Men Vs Women
Perhaps noticing that only men ever seem to wear an Apple Watch
In my immediate family, I see a 50/50 split between men & women wearing Apple watches. And I've tended to see more women down the gym wearing them than men.
Did you notice anything else missing from Mobile World Congress this year? Apart from any interesting phones? Previous MWCs have been flooded by hopeful tech companies touting new wearables. The flood became a trickle, and last year Huawei and LG were the only two tech vendors left flying the flag for Android Wear smartwatches …
Are you sure they're women?
Tsk. That said, round where I live (in the north of France), I see both men and women wearing them, although I wouldn't want to speculate about how close to 50/50 the split is(1). And yes, I can tell men and women apart. It isn't hard.
(1) I can, however, confirm that one of the men posts here as Steve The Cynic.
I'd agree, I've seen as many women as men wearing them.
However, anyone who does a lot of outdoor hill walking/mountain biking etc try out an Android Wear watch with View Ranger and the relevant OS map tiles. It's pretty amazing and when the conditions get tough can be a life saver (make sure you have a map and compass as a backup though!).
I've used it in very tricky situations and for casual walking - works great. It's the main reason why I really hope that I can buy another one when mine finally kicks the bucket.
I know/see far more women wearing an Apple Watch outside the gym than men, and those wearing a Fitbit outside of the gym/exercising it is almost 100% women. Men who wear watches out and about tend to wear an expensive (or at least expensive looking) fashion watch, women are more likely to wear something cheap or functional. I see plenty of Apple Watches and Fitbits in the predominantly college crowd gym I go to, but again a lot more women than men.
A couple years ago I knew a few people wearing Android / Samsung watches but I don't recall seeing one for a long time now.
"For me it's a 0/0 split, I don't know anyone that owns a smartwatch, or at least not anyone willing to wear one in public. Though I know plenty of people with fitbits."
This. I have a cheapo £25 Xiaomi band, it does what I need, I can use it to tell the time if necessary, and nobody notices it. And I recharge it every 2 weeks. I have a slab with a touchscreen, thanks. (Actually I have three, let's not go there), I don't need any more.
Yup. 0/0 for me too here in The Great White North. Don't see them, don't hear about them. Noone I know or have met wears them or talks about them. I don't even see any advertising. I don't need gyms to stay fit, so I don't know what goes on there. The wearables are yet another fad that I have no interest in, and it seems that I am not alone.
Maybe most people are still too busy getting over the novelty and thrill of playing children's video games and texting drivel back and forth with their smartphones in the subway (underground for you chaps) to pay any attention.
PS. Fitbit? Is that the part of me that never gets tired?
My view of Fitbit is that it has quality and support issues. The Blaze has not been supported for over a year. Users are crying out for new watch faces - even just tweaks to the colours. Fitbit has not found it worth 10 minutes of developers time to put out minor mods.
My Charge 2 developed a screen fault and I upgrade to a Blaze. The battery level indicator is a joke. It is just possible to see it when fully charged, after a day you need a magnifying glass. Pebble had a thousand and one screens to highlight what you wanted to see. Pebble was light years ahead.
Fitbit are pissing off their user base to concentrate on the latest model.
Agreed, when I bought my fitbit alta hr it was touted as Android compatible. Now it seems they have a "compatible devices" list. I was not impressed because I had problems syncing with my new phone and the only support option was the forums. It almost got sent back till I realised it was the phone pairing with the device, unpaired it and it now works without problem. When I eventually get a new one it probably won't be fitbit.
I was very peeved when Pebble was swallowed up and effectively eliminated.
I'm currently trying a stupidly named ZeTime from the even more stupidly named MyKronoz and I have to say it has the balance about right - long battery life, waterproof, useful as a watch, with some notifications / fitness features.
Apple / Google seem to be treating smart watches like smart phones where the 'smart' part completely overwhelmed the phone (I don't know about anyone else but I make very few phone calls). I don't need my watch to be particularly smart - it's just for quick checks on the most relevant info, not for doing stuff.
Xbox eventually replaced all affected models even outside of the warranty period and without proof of purchase. I believe some Macbooks manufactured around the same time also suffered from issues related to the same root cause - mandatory use of lead-free solder.
A high tech manufacturer near me still uses leaded solder for its military and aerospace applications.
I must admit I have a Chinese fitness band (I actually paid £20 for it rather than £30).
Not only does it do everything I need it to do, well enough that I'm happy with it, it doesn't look like some horrible great 1970s retro digital nonsense.
So I have no wish to upgrade it for an Apple one or a fitbit or whatever. Especially as my record of watches over the years is such that I forcibly stopped myself buying any watch over £30 on the grounds that I'll either break it, lose it or - in one case - take it off, leave it on the edge of my desk, accidentally knock it into the bin and have it found by the cleaner at the end of the day. (And yes, fortunately, I did get it back in that last case...)
I only know one person with an Apple Watch. A serious Apple fan and he wants to sell it.
The idea of wearables is not compelling apart from fitness/health devices. The privacy and security issues need to be solved / addressed.
Monitoring / logging (NO Internet!) of walking, heart rate/irregularities/ECG, blood pressure, sugar levels, temperature, breathing, EEG, fetus etc outside a hospital in normal life is a great idea, but useless without accuracy, reliability, privacy & security. No wireless, except optional SMS/999 module for high risk patients. Micro USB to charge and download log. Battery life needs to be several days to a week. Logging needs to be up to a month, or maybe a year, not relying on frequent downloads.
Any display might be useful if eInk and giving text for beep alerts about need to take insulin, glucose, tablet etc in a clear fashion not needing reading glasses.
I know one person with an Apple watch. It was a present (recently) and she seems to like using it for now. At least she now sees notifications when one tries to contact her ;) and apparently it can interface with her blood sugar thingy which is really useful for her.
She used to be very reserved towards the fruity stuff until a few months ago. And she is not impulsive, fashion driven, easily influenced etc. Bright gal, on the way to her PhD as well.
Because the media and volume industries aren't interested in specialist products that consider function before appearance, They're only interested in bling that can be pushed through celebrity marketing to sell to a far bigger sector than actually wants them.
This isn't surprising : they couldn't really operate only on specialist sectors, even ones as big as skiiing. But it means you can't look to them for innovation, only for acknowledgement that they see a large, uncritical market to exploit.
When a product is differentiated by its colour, price, celebrity endorsement rather than its features, it's mainstream. Until that point, it's geek (for tech - other designations are available). I'm far more interested in the early stages but that's not for everyone.
My VivoActive 3 looks pretty enough to me. It has a round dial as god intended, you can pick which watch face you please, and the screen is always on.
It seems wrong to praise FitBit for a 4-day battery life when my Garmin lasts 9+ days. Currently mobile payments don't work in the UK, but I'm still hopeful that will change. Many other features, including replying to text notifications.
I've been using Garmin watches for many years. I'm a runner and as you say they are great bits of kit for sports people.
My current model is the 235, battery life of well over a week with constant heart rate, sleep and step monitoring, 10 hours -ish in GPS Mode. Text messages appear on my wrist and any app notification that I give permission for plus Bluetooth music control for my phone.
Downloadable apps and customisable watch faces, plus if you are in a strange town just start a background activity when you leave your car / hotel and if you get disorientated / inebriated then the watch displays a big arrow with the distance and direction back to where you started.
I think they are underestimated by people who just see them as Sports watches and aren't aware of their other varied functions.
Two new wearables in our family this year. Both Garmin.We have had 4 Fitbits over time, my daughter has lost the two expensive ones and the one I had lasted OK for a year and the battery gave out and Fitbit replaced it with another one which lasted another year before getting the same problem. I wouldn't have paid for it, came free with my last phone.
Daughter also got a cheap Chinese tracker last year, but that didn't last a month.
Yeah, I did a trawl for a smartwatch-type device, having had one of the generic Chinese fitness band devices fail on sync after about 2 years use, and came away thinking that Garmin was a decent option. I was umming and ahhing about Forerunner735XT or Fenix 3, which are about the same price, (choice basically metal or plastic case) or VivoActive, which looks neat, costs less even if it seems to have jumped up about £50 since Christmas, but has touch screen niggles if used in the wet that don't affect the other two with their physical buttons. Garmin might have iffy customer service according to some reviewers, but their watches work for sports/fitness uses, plus don't have the sync issues with Android 6 that seem to plague some FitBit and TomTom users.
I had considered the TomTom Runner 3 (it has multi-sports modes despite its name), which is good on the GPS/breadcrumb trail side of things, although IIRC didn't do so well on gym-based cycling/running, but it seems they've just bailed from the wearables market. Another brand a triathlete friend of mine uses and has gone back to after trying the TomTom Runner range is Suunto - seems to be a split between them and Garmin for the folk who do du-/tri-athlons, Iron Man, etc., but don't do Apple. HR on the wrist is useful, though most of the 'serious' folk would need the ability to link in HR chest bands, plus bike metrics sensors for speed/cadence.
I'm also wearing a Garmin: I bought refurbished so for $150 that got me 8-day battery life, sports tracking with GPS and heart rate, and notifications from a paired phone. Plug it in via USB and all my data is accessible as XML (though in practice I just sync it with the Garmin app via Bluetooth). I didn't really want the notifications, but there they are.
That said, the first one failed after about ten months — the front screen came slightly loose without my noticing, water got in and that was that. Customer service replaced it for free though, with a brand new one so the net effect was: a free spare charging cable.
Thanks for the tip on the Garmins all - I have been using a Garmin Swim for years (Garmin smart watches didn't exist back then and the GPS ones didn't have pool functfions).
Very tempted by the 735XT or 935 - both like a very nice upgrade. Time to get a new toy and hopefully get a bit of cash back on the Swim and the Cycle computer (probably give that to the nephew - he wants one) as it would replace both.
Don't buy the 735XT. The 935 is supported for another few years and is not end of life, unlike the 735XT.
The 935 shares a common architecture with the Fenix range, finally!
I've had both and the 935 is light years ahead in terms of functionality. It's also less than half the weight of a Fenix but provides the same functionality.
Purchased them all online at discounted prices and it was clear that at £399 the 935 was the best. Don't pay RRP for these things! There are indeed problems but constant software updates - which I've not used as I'm happy with an old version - are available to those who experience issues with specific activities.
A little bit of FUD going on here. Yes, there are some people who are reporting ANT+ drop outs and some other problems, but not enough to warrant your comments. I have an F5, which I use for running (HRM and footpod) and cycling (cadence, speed, HRM and power when on the turbo) and I've not had any dropouts nor dodgy GPS. The wife's F5S also does not suffer.
Having said that, anecdotal evidence suggests there are more problems with the Saphire versions than normal (and Garmin appear to be updating the chip / antennae for WiFi and ANT+).
My anecdotal evidence with the Fenix 5X Sapphire is that it works fine whatever I need it to do. The downsides have been weight (which you get used to) and the cost. That said, this thing is enormously robust and has been bashed and scraped all over the place and still looks as good as new. Sapphire and Steel (the materials, no the show) really do make it all but indestructible.
Agree - I owned a Pebble Steel and the Fenix 5 is as close to that as I can get. The one thing it is missing is reply to text message (although the Vivoactive 3 and 645 have this to a limited extent). Other than that it does everything I used my Gear S3 for.
Bloody love it too. In to my third week off a single battery charge and am showing 25%. No GPS use in that time but some indoor exercising. Supremely well built also and is smart enough (looks-wise, not features) to where in the office.
As others have said, TomTom is also well overlooked in this segment as it's purely a fitness tracker rather than a smart watch (or at least, I assume that's the reason)
I never had any intention of buying one, I took up running a few years ago when I started contracting as I was rarely in one place long enough to be invited to join the 5 aside teams and often IT bods don't like such things anyway. I was using my Lumia 925 with Runtastic on it for outdoor tracking of runs, and not bothering in the gym. Was happy enough with the phone as I also used it for music (and some trail runs make carrying a phone mandatory for obvious reasons) although it required buying expensive shorts with a pocket at the rear waistband.
I was given the TomTom Runner+Music 2 for my birthday and I have to say I really like it. Lighter than the phone, and can be used in the gym or outdoors, I already had bluetooth headphones. First thing I did was turn off the trackers though, I don't really want to know how many steps I did or how badly my watch thinks I slept and I DEFINITELY don't want to turn in to one of those twats who tells everybody else how many steps they've done constantly.
It's also not too large or offensively ugly or anything like that so I tend to wear it as my everyday watch now, especially as I usually go to the gym after work.
I have a Garmin Vivosport which is pretty good. It does the bare minimum of things I want from a smart watch (relay notifications, let me pause/skip music) and is waterproof so I can track my swimming. It was also a pretty decent price and the battery lasts 7 days. I really don't want anything more complex than that and it is a good all rounder for the price.
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