Monday, June 29, 2015

Life After Samsung and Other Blasphemy

Well I finally jumped off the Samsung reservation when my wife got me the RCA Maven (at my suggestion) for Father’s Day. I made another step even further off the reservation after I purchased a Moto 360 a few weeks ago. Now in the defense of Samsung I was originally trying to get a Samsung Fit, because I no longer trusted the Samsung Gear to make a comfortable watch, but the Fit looked like it would be a better “fit” (see what I did there) for my comfort and usability. Unfortunately I was purchasing the smart watch from Staples because I had a pile of Staples bucks I had to use up before they expired, and the Samsung Fit was out of stock and no longer available through Staples Online. The Moto 360 on the other hand was on sale for $189 and with the $60 worth of Staples Bucks and free shipping, I bit.

Now of course I was looking forward to the watch because at the very least I knew it would be more comfortable than the Samsung. It also was more stylish as it had a leather band and a round face. For the most part I just want my watch to show the time, count my steps and interact with my smart phone, so the fact that this watch was cheaper than any of the FitBits that would meet all of my requirements; I figured anything else it could do is gravy. The truth of what the watch could do was impressive almost immediately. Now I like everyone else had problems installing the software to my smart phone, and after lots of research online I will tell you exactly what the problem is and how to fix it, so if you don’t read this and have all these issues down the road, screw you. You have to have Google services installed on your phone, which most people do, but I like most people have it disabled. By just enabling the feature the software installs just fine.

The watch is amazingly comfortable and it appears to be reasonably water proof. Get water on your Gear and you may be in for a bad day. The alerts on this watch work a heck of a lot better than they did on the Gear, and (I hear Samsung went with the Android Wear interface so this isn’t a problem anymore) the Android Wear works where the Samsung Gear interface never did. Of course the Samsung Gear did the basics of what I wanted to, it left me rather underwhelmed and not really wanting much more. Now that the Moto 360 is on my wrist I have been enjoying more of the smart watch features than I had in the past. Most of them are Google centric features (Keep, Mail, etc) but it integrates well with I Heart Radio, and of course being able to talk to it helps too. It’s voice recognition appears to work very well when I take notes or go to voice dial, but I am pretty good at speaking clearly. I’ll have to find someone that mumbles to try it out and get back to me.

I realize that everyone is out there talking up the Apple Watch, and I can even see that it does a lot more than the Moto 360 BUT, if I were you I would think long and hard about what you want to do with a smart watch. The guy in the next cubicle over has one of those new Apple Watches and he seems pretty pissed off at it all the time. It does everything that they promised it would do, but as he is finding out, it is a lot easier said than done. My Moto 360 does everything I want it too, and again for at least half the price. My Galaxy Gear did everything I wanted it too, and for years before the people waiting for the Apple watch. Weigh your options and make sure you know what you are doing. I’m pretty sure that if something happens to this watch I will be looking for another one, but another thing I want to warn you about that I learned with my last one and was out in front of on this one, get yourself a tempered glass scratch guard. Things you wear on your wrist get bumped against a lot of things, no matter how careful you are.