Review your smartwatch ....

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by LIVEFRMNYC, May 3, 2015.

  1. LIVEFRMNYC, May 3, 2015
    Last edited: May 3, 2015

    LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    As the title says .... Whatever smartwatch you have, give a small or detailed review.

    I been wearing a Gear 2 Neo(black) since last Sept. Bought it for $199.

    Design .... Nothing to brag about in the beauty department. Definitely not something to show off with. I do love that it's not bulky and has a thin profile. No buttons or dials on the side, which I like. Has a home button only, which you really don't need to use much, as operation is mostly touch. Default bands are okay, but very tight if you got big wrists.

    OS .... Runs on Tizen. Very stable and very responsive. Mini TouchWiz style of homescreens and icon layout. Nothing fancy, or confusing, and everything seems direct to the point.

    Screen .... 1.63 super amoled. Perfect size for me, any bigger and I might feel like I have a smartphone on my wrist. Screen is nice and vibrant. Feels like I'm looking at a quality screen.

    Screen also works good while wearing gloves. Not sure about those huge bulky gloves.

    Durability .... To my surprise, the durability is excellent. I've hit and scraped the screen more times than I'm comfortable with, and still no scratches, cracks, or dents on the screen or body. Watch still looks mint. I've also took showers and went swimming with it, no problems. Have yet to try in beach waters, don't trust salt waters. Had no problems operating in 1 degree fahrenheit temps to 90+ temps.

    Battery .... In my experience, This really depends on the combination of the screen brightness, wake-up gesture, and screen timeout settings. I keep my brightness on max, wake up gesture turned off(it's annoying), and screen timeout to 10 sec. With that I can get 5 days before it's completely drained. I usually charge it every three days. Of course if you play with it like a toy, battery life will decrease much quicker.

    Notifications .... Easy to configure and straight forward using the Gear Manager on your phone. The option for audible notifications or vibration, but not audible and vibrate at the same time. Also, I wish the vibration intensity was stronger. It's a little bit on the weak side even when set on "strong". Maybe this is due to it's thinness. You also have the option for the screen to turn on/off during notifications.

    Most of time, I usually hear the notification tones from my phone and quickly glance at my watch. But the vibration from my watch works well too when you don't hear anything. But once you get used to the vibration on you're wrist, if you are distracted, you might not notice. This is why I mentioned the need for vibration intensity to be stronger.

    Notable Features .... Able to make and receive calls on the watch. IR blaster, S-voice, and Find my device.

    I rarely make or receive calls on my watch, but it has helped me a few times. Recently, my phone was stuck between the couch cushions and I had an important call coming in. It was cool to just answer with my watch vs missing the call while trying to dig my phone out.

    IR blaster is pretty good, but the WatchOn app is limited to one remote setup. You can't have multiple setups like the phone version.

    Rarely use S-voice, but it seems to work decently. Had to use find my device several times.

    App selection .... I guess it's decent for a watch. There's enough free and paid stuff. But if you look at a smartwatch like a smartphone, you might be disappointed.

    I mostly use default apps and watch faces. Gearam Music ID, Flesky Messenger, and a calculator app has been my most used third party apps. Playing around and installing a ton of differ third party apps gets old quick on a smartwatch. Again, it's not a smartphone.

    Email ... I get notifications from any email app I want without any problems. But you only have the ability to reply to emails using the default email app on TouchWiz. This is not a problem for me, since I don't see myself replying to emails on my watch. But I think the Gmail and Inbox app should be included also.

    Texts ... Notifications work as expected. Left and right gestures to call or text reply. There is no default keyboard on the Gear 2 Neo. You have the option of replying to text using pre-written templates which you can edit from the Gear Manager on your phone. Also have the option of using S-voice and emoticons. When I want to use a keyboard to reply to texts from my watch, I use Flesky Messenger app which works well. But I rarely do that.

    Health/Fitness ... Blah ... Blah ... Blah. Probably that last reason for my purchase. I do use the heart rate measure every now and then mainly for the fun of it, and it is pretty accurate. As far as the Sleep and Pedometer, I don't care for it and it's probably not accurate. I still haven't found a way to turn the pedometer off. It's always counting in the background and once every two weeks or so, it'll pop up with the results and ask me to unlock S health on my phone. I just ignore it.

    Music ... You can easily load music via usb or select music from your phone and have it sent. The music player is pretty good. Scrolling a track is as easy as on a phone. You can also stream music to any bluetooth player. Great for jogging with BT headphones when you don't want to carry your phone with you. Has enough space to load a decent about of tracks.

    Overall .... For the price of $199(it's cheaper now), I think the Gear 2 Neo is worth it. My phone is taken out my pocket probably around 50% less due to viewing the time, caller ID, and notifications on my watch. There are also several apps I don't need to depend on my phone for anymore, like the timer, calculator, voice memo, and etc. Excellent battery life and durability means I don't have to baby it.

    Plenty about this smartwatch can be improved. But for what it does, it does pretty well so far.

    After about 8 months with this watch. I personally wouldn't spend much more on another smartwatch regardless of features. Nothing against more expensive smartwatches, but I know I would end up using them the exact same way, and just use my phone for more robust activities.
  2. vikingjunior macrumors 65816


    Aug 17, 2011
    Nice review but correct me if I'm wrong isn't it for Samsung Phones? I had the AW but returned it and now looking for a Android watch with the calling feature which was the only thing I liked on the AW.
  3. LIVEFRMNYC thread starter macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    Yes, it's basically just for Samsung phones. It can be used with plenty of other android phones(and even the iPhone), but it requires rooting the watch and a few things might not work correctly.
  4. Lloydbm41 Suspended


    Oct 17, 2013
    Central California
    I been wearing a Martian Notifier (red/black) since last Oct. Bought it for $129.

    Design .... Looks like a regular analog round watch, because it is, complete with a normal 2 year watch battery. The small OLED display and notification LED use a 6 day rechargable battery. A very nice design that can be worn with a suit or in shorts and a t-shirt.

    OS .... Runs on a proprietary OS, but allows notifications, caller ID, weather info and so on from either iOS or Android.

    Screen .... Small screen at the bottom of the watch face that uses a ticker style motion to give you notifications. Only in black and white. You can tap the screen to recall your last notification.

    Durability .... Same as any other metal watch from Casio, Fossil and so on. A smack mine around a lot. Doesn't show any damage so far.

    Battery .... 2 years for the analog watch. 6 days for the oled display.

    Notifications .... Easy to configure and straight forward. The option for custom vibrations is there for just about any app you download. LED will blink when you get a notification or the alarm goes off as well. Vibration intesity can be set from 1 to 15 and is very easy to feel at 12.

    Notable Features .... It is a real watch. Doesn't matter how bright the sun is, you can still see the watch face. LED blinky light. blink blink blink. :D You can activate Siri from the watch or snap a photo remotely.

    App selection .... None. There is only the app you load onto your phone.

    Email ... I get notifications from any email app I want without any problems. But you can only see the first line of text and who it is from. Can not reply.

    Texts ... Notifications work as expected. No ability to reply from the watch.

    Health/Fitness ... None

    Music ... None

    Overall .... For the price between $99 and $129, I think the Martian Notifier is worth it. You get all your notifications, regardless if you are an iPhone or Android user and the watch portion always works. 6 day OLED battery life means there is no battery anxiety at the end of the day. But, this is just a basic smartwatch, or really just a watch with the ability to receive notifications, give you the current weather and display caller ID. But I like the fact that I can use it with any of my phones, regardless of OS. Makes life simple.
  5. LIVEFRMNYC thread starter macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    Is it a continuous LED blink reminder like on phones, or just during the actual notification?
  6. Lloydbm41 Suspended


    Oct 17, 2013
    Central California
    Just the actual notification. Not continuous.
  7. pdqgp macrumors 68020


    Mar 23, 2010
    Samsung Gear S Review

    I been wearing a GEAR S(black Band) since last November. Bought it for $329 from AT&T. $10mo as an additional device on our family plan.

    Design .... Meh....looks like a very tiny Galaxy phone on my wrist. I personally don't like it but I've had a ton of people say they do and that it's sport. Does work well with jeans/shorts, etc. I wear it a lot for business and it gets the job done but I don't tend to show it much due to it not being my style.

    Very light, fits and wears beatifully.

    OS .... Runs on Tizen. I agree it's very stable and very responsive. In stock form it runs very fluid like, simple intuitive interface for Samsung users. Limited apps gets stated but honestly, I have everything I need and it's a lot. Feel free to note one you think may be missing.

    Screen .... Nice size/big super amoled. Some may say it's too big, but not really. It's great once you see all you can do with it. Some people like HUGE metal watches and this pails by comparison. Screen is a bit reflective outside and in bright sun it's a PIA as you'll have to shield it to really get a good visual. Max out the brightness on sunny days outside and click auto and you'll be okay.

    Durability .... Overall I rate it good, but the known issue of the charger clips breaking is true and very disappointing. Sammy needs to redo it completely and make it magnetic like the Moto's and others. I had to replace my charger already and am very careful with it. Cheap charger only ones on amazon for like $11 work fine. Just no battery in them to serve as a back up. I rarely need or use it so that's fine.

    I'm careful with it so can't comment on scrathes. Has seen some splashes of water with zero issue.

    Battery .... With the GPS OFF and Very heavy use for notifications, etc. I can get 24-36hrs. If you talk on it quite a bit less. If you BT it to a headset or car, less. However, it's awesome. I really use it a lot and am impressed with the life. Charges about 1% per minute perhaps a little faster.

    Notifications .... Easy to configure and straight forward using the Gear Manager on your phone. The option for audible notifications or vibration and this one does have sounds too, but I use vibrations mostly. They are quite noticeable so you won't have a problem there. Not too loud that others can hear them though. I love the fact that I can keep my phone on silent and yet know everything. Nice in meetings.

    Notification Extender is THE BEST app for it. It will allow you to have notifications from just about any app. I use it for Hangouts as it will allow me to reply to anyone who messages me from there. I leave an un-cleared one from my peeps using it on my watch so at any time I can message them via hangouts too.

    Notable Features .... Stand alone sim capability. Having the ability to leave my phone at home yet not is awesome. S-Voice works great. LIttle slower than I'd like but very usable. Voice recognition is great too. I use it a lot when in a rental car/on travels for work. Hands free, yet sounds as good as a BT connected phone in a car if not better. I can double click the home button and say "call Joe Smith" and it will prompt me along the way and get the job done.

    I don't use the watch a lot for calls except in my car where it connects to the BT automatically. I will use it though and am not embarrassed or conscious of what others think. No one has ever said anything either. On plane rides, airports, etc. I use my BT earbuds but overall it's pretty easy get used to using it as a speakerphone.

    It's great on bike rides, working outside, etc. Again, my main reason for getting it vs any other watch is so that I can leave my Note 3 at home more often.

    App selection .... Again, more than enough. If you're looking for everything on your watch to be on your phone, don't buy one. However, also really realistically consider what you might need.

    Email ... Works great. If you're on Kit Kat 4.4.4 or up you can create, reply, etc. to any email. Using Notification Extender above will also allow you to read/reply to MS Exchange emails even if your IT has security turned on. Gmail works great too.

    Texts ... Same as above. Works great. You can type on the keyboard and it's predictive nature works very well. I do this when I don't use the voice recognition tool built in. I have fat fingers, but this works in a pinch.

    As with email, you do also have the option of replying to text using pre-written templates which you can edit from the Gear Manager on your phone.

    Health/Fitness ... I'm copying the previous replay.....Blah ... Blah ... Blah. Probably that last reason for my purchase. haha!

    I do use it occasionally and I do have it track my steps for giggles and what not. Really just gives me a baseline of how much I walk vs during days where I really do get out and about. I don't link it to the Samsung health app. Just too many options there and I really don't care to use it. My life and health and weight aren't based on anything more than the basics. Eat less, eat better, move more. Pretty simple. I have an input-output issue and can pick on myself knowing that :p

    Music ... You can easily load music via usb or select music from your phone and have it sent. The music player is pretty good. I wish it had an adjustable EQ like Poweramp on my phone though. That sounds way better than the watch, but if you have a decent speaker it works. I use it when working out or riding or working in the yard. I also use it to control the playlist on my phone. Handy in my garage when working as I have my phone connected to a sound system out there.

    Overall .... For the price, I think the Gear S is worth it. I tell people, I bought it as I'm an early adopter and I had to jump in the pool with the sim card capability. I know it won't last me long as I may upgrade or move to a new unit quickly and I'm okay with that. Thus why I'm okay with it not being perfect. Getting it out in the market was key and I'm glad they did. Again, jump in and see what value you get out of it. I waited aobut 6-9 months while reading and studying up on these devices.

    With it I use my phone a lot less and it does do exactly what I bought it to do. I respond to texts with it quite easily, I can check my schedule, emails, etc. and even order coffee at starbucks with it. More on that later :cool:

    I agree that there is plenty about this smartwatch can be improved. But for what it does, it does pretty well so far.

    My plan is to move to something like the round style LG Urbane LTE sould it come over from the Korean market. Overall I like the design better and even if the OS is different still, it like Tizen, should be fine. WHo knows what will come out next really. For now however, I'm enjoying the technology that I have.
  8. Cnasty macrumors 68030


    Jul 2, 2008
    Loving the idea of this thread and the feedback considering I am joining the smartwatch revolution here pretty soon with a Moto 360.

    Good reads.
  9. LIVEFRMNYC thread starter macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    Forgot to add this in my original post.

    One thing my smartwatch lacks, is the abilty to have visual voice mail. Whether pulled from the carrier's app or from google voice. The way I get visual voice mail on my watch is to make sure google voice auto text me the transcript of the visual voice mail. Then at least I can read it. But the transcripts are not always good, especially if someone has a strong accent or has busy background noise. Wish there was a way to playback the visual voice audio from my smartwatch.

    Does anyone know if Android Wear watches or the AppleWatch get visual voicemail?
  10. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Voicemail on the Apple Mirrors the functionality on the iPhone--get a notification who called with the ability to play it back right on the watch.
  11. LIVEFRMNYC thread starter macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    Nice. It's easier for Apple cause they have their own default VVM app. Wonders why stock Android never implemented that.
  12. jeremiah256 macrumors 65816


    Aug 2, 2008
    Southern California
    Pebble smartwatch

    Pebble, bought in 2014 for $100. Use with an iPhone 6.

    Design .... Plastic face with rubber-ish band. Average looks for a digital watch. Display is e-ink. Decent form factor at 52 x 36 x 11.5mm. I have small wrists and it is easy to hide under my sleeves. Has four buttons. Stand alone button on left side of the face is to return home or go back one step. Middle button on right side is to respond to notifications and for selections and menues. Top and bottom buttons on right side is for scrolling. You can use as a watch independently of the phone, complete with alarms. Connects to phone via Blu-Tooth.

    OS .... Proprietary OS. Very straight forward, nothing fancy. Can download applications and sync them via the phone but there is limited space on the watch. Stable OS but on the iPhone, it is not uncommon to have to turn Blu-Tooth on and off again to reconnect (I believe this is an iOS issue). Programming for the Pebble is possible as they provide the tools if you are so inclined.

    Screen .... 144 x 168 e-paper LCD display. There are multiple watch faces to choose from, but since the display is very basic, you aren't going to find anything impressive, but it is decent for the price.

    Durability .... Durable plastic. No issues tossing it around with the Occasional drop or two. Power connector on the watch is magnetic so no plug to worry about. Haven't been swimming with it but it is supposed to be water proof and I have taken it to the shower with no issues.

    Battery .... I receive a decent amount of notifications so it hasn't lasted the advertised 7 days, but I have gone 4-5 days with no issues. Battery seems to charge very quickly.

    Notifications .... In addition to receiving notifications for Twitter, Facebook, calls and texts, I use Google services such as Authenticator, Google Maps (get a buzz and notification on when to turn) and Google Now via Cards, and I use various health and sleep related apps to notify me to get up and about and display my progress. The buzz is pronounced and easily gains my attention. Cannot respond to calls or messages, but you can accept and decline calls from the phone. And (accidentally) hang up on them.

    Notable Features .... Enthusiastic Pebble community. Lots of IFTTT recipes you can use.

    App selection .... Very nice selection for such a limited device. You can keep multiple apps on the phone and add/subtract them from the watch as needed.

    Health/Fitness ... Relies on the phone for everything. Acts as a second screen so you can keep the phone in your pocket while exercising.

    Music ... See what is playing on Apple's, Google's, and other music and news applications. Can also stop, restart, skip and go back. No music on the phone itself.

    Overall .... A very decent device for $100. When I'm at work, I can silence my phone, put it away and only take it out when needed, while still getting my news and sports. I purposely bought the Pebble last year to help me resist buying an Apple Watch. I'd like the ability to auto reply to texts, and that it had a microphone and speaker so I could search Siri. But, the latter I can do with one of my Blu-Tooth headphones or headsets I already own, and replying to text messages is not worth an additional $250. Very pleased with the purchase, no regrets what so ever.
  13. three macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2008
    Washington State
    Moto 360 which I bought 6 months ago for $250. Using with my OnePlus One.

    Design – The Moto 360’s design is simple and minimal which I feel is gorgeous. I appreciate how it isn’t “bulky” or “flashy” like the LG G Watch R or the new LG Watch Urbane.
    OS – Android Wear is fantastic. It’s simple, it works, it’s understandable, and it’s perfect for the watch.
    Screen – I have no issues with it. A lot of people have whined about the flat tire but after having it for a good 6 months or so, I don’t notice it at all.
    Durability – I wear my 360 at work, where it’s unfortunately been bashed against many different objects and it’s holding up perfectly.
    Battery – Very happy with the battery life. I have ambient mode turned off and normally use customized versions of the provided OEM watchfaces. After a long day, the watch is at about 50 – 60% battery left. I charge it nightly. I also really appreciate the wireless charging of the 360, over that finicky and horrible method with the G Watch I had before.
    Notifications – Android Wear makes notification management easy with the complementary Android Wear application. I enjoy the ease.
    Notable Features – The recent addition and support of WiFi. It’s neat!
    App Selection – Wide application selection, as it’s Android Wear. A lot of the applications I use on a daily basis (Wunderlist, Keep, etc) have a companion application and I appreciate it.
    Texts – Very easy to view and respond to text messages. Can respond with the provided canned responses or respond with voice. I normally respond with voice but I try not to often because of the lack of punctuation and capitalization.
    Health / Fitness – This Moto 360 replaced my Fitbit Flex. Moto Body is a lot better than Google Fit in my opinion. Moto Body is an all in one fitness tracker, it tracks your heartrate, steps, calories, and more. I have Moto Body set to send a weekly email with my weekly statistics.
    Music – The Moto 360 doesn’t have a speaker. I use it often to control music playback via Spotify in the car so I don’t have to take my eyes off of the road.
    Overall – I absolutely LOVE my Moto 360. I have had little to no issues with it and am looking forward to the next 360!
  14. pdqgp, May 9, 2015
    Last edited: May 9, 2015

    pdqgp macrumors 68020


    Mar 23, 2010
    You can do that on the Gear S too. :cool:
  15. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    But you actually have to dial the VM number? When you have a voicemail message, does it list the contact or number who called automatically on the Gear S notification with a button to play the message?
  16. pdqgp macrumors 68020


    Mar 23, 2010
    Let me clarify. If the phone is tethered via BT or connected remotely (as if my phone is at home and I'm at the store), it's just a matter of pushing one button.

    When a voice mail comes to my Note 3, I get a notification of it and a one-button push to check it.


    I have my Note 3 configured to get Visual Voicemail too thus I also get this notification and one push to reveal the text (on my Note 3 though). I don't usually use this notification other than to see the name of the caller.


    If I'm running my watch completely remote voice messages will go right to my watch with a simliar set up as above available to them.

    If I get a VM at work it's usually forwarded to me via email as an attachment.

    If I get a VM at home, I get a text and that's where what I described was a speed dial with a one button push to check it.

    Overall, the Gear S is a very comprehensive little device.
  17. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Understood. Still think it doesn't get any easier than this.

    Attached Files:

  18. pdqgp, May 9, 2015
    Last edited: May 9, 2015

    pdqgp macrumors 68020


    Mar 23, 2010
    Yeah but you pretty much need your iPhone with you since currently the Apple Watch is nothing more than a small remote control for apps running off the phone. Not so with the Gear S.

    I can get my messages, or better yet, take take/make a call, anywhere anytime and I don't need my note 3 with me. Case in point today as I was out shopping for mothers day gifts with my kids and I simply left mt phone in the car.

    My phone rang, but I was not interested in taking a call from an employee so i let her go to voice mail. It's easy to listen to it and once I did, was able to quickly return her call since I decided it was a simple enough issue that wouldn't take but a minute to resolve.
  19. tbayrgs, May 9, 2015
    Last edited: May 9, 2015

    tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    I missed part where I was comparing the Apple Watch to the Gear S--believe I was just responding to a question about visual voicemail on the Apple Watch.

    But to elaborate, yes, I know what the Apple Watch is and what it's capable of. If I needed a smart watch that could be a completely stand alone device to replace my smartphone, I wouldn't have considered it. maybe I would've considered the Gear S (probably not because it's the size of a small smartphone itself). But I don't--I wanted a device that was an extension of my other devices, that offered some health and fitness tracking, that I could take for a run/walk and listen to music without my phone, and that worked with my iPhone. The Apple Watch checked all those boxes.

    And even though I can't use it for most things without my iPhone, it still does visual voicemail better than the Gear S. ;)
  20. pdqgp, May 9, 2015
    Last edited: May 10, 2015

    pdqgp macrumors 68020


    Mar 23, 2010
    better? I don't see it. Both can show name/number of who called and offer one touch access to listening to them. Just with Apple, it needs a paired iPhone is nearby...but I'm glad it works for you.

    In my case, I wanted a device that would allow me more functionality in more places without having to have a primary device with me. A device that I too could for a run/bike ride and listen to music, even stream music or use GPS without my primary phone having to be on me, and also still have full phone capabilities should I need it.

    Choices are great.


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