Wearable watch woes

Amazafit-GTR4 smartwatch

A little while ago posted how I have finally stopped using the Pebble smartwatch (I still own one and hold on to it). Funny enough a few people sent me posts about how about a quarter of a million people still use the pebble smartwatch. Of course I was one them for a long time.

I moved to a TicWatch3 which is a Android wear OS smartwatch. It was good and the Android wear system was quite good but the Android overhead is a massive resource hog. It was on a recent trip to London while using using the sleep tracking, I woke up to find the watch dead after 36hrs. I decided enough and swapped it for the Amazfit GTR4.

Its a good smartwatch with lots of options and great battery life (generally about 6-8 days on a charge). I was aware of the complexity of options but the interface and ecosystem makes things more tricky.

For example, I currently have two apps installed on my phone. Zepp and Notify. Main reason for Notify is because of sleep as android. There has been a few times when the watch has disconnected from the phone during night leaving zero feedback about my sleep stages, heart-rate, etc. The disconnection happens more than I’d like and the only way to get it back is to restart the watch or mess with my phones bluetooth.

Other annoying things include not being able to voice reply to messages, this was built into Pebble’s since the Pebble Time & Pebble 2. Its strange because it has everything needed to do it like the voice assistant (which is annoyingly the Alexa voice assistant, wish I could change that)

Right now I’m looking through the FAQ, forums like XDA and even Reddit.

Generally its a great smartwatch and I’m generally happy but really need to  spend time understanding how to do simple things like control my remote music. Ideally it needs a well thought out UI with a paradigm like the Pebble has.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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