If you’ve been considering picking up a smartwatch, take a look at what Christian Cantrell has to say about the Samsung Gear Live with Android Wear. Fortunately Christian is both an early adopter and a watch enthusiast, which gives him a unique point of view on the subject.
Here are a few excerpts from Christian’s article.
Wearing a bright screen on your wrist is distracting. This one’s not going to be easy to fix, but I don’t like the use of SuperAMOLED or backlit LCD screens on watches in general. When they’re dimmed, they’re not too bad, but the Gear Live auto-illuminates way too often (see additional complaint below), and even when dimmed, in the dark, your wrist still glows pretty prominently. You know how in movie theaters, you’re not only asked to silence your phone, but you’re also not even supposed to turn it on at all? That’s because bright screens in dim environments are extremely distracting. Unless front-lit screen are eventually used on smartwatches (which would be fantastic both for battery life and outdoor use), I think we’re going to need to see something similar to airplane mode, but for movies, driving at night, and romantic dinners.
I’m not sure I’m sold on the level to which Android Wear devices rely on Google Now. I really appreciate that Android Wear respects the wrist-top form-factor—and more importantly, the limitations around data input—but I feel like the Gear Live under delivers. I want to be able to check things like my steps and the weather without pulling out my phone, and without talking to my wrist. Voice commands for devices are nice options, but I don’t want to have to talk to them all the time. When I’m at home or alone, I don’t mind, but when I’m at the office, or out to dinner, or on a train, etc. I feel much less comfortable asking my watch to do something for me. I believe that voice input should always be an option rather than a requirement. (This is one of the reasons I wasn’t able to stick with Google Glass.) In my opinion, Google is betting a little too big on voice in the same way Microsoft bet too big on touch and tablets with Windows 8. I feel like these types of paradigm shifts usually need to be eased into use rather than thrust.
You can read the entire review here.