In the for-what-it’s-worth department, I’ve changed watches again.
I had been wearing my Fitbit Versa (Gen 1) for a couple of years. The primary reason anyone wears a watch is to tell time. Every watch does it and that’s about ninety percent of its function for me. Another nine percent of the time, I like to see my phone notifications without having to resort to picking up or pulling out my phone. The rest for the time it’s a heart monitor, countdown timer, or quick weather updater. The Fitbit did all these things and more. But the ‘more’ part is where it went sideways. I tried to track my sleep with it for awhile. But thanks to my Atenolol medication my heart rate drops to a point that the Fitbit defines as ‘sleep’ while I’m streaming media. I tried to use it as a step counter but found that either my gait is too stealthy or it should be renamed a stomp counter. And I tried to use it as an activity motivator. To be fair, it did prompt me to be active. But mostly it did this while I was sitting and working on other things.
Earlier this year I was intrigued by the WyzeWatch. I was introduced to it when it was advertised at me. And I do mean ‘advertised at me’. Google Analytics had noticed multiple instances of the words “new”, “smart”, and “watch”. In my searches. I was a target and I fell for it. Honestly, the WyzeWatch does do everything that I was doing with my Fitbit … only cheaper. And it was cheaper. It only set me back about twenty bucks. It doesn’t look too shabby. It’s like an Apple watch if you remove everything Apple about it. But, It does have some serious shortcomings. The step counter is even more inaccurate than the Fitbit’s. The sleep monitor is just as unreliable but not any worse. And the countdown timer alarm only seems to work haptically about half the time. With those weaknesses, it didn’t take long before I was switching back and forth between the Versa and WyzeWatch. Each has about a four or five day charge so that’s how often I would swap one for the other. Next time I’m hiking or working demolition, I’ll be wearing my WyzeWatch.
Apparently the ability to compare and contrast two objects makes me critical of both. I was finding myself increasingly unsatisfied with the status quo. I wanted a watch that was more like my belly-up ZenWatch. I had been reading that such a watch was just over the horizon. That there was a new chipset. That WearOS was being revamped. That week-long battery was almost there. And then it happened.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 was available at BestBuy. I guess I wasn’t paying attention. It seems like it just showed up. It has a new chipset. (Not the one that I had been reading about…an even better one.) It comes with WearOS 3. Which is apparently different from Android Wear entirely. It has a two+ day battery life. It even has both a microphone and a speaker. That puts it ahead of any watch I’ve owned in the past decade. And now I own one.
My habit has been to wear it all day long, notifying me of everything my phone wants to tell me. Then I wear it to bed and have it track my sleep, which it does with moderate success. I can turn on snoring monitor where it records thirty seconds of audio when it hears snoring. (I don’t need to do that too often. It’s everything that Thea says it is.) I get up in the morning, take it off and put it on the charger. I have my ‘breakfast’, do my crossword, take my shower and put back on my fully charged watch.
It has enough added functionality that I’m caught off-guard by it’s intelligence sometimes. We were walking in the store the other day when it shook my wrist and said “You’re exercising. Let me launch the step-counter for you and log it.” Bonus points for you, Watch4.