Kate's Comment

Thoughts on British ICT, energy & environment, cloud computing and security from Memset's MD

SmartWatch 2: 6 weeks later (the flaws)

In early October I bought myself a SmartWatch 2. You can see my initial review here. Six weeks on, and I have a new one. Here is why!

Dodgy straps

The main flaw I discovered in the SmartWatch 2 is that the rubber strap it comes with can very easily unclip from the watch. It uses a standard watch bar (size 24 I believe), but since the strap is rubber it can flex. I first found this, to my cost, when swinging my backpack off my shoulder to get to my purse. The SmartWatch caught in the backpack shoulder strap, pinged off and hit the concrete of the station ticketing hall. The screen was shattered.

However, like most touchscreens, it kept on working despite this. I soldiered on but after six weeks of mild embarrassment at the broken thing on my wrist, and more than a few nasty little glass shards in my fingers, I decided enough was enough.

Happily, they only now cost £75, so I just bought a new one. I’ve also come up with a solution to the strap problem. It is also in my view particularly ugly, so I’ve been to see my favorite jeweler, Preston and Duckworth in Guildford, and they are sorting me out with a solid, leather, navy blue watch strap. As mentioned, the fitting is a standard watch one.

Technical hiccoughs

The other problems I’ve found are more technical in nature. First, the SmartWatch sometimes does not pair automatically with my phone. I’ve played with powering both devices on and off, and switching bluetooth on and off, but can’t reliably repeat the problem. Bluetooth is notoriously flakey though! On the plus side, the newer SmartWatch seems less prone to this issue (power cycling it seems to fix it).

The other is more of an annoyance. I love the SmartWatch since it allows me to use my phone while it is in my backpack. The other part of this system is my bluetooth headphones; I can make and receive calls completely hands free. However, my favorite SmartWatch app, Wristn (see earlier review) requires accessibility to be enabled on the phone.

For some reason Android uses this toggle to determine if it should announce what page you’re on when swiping between screens. That means that if I do use my phone in its usual manner I get an annoying (and loud), “Page 3, Page 4, Page 5” as I swipe between home pages.

Despite these niggles I’m still a fan though, and that’s why I’ve bought another one. I still highly recommend it.

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