Category Archives: Wearables

Apple Watch – The Real Story from WWDC 2019 – Editorial

At WWDC 2019, Apple showed off the new version of Watch OS. The big news wasn’t the new watch faces, or new features to the health app it was the few changes to the operating system that will make the biggest difference to using the Apple Watch since it got launced.

Currently, if you want to use an Apple Watch, you need to use an iPhone. This is frustrating if you say wanted to use your Apple Watch with your favourite android phone, because this was not an option.

Now with the new Watch OS beta, Apple has included the Apple App Store directly on the watch. This paves the way for the Apple Watch to be used either completely untethered, or even with any phone of your choice.

Why would Apple consider doing this? Well it is no secret iPhone sales are in decline. Apple has maintained profits by pushing the average price of the iPhone higher and higher. However, this doesn’t stop the decline of sales of the iPhone.

It is no secret that the Apple Watch is the number one selling smart watch world wide, and likely the biggest selling watch period. So with an App Store on the watch, this leaves Apple with an option for people to buy the watch without needing an iPhone and even with the possibility of using it on another platform, like android.

If Apple enabled this, just imagine the exponential increase in sales of the Apple Watch. Who knows the Apple Watch one day could be the actual replacement for the iPhone, or a version of it.

Picture Source – Apple

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Huawei Watch GT – First Impressions incl Full Walkthrough of UI

Welcome to my First Impressions and Hands on with the Huawei Watch GT.

The Huawei Watch GT compliments Huawei’s wearable family. It runs Huawei’s own operating system, Lite OS. The Watch GT is an extension of Huawei eco system.

With the Watch GT, Huawei wanted to create something similar to Garmin and Fitbit. However, they also wanted the watch to look like a sports watch.

Some of the feature highlights includes a superb battery life. It has the potential for 22 hours with continuous everything. This is with GPS on and continuous heart rate monitoring. More realistic and what most people will achieve is up to 2 weeks with general usage. Or if you restrict the background activities the battery will last up to 30 days.

Apart from Huawei using their own OS, it also has their own chipset with a low and high power core, which will kick into action, depending on what’s needed by the user. Some of the fitness features include real time performace when running, a heart rate system now uses a 6 system light system to read heart rate. It uses the sensors and AI to understand where the watch is precisely placed on your wrist to give you more accurate readings. GPS location is derived via 3 different GPS systems to help triangulate more accurate and faster tracking. The Huawei Watch GT also includes an altimeter.

In terms of compatibility, the Huawei Watch is compatible with iOS and android. Data is synced and displayed using the updated Huawei Health app.

Huawei Watches on Amazon UK

Google Daydream View & Samsung Gear VR (Note 8) Reviews & Comparison – The Ultimate Shootout

Welcome to my reviews of the new Google Daydream View VR Handset and the upgraded Samsung Gear VR which now fits the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Google Daydream View Key Features

– Headset – Dimensions Length 167.8 mm x Width 117.1 mm x Height 100.2 mm
– Weight 261 g
– Material Lightweight fabric
– Colours Fog, Coral, Charcoal
– Compatibility Daydream-ready phones including Google Pixel 2, Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ & Note 8, Moto Z & Z2 and more

– Controller – Dimensions Length 105 mm x Width 35 mm x Height 17 mm
– Weight 40 g
– Sensors 9 axis IMUs for precision tracking
– Wireless Bluetooth low energy (LE)
– Ports & Connectors USB-C charger and cable (not provided in box)
– Battery – 220 mAh battery (rechargeable)

Samsung Gear VR (Note 8) Key Features

– 101º Field of View
– Sensors – Accelerometer,Gyro Sensor,Proximity Sensor
– Headset Dimension (HxWxD) 98.6 x 207.8 x 122.5 mm
– Weight 345g
– 800+ apps
– USB Type C and Micro USB connectors

Main Review

I have used VR for about 2 years and in that time quite a bit has changed. There are many more apps and experiences available. The Samsung Gear VR experience is superb. Lots of apps, slick software too. The headset is over 100g heavier than the Daydream View. The Daydream is lighter and more comfortable to wear. But I had glitches using it with my Note 8, whereby I had to keep removing the Note 8 out of the headset to fix things so that I could move on again. At one point, it was driving me mad. However, it is all about the software. If you find an app or game that you prefer on one platform or another, then that might hold some more weight for you. Personally, I think Samsung is superior in both hardware and software at the moment, but is restricted by the fact it only works for certain Samsung phones. Therefore, with Daydream View you probably will end up with the ability to use it with so many different phones and brands. Now continue to the video review for more insights.

Video Review

Conclusion

Quite simply if you have a Samsung phone that is compatible with the Gear VR, then stick to Samsung’s own offering. It offers a wide selection of content and a slicker software package. For everyone else, Google’s Daydream View offers compatibility across multiple brands. It just lacks the number of VR apps and slick software experience.

Useful Links

Google Daydream View – more info and latest pricing on Amazon – click HERE
Samsung Gear VR with Controller (Note 8 version) – more info and latest pricing on Amazon – click HERE

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro Review – Samsung’s new Fitness Tracker with GPS and more

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro review. This is the latest fitness tracker from Samsung that introduces a few new changes that make it a decent fitness device.

Key Features

– Super AMOLED Curved and Capacitive Screen
– Compatible Androïd 4.4 and more, and IOS 9.0 and more
– Waterproof: 5 ATM, waterproof up to 50m according to ISO Standard 22810: 2010
– GPS, Accelerometer, Heart Rate Monitor, Gyro, Altimeter Barometer
– Notifications: social networks, SMS, calls, calendar, reminder, weather, “do not disturb”
– 4gb storage, Bluetooth 4.2
– Weight 34g
– Battery 200mAh

The Gear Fit 2 Pro strap is water resistant up to 5 ATM. It also has a slightly smaller 1.5 inch screen the original Gear Fit 2, which enables it to curve slightly better around your wrist. The strap has been improved to a more traditional system that can’t pop off by accident.

You can now swim in the pool or the ocean, using the inbuilt the Speedo application developed for Gear Fit2 Pro. This tracks your statistics and presents them in easy-to-read summaries.

UA RECORD: View your activity, sleep and workout statistics in a dashboard and learn about your health and fitness levels.

MapMyRun: Plan and follow your itineraries with real-time maps and capture each race, walk up and walk.

MyFitnessPal: Eat smarter and achieve your health goals by monitoring the calories you consume and burn.

Endomondo: Join a global fitness enthusiast community when you achieve your racing goals with personal training plans.

I really like the auto detection. So whether you’re playing tennis, basketball or even dance moves, the Gear Fit 2 Pro will automatically detect and save the activity. It also measures your heart rate continuously throughout the day, indicating heart rate zones, to help you make better fitness decisions.

There are more than 3,000 apps and watch faces to choose from, including Spotify. These are available from the Galaxy App. However, I doubt you will ever need to download more than 3 extra apps.

The Samsung Gear Application and Samsung S Health are fantastic piece of software which have improved considerably over the years, as well as opening up to tons of third party fitness and health services.

Amazon at the time of writing were selling the Gear Fit 2 Pro lower than Samsung’s own website. Click HERE.

Video Review

Conclusion

Highly recommended tracking device which is a breeze to use and has all the features you could possibly want in a fitness tracker.

Belkin PowerHouse Dual Apple Watch & iPhone Charger Stand – Review

Welcome to my review of the Belkin PowerHouse Apple Watch & iPhone Charger stand.

Key Features

– Dual fast charging: Dock offers 3.4 A total power output (1 A for Apple watch, 2.4 A for iPhone); simultaneously charge iPhone via lightning connector and Apple watch via integrated magnetic charger at the high speed possible
– Safe, neat, elegant: Elevates Apple watch safely while charging and provides easy access and visibility to both devices; built-in power supply with 1.2 m/4 feet cable and UK/EU plugs supplied for your convenience.
– Universally case compatible: Wheel at back of stand raises/lowers lightning connector to fit any protective case; forwards/backwards movable connector makes it easy to plug in your device
– MFI certified: Electronical accessory has received Apple’s made for Apple watch and made for iPhone certifications which ensure compatibility and performance
– Compatibility: Compatible with all Apple iPhones with lightning connector such as iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus or SE and all Apple watches such as Apple watch Series 2, Nike+, Edition or Series 1

Review

Conclusion

The Belkin PowerHouse Apple Watch & iPhone Charger Stand was far better than I anticipated and now sits proudly on my bedside table. Highly recommended. Available from Amazon.

Belkin Classic Leather Apple Watch Strap review vs Nike Sport Band


Welcome to my review of the Belkin Classic Leather Apple Watch Strap with a comparison with the Nike Sport Band. 

Key Features 

– The classic Apple watch strap is made from genuine high grade Italian leather

– Custom designed fittings ensure a secure fit and easy band exchange. That is black metal to match the Apple Sports Watch frame!

– 3 mm thick band and extra holes for maximum comfort and fit for your wrist

– Fits 42 mm Apple watch, Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch Edition, Apple Watch Nike+, Apple Watch Hermès, series 1 and 2

– Available in three different colours black, tan brown and grey

– A lot cheaper that the Apple Leather Strap. 

Available from Amazon UK.

Video Review

Android Wear vs Apple Watch OS – Android plays catch up nearly

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Last night Google announced the new Android Wear 2.0 update and LG announced some new watches that run the new update.

So how does Android Wear 2.0 compare to the Apple Watch?

– Complications are now included in Android Wear. Finally!
– Android Wear now allows switching between the different watch faces like the Apple Watch.
– GPS enabled android wear watches now work standalone, something Apple introduced months ago.
– Android Pay is now included if the watch has NFC
– Now its possible to select which apps are installed on the android wear watch.

– Google Assistant vs Siri – You decide which is better 🙂
– Android Wear now has its own version of the Google Play store
– LTE – Mobile connection on android wear are possible without a phone. The Apple Watch does not offer this.
– Google Fit has been revamped and now has auto workout detection.

Whilst it is clear Google has copied or has been inspired by Apple, it is great to see such big and worthy improvements to the android wear platform.

I sincerely hope android wear is now successful as Apple needs some competition for its Apple Watch.

Source

Apple Watch – Activity & New Years Resolution – How I’ve managed to clear all 3 rings every day and stay motivated

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Apple Watch, staying fit, being more active and New Year resolutions. Sound familiar.

My New Year resolution in 2017 was to continue my weight loss and improve my fitness. As you can see from the screen shot above, I have cleared all 3 activity rings on my Apple Watch every day this January, with just today to complete for the perfect month.

To recap, to clear the 3 rings, you need to first do enough calories to hit the calorie goal, exercise for 30 mins per day whereby your heart rate registers higher than just walking and stand for 1 min minimum in at least 12 hours per day. Apple’s method is slightly different from a few other fitness devices eg Fitbit which set a target of 10,000 steps per day. Apple’s approach is to ensure you stay more active during the course of the whole day and raise your heart rate to complete 30 mins exercise.

This year I decided to set a lower calorie target of just 400 calories per day. This meant if I was having a long day at work in meetings or driving or something else I had a higher chance of hitting this target. I don’t know about you, but if I had failed to hit the target one day during January, I could have easily given up. With a lower target, I am feeling more and more motivated and pleased that I am smashing my target. In reality, the lowest amount of calories burnt per day is 700. Every day I complete, makes me more motivated to complete the next day. I also like receiving the various achievements awarded in the activity app. After a successful day today, I will get my successful month award.

The next difficult part is completing 30 minutes exercise per day. The simplest solution I have found is to listen to some upbeat energetic music, and walk/jog on the spot at home. Sometimes, exercise minutes are registered when I walk my dogs but normally walking my dogs doesn’t translate into enough exercise minutes. Of course I could go to the gym, but with such a busy life and living on rural Dartmoor, going to a gym is not practical.

The final aspect of hitting the daily goals, is making sure you are sharing your progress with a suitable friend or two. This really helps maintain focus and adds a friendly competitive nature to the challenge.

Now if you don’t have an Apple Watch, all of the above still applies. Don’t set an unrealistic tough goal for each day. Set one that you know you will hit to keep you motivated and compete with friend or two.

Finally good luck!

A Smart Hairbrush – With Microphones, Sensors and an App – Seriously?

hairbrush-kv

Experience the world’s first smart hairbrush that empowers you to track and improve hair health over time. This product results from a collaboration between Kérastase and L’Oréal, who bring worldwide hair expertise, and Withings, which brings state of the art sensors and app connectivity to everyday products. The resulting innovation is a brush that syncs seamlessly to your smartphone to provide valuable insights that can help revolutionize the home beauty routine.

Withings has developed the world’s first smart hairbrush that provides a holistic hair assessment. Integrating the best of hairbrush design with an array of high-tech sensors, Hair Coach sends all data automatically to the dedicated app, where you can view trends and get valuable advice on how to better care for your hair.

Unfortunately this is just the start of everyday items that will have an app and connect to the internet. I just don’t see the point of this. do you??

Source & More Info – Withings