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Category: Smart Watch

FROM APPLE IWATCH TO SAMSUNG GEAR S: THE SMARTWATCH BATTLE GETS UNDERWAY

Posted on January 25, 2019  in Smart Watch

Finally, it looks like the battle of the wearables will begin soon. It’s only been weeks since the LG and Samsung launched G Watch and Gear Live running Android Wear, and now both companies are all set to battle it out with the highly anticipated Moto 360 with newer round/curvy watches. After a string of rumours and lots of flip-flop, Apple is also expected to announce the iWatch on September 9. The list doesn’t end here; Microsoft is also prepping its smartwatch that will work with all leading OS platforms, while Asus and HTC have been hinting at foraying into the wearables segment too. All in all, we can expect an extravaganza of smartwatches over the next few months, and this holiday season could possibly be all about gifting smartwatches. It may be too soon to decide the fate the smartwatches, but we cant deny the fact that the true smartwatch era is set to begin too. here’s a quick round-up of the smartwatches expected to be enter the markets soon.
Apple iWatch

It is only fair to begin the list with the iWatch, and word about its development has triggered the race for the smartwatch market. The rumours about the iWatch began early last year, but after a no-show for almost over a year, Apple is now set to launch its fitness-focussed band alongside the iPhone 6 next month. As far as Apple iWatch rumours go, it has been reported that the watch could be available in two sizes of 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch flexible AMOLED displays. In terms of battery life, rumour mills had noted that Apple is testing newer and innovative ways for charging methods for the watch, which includes technology to enable inductive, solar, and motion charging of the wearable, thus minimising the constant battery consumption. Considering the recent track record of Motorola, we expect relatively lower price for the Moto 360.
Besides the battery and the display, we also know a few tidbits about some other features of the device. According to Kuo, one can expect a sapphire lens cover, biometric recognition and an NFC chip. Moreover, there has been buzz about Apple working on some new sensors that can check a person’s hydration levels, blood pressure, and sweat,  components that can assist professional athletes during their training exercises. This further fuels speculations about the wearable device combined with Apple’s HealthKit could be capable of tracking steps, calories burned, heart rate and more. Here’s a quick Apple iWatch rumour-roundup.
iWatch concept seen before

As the year flagged off, we have been hearing about Apple going on a medical expert hiring spree. In January, there were reports about two medical wearable specialists, including one of Indian origin, being brought on board by Apple. Apple is also believed to have teamed up with some notable athletes to test the alleged iWatch’s fitness capabilities. Over the month of June, Apple had reportedly invited athletes from the MLB, NHL, and NBA to its Cupertino campus to brief them on the upcoming smartwatch.
Moto 360

The Moto 360 is one of the most highly anticipated wearables set to be unveiled early next month. The company is expected to lunch the new smartwatch alongside its successors to the Moto G and Moto X. According to a previous report by DroidLife, the Moto 360 is priced at $249 that translates to Rs 15,100. Its circular face measures 1.5-inch LCD display and features 320×290 pixels of resolution. It also comes with a heart rate monitor and a pedometer. The Moto 360 is powered by a Texas Instruments processor coupled with 512MB of RAM, claims the company. If this leaked page is to be believed than the Moto 360 is priced almost equivalent to the other two smartwatches – LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live. This also seems contrary to the ‘aggressive pricing’ that Punit Soni, VP, Product management, Motorola Mobility had been claiming.

 

 Samsung Gear S

Samsung has pulled the wraps off its next iteration in the wearable Gear range  in the form of the Gear S. This IP67 certified wearable is dust and water resistant, and  runs Samsung’s own Tizen instead of Android Wear. It sports a 2-inch curved Super AMOLED display. One will find support for 3G as well as Wi-Fi connectivity. This Bluetooth-enabled wearable also comes with improved multi-sensors and built-in GPS. The wearable also offers turn-by-turn pedestrian navigation offered by the mapping service HERE, advanced reading technology from Spritz and comes with social media integration. It will also support the Gear apps along with Samsung features like S Voice, Find My Device and Power Saving Mode. The Gear S will be available in global markets in phases starting October.
LG G Watch R

While LG launched its G Watch last month, it was secretly working on a circular variant of the wearable to take on the Moto 360. With wasting any time, the company has quickly announced its all new G Watch R that will debut at the IFA this year. The company claims it to be the first watch-style wearable device to feature a circular Plastic OLED (P-OLED) display and utilise 100 percent of its watch face. A 1.3-inch full circle P-OLED display means it would directly compete with the Moto 360. The G Watch R is powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor coupled with 512MB RAM and fuelled by a 410mAh battery. One can expect 4GB onboard storage. Unlike the newly announced Samsung Gear S, it runs Android Wear, Google’s OS especially crafted for wearables.

Just like most the wearables , the G watch R has been built to sustain liquid spills. However, the company claims that with an Ingress Protection Rating of IP67, it is designed to run for up to 30 minutes in one meter of water. It is also dust resistant. The classic circular device is encased in a strong, durable stainless steel frame and carries a suite of watch faces that can be accessed with a simple touch of the display. It also gets interchangeable 22mm calf skin leather strap.
Microsoft smartwatch

Microsoft was terribly late in updating its smartphone OS, after Apple’s and Android’s initial success and it possibly plans to not make the same mistake when it comes to wearables. News has it that the software giant plans to launch its first smartwatch in October. The company is said to be in talks with suppliers about design and plans to rope in an always-on heart rate sensor too. The company doesn’t want to limit the support for WP devices and the device is also rumoured to support Android as well as iOS.  So, a cross-platform functionality and always-on heart rate monitor coupled with some other improved fitness features, would possibly work for Microsoft. With Kinect in tow, it could also introduce some gesture-enabled features for the smartwatch.
 Asus smartwatch
Asus is also gearing to launch its newest smartwatch at the IFA this year. Though not much is known about the Asus wearable yet, it is believed to be priced between $99 and $149 (approximately Rs 5,900 to 9,000). It is likely to come fitted with a curved AMOLED display and the device will be named Zenwatch. For the rest of the details, we’ll have to wait until the official launch.
HTC smartwatch

Though we don’t know anything about the HTC smartwatch, the company has made it quite clear that it is working on one. HTC’s official video named “HTC Design – Behind The Scenes” that lasted not more than 1.05 minutes showed a square-shaped watch. The video showed some employees at a desk, probably testing the watch. The video also showed a 3D render of the watch on one of the computer displays. This means, the company clearly wants everyone to know that it working on a watch, which could be launched anytime soon.

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Category: Smart Watch

10 MUST-HAVE FEATURES IN A SMART WATCH

Posted on January 25, 2019  in Smart Watch

The smartwatch industry seems to evolved very quickly in such a short time.  The rumors about an Apple iWatch smartwatch and the uber successful Pebble crowd funding on Kickstarter seemed to make many companies accelerate their planning to release their own smartwatch devices as soon as possible.  Some analysts called the smartwatch a pre-mature and niche product, but that doesn’t stop many companies to release some very innovative products.
There are some companies that really did an amazing job I have to say. Neptune Pine is a remarkable Android-derived smartwatch with phone capabilities, GEAK watch boasts tons of sensors, WiFi, NFC, GPS and Bluetooth 4.0 and Filip smartwatch acts as a smart location and phone for kids. In just a short time we’ve seen some amazing products and that’s just the beginning — so you just can wonder what we expected to see next.
In this article I want to talk about 10 must-have features that I think many people would love to have on their next smartwatch.  If you find some features that you don’t see in the following list and you really want to have those on your smartwatch, please leave a comment below and tell us what those are.
Customizable Watchfaces — a Watchface is the visual design of the clock. Because smartwatches are digital watches, every smartwatch should have an option to allow people to customize the digital clock watch face to their liking. Pebble is among those smartwatch companies who did a remarkable work — allowing Pebble watch owners to customize the watchfaces in various ways via code. This lead for various online services like mypebblefaces.com to offer a service to install and share watchfaces. watchface-generator.de allows you to create your own watchface and download it to your pebble smartwatch. This feature should be available on all smartwatches, as the clock will probably the home screen of many smartwatches — at least a part of it.
Touch sensitive display and Virtual keyboard — Not all the smartwatches on the market have a touchscreen. This is in my opinion a must have feature.  The days are gone where we needed to use buttons to operate our smartphone, the same should apply to smartwatches as well. Buttons are clumsy and navigating menus using buttons is cumbersome. A touchscreen with multi-touch gestures is the way to go. It simplified the UI navigation and operations that are available for the user, making it easier and faster to operate the watch. Some of you might worry that due to the small screen size, there won’t be an option to use a full QWERTY virtual keyboard. I have good news for you, the Neptune Pine (Android-based smartwatch) has a full size QWERTY virtual keyboard.  It does have less buttons than the smartphone, but all the letters are there — and each key is the same size as on the iPhone!
Replaceable watch straps— this is in my opinion another must have feature on smart watches. There will probably no be many ways to customize the smartwatch.  The watch strap will probably be among the only physical parts of the smartwatch that can be customized. Furthermore,  the smartwatch is also a wearable fashion accessory, and people will want to match the color of their watch to their clothes. I would prefer my watch to be the same color as my shoes and belt. I would appreciate an option to change my smartwatch strap to one with a different color. We might even see a smartwatch with replaceable frame that comes in different colors. I also would like the ability to change my smartwatch strap from a rubber to a metal one too. A replaceable strap is a must in my opinion and I assume that consumers will opt to buy the one that offers the most customizability options
Voice-to-text and Voice Commands — Being able to control the watch and input text using your voice is a very handy feature. Unlike the smartphone which offers a very convenient virtual keyboard,  most smartwatches will have a limited display size. Even with the Pebble offering a full virtual QWERTY keyboard, it would be great to have an option to input text via voice.
You probably ask yourself who’s gonna use it? — For me it would be very useful when I am running and doing my daily sport activities, to have the option to reply to Facebook messages and SMS messages by just saying what I want to type and send the message.  Also it would be very handy to have the option to control the functionality of the smart watch via voice commands. The smartwatch has a limited screen size and relatively small resolution. I don’t want to start browsing through tens of home screen pages just to find a specific app. Being able to just use voice commands to launch an app can be very useful and save time.
Waterproof Watch — Have to be honest with you. I thought that most smartwatches will be waterproof. I expected it to be the same as a conventional wristwatch. Unfortunately this is not the case. Most smartwatches that I’ve reviewed on my blog are not submersible and are water-resistant / splash-resistant rather than having IPX7/IPX8 ingress protection rating (aka waterproof). I don’t want to remember to take off my watch when I enter the pool, wash my hands or ruin my expensive smartwatch by mistakenly going to the shower while wearing it. I want a waterproof smartwatch that fits my active lifestyle. I’m sure that most people will want that too.
Making and Receiving Phone Calls — When we look at the smartwatches currently available on the market, we can divide them into two main group: those with voice call capabilities (aka watchphones) and those without. For example, the Neptune Pine is a phone for all intents and purposes. It accepts a micro-SIM card and you can use that smartwatch to make and receive phone calls. Sony SmartWatch SW2 and Pebble are not watchphones, you can use those smartwatches to make and receive phone calls.
I know that some people will probably won’t need it, and some smartwatches will have the option to place and receive phone calls via the smartphone using Bluetooth / Wi-Fi — However, I think that many people will be glad to have a smart watch device which is independent from their smartphone. Furthermore, some might consider either leaving their smartphone at home or completely replace their smartphone with a smartwatch device. Having this option in hand could be great, letting the user to choose how and when he wants to use the smartwatch as a smartphone device.
Android-based OS and Installable Apps — I think that smartwatches that uses an operating system that derived from the Android platform will be the most successful ones, and let me tell you why.  Smartwatches like i’m watch, Sony SmartWatch and Pebble runs on a proprietary operating system that is not based on the Android open source platform. This means that developers will need to adopt to a new platform and even learn a new language to develop apps for a specific smartwatch operating system.
When using an Android-derived OS you gain several advantages. First of all, although you might expect to have a new dedicated SDK and APIs, but those will extend upon the original Android SDK. Second, you can continue to develop apps using the Java language and work with the same tools that you use to develop apps for Android smartphones and tablets.  Third, I assume that most Android-based smartwatches will be compatible with all Android apps that are already available on Google Play. That means that you will have a direct access to about 800,000 apps and games that are already available on Google Play. Their might be some incompatibility issue, but this is the way to go. In time, many developers will create apps that are designed exclusively for Android-based smartwatches.  The smartwatch that will attract more developers to develop for its smartwatch platform will be the winner. The obvious choice of course is choosing Android as the base operating system.
Long Battery Life and Replaceable Battery  — having a long battery life is crucial. No one wants to have a smartwatch on his wrist that doesn’t work. One of the problems that manufactures have with smartwatches is that they can’t use a large battery due to the watch small size factor.  From what I’ve seen,  CPU manufactures are pushing the technology forward to create processors that are much more energy-efficient. For example, the GEAK Watch employs Ingenic JZ4775 1GHz ultra-low power processor. This helps the GEAK watch to offer 12 days of standby time using a 330mAh lithium polymer battery.
Smartwatches have a small display and relatively low resolution, so by default they are more power efficient. Furthermore, most smartwatches will probably display a power-saving watchface on a black background to cut the power consumption, rather than having an Android-like lock screen.  We can also expect most waterproof smartwatches not to come with a replaceable battery. Unlike some smartphones that have unibody design where the battery is not replaceable, with smartwatches it’s important to make the watch waterproof, but with an option to replace the battery in the lab when the battery dies. I have a watch that is waterproof up to 50 meters and when my battery died, I sent it to the official watch lab to replace the battery. This should be the same with smartwatches.
Health-tracking Sensors — health tracking sensor are the new trend.  Just by looking at the success of Scanadu Scout on indiegogo (raised $1,664,574) , a device that reads your vital signed and send them to your smartphone, we can understand the demand for such feature for many people.  The GEAK Watch is probably the most impressive smartwatches when it comes to health-related sensors. The GEAK Watch comes with body temperature sensor, heartbeat sensor, blood pressure sensor, pulse and pedometer to count your steps when running or walking
The presence of health-oriented sensors can give birth to many new type of heath related apps that will help us track our health.  the GEAK Watch can even track your sleeping patterns and recommend you how to sleep better. The possibilities are endless, and these are probably apps that most people should use on a regular basis.  When you have a clear picture of your health, it will urge you to keep your body healthy, stop smoking and start walking and make sure that you keep your body in top shape.  I’m sure that future smartwatches will have those type of sensors as well and developers can start developing great new apps that take advantage of them.
Built-in Camera — Just think how cool it was if you could have a camera with you all the time on your wrist. A camera that can take pictures and record videos, even without the need to take the watch of your hand. The Neptune Pine smart watch features a VGA front facing camera and a 5MP rear-facing camera with LED flash. And it can also record high-definition videos as well.  You can use the front-facing camera for video chats too.  If Neptune Pine has it, I’m pretty sure Samsung, Apple, Google, Microsoft and many other companies that are still yet to enter the smartwatch market will come up with a smartwatch that have a built-in camera.
Why is it so important you ask? — the main reason it’s so important is that most of the most successful apps are using the camera. People love taking and sharing photos and this is probably the most engaging and fun thing to do on a mobile device. This is why smartwatch manufactures should put a built-in camera in their smartwatches, this is just a must have feature.
These are just a few features that I think should be on most smartwatch devices, especially from the large companies whom, most probably, won’t release niche products like the Filip watch.

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Category: Smart Watch

COOKOO BLUETOOTH 4.0 SMARTWATCH

Posted on January 25, 2019  in Smart Watch

Stylish and Useful Companion to your iPhone, iPad or iPod
Everyday I discover more and more companies who design and manufacture smartwatches. In this article I want to introduce to you to the COOKOO smartwatch. The Cookoo smartwatch caught my attention due to its beautiful design, analog clock and excellent battery life.  Started as a successful kickstarter project. this watch it less advanced than other smartwatches, but differentiate itself when it comes to design and battery life.  It’s a Bluetooth 4.0 compatible device that connects to your iPhone, iPad or iPod devices (See compatible models below) and notifies you of incoming calls, messages and events. Continue reading this article and see whether or not the cookoo smart watch is the one for you.
Started as a Kickstarter Crowd-Funding Project

The cookoo watch started as a crowd raising project on kickstarter. The cookoo is not the only smartwatch starting his way from kickstarter. Pebble and AGENT watch both started as a kickstarter project. Pebble was the biggest kickstarter success raising $10,266,845 from 68,929 backers. AGENT raised $1,012,742 from 5,685 backers and cookoo was the least impressive (in terms of funding) raising $305,393 from 2,560 backers.
It seems like many of the new innovative smartwatches find their way to the market through crowd funding.  Some other smartwatches like Kreyos started their way by crowd funding on indiegogo. It’s worth mentioning that not every small business company was able to reach a humongous success as Pebble. For example, Meet Boddie (as for the time of writing) raised only $3029 and 42 hours left to the ned of the fund-raising campaign.  SmartFitty raised only $9,911.  Peter Hauser is among the ones that was able to attract many backers to invest in his project, and the COOKOO is now a real product with its own website and dedicated iPhone app on iTunes.

Looks like an Ordinary Watch, But Much Smarter

The cookoo unlike many smart watch I’ve seen, actually look like an ordinary watch than a smartwatch.  What signifies the cookoo among other smartwatches is its stylish look. We’ve seen many smartwatches that have a square-faces design and it seems that people rather prefer the ordinary conventional rounded design and the square one — so it seems.
Furthermore, the cookoo unlike other smart watches have an Japanese analog movement clock and a digital display to display data. The watch is made of plastic casing, has an aluminium bezel,  anti-scratch mineral glass with soft silicon band. The cookoo works in the same way as other smartwatch devices, by creating a two-way wireless connectivity to a bluetooth-enabled Apple mobile device. It’s compatible with iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S and with iPad (4th and 3rd generation) and iPod touch (5th generation). Just note that the Cookoo is not compatible with the iPhone 3Gs or iPhone 4 — because those smartphones does not support Bluetooth 4.0 LE technology (LE = Low Energy). This is an official answer posted on Cookoo watch Facebook page (here).

The cookoo was designed to be stylish and comfortable. It  has 5 ATM water resistant rating and is available in five different colors.. By maintaining a simple and elegant look, they made this watch suitable for both men and women alike.  A smartwatch doesn’t need to look like a brick or have a futuristic design be useful and sell well, and that’s in fact what I liked about the COOKOO watch: Simple, Elegant, Stylish,  Smart.
The COOKOO Smart Watch features four buttons, two on each side of the watch.  The top-left bottom is the backlit light button that increases the background brightness.  Below that button at the bottom-left is a ‘CONNECT’ button that is used to sync your mobile device with the cookoo smart watch (hold it for 6 seconds to put it in pairing mode). At the top-right there is a blue color button (others are black) which is the mode settings button, which you use to cycle through the phone’s settings. Just note, the COOKOO watch doesn’t use a touch-sensitive display, so you will need to use the blue button to change the settings. Below the blue button there is the ‘Command’ button which is used to confirm a settings choice. You also have an option to customized the ‘Command’ button to different action (e.g. Short Press, Drop Pin, Find iPhone, Medium Press)
COOKOO watch comes with a silicon water-resistant wrist band which is 230 mm in length and 22mm wide according to their specs sheet. If you don’t like wearing a silicon strap, you can replace it with any other 22mm watchbands. You can find many types of 22 mm watch bands on Amazon here, including genuine leather, nylon, rubber and in many colors and designs.
The back of the watch is made of stainless steel. You can open the battery cover and insert a new standard CR2032 button-cell battery.  This can easily be done with a small coin which you can insert to the dent at the back of the watch cover and turn it around to reveal the battery compartment.  You should make sure, and this is important, that the O-ring around the battery is in place before closing the battery compartment. The O-ring is used to prevent water from penetrating the back side of the watch. Without it, it loses its water-resistant properties.

The cookoo watch is very energy-efficient and has a vert long battery life A single standard CR2032 button-cell battery can last even up to one year when in standby mode and up to 3 years when the digital functions are not use (only analog clock) before needing replacement. The battery life depends on the amount of notifications that you receive on your watch. Nevertheless, this button-cell battery is cheap and easy to replace.
The Cookoo comes in a very unique box that resembles a Cuckoo clock or a birdhouse. This is in my opinion, one of the most original product boxes I’ve seen in years.

Smart Features

The cookoo used Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connection in conjunction with a smartphone to deploy its smart features and act like a little command center for your smartphone. It creates a consistent connection with your Apple smartphone, tablet or iPod Bluetooth-enabled device to exchange data. In order for the cookoo to interact with your mobile device, you will first need to install the ‘COOKOO Time to Connect’ app on your device. This app is free to download from iTunes. The app is updated on an ongoing basis to offer new features.

Once you install the iOS app from iTunes and paired the device you are ready to enjoy the great smart features that cookoo offers. The app has various settings that controls which notifications will be displayed on your cookoo smartwatch. For example: you can view a notification when your battery is low or critical (very low), be alerted of incoming calls or missing calls, timer alerts, alert when the device is within range, Facebook posts or calendar event alerts.   You can decide which one you want active and which one you want disabled by tapping the on/off switch for each notification setting. The Cookoo watch alerts you by also making a beep sound or/and by vibration.

Cookoo also have a settings page that allows you to test the alert on your watch without actually receiving any real call or message.  The notifications are displayed using flashing icons on the front digital display on the watch. Click the ‘MODE’ blue button to acknowledge that you received the notification and the flashing icon will stop flashing and fade out.

Keep in mind that the cookoo watch wasn’t designed to actually show you what the exact messages are and display them on the phone’s screen, but rather alert you of different activities that happen on the phone so you can take it out of your pocket or bag and respond to it as you find fit.

One feature that I really like is that you can receive an alert when the watch is getting far away from your phone. The cookoo keeps tracking of the Bluetooth signal strength and one it detects that the signal strength is getting weaker, it will pop up and alert for you one the screen. This is very useful in cases where you forget to take your phone with you. A superb anti-loss or Anti-theft feature that will prevent you from losing your phone. you no longer say: “Oops, I forget my phone in the car” or “Damn, I forget the phone in the Coffee shop..”. This is a money-saver feature and I assume that most smartwatch companies will adopt it — some of course already did.

You can also use the COOKOO smart watch to remotely play, pause and skip music tracks on your iPhone or iPad device. This might not sound som much useful if you are listening to music through your phone speakers, but if you are listening to music via Bluetooth wireless headset or when the iPhone is attached to an iPhone speaker dock, this can be very useful.

Other features include andAlarm and timer (can be set via the cookoo app on your smartphone) and remote controlling your camera (remote camera release button that trigger that shutter).

Summary

The cookoo watch can’t stack up against the competition, but shines when it comes to battery life and stylish design.  It’s also among the few to offers an analog clock and a non-rechargeable and replaceable battery.  This smartwatch is a good watch for those who don’t need to uber advanced features that you find on other watch and those who don’t want to worry about battery life either.

Having the option to receive a notification when the phone is in your pocket or at the other room is useful indeed.  If you are searching for a smartwatch that will also can display incoming Facebook text messages on the display or change the watchface, you should probably look into the Sony SmartWatch 2, GEAK or Pebble instead.

I really like the COOKOO smart watch — It’s Simple, elegant and has superb battery life compared to the competition.  If you don’t find those feature more than satisfying for your needs, the COOKOO watch is a great smartwatch for what it does. For a price around $120 – $150, it’s not cheap and people might find it a little too expensive considering its limited features. Otherwise, a great companion to your iPhone, iPad or iPod device.

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Category: Smart Watch

FITBIT FLEX – A REVIEW

Posted on January 25, 2019  in Smart Watch

The world of smartwatches and fitness trackers are ever increasing.  More tech giants seem to be interested in pursuing this specific sector.   Due to the massive potential it has, we have a good deal of releases making the news these days.  Besides regular players in the market, who have released quite a few devices, another smartwatch maker that has been stealing the light is Fitbit.  Earlier this year, the company had come out with the Force fitness tracker until it was recalled, mainly due to reports of skin rash on about 10,000 customers who used the product.  Fitbit was all set to put that saga behind with its new flagship and hence, the Flex.  On a side note, the company has also said that all issues that were found in the Force have been dealt with, and an updated release is certainly on the cards.  However, until then let’s go through the new Fitbit Flex.

Design

The Fitbit Flex comes with an all-new look and design.  It mainly consists of two separate parts – the sensor, and then the strap.  The sensor is comparatively pretty small and that is probably because of the fact that the fitness tracker does not sport a LED display.  What it has is five LED lights, which happen to indicate the number of steps taken during a day.  These are activated only on double tapping the device.  The strap is pretty lightweight and sports a very simple design.  It is made of rubber, along with a plastic grey latch.  Various colored straps have been made available to consumers, and that is rather a good step towards customization.  A very notable feature of the Fitbit Flex is that of the clear band, above the LED lights in the tracker unit.  This is what allows one to view their progress when wearing it.  With regular use, the band is pretty susceptible to scratches and wearing.  However, a range of bands are available from the makers themselves, so you can count on it.

Compatibility

The Fitbit Flex comes powered with Bluetooth 4.0 technology.  One of the very good features of this device is that it periodically manages to wake up, connect to your phone and update the stats.  Therefore, you can say goodbye to manual connecting and syncing.  However, despite this, the problem lies in the fact that it still supports only a very limited pack of devices.  Although, flagships of most companies are supported, the Flex still has a lot of catching up to do.  Perhaps with the latest announcement of Android Wear, a lot more devices will be supported in the near future.  The Fitbit Flex also supports iPhone’s 5S and 5C models.  Support for Windows phone has also been announced, and that counts for brownie points from that segment of users.  As a side solution, the presence of a USB dongle for syncing to your Mac or Windows PC does fairly well.

Performance accuracy, apps and battery

This fitness tracker provides step tracking and sleep tracking.  It is certainly not 100 percent accurate but comes pretty close.  Compare it to the Jawbone Up24, and it does a lot better.  Question marks will always remain over the accuracy of fitness trackers, but the Fitbit Flex deserves a fair round of applause for the job it does.  We are just into fitness tracking technology, and it will take some time for all the polishing that needs to happen. Fitbit’s app sports a hassle-free approach and even novice users will find things rather in place.  However for the fitness crazy mob, you are allowed to get into depths of information, layer after layer.  This certainly deserves some kudos. The app’s food tracking system appears rather haphazard, credit to the presence of a localized cuisine.  Third party applications will probably deal with this issue a lot better, so count on that.  Fitbit has also launched something new in the form of IFTTT.  It will look to automate most of the device’s functions and improve the overall working of the Flex.

The battery of the device deserves a whole bit of praise. Despite the presence of Bluetooth and wireless syncing, it can easily last up to eight days.

Pricing and verdict

The Fitbit Flex is priced at $100. Considering, that it faces major competition from the Jawbone Up24 and the Samsung Gear Fit, both of which are priced considerably higher, the Fitbit Flex can certainly be termed as value for money. It also outperforms the other two on numerous counts.

However, everything said the Flex still did have a lot more potential that could have been offered.  Even, the simple strap could have been made to like something of a stylish piece of a tech wear.  It can basically be labeled as, the Fitbit One placed in a more convenient place of the body, i.e. your wrist.

The future releases of this product, however, will surely improve on all its aspects!

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Category: Smart Watch

SAMSUNG GEAR FIT REVIEW

Posted on January 25, 2019  in Smart Watch

With many makers putting their weight on fitness bands and smartwatches these days, we have had the chance to look a quite a handful of stunning additions to the growing smartwatch family. Samsung, which has hit the markets with two such wonderful watches, namely the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo, has also come up with something for the fitness freaks! The Samsung Gear Fit is primarily targeted for fitness conscious users and promises to be a handy addition to them.

Design of the Fit

The Samsung Gear Fit is a wearable fitness band with a lovely screen and a well-designed face. From the design of this wearable wonder, one clearly feels that Samsung does have the potential to work well on designing smartwatches, even future releases that we might see. The Fit has a 1.85 inch AMOLED screen and has a bendy face to it. However, it looks gorgeous right away!

The band fits comfortably on the wrists, even though it looks a little huge at times and is incredibly light (one probably might forget, they’re wearing it). The buckle is well adjustable and hypoallergenic. One also has the option to change the band if they wish to. The screen of the Samsung Gear Fit is dust resistant and also water resistant up to a meter for 30 minutes. This ensures that you will not have worry about getting the screen ruined every time you step out.

The display is both ways (was horizontal only until a recent update). However, with the horizontal mode one is likely to be facing a little space crunch, especially while scrolling. The vertical display definitely gets the thumbs up over its horizontal counterpart. Notifications on the device can pretty much be well read though the scrolling can be an issue to some.

There is a button at the top of the device, which turns on the screen. Double pressing it will allow the user to add a specific feature for it. The ‘Outdoor Mode’ on the device has a screen brightness of 6 and that drops to 4 in a matter of five minutes. Now, this is done to conserve battery usage. The Fit can also be woken up, just by the turn of your wrists. This feature, however, might require a rather uncomfortable turn. The device can be charged using a micro USB charger and the battery can last at least around three days.

Interface and applications

The band runs on the proprietary Real Time OS (RTOS), and not Android like that of its other Gear cousins. Therefore, downloading of other applications is a strict no. Gliding around the OS is smooth and has that buttery feel to it. The interface is very vibrant and can also be well customized.

The Samsung Gear Fit is compatible with around 18 of Samsung’s devices, including the Galaxy S5. Also, it requires you to pair it up with Samsung’s fitness application S Health, and fill in a few good details. Then, you can customize the device rather well through the application. The two enter an auto-sync mode through the Bluetooth, whenever the devices are within range of each other.

Swiping away from the clock screen brings up a host of applications, like notifications, media controller, timer, pedometer, heart rate, exercise, etc. You can select them with a gentle tap.

The device has an accelerometer, gyroscope, and a fascinating built-in heart rate monitor. The monitor tracking seems to be rather an extra sensitive one, and that can slightly affect the readings offered by the Gear Fit. While exercising, the band lets you select the type of activity you are set to embark, which would be running, cycling, walking and hiking. The phone can be left out for running and walking, but is required for GPS in the other two. The lack of the pause option on the Fit can be a massive let down for many people here because the only way to do so is stopping the session entirely. It is expected that Samsung can easily fix this with a small software update. Samsung has also spelled out that it is clearly working to have the device display more accurate results.

The S Health application is a rather closed off one. So far, all your fitness data is stored into this app and cannot to transported or uploaded to another platform. The pedometer and sleep tracker has a lot of scope for improvement, and hopefully the Korean techies will take a good look into this.

The Samsung Gear Fit is more of a notifications friendly device, rather than a replacement for your phone. Reading messages and emails are something you will find very friendly in a device of this sort. Samsung has got this rather correct and managed to keep the two segments quite off each other. However, the Fit does pack a punch of good smartwatch, as well as fitness functions.

Competition, pricing and verdict

The Gear Fit’s competition comes in the form of display-less fitness band Jawbone Up24, which offers more accuracy. The there are cousins, the Gear 2, and the Gear 2 Neo, which offer total smartwatch options, besides fitness ones. The Fitbit Force remains one of the best fitness trackers in the market at present, and that could also be a good competitor to the Gear Fit.

The Samsung Gear Fit is roughly priced around $149 and offers features in between a smartwatch and a fitness band. For that price, it offers a beautiful design and usability are top notch. Performance seems to be what is lagging a little in this beast, and that can easily be fixed with minor software updates. On an overall scale, this should be a pretty handy device to the fitness freaks out there.

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Category: Smart Watch

LUTETIA: A SMART WATCH FOR THE LADIES

Posted on January 25, 2019  in Smart Watch

Little screen size displays the greatest test to utilizing also planning a smartwatch. This inexactly characterized term now incorporates pretty much any advanced timepiece with a voice- or touch-empowered showcase. Yet, ladies’ watches, which are customarily more fragile and smaller than timepieces for men, represent an additional quandary for smartwatch producers attempting to pack wellness observing and cell phone capacities into a wrist-worn gadget. Accordingly, not very many smartwatches have been planned particularly to speak to a lady’s way of life needs or style .

But then ladies dwarf men as planned purchasers of wearable wellness gadgets, as per a recent report by the exploration firm NPD Group. That feeling of an undiscovered business may clarify why a modest group have started outlining smartwatches for ladies in a manner that develops past swapping out distinctive hued groups on unbiased gadgets. Subsequently, two distinctive smartwatch creators have taken two altogether different ways to deal with contact ladies keen on the innovation.

A survey led by Intel’s New Devices Group demonstrated that ladies like to radiate style not innovation with what they wear. With that benchmark, Intel and architects at the design shop Opening Ceremony made an innovative extra they’ve called MICA (short for My Intelligent Communication Accessory). Retailing at $495, MICA resembles a slick arm jewelery and acts like a smartwatch. Pearls and a valuable stone enhance the MICA smartwatch, which comes in dark or white and is made of water snake skin. A bended sapphire touch-screen showcase, coming to almost 40 millimeters askew, wraps around the arm ornament’s underside. “We specialists might want to have hardware laid out on a level surface,” says Ayse Ildeniz, VP of Intel’s New Devices Group and general supervisor of system and business improvement. Extending hardware over a smartwatch’s twisted surface characteristically opens up its surface region, bringing about a bulkier outline, she says. Since a few ladies favor stout gems, MICA’s cumbersome appearance mixes well with some style patterns.

Battery life was a noteworthy issue, as it is with most wearable technology. “There is this collaboration between battery life and showcase estimate that effects the general modern outline,” says Richard Kerslake, executive of methodology and items for the New Devices Group. “There is a tradeoff that must be made there.” He says ladies have verifiably inclined toward littler watches, bringing about the requirement for batteries with littler widths that leaves just two choices: diminished life or expanded thickness. At last, Intel advanced the shape and size of a bended battery to improve client experience of the presentation screen—including the extravagance of Opening Ceremony’s wallpaper on the interface—and keep going throughout the day, contingent upon the client’s collaboration.

Start-up wearables creator Omate picked an alternate way to making its Lutetia smartwatch, which will be sold in gems stores starting in September. Lutetia looks more like a routine woman’s watch, measuring 35 grams not exactly the MICA and 25 grams not exactly the 18-karat-rose gold Apple Watch.

Omate initially asserted some authority in the wearables market when it produced $1 million in a Kickstarter crusade for its water-safe smartwatch in 2013. The organization is adding Lutetia to its lineup as a result of the absence of smartwatches that claim particularly to ladies, says Ving Chen, the watch’s lead planner. “The majority of the gadgets accessible in the business a year ago were truly revolting and massive,” she says. “That is the reason we chose to outline a smartwatch for ladies.”

Right off the bat, Omate realized that the smartwatch outline methodology of portable innovation makers was “wrong”,according Chen. . In spite of the fact that cell phones are valuable apparatuses, they have restricted customization past dark for men and white for ladies. “That does not work for wearable gadgets,” she says. Her primary need was to plan a snappy and adjustable look for ladies with basic, yet functional capacities. “No men were permitted in the configuration procedure of Lutetia, so we had a full young lady force plan,” she says. “We have been investing a ton of energy in evaluating the business.”

The $199 Lutetia comes in silver, gold and rose gold with a coordinating beaded strap. Bluetooth 4.0 low vitality innovation pushes warnings, for example, messages, SMS, telephone calls and online networking from an iPhone or Android cell phone to the watch.

Despite the fact that the center innovation inside of Lutetia is the same as Omate’s male smartwatches, Racer and Roma, Lutetia looks and feels as though it was molded for ladies not at all like the Apple Watch. The main unmistakable qualification between the male and female Apple Watch is showcase stature (38 or 42 millimeters), band material (calfskin, elastic or stainless steel) and shading (red, dim, blue, dark, white, delicate pink and the sky is the limit from there). “We accept the client interface ought not be greater than at the tip of your finger,” Chen says. Because of production network issues, Omate experienced issues discovering a littler round showcase. In the end Omate discovered a slick and practical screen—despite the fact that it was bigger than at first arranged. With a 31-millimeter-breadth touch-screen show, the Lutetia—on the off chance that you can get one—games a battery that supposedly outflanks contenders. Lutetia has approximately 72 hours in standby mode and 48 hours in ordinary utilization.

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