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
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.
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.
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.
– 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.
Highly recommended tracking device which is a breeze to use and has all the features you could possibly want in a fitness tracker.
Welcome to my review of the Belkin PowerHouse Apple Watch & iPhone Charger stand.
– 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
Welcome to my review of the Belkin Classic Leather Apple Watch Strap with a comparison with the Nike Sport Band.
– 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.
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.
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!
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??
Over Christmas I had time to experiment with different Apple Watch straps. I wanted to make my plain Series 2 watch more like the Apple Nike Watch. So I bought 2 different brand Apple Watch straps that claimed to look identical to the official versions.
So what I did was go for a black/yellow finish and the same Nike looking style strap, but in a colour not offered by Apple officially. I picked the red/black finish.
My observations are the plastic used in the third party straps are not of the same quality as Apple original straps, but they do costs over £30 less. As the straps have holes, they are slightly lighter, and they allow your skin breathe more.
To give you a better perspective, I have filmed a short video capturing more of the differences, comparisons with official Apple straps and showing the straps against some cases, for that perfect colour coordinated look.
In my video review, I am hoping you get a better perspective of the different straps, the quality versus and Apple original strap and some colour coordination with some official Apple iPhone cases.
My little experiment in discovering Nike style Apple Watch straps was a huge success. I personally prefer the black/yellow mix although I at times I like switching back to the red/black strap. The Nike looking straps looks gorgeous!
Other colours and mixes of straps are shown on using above links.
Apple created a new achievement award for 2017. It’s goal was to help people kick start and get back on track with their health and fitness activity. To achieve this new achievement award, you have to clear all 3 activity rings on the Apple Watch from a Monday to Sunday. In addition to receiving the reward, you also received new stickers in the messages app.
So I wondered whether I could focus and hit this new award. In the first week I hit the target. In fact on most days I exceeded the required elements for each activity ring. This also meant I lost 3 lbs. On some days to make sure I hit the minimum 30 mins exercise I did do a fast paced walk on the spot.
So my goal for 2017 is to undo the damage done over Christmas and New Year and continue my quest to get slimmer and healthier.
Remember, you don’t need an Apple Watch to stay fit, in fact you don’t need any fitness device, but if you do have a tracking device of any kind, I have found it has helped to share my progress with a friend. In my case, I am sharing my data with my wife. When either one of us clears a ring, the other is notified. The end result is it keeps both of us on track in a friendly competitive way.
So whatever your plans for 2017, good luck, stay fit and healthy. At the end of this month, I will update you on my progress. Hopefully, it continues the way it started.
“Fitbit is very close to announcing its plan to purchase Pebble, according to a new report from Bloomberg, which describes the rumored deal as “imminent.” The leading maker of fitness trackers has offered jobs to roughly 40 percent of Pebble’s staff, with most of those going to software engineers. Fitbit’s buyout of Pebble will focus on the smartwatch startup’s software assets, like the operating system on Pebble’s existing devices.
But the deal will reportedly not cover any hardware — including both current and future Pebble products. “The rest of Pebble’s assets, including product inventory and server equipment, will be sold off separately” says the report, which is backed by sources said to be familiar with the acquisition.
As a result, the Pebble Time 2 and Pebble Core will be canceled and won’t ever ship to Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers. Refunds will be issued to everyone that supported either product through crowdfunding.”
Not much to say other than its a shame to see that Pebble will cease to exist soon, but one can only hope that all the talented engineers from Pebble help make Fitbit devices even better.
When I got home last night, DPD had delivered my Apple iPhone 7 Plus Black and Apple Watch Series 2 Space Grey Sport with Black strap. I also picked up an Apple black leather case and a white sport band for the watch. In terms of finish, I chose black as opposed to jet black. The matte black looks cool.
I have been using android for ages and picking up the iPhone 7 Plus initially felt alien. My first problem was setting up the iPhone. I have 2 factor authentication on everything, and for some reason my SMS code was not appearing. 40 mins later, a plate of salmon and veg consumed, and voila, my SMS code arrived.
As you will know I had the Note 7 previously, so picking the iPhone 7 Plus up was a shock. The iPhone 7 Plus feels huge in comparison to the Note 7. However, based on the extensive drop tests by people on YouTube who have nothing better to do with their time, the extra bezels protects the iPhone a lot from damage.
Next up was the process on installing my essential apps first, then syncing my photos and music from my mac. Out of all the iPhones I have setup, the 7 Plus has been the fastest to sync everything across. Out of the 256gb, I only have 129gb free and I haven’t yet installed all my apps.
Now on to iOS 10. This is all new to me and I am on a learning curve. I am sure there are some bugs, in particular the iPhone 7 Plus was having some issues holding on to the mobile signal and kept showing every few minutes “no service”. This is worrying as I have a Three signal booster in the house. It should be maximum reception at all times. I will wait until I use the phone outside of my signal booster to see if it registers properly/differently on the Three network. I think this is a wifi bug as the connection held perfectly when I turned wifi off on the iPhone.
While the phone was syncing and downloading apps, I set up the Apple Watch series 2. It is faster than the original watch but not night and day faster. The Apple Watch is such a geeky piece of tech but also fun to use. Apple Pay on the watch is damn cool. Watch OS3 is such an improvement over the previous versions too.
I had a play with the camera, trying out some test shots and using some third party photo apps too. The camera shows a lot of promise. Is it better than the S7 or Note 7? I will answer that soon. In terms of audio, the iPhone 7 Plus is better than the S7 or Note 7 in every aspect – loudspeaker, wired headphones and bluetooth. I connected my Oppo PM-3 using the dongle to the lightning port, and the sound was excellent. Listening to music via my B & O Beoplay H5 over bluetooth was really superb too.
One thing I noticed is just how many more apps I have on iOS than android. Also gaming on iOS is so much smoother. The iPhone 7 Plus is so fast to use in real world usage. I will be testing my iOS game controller at some point as well.
I need to sort out my homes screen layout and folders in terms of positioning and content.Everything is not perfectly organised yet.
So my first 4 hours have been a mix of enjoyment, frustration, and learning the iOS way and getting used to the new home button!
All in all its a positive experience so far and I hope one that continues passed the honeymoon period.
Welcome to my review of the Samsung Gear Fit 2. This is Samsung’s updated fitness tracker from the original Gear Fit which I reviewed along with 18 other devices. Click HERE to re read any of the previous reviews.
– Display 1.5” Touch Curved sAMOLED 216 x 432
– Memory RAM: 512MB / Storage: 4GB
– Battery 200mAh / Typical usage time : 3~4 days /Standby time : Up to 5 days /GPS battery time : Up to 9 hours
– Sensor GPS, HR, Accelerometer, Gyro, Barometer
– AP Dual-core (1GHz Dual)
– Compatibility Android 4.4/ 1.5GB RAM
– Water Resistant IP68
– Small Size fits wrists – 125 – 170mm
– Large Size fits wrists – 155 – 210mm
– Weight 29g
The Gear Fit 2 includes a built-in GPS so that you track your running route, distance and speed in real time. It also has a built in heart rate sensor so whether your running, walking, cycling or elliptical training the Gear Fit 2 has you covered. Check out the video review to see all the different exercise options. The 1.5 inch display is excellent and shows all your stats needed as you workout. The Gear Fit 2 comes with a number of different watch faces, some are customisable too. The Gear Fit 2 comes in black, pink and blue. I have a black Gear Fit 2 in large. I would recommend large for most people. Samsung have added a feature called Together, which is one on one comparison with another person. S Health app is needed for this too. You can also connect a pair of bluetooth headphones and stream music from the Gear Fit 2.
Overall the Gear Fit 2 is really polished affair.
Now check out the video review, which reveals more information from the app and fitness tracker, watch faces, options and lot’s more.
Samsung have excelled themselves with the Gear Fit 2. It is ultra comfortable to wear and is easy to understand and operate. It also is accurate and works really well. Recommended.
For the more info and the latest pricing on Amazon – http://amzn.to/2bcMHat
Welcome to my review of the Withings Activite Steel watch. The key features are –
– Automatic activity tracking – Steps, runs, swims (water resistant – 50m) and calories burned
– Sleep monitoring – Sleep cycle analysis (light and deep sleep) plus silent vibrating alarm
– Automatic synchronisation – Visualise trends and data on your smartphone with the free Health Mate app available on iOS and android
– Premium materials – Stainless steel, chrome hands, silicon sport strap
– No charging – Up to 8-month battery life
The Withings Activite Steel smartwatch is a breeze to setup. You download the Health Mate app, and follow the simple instructions. I was all setup within 5 mins. Syncing is done periodically during the day using Bluetooth Low Energy. This is an analogue, swiss style watch. The watch strap is easily removable with a built in slide pin. Withings sell leather straps made from quality Barenia leather from Haas Tanneries, the supplier of the finest French Haute Couture houses. Choice of black or tawny brown colours. A single leather strap is £100. The silcone strap is also replaceable with other colour straps. Withings sell a 3 pack of coloured silicone straps for £25. The colours are orange, plum and teal.
The watch has a dial for the hands and minute hands. The other dial moves from 0 to 100% of step target. On the app you set how many steps is you goal. The Health Mate app displays a whole range of data.
The Health Mate app is elegantly designed, displays all your data, auto tracks exercises and shows the data for that exercise. GPS is not included.
You can share your data, get competitive with friends and view different stats over various time periods.
The first thing I noticed is the comfort of the strap. Next the watch size is much smaller than expected. In fact, I decided it was too small to look at on my wrist and lost interest in wearing it. In my mind a watch that is meant to look like a watch, needs to look cool and smart first. However, I think changing the strap for orange or black leather would be a better choice. I cannot believe this doesn’t need charging and lasts 8 months. This takes all the pain out of charging a tracker. In fact it never needs charging. It uses a standard watch battery which you replace after 8 months. Again, my main issue is the watch costs around £139 but just doesn’t look expensive enough. There is a Sapphire version which does look smarter. Some people will prefer the smaller size watch face. The strap is 18mm.
Despite its size, it is a wonderful activity / sleep tracker. I love how the analogue dial moves round showing you the percentage of your goal. Your step goal is set in the app. This is the first tracker that I didn’t feel the need to know my actual number of steps. This is shown when you open the app. I also like the simplicity of the watch. One last option is a silent alarm. Notifications are not possible.
For me the negatives were its small watch face and strap which made it look wrong on my wrist. For others this could be ok. As a tracking it worked well.