After five years of using Pebble Steel, their battery began to hold a charge for 3-4 days instead of 7, the dial store stopped working due to the sale of Fitbit assets, and the functionality became insufficient for 2019, after which the decision to replace them with something fresher became obvious .
I use an Android smartphone and the choice was between the Galaxy Watch and the whole shaft of watches on Wear OS (formerly Android Wear). On the side of the watch from Samsung was a new, energy-efficient chip, because of which the watch works for a long time and smartly. On the other hand, Google could contrast the platform for which there are already many applications, Assistant and tight integration with all the services of the corporation of good.
Since I use Google Music, notes, Google Pay, Google Home and Chromecast - the choice still fell on Wear OS. Although the range is extensive, I needed NFC support, a round screen and, most importantly, a compact watch. I am not a fan of the huge puck-sized watches that athletes love so much. I have a rather thin wrist and I wanted to find a metal watch no more than a centimeter thick. As a result, there were two options - Huawei Watch 1st generation and Fossil Q Explorist HR. Due to the irrelevance of the first, I chose the second option, I share with you the monthly experience of use.
- OS: Wear OS 2.2
- Memory: 4 GB of memory
- Sensors: Gyroscope, light sensor, accelerometer, heart rate sensor
- Communication: Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC, GPS
- Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100
- Size: 45mm
- Protection Standard: IP68
- Strap: 22 mm
Working with notifications is convenient because the watch is fully integrated with Android. All those quick actions (“Reply” or “Mark as read”) that you see in the curtain are available on the watch. Pebble could be answered only with some blanks, and even those were not supported in all applications. In addition, some applications have clients right for the clock. This allows you to receive new messages, for example, in Telegram, without connecting to a smartphone - the watch has WiFi.
The watch looks great, especially with a metal strap. On the right side there is a microphone and three buttons, the middle one turns and allows you to scroll through the lists without dirtying the display, or simply change the volume in the player. The frame between the bezel and the screen is small, 2-3 millimeters, and thanks to the AMOLED screen, it is almost never visible, because of this the screen seems even bigger than it really is. Below is a round sensor for measuring heart rate, it protrudes very smoothly from the body and does not stick into the hand. My Pebble left a characteristic rectangle on my hand, right here it is a barely noticeable circle, which disappears in a minute.
Wear OSThe system for 2018 has changed a lot, it has become more convenient and functional. The main advantage can be considered Google Assistant and voice input in any section of the system, because trying to stick something on a 40 mm diagonal display is not very convenient. The assistant on the watch does not respond as fast as on the smartphone, but you can easily start the timer for cooking dumplings, find out when the next reminder is on the calendar or send a message (only SMS, unfortunately).
Of the useful there are applications Telegram, Google Music, Google Translator, Shazam and Google Keep. With the help of the latter, I passed the session pretty well. On the whole, the platform supported by Google inspires more confidence than Tizen. True, there are not enough Yandex applications, but apparently they have some kind of agreement with Samsung, and I would be glad to see their Taxi and Transport on the clock.
By the way, if you are thinking of using the built-in GPS to navigate on Google Maps, drop this idea, applications with constant location tracking instantly drain the battery, and the watch heats up significantly, you hardly want to use it for a long time. For short workouts, they should work, but before that, it is better to fully charge them. However, more on that later.
There is Google Pay in the watch out of the box, but even if all the cards are already added on the phone, you will have to add them again. Apparently this was done for security reasons, but to be honest it was not very convenient to re-get all the cards and the phone (the setting is done on it).
By the way, in order to activate Google Pay, you need to set up a lock on your watch - a graphic key or a PIN code, but the watch needs to be unlocked somewhere once a day and it is not clear by what principle they decide to make sure of security. They can lie all night on charging and not block, but they can block in the middle of the day right on the arm. But in general, this is not a problem, once a day to enter a password is not so difficult.
The big problem was that the terminal does not always see the clock. Either in the clock the chip is in some uncomfortable place, or in the terminals the reader is weak. My payment goes somewhere in 30% of cases, in the rest I give up and take out the phone. This is one of the main disappointments, because I was specifically looking for a watch with NFC.
FitnessThe watch comes preloaded with Google Fit, which is always available via swipe to the left of the dial. He counts steps in the background and can even automatically measure the pulse, but I turned off the second as unnecessary.
The watch can also determine the distance covered by GPS, but not accurately enough. For example, here the clock suggested that I diagonally ran across a wide avenue and returned, it is strange that there is no AI that would understand that this is impossible.
In general, Wear OS has many sports applications, if such functionality is necessary for you, you will surely find something useful.
Two problems were discovered in a month. The first is that sometimes the music controls are not displayed, which is why you can’t control the music from the clock.
The second is much more serious. Sometimes the watch, even with a connected phone, cannot connect to the Internet. A crossed-out cloud sign just appears on the dial and the Application Assistant stops updating information. And I looked for information about this bug and found information on the Wear OS forum. It turns out that this problem occurs on different watches when connected to different phones, and sometimes even a reboot does not help. The bug is more than a year old and it still cannot be fixed, I don’t understand how Google does not pay attention to it, but after some time the connection itself appears.
Everything is simple here - because of the old chip, the watch lives for a maximum of two days, and then in a very gentle mode. But in general, if you actively use the watch, then be prepared to put it on charge every night. Charged in about an hour and a half.
conclusionsFossil Q Explorist HR is a good watch with a good operating system and tolerable autonomy. Not so long ago, Google bought a part of the Fossil Group, so if new processors for watches appear soon, we should expect from the Fossil heritage the “best watches on the market”, especially for Android users.