• Wearable Wednesdays: Officially Back on Wear OS

    'Tis the season, it seems, for year-end (even end-of-decade) retrospectives. So here's my contribution, my last Wearable Wednesday post of 2019, and of the 2010s...

    Back in the summer of 2014 I strapped my first-ever smartwatch to my wrist and never looked back. I haven't always been loyal to Android-powered wearables in particular, but in 2019 I returned to the fold in a big way—adding no less than five new pieces to my existing collection:

    Fossil Sport and Gen 5

    After testing the Fossil Sport last summer I decided to keep it as a beater watch, and when the all-metal Gen 5 went on sale for Black Friday, I grabbed one of those too. I particularly like how complications are laid out on Fossil's "Essential Digital" face, even if it reveals in no uncertain terms where my winter vacation is and when I'm leaving.

    Wear OS snobs continue to rave about how the Gen 5's extra 512 MB of RAM make the Sport pale in comparison. Me? I think they're both fine.

    Skagen Falster and Falster 2

    As much as I like Fossil's complications I've always been a sucker for the clean look of Skagen Falster's default face—and its physical design as well. I had returned my original Falster from 2018, but took a Falster 2 with me to New Zealand last summer. Despite the anemic Snapdragon 2100 processor and only half-gigabyte of RAM, the ongoing improvements to Wear OS have made it quite usable. Ditto for the original Falster, which I ended up repurchasing on eBay for a price I couldn't refuse.

    Casio WSD-F30

    Casio's Pro-Treks are the closest I'll ever get to a true G-Shock smartwatch, and the latest model is their best yet. Not only is it smaller than previous iterations (it's still huge) but there's now a compass built right in to one of the default faces.

    I happened to be at my local Best Buy when they were discounting it by some $200 CAD, so I took the bait. It's not a smartwatch that I'll wear every day, but I'll definitely take it with me when I travel.

    The point of all this is not some weird flex, just to say that Wear OS isn't necessarily as terrible as people make it out to be. I'd say that the worst time you'll have with it is during the initial setup, where an on-wrist tutorial is literally fighting with software updates that are downloading and installing at the same time. Once all that is done you'll be left with a quite capable wrist-based computer, housed in a chassis suitable for your own personal style.

    It certainly sucks that you have to charge these things every day, and I still occasionally see that annoying offline icon from time to time. But I do genuinely look forward to deciding which smartwatch I'll be wearing on a given day, or taking with me to some far-flung destination. With two watch rolls, a display case and a drawer full of quick release straps I'm really no different than any other watch collector. It's just that my collection might not hold as much value for generations to come.

    Links to product pages: Casio, Fossil (1) (2), Skagen (1) (2)

    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Wearable Wednesdays: Officially Back on Wear OS started by acurrie View original post
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