Technology copywriting for The Roger and Dawn Crus Center for Renewable Energy.
Technical copywriting for Klazema Communications.
|Review of Samsung Gear Fit Smartwatch
The sleek and eye-catching Samsung Gear Fit Smartwatch looks great on your wrist, but perhaps falls short of expectations and leaves little to the imagination. The innovation is behind the idea, however, the practicality of the device isn’t quite what one would desire, and it ends up trying to accomplish too many goals at once and falling short of them all in the end.
The product is a mix of a fitness band and a smartwatch, meaning that users can track their daily activities through it using any of its four modes (walking, running, cycling, and hiking) and also have the perks of a smartphone within their watch. Controlling music, rejecting or answering phone calls, checking Facebook notifications and tweets are all accessible through the watch. The last firmware update makes it so that the smartwatch is also able to track sleep, plus there were customizations made to the watch face as well as a vertical orientation mode to make viewing easier. In theory, this is a very interesting and frankly cool concept, and Samsung did it better than either the Sony Smartband or the LG Lifeband Touch.
Its design is one of its best factors, with a curved AMOLED touchscreen display that is 1.84-inches and matches other Samsung devices with its silver and black edges surrounding the screen. It’s a comfortable fit overall though, and due to its hypoallergenic strap, it doesn’t run the risk of irritating the skin while also not becoming too sweaty or sticky after exercising with it on. Unfortunately, the clasp barely pierces the watchband holes and risks falling off due to its somewhat bulkier size, so keep that in mind as well.
Although the option exists for vertical orientation, the text never really comfortably fits on the screen. The vertical screen orientation is a great addition, however, it’s not quite understood why this wasn’t immediately addressed. The words have to be broken up (notifi-cations rather than notifications) at times, and the clock looks messy and awkwardly sized. While a comfortable fit, the curved screen casts a glare in the bright daylight rendering it all but pointless in those conditions.
By downloading the S Fit app, users are able to log their fitness activities and keep the information organized and analyzed. A Samsung device is needed (17 devices are compatible) to register your smartwatch, which is a little disappointing for other Android owners. While on the Heart Rate screen, the smartwatch can give a reading, but they aren’t always very accurate and users may have to stand still to even get a reading registered.
Using the fitness part of the watch proves to be difficult at times, too. The cycling mode requires a GPS location so standstill cycling is ruled out, and in running mode it tells users to speed up or slow down with vibrations. However, the vibrations continue even after the exercise is done and it’s still picking up the heart rate. The display unfortunately disappears every so often so users will find themselves fumbling with the buttons to try and see their progress—the Fit is supposed to turn on automatically when users flick their wrists, but that proves to be harder to achieve than one would imagine. The constant stream of notifications is also a distraction and ends up making it hard to see the progress through the constant barrage of tweets, Facebook notifications, and texts. The oversight of entering a work out mode or turning off notifications is seemingly detrimental.
The Samsung Gear Fit Smartwatch is a great idea. However, there seem to be a lot of bugs that need to be worked out. Maybe a few more iterations of the product will lead to one that is a more worthwhile investment.
|The War Against Bloatware on Android Devices
You’ve all been there—you purchase a new Android tablet or phone, turn it on for the first time, and there are tons of programs pre-installed on the device that you just know you’ll never use. They range from anti-virus software to games that you could care less about to toolbars for search engines, all due to the cell phone company’s priorities. There have even been reports that certain bloatware programs on Lenovo computers have made users susceptible to hackers in the past, which is alarming and causes users to wonder what other devices have had this same issue. The programs slow down your device, drain your battery, and end up taking up valuable storage space. It’s easy to feel powerless against these programs, but luckily Google and Samsung are here with some relief.
As Google experiments with becoming a wireless carrier, the chance to have bloatware-free devices becomes more of a reality. The Nexus is already one of the most bloatware-free phones on the market, and by becoming an individual carrier, Google can cut out the unnecessary programs entirely. Google fans can rejoice worldwide over this exciting prospect.
Samsung is also taking the hint finally as well by significantly cutting down on bloatware in the Galaxy S series. The Galaxy 6 and Galaxy 6 Edge both only intend to have two programs preinstalled on the devices: the S Voice and S Health. There will also be a Galaxy Apps app where users can find the removed TouchWiz apps if they so desire. Both devices will have access to any Google apps as well as Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, and a handful other programs. Users can expect to have a quicker, thinner phone that has potential users excited.
These prospects are causing sighs of relief to be heard all around as the potential for quicker phones with only user-desired content become more realistic.