The Android smart watch experience after one month


I have now had the Android smart watch for a month. Although it was a difficult decision – especially considering the price – I don’t regret buying it. Friends immediately question the usefulness of having a watch that nags you to get some exercise, or that merely relays messages from your cellphone. Yes, it does not offer earth-shattering functions, but it does make life a little more interesting and convenient.

Perfect balance

The Android smart watch is eye catching yet not distracting, which is a perfect balance. The classic version looks like an ordinary, yet stylish watch and I can change the watchstrap to anything available in any watch shop. Mine came with a black leather strap, which is a sensible choice for most people when they choose a new watch.

To perform its fitness tracking functions it has a sensitive gyro meter, which I assume enables it to only light up when you lift your wrist. You can easily “switch off” the display by covering it with your palm.

The round menu

They did a great job of making the menu system work on the round dial.  The bezel takes you around the menu items arranged in a circle. Selecting an item merely requires a tap on the watch face. Thank goodness, there are only two external buttons … one to return to the previous screen and another to go to the home screen, usually set to the watch. It’s surprisingly easy to read and navigate on the watch despite the round screen. Fortunately, text is displayed centered, which makes absolute sense for a round screen.

The round faces

A very nice benefit of a smart watch is that you have a vast selection of faces to choose from and many additional ones can be found in the Google Play store. Many of them include a meter that shows the battery charge level. Others have faces that resemble well-known expensive watches and you will be tempted to not correct friends who comment on your top-of-the-range fashion watch.

A connection with a smartphone is essential to benefit from call, message, diary and other notifications. Also, by connecting you can download apps from and change settings from your smartphone. Connection options don’t stop at just Bluetooth – the Android smart watch and smartphone can connect via wireless hotspots as well, or via your wireless router at home.

What about the apps?

I’m not a fitness fanatic, but those so inclined will like the S-Health application and its hourly reminder to “get moving!” The app has functions that include heartbeat and step monitoring.

Some of the other apps are weather (for a city set by you), a world clock, currency conversion, GPS assisted maps, email and messaging. Of course, the Google Play store has a few more apps and games for the watch. I’m looking forward to even more apps as promised by Google. Even all the watch faces still to come is a big source of anticipation.

Google has made wearing a watch much more interesting and fun. It does add some efficiency and productivity to your day. Just don’t forget to charge the battery…!


Anton Venter

Anton covered Google technology for over four years from the the city of Johannesburg in South Africa. He has reviewed mobiles and Android devices for a number of local blogs and magazines; Anton loves researching and numbers.

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