Friday, May 20, 2016

THE TECH CORNER: Android Wear Impressions with the Huawei Watch

Here are my impressions of the Android Wear on the Huawei Watch!

Can it replace my Pebble?

The Huawei Watch is a beautiful device, but its not without its flaws. That seems to be the theme with just about any tech out there, in my opinion. Samsung threw everything but the kitchen sink at their new Galaxy line up, but there’s always something missing: stereo speakers! Come on, Samsung!

But I digress.

The Huawei is the King of Android Wear devices. It’s forged in a stainless steel casing. The presentation is outstanding! And the hardware was future-proof when it debuted. Seriously, I think it was Android Police that discovered a speaker inside the watch long before any other Android Wear OEM did so. And Huawei advertised the watch as iOS compatible before Google even let the cat out of the bag. So even though this is a fully featured watch, there are several things I really don’t like about it that made me turn back to my Pebble for a time. (No pun intended.)

CONS:

-          Battery life compared to my Pebbles is horrendous. Sure, different screen technology makes a big difference. But a day and half? I’m lucky to get that! Yes, it is possible to get the 1.5 day battery life, but I’m a heavy device user. My Pebbles last a few days less than the advertised battery life because I drain the life out of my devices. I’m on the go often and for long stretches of time. Battery life is a big deal for me. Strike against the Huawei Watch.
-          Daytime Screen Visibility. This is not just an issue with the Huawei Watch. It is an issue with all LCD/AMOLED displays. Still, knowing it’s a present issue doesn’t change the frustration of not being able to see the time when you step out into the sun.
-          Stainless Steel casing won’t age well. If you saw my comparison video of my Pebble Steel watches, you’ll know my gripes with the Pebble Time Steel. It won’t age well. The Huawei Watch won’t age well either. The internals are future proof for another year of updates, I believe, but once the dings, scuffs, and scratches collect on the watch, it won’t be the once-proud, shiny time piece I’d want to flaunt around.
-          The is a FAT watch. Good thing it looks like a real time piece because there are some huge watches out there. Otherwise, the Huawei Watch would look awkwardly big!
-          Charging puck. I’m used to using charging pins with my Pebbles. I’m used to struggling to align the pins to the watch to get it to charge. I’ve had it happen when I thought the Pebble was charging overnight only to realize it was dead by morning. No different experience here with the Huawei Watch – except that for a $400+ watch, I would expect a much better charger design! I’m not going to demand wireless charging here like others have. This is not a perfect watch, but Huawei still set the bar with its first foray into Android Wear and into the U.S.A. Still, wireless charging would have been very nice…

Despite the caveats, the watch is a delight! It took 72 hours for Android Wear to win me over on this watch. With Android Wear 2.0 coming in the next few months, I only expect to the enjoy this watch even more! But I won’t enjoy it on the stainless steel version. That’s why I traded in for the Black stainless steel model!


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