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Smartwatch Thread (news/apps/updates)

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones & Tablets' started by Mint_Sauce, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. Teledude

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 4, 2003

    Posts: 2,818

    It's not that different? Is it?
     
  2. Mekrel

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 2, 2004

    Posts: 6,725

    Location: Buckinghamshire

    Looks like the biggest change is the additional RAM, plus the QC Wear 3100 but I wouldn't class that as overly different from the 2100 - they're both poor SOCs in comparison to what the Apple watch and Galaxy wearables have under the hood.

    Not overly convinced by this watch, early reviews are saying the UI is smoother due to the RAM but in a few videos I've seen, in that Mr Mobile one in particular, the UI does seem unresponsive at times. Doesn't bode well that Fossil are putting custom battery modes onto it in my opinion, other watches do not need a gimped operation mode to get 3+ days from them

    Mr Mobile is claiming charging every other day but my assumption there is that's without any workout tracking which usually hits WearOS devices for 50% battery per 30 mins of tracking (GPS & HR).
     
  3. AndyCr15

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 28, 2011

    Posts: 10,196

    Location: London, UK

    Yeah, I thought maybe the RAM would be the only reason to upgrade. I think I'll sit tight for now.
     
  4. V_R

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jan 17, 2007

    Posts: 8,552

    Location: UK

    Yeah I may have been struck by 'new shiny thing' originally. I do like the new one and would like the extra RAM and faster SOC, but not 100% on whether its worth it from the Gen 4. I can get it for £237 with the 15% off code which does make it a little more tempting. Need to see what the Gen 4 is going for...
     
  5. AndyCr15

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 28, 2011

    Posts: 10,196

    Location: London, UK

    I don't think even the SOC is faster, I think it's supposed to just be more battery efficient, hence I think the RAM is the only reason to upgrade from a 4, even with the 15% off.
     
  6. V_R

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jan 17, 2007

    Posts: 8,552

    Location: UK

    I've seen folks saying the Sport (3100 512MB RAM) feels faster than the 4 which is the 2100 and 512MB RAM, for example....

    https://www.reddit.com/r/WearOS/comments/9wyg5w/fossil_sport_vs_gen_4_fossil_q_explorist_less/

    That plus the RAM should be a noticeable difference, but its a bit early to tell. We need some side by side comparisons....
     
  7. AndyCr15

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 28, 2011

    Posts: 10,196

    Location: London, UK

    Googling comparisons they still mainly talk about being more efficient, using less power etc. Of the 3 or 4 articles I've just skimmed, I don't think any really talked about speed increases. That's not to say it's not faster I guess, just that the power efficiency seems to be the big pull for it.
     
  8. BuffetSlayer

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 19, 2012

    Posts: 4,231

    Hi folks.

    Im looking at investing in a smart watch. My phone is a galaxy s9 Plus, so obviously gravitating towards the Galaxy watch. But Im reading nothing but bad things about its overall performance. Primarily poor/inconsistent heart rate tracking, poor app choice etc.

    So not knowing much about smart watches i figured I would look at an apple watch 4. Seems you really need to have an iphone to maximise the investment.

    So I would need to spend big money on sorting that.

    Is there a go to 'best smart watch on the market' choice or is it horses for courses?

    If apple watch 4 is where its at I may have to go that route. But not gonna turn my nose up to alternatives so long as they have solid performance and importantly compatibility with my s9.

    Would appreciate any pointers if soneone has the time.

    Cheers
     
  9. V_R

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jan 17, 2007

    Posts: 8,552

    Location: UK

    Personally if I were buying a new smart watch now, I'd go for the Fossil Gen 5, and if money was no object I'd have the TAG Heuer Connected Modular or the Montblanc Summit.

    I'm still sorely tempted to get one myself and sell my Gen 4! On that note, the gen 4's are a bit of a bargain at the mo too.
     
  10. Mekrel

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 2, 2004

    Posts: 6,725

    Location: Buckinghamshire

    The Galaxy watch in my opinion is the only choice available if you're on Android.

    I'm not entirely sure where you're reading about inconsistent heart rate readings from as my experience of the Galaxy watch has been stellar in terms of heart rate accuracy. When at the gym, I occasionally compare the reading from the watch to the one provided by the gym equipment (electronic signal reading by holding onto the metallic pads) and they're usually within 1-2bpm of each other.

    I've had the Galaxy Watch since December and have previously used WearOS devices and the Galaxy Watch is night and day better than any WearOS device.

    These are the only issues I've experienced with the Galaxy Watch:
    • The floor counter is way off, it over counts substantially. I can be on the stationary cycling machine at the gym and it will count 24 flights of stairs.
    • The altimeter is completely off too, I've climbed Snowdon before and it has registered a negative number as I've ascended.
    • Apparently sleep tracking isn't accurate and doesn't register going into deep sleep, although I've only tested this a few times as I don't feel any need to track sleep personally.
    • Samsung Pay - works and works well, the issue is more the coverage of cards/banks. My MasterCard Clarity card from Halifax isn't supported for example.
    To be honest, the app situation is something I got over very quickly as I realised that apps are not as important to watches as they are phones. For example, Uber - it was cool to be able to order a ride on your watch when I was on WearOS but it wasn't essential. In some cases, there are apps on the Galaxy watch that work better than the Google equivalent on WearOS. For example, Google Maps on WearOS is very basic and Here WeGo on the Galaxy Watch is actually better.
     
  11. AndyCr15

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 28, 2011

    Posts: 10,196

    Location: London, UK

    I reviewed my mates S3 Frontier, so granted it's a little old tech now (Nov 2017), but that HRM really wasn't very good compared to other HRM including the type at the gym you mention. Have they specifically improved them now?
     
  12. Mekrel

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 2, 2004

    Posts: 6,725

    Location: Buckinghamshire

    Perhaps they have in that case, there's a review here pitting some optical HRM devices vs a chest strap based one and the Galaxy Watch performed very well.

    https://www.tomsguide.com/us/heart-rate-monitor,review-2885.html
     
  13. skaif

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 25, 2014

    Posts: 2,743

    Location: East of the middle

    Had my galaxy watch since release and can echo it being the best go to for android. Works without issue and the latest update has made it more intuitive and easier to use. Battery life is immense and not had an issue with hrm tracking or anything else.
     
  14. D3K

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 13, 2014

    Posts: 2,913

    I grabbed the VivoActive 3 a while back, and I've started developing a really bad reaction to the rubber strap. Didn't have a reaction to Galaxy Neo 2 so must be different material.

    Company is giving me an iphone next week so may look into the apple watch. Is there anything different between the steel and aluminium bar aesthetics?
     
  15. BuffetSlayer

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 19, 2012

    Posts: 4,231

    Thanks for your input. I Googled galaxy watch and found a lot of forum posts, reddit posts and some reviews talking about really hit and miss heart rate monitor, floor/step detection and general faults. Plenty of people saying they have to wear it uncomfortably tight to get the HRM to work but even then if they do strenuous exercise it doesent work well due to sweating.

    Also battery issues with battery life halfing following sofware updates. Also as you have mentioned above, altimeter not much good and sleep monitor not great.

    I guess im just having a hard time parting with money for a device where only half of the expected functions actually work properly. Which is why I asked if there is a go to watch that is hands down the best buy.

    Can you confirm if you can stream using amazon music on the galaxy watch? I dont really want to have to have another music account.
     
  16. Mekrel

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 2, 2004

    Posts: 6,725

    Location: Buckinghamshire

    Those HRM issues aren't representative of my experiences and I sweat a lot when I'm at the gym, as unpleasant as it is to talk about, we're talking t-shirt wringing wet levels of sweat. I'm usually 180-190 BPM for 30 minutes when on a stationary bike.

    If the HRM is a concern, I would recommend looking at the Galaxy Watch Active 2 as Samsung have specifically mentioned improvements to the HRM vs previous Galaxy Watches.

    With battery life, I'm also not seeing any issues with software updates. Right now I'm at 78% battery and the watch has been off charge since 7am, so 22% used over 14 hours with 12k steps tracked for today and HRM taking a reading every 10 minutes when still.

    Altimeter is a little annoying as I like to hike and incline is a nice measure to know when scaling mountains etc, but I'm not too fussed about this - although I might reach out to Samsung about it as I've read about people having better experiences with the barometric readings after a main board replacement. Sleep isn't something I care too much in regards to tracking as I just don't understand what I can do with that information - probably just me as I've read it helps with diagnosing sleep apnoea.

    Music - I'm pretty sure it only works with Spotify. This is an area I had to concede on when moving away from WearOS as I'm a Google Play Music subscriber. Although saying that, the GPM experience on WearOS was pretty poor so I don't miss it too much. Then again, I would probably miss the ability to play music without the phone if I was running like I used to (bad knees). These days I'm left with using low impact stationary machines in the gym that have places to store your phone.

    Why don't you take a punt on the Galaxy Watch Active 2? It's likely Samsung have fixed issues and even if they haven't, you can return it for a refund if you're having issues. The fact you have a Samsung phone is also a plus as it means the devices will work well together, e.g. you'll have access to the Uber companion app that you can't get access to on non-Samsung Android phones.

    I really want WearOS to sort out it's issues as it's great to have more choice, but at the moment it's not looking great. You have the largest Android phone manufacturers in Samsung & Huawei who are not producing hardware for WearOS and have decided to use their own in house operating systems. Then you have Qualcomm who's silicon for wearables is just not where it needs to be, but there's no competition or enough demand for them to take it seriously.
     
  17. BuffetSlayer

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 19, 2012

    Posts: 4,231

    What network are you on? Im on o2 and they dont carry the lte version of the galaxy watch as they dont support eSim. Is the lte version worth it over standard version? Not that i necessarily need to be able to leave my phone at home but it might be nice to not worry about it if I forget to take it with me somewhere. I can still catch up with emails and texts etc.

    Are EE and Voda the only 2 networks providing the lte version in the UK?

    As an aside, how does the apple watch series 4 compare to the galaxy watch?
     
  18. Mekrel

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 2, 2004

    Posts: 6,725

    Location: Buckinghamshire

    I'm on Three with a 42mm non LTE version of the watch and you're right, it's only EE and Vodaphone offering support for the LTE version I believe.

    Personally I'm not sure LTE is worth it, with any smartwarch, I can't fathom wanting to actually do any content creation on such a small screen such as replying to emails etc. I had a LTE WearOS watch but that was purely to stream music via Google Play Music whilst running, it was nice to be able to stream whatever I wanted without the hassle of preloading music onto the device for offline use.

    I honestly think the Apple Watch is the benchmark for smart watches, even to the point of considering moving away from Android completely but I decided against that because I'm not sure the benefit of the watch is worth what I'll lose elsewhere. For example:

    • Google Assistant is by far the best personal assistant and I use that on my Sonos One speaker and in my car a lot.
    • Android Auto is much better than Apple CarPlay, my Audi supports both and I have an iPhone for my work phone. For example, Google Maps for CarPlay is forced to use Apple's design guidelines and therefore isn't as good as Google Maps on Android Auto.
    • Camera - The Pixel 3 camera is fantastic and I just don't think any iPhone can match the main camera performance.
    You'll need to do the same exercise for yourself in terms of what you value on each platform in total.
     
  19. V_R

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jan 17, 2007

    Posts: 8,552

    Location: UK

    Seeing a few folks on Reddit who have upgraded from the Gen 4 to the Gen 5, sounds more and more like a decent upgrade.

     
  20. AndyCr15

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 28, 2011

    Posts: 10,196

    Location: London, UK

    Please stop. I shouldn't be spending any more money...

    Mind you, one thing is the size. My Skagen Falster 2 (which I believe is basically the same as the Gen 4) is quite small anyway, so perhaps not much difference there?