Top critical review
24 September 2018
This was my very first smart watch. I must say I'm a little disappointed. When I first used the watch it became apparently that is suffers from lag quite a lot. Unlocking the watch can be very slow with the touch screen seemingly ignoring input for a good 10 seconds or so. Same goes for launching some apps. The NFC payment for example. It's mapped to the lower button. Press it and it will either open slowly, or sometimes not at all. Causing you to press the button again, then it'll open and close. All very awkward when trying to pay. Any convenience of using it's contactless is lost when you realise it's quicker to just get your wallet out.
The google maps app also seems to suffer badly. When using navigation it seems to just suddenly stop for no reason with the app just sat there like I'm not moving. I've not managed to use it successfully once yet and always end up going back to my phone. Even when using the phone for navigation, the watch echo's the directions that the phone is giving. This is great if your phone is not in line of view as you can recheck the next direction. That is until it suddenly stops echoing the direction for no reason and your left asking your passenger to scrabble to find the phone and check where your supposed to be going.
As this was my first smart watch, I think I may have overestimated what you can do with them. Apps seem very limited with most not offering any additional convenience to have it on your wrist. Google assistant just continually gets things wrong and most of the time just too laggy. You press the button and wait for it to load. Once loaded you think it's listening and start talking to it but then realise it's only just started listening and only heard half of what you said. Same going for apps that use voice to dictate. Take sms messages for example. You press the little microphone icon to reply and after what seems like an eternity, it opens. You wait a little longer to make sure it's listening. Start talking and then wait for it to write it. Then you realise it's only got half of it. Try to re-record it and then it's got several words wrong. Get frustrated and end up just doing it on the phone.
No way for UK people to use amazon's Alexa service that I've found so far. There appears to be an app for the US, but doesn't work for UK servers.
I've also been disappointed by the watch faces. Most of the ones I've tried have been paid ones which I naively thought would give me something of good quality. Most of the apps are Garish and focus on gimmicky settings whilst missing the fundamental things someone might want to change. A lot of the paid faces will also then require and additional purchase to unlock premium features. I'm still looking something that fits.
Battery life is also very disappointing. You have to choose between using the watch during the day, or wearing it overnight to monitor sleep. You can't do both. With a basic watch face and little use other than a few notifications during the day, the battery still only lasts 14-15 hours. I have it on charge overnight and put it on in the morning. By 10pm it's usually at 15-20%. Not enough to go through the night. Even if it did have enough charge to go through the night, you'd then have to charge it the following day. I can't imagine what the battery life would be if I used the watch for doing fitness during the day.
All in all, very underwhelming. I'm left wondering if all smart watches are like this and just gimmicks. I'm inclined not to spend any more money to find out.