I’ve had my Android Wear watch for a week now, so here’s my fledgling review: I like it. It’s not really anything more than a notification center, but it does a great job of it. Even when I’m working, and my phone is right there next to me on the desk, it’s so much easier to glance at my wrist when it buzzes and flick away a notification than it is to turn on the phone and do the same thing.
As for the specific model of my watch (LG G Watch), it’s pretty basic, but I’m not sure if the more expensive models would really be worth the cost. The main features of nicer watches are better aesthetics (which I’m not worried about), heart rate monitors (which would possibly let me lose the FitBit, but I like having it), and ambient light sensors. The last would be pretty nice, but it hasn’t been an issue for me so far. I keep the screen brightness all the way down, and there’s a quick shortcut to boost it all the way up for a few seconds in direct sunlight if needed.
One thing I was concerned about ahead of time was the battery life, but that hasn’t been an issue for me at all…at least, not on the watch. It lasts all day, and still has 20-30% left when I put it on the charger at night. But my phone has been draining faster than usual. I was expecting my phone to perform better since I wasn’t turning the screen on as much, but the extra Bluetooth usage is apparently more significant.
A few months ago (December 17th, to be exact) I started running a Tasker script that wrote a record in a CSV every time I turned the screen on, unlocked it, or turned the screen off. I did it to try and see how often I was pulling my phone out of my pocket and turning it on, specifically to see if a smartwatch would be worthwhile. I’d actually forgotten it was running for a long time, and was surprised the data was all there when I went to look. The graph below shows that data. Hardly conclusive, but on average over the last 4 months I’ve turned my phone screen on 115 times per day. In the last week since I got my watch I’ve only turned it on 99 times per day. So yeah…hardly conclusive, but there is a difference there. I’ll leave the script running, and compare the data again in a few more weeks to see if any more distinctive trends emerge. I’d love to also compare the average amount of time that the phone was on, but I’m not sure my Excel skills are up to the challenge of correlating the data like that.