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Author Topic: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now  (Read 2545 times)

mouser

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Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« on: August 14, 2018, 11:08 AM »
On September 10, Qualcomm is hosting an event in San Francisco where they will announce a new wearable chipset that will more than likely be in all future Wear OS watches. This new chipset is said to be built from the ground up, will allow watches to look pretty when you aren’t using them (like a normal watch sitting idly by your side), and extend battery life.” More importantly, Qualcomm is betting that this Snapdragon Wear chip will “significantly change the Wear OS ecosystem, what you expect from a smartwatch.”

If you buy a smartwatch today, before Qualcomm announces this chip, you will be stuck with a 2+ year old Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip. All of the new Wear OS watches that have been announced recently, use that chip. It’s old. It’s never been great. And it’s about to be replaced by something potentially game-changing for smartwatches...

While there is no sure bet when it comes to a Wear OS revival, this is the most exciting watch-related happening we’ve had on Android in years. Do not buy a smartwatch today or next week or the following week. Wait until we see what Qualcomm has in store.



from https://hardware.sla...smartwatch-right-now

allen

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2018, 11:38 AM »
Cool!

I'm still relying on my trusty Pebble. Nobody has come anywhere near making a better "smart" watch imo.

mwb1100

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2018, 12:39 PM »
My watch isn't even smart enough to have a battery, much less a Snapdragon of any sort.  I have to wind it each morning.  All it does is tell me what time it is (+/- a minute or so), and what the date is.  And that's pretty much all I want my watch to do.

wraith808

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2018, 04:45 PM »
So the title of the article should be "Do not buy a Wear OS smartwatch right now"

4wd

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2018, 10:16 PM »
I now have a AmazFit BIP - GPS, barometer, compass, accelerometer, notifications, heart rate, steps, transflective display, etc ... and a 30+ day battery life.

For ~US$60 I paid, I don't think there's anything comparable with the same features especially the battery life.

wraith808

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2018, 10:31 PM »
How's the interface?  I see it on MassDrop right now for a few days: https://www.massdrop...e&referer=CEC3WC  (I think that's a referral link)

I was looking at the Amazfit Stratos but didn't pull the trigger: https://www.massdrop...e&referer=CEC3WC (referral, but not open anyway, so it doesn't matter)

4wd

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2018, 11:15 PM »
How's the interface?

The watch or the phone app?

The watch face can be changed, see here for a load of user created versions: Amazfit BIP.
Watch interface is locked until you push the button, then you can swipe left/right through the screens: Status, Activity, Weather, Alarm, Timer, Compass, Settings
Tap on the one you want then you can swipe up/down/left or tap to get further into the respective areas. Swiping right goes back up the menu system, it's actually pretty good.

A long press on the button switches it to activity tracking, (you can set default activity: walking, running, etc or go through the menu to select something else), and it will show a screen saying it's getting a GPS lock, (takes about 2 mins), then you tap OK when it vibrates indicating it has lock - you can skip it if you don't want a track log.
Another long press will pause activity tracking and you can choose to continue or end the tracking.

I can't say much about the attendant apps, Mi Fit and the ones from Amazfit.  Huami fall under the Xiaomi unbrella, hence under the Mi ecosystem, that's why the Mi Fit app.

I use a third party app called Notify & Fitness for Amazfit which provides a lot more functionality.

I guess it all comes down to what your main use is, mine was time, notifications, with the added bonus of being able to log a GPS route when I went walking plus it had/has the best battery life available - I did not want to charge it every 1-7 days.

IMG_20180815_135428483.jpgDo Not Buy a Smartwatch Right NowScreenshot_20180815-140415.jpgDo Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now

In the screen above, the down arrow in the bottom right indicates there's more info available, eg. step count, step distance, calories, time taken, etc.  (In the case of the Weather screen, it's a 7 day forecast pulled from Weather.com,I think, could be AccuWeather, for your location, requires your phone naturally).

The interface I currently have, will probably change it as the steps, calories, and heart rate are all available under the Status screen.

IMG_20180815_141149031.jpgDo Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now

It shows 46% on the battery, the app tells me it was charged on July 31, with an expected discharge date of August 28 - depends a lot on notifications, (I get quite a few through emails, SMS, Viber, etc), using vibration shortens the battery life.
When I first got it and hadn't set up any notifications, I got 35 days from 100%->9% before I decided I couldn't be bothered waiting to see how long it was going to take to go flat.

Addendum: Couple more things I just discovered with the BIP, (by accident, I should read the instructions one day), if you swipe up it'll display the last notification, swipe down and you have access to DND which you can turn on/off or to Auto.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 11:20 PM by 4wd »

highend01

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2018, 03:37 AM »
Regarding the Amazfit BIP,

mine (I do not use notifications, gps tracking, etc., only the step monitor + sleep surveillance) lasts a sporting 100+ days with one charge...

Yeah, really, no joke :Thmbsup:

wraith808

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2018, 09:07 AM »
Thanks for the endorsements.  I've always been a Garmin type person, so all of my data is there, but I've been looking afield, and this looks like it might be worth looking into before spending $500 on another watch.

Thanks!

mouser

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2018, 05:48 PM »
Update on the new chip being released:

https://venturebeat....ays-of-battery-life/

wraith808

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2018, 10:54 AM »
I now have a AmazFit BIP - GPS, barometer, compass, accelerometer, notifications, heart rate, steps, transflective display, etc ... and a 30+ day battery life.

For ~US$60 I paid, I don't think there's anything comparable with the same features especially the battery life.

It's back on Massdrop, so I'm thinking about it again... just posting here in case anyone is interested.

c.gingerich

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2018, 02:18 PM »
"IP68 rating - resistant to dust, rain and splashing"

I'll stick with my Apple watch. Need more water proofing than IP68.

wraith808

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2018, 02:31 PM »
"IP68 rating - resistant to dust, rain and splashing"

I'll stick with my Apple watch. Need more water proofing than IP68.

Apple watch was IPX7 for the longest.

Your Apple Watch is water resistant, but not waterproof.*

From https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205000

The latest versions are finally waterproof, but just figured the clarification was needed.

I'm sure it will get there.  The Stratos (which is still less expensive, and what I'd think would be compared to an Apple watch) in contrast is waterproof.  It's just a matter of getting what you need, I think.

4wd

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2018, 03:20 AM »
"IP68 rating - resistant to dust, rain and splashing"

Saying it's "resistant to dust, rain, and splashing" is understating the IP68 rating a little.

IP68 = Dust proof (no ingress), immersion to a depth > 1m, (generally tested at 3m).

The only IP rating higher is IP69K which involves using high temperature water jets.

c.gingerich

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2018, 12:05 PM »
I have the Apple watch series 3 and have used it in the pool here at my complex and at the beach without any issues. It's been great and I have no plans on getting the series 4

wraith808

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2018, 12:33 PM »
I have the Apple watch series 3 and have used it in the pool here at my complex and at the beach without any issues. It's been great and I have no plans on getting the series 4

I think the points are threefold - (a) you're comparing two different kinds of watches, (b) IP68 is better than just splashes, and (c) up until after release 1, Apple watches were actually worse than this watch.  It's all about paying for what you want, and they do have a watch that is pretty comparable for a lot less- it's just not this one.

4wd

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2018, 02:26 AM »
I have the Apple watch series 3 and have used it in the pool here at my complex and at the beach without any issues.

From a purely technical point of view, comparing apples and oranges:
  • Amazfit BIP: IP68, rated for total immersion below 1m.
  • Apple Watch 3: Water Resistant to 5ATM under ISO 22810.

There's no such thing as a waterproof watch as defined by ISO standards, water resistant is the best you'll get because at some point water will get in.

ISO 22810w, (we'll have to rely on Wiki here since you have to buy ISO standards):
Water Resistant 5 atm or 50 m: Suitable for everyday use. Splash/rain resistant. Not suitable for showering, bathing, swimming, snorkeling, water related work, fishing, and diving.

So you're comparing an electronic device IP rated for total immersion against a watch ISO rated as being splash/rain resistant - that kind of turned the argument on its head, didn't it ;)
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 08:00 AM by 4wd »

4wd

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Re: Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2018, 07:41 AM »
Some info on the SnapDragon Wear 3100 courtesy of XDA Developers:

https://www.xda-deve...-wear-os-smartwatch/
https://www.xda-deve...napdragon-wear-3100/