Several years ago I decided to get my first smart watch – an original Pebble. Since I made the switch, I’ve always had a smart watch. The Pebble, Pebble Time, Samsung Galaxy, and the Fossil Carlyle. For the past year or so, I’ve been daily driving the Fossil but Ive decided that its time to move on to a Fitbit. Heres why.
The main features in a smart watch im looking for is to control music, show notifications, show / respond to messages (including off of 3rd party apps such as Telegram), and do a tiny bit of health tracking – sleep and steps.
The use case I like to refer to is commuting in winter (pre pandemic): Before I leave for work, I put on my headphones, put my phone in a pocket, tuck away all the cables, put on my hat / gloves, and head out. All of the common tasks should be doable without taking out my phone – controling my music, reading / responding to messages (with at least generic reaponses), and starting / answering calls. Sometimes the weather is so cold that taking your gloves off isnt just a mild inconvenience, but hurts.
Of course now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, that commute has drastically changed. I no longer will be taking public transit daily, but may do a short drive a few times per week. Yet I still want my smartwatch to be on that same level of convenience.
The Pebbles were great and did exactly what I needed and I really enjoyed them. I was especially spoiled by their long battery lives – several days depending on usage of course.
I ended up switching away from Pebble for 2 reasons:
- They were bought out by Fitbit and discontinued. While they still functioned, the software experience started degrading over time – updates were halted and new apps / features became hard to come by. No one was going to develop apps for a dead product.
- While I held out for a little while, I came across a Samsung Galaxy watch that was for a REALLY good price. Im pretty sure the store I bought it from mislabeled the $300 watch as a $50 watch, but thats all they charged me (yes, I triple checked the deal as it was too good to be true).
The samsung watch worked great for quite a while and I really enjoyed the tactile rotating dial. However, its life ended abruptly when the water-proof seal on the back of the watch melted one day, I didnt notice, and took a shower while still wearing it. I tried calling to get a replacement, but I was told to stop by a Samsung store. The only one I knew of at the time was 2 hours away and I didnt have access to a car at the time. My warranty quickly lapsed.
The next smartwatch was a gift from my SO – A Ticwatch. It was my first Android Wear watch and while it worked, I realized how much I was spoiled by the long battery lives of the pebble. The Ticwatch only lasted 2 days with little to no usage.
I quickly felt very deprived of that long battery life. After a few months of usage, the ticwatch would only last a day, and would have to be charged nightly. That effectively resulting in little to no sleep tracking. I decided then to “upgrade” my watch to a Fossil Carlyle.
The Fossil was pretty much the exact same story as the Ticwatch. First experiences were good, but quickly deteriorated to a laggy mess that needed charging each night. It got to the point where I didnt even bother putting on the watch during the day.
This brings us to earlier this week – My SO saw some good prices for the Fitbit Versa 2s, the Versa 3 doesnt look too much better, so I said “go buy 2 of them” (one for each of us).
Now that Ive made the switch to the fitbit, I figured I’d start another blog series about the watch. Ssooo stay tuned for more posts!