my watch for 6 months and this is the first of any kind of safety watch.

4 months ago

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Suzanne Kemp

Love the convenience of the watch and the functions. Hate that it activates when I move my hands quickly.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Glad you like your Kanega Watch. Note the fall detection sensitivity can be reduced, to limit the number of false activations you are getting. We will have our customer success team reach out to you to make that adjustment remotely. All the best and stay well and safe.

Aug. 1st, 2022

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A.M.DAWSON

Customer service they all speak American makes it easier for me to understand.

4 months ago

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Bruce E. Ryden Fort Mill, SC

Has been very effective in detecting falls.

4 months ago

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Debbie Lehbert Berkeley Springs, WV

It isuch better that the fall . Has been turned down

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Glad you were able to get the Fall Detection sensitivity customized for your preferences/needs. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jun. 17th, 2022

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Phyllis Patricelli Valatie, NY

Reacts to deep voices without the password being said

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thanks for taking the time to write a review, Phyllis. Note your watch's Voice Activation sensitivity can be reduced at your request. Please contact our Customer Success Team if that is something you would like to have implemented for your watch. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jun. 17th, 2022