A Personal Take on the LG G Watch
The Marine Commander watch face
The LG G Smart Watch: A Time Tested Time Piece
My First Smart Watch
I have always wanted to have a trusty smartwatch that I can use anytime I want. My first smartwatch was the orange Samsung Gear which has a funky feel and a large side camera. It was one of the earliest and most successful smart cameras on the market but the short battery life made it unappealing for most people who do not like to charge the unit every time; me being one of them. I remember using the Samsung Gear often when it was new but eventually had to put it in the drawer after getting soaked in the rain and I was so afraid of losing it. I had to get all the silica packs I could find and let it dry for the next few days before finally attempting to charge and boot it. It still worked but the scare had made me very cautious that I eventually had to let it sleep in the drawer.
The New Samsung Gear 2
Almost three months later, I got my Samsung Gear 2 and it was all but "wow" for me. Suffice it to say, the wow factor was short-lived because of the, again, dreaded short battery life. The average, if I am being totally honest (with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity) was roughly 10 hours; I would give it 12 at max. For someone who teaches in the university for the whole day and even has to work extra somewhere else, bringing cables and charging docks is added weight and challenge. I was not impressed that following another 'soaking' expedition, I had to leave the unit in the drawer. I felt really bad because it has a sim card slot allowing me to have a backup phone when needed although the camera from the first version was not in this second version. So, I had to find another smartwatch that will give me access to my phone while teaching (it is prohibited to bring phones while teaching though) and with the right battery life till I get home. I usually leave the apartment before 7 am and return almost midnight. As you can see, the only challenge is really the battery power of smartwatches for me and of course their ability to connect to my phone, especially when driving or teaching.
My Choice: The LG G Watch
Enter the LG G Watch. I bought a refurbished unit since the brand-new one at that time was quite expensive for my budget. I got mine for only $100 from a former student who did not like it anymore. He said that he had used the unit for more than a year. I checked the prices of such items on second-hand selling sites and the price was pretty reasonable so I took it and began happily using the LG G Watch.
It has the standard specs of almost all high-end smartwatches at that time yet I really liked its simplistic all-black metal design. Minimalism is what turns me on. The standard watch face from the unit was quite basic so I had to find one which will satisfy and provide the data I will be needing: steps/distance, battery life, and date every time I would look at my watch. I would also want to automatically read prompts, messages, and call alerts as soon as they reach my phone. I needed these timely reminders because I am a part-time content writer and missing a reply to a project may mean a penalty or sanction. This is where the LG G Watch has really helped me with. It is reliable and very useful. All functionalities and features are easy to use and find on the screen.
The Key Features
The LG G Watch has a 1.3-inch full-circle face. It is powered by a 1.2 GHz processor with Qualcomm Snapdragon as its OS, and 4 Gb memory with a heart rate sensor. It is water and dust-resistant but I would advise avoiding prolonged splashes of water especially because the strap is leather, and you surely do not want something stinky and itchy later on your wrist when the moisture evaporates. It has no camera, no sim card slot, cannot use for swimming, and has a leather strap (two of them from the box along with two magnetic charging docks). However, for $ 100, I sure bet that it is still a good buy. Although it had already been used for more than a year and was shelved for almost six months, the battery life was decent. It was after more than a year of use that I began noticing that the 16-hour life span became 12, 10, 8, and so on till it, just one day died on me.
Resurrecting the Old and Most Loved Smart Watch
The day my watch stopped working was the day I almost promised that I will never wear a watch again. I don't know..perhaps it was because I have grown used to having my trusty watch with me that I have forgotten to use my smartphone more often than. I remember driving back home just to get it because I need it at work. Alas, it has to be shelved too along with my other watches. By this time the first orange Samsung Smartwatch was sold to a guy who wanted a smartwatch with a camera. He was so into my first watch that he even drove to our apartment just to buy it when he heard from one of my friends that I have one. Painful as it may be, good old 'orange' had to be given to a better person who will use it more than I do.
As a university professor, I have met countless students and a few of them are South Koreans. I contacted one of such students and asked her if she can buy me a replacement battery. She agreed and after two weeks, the battery arrived. I went to the malls to find a watch repair shop that can remove the old one and replace the battery with a new one. It took me almost a day and almost out of desperation to finally convince someone to open my smart watch and have the battery replaced. You see, in YouTube videos where they can easily purchase the battery along with the kit to be used for opening watches, it is easy as pie. Well, not here in Angeles City in the Philippines. After visiting all available watch repair shops, no one wanted to open my smartwatch because they say that they are unfamiliar with smartwatches. I went to computer shops and cellphone stores, even legitimate watch stalls inside malls, but to no avail. If I go to a computer shop, they will tell me to go to a cell phone or watch store. When I go over to these stores, they tell me to go to the computer repair shops. I have called LG Philippines and they said that they only accept appliances, not smartwatches. After almost going through the roof of frustration, I went to a cellphone repair shop that I had earlier visited. I asked the repairman if he can assist me while I open my smartwatch using his tools and I will pay for his labor. He agreed and so we worked on it. In less than 10 minutes, my LG G Watch is again on my left wrist, however, the challenge I had to go through just to resurrect it was something I would want people to know. I never thought it would be this much and every time I look at my watch, most of the challenges are flashing back for which I am grateful. I did learn much from those experiences.
The Final Take
So if you are thinking of getting a good smartwatch, and you would want to stick to using that watch for a long time, make sure to have much patience and help from the right people. I am lucky that my watch is still working and with a brand new battery --- 18 long hours of pure help for me. Now, since much has advanced and there are now too many models and brands of smartwatches, I just recently purchased a cheap analog smartwatch from Lenovo and it really helps me when I forget to charge my LG G Watch or I have to wear formal attire. The Lenovo Watch 9 is both elegant and waterproof plus it needs no charging. I bought three spare batteries for it and they cost less than a dollar each. Each battery lasts for about 8 months or perhaps a year of non-stop usage. I also got a Xiaomi Amazfit International edition and the battery power is way beyond cool since continuous usage for all features would last for a week or 9 days. The only drawback for this Amazfit is that it really looks cheap and is more of an Apple Watch clone, but the functionality of this one is really great, especially when the $62 price tag is included in the equation. Still, I feel best when my LG G Watch is on my wrist in comparison to all the other smartwatches I have used and will continue to use.