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Galaxy Watch 42mm - My Experience So Far and My Setup

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**I haven’t checked all this yet so expect typos etc. I will update it with any info and useful links as and when I think it is worth it**

As promised, I thought I would write some notes on how my Galaxy Watch (42mm) is set-up, how it was performing out of the box and how it is performing now. I will also add in my thoughts on various issues people have reported. I know how annoying it is to hear someone with a working product talk about it working when you are sitting there with a non-working product but hopefully it will help, if anything, with deciding if you want to return or replace your product.

 

Out of the box.

Out of the box, I had no real issues. All apps installed (including Samsung Pay), on my Blackberry KeyOne, without an issue. All tracking etc seemed to be ticking over nicely and I could add/delete widgets/apps with no issues.

The only two keys issues noticed over the first couple of days were:

a) Spotify starting itself automatically

With regards to the Spotify issue, I have spoken at lengths with Spotify and they were really good, but we established the issue happens whether you are streaming or offline, with Bluetooth on or off.

They eventually had to pass me back to Samsung but as established on other threads there seems to be a long-running issue with Spotify and restarting. In all honesty Spotify on my phone restarts when I reconnect to my car system if I have been playing it so I personally think it is an inbuilt system process and it is more of a case that when you close & clear the Spotify app on your watch it doesn’t properly clear. I have no evidence for this, but a restart of the watch seems to solve this for me until I use and stop Spotify again.

Solutions: None apart from restarting the watch after use.


b) Battery Life

Nothing worse than getting a new gadget and the battery being poor. On the first day of usage, I could see the % drop about 1% every 5 minutes. That would make the battery last only 8-9hrs. This simply wasn’t what I paid for…or was advertised.

Bat.png

Luckily, things have improved dramatically since then. There could be a few reasons for this including a S Health update but I only changed a few things and noticed an improvement straight away.

1) I changed my watch face to this free one:

IMG_20180913_1605260.jpg

2) I removed the stress widget, recent apps widget and barometer widget from the widget list.

3) I charged the watch from near empty to full whilst switched off.

4) S Health Updated.

* I had also reset the watch and deleted S Health and Galaxy Wearables on the phone during my initial Spotify issues.

Below is my normal working day usage/set up.

So what’s my set up now?

-Bluetooth On
-Wifi Off
-Location On (GPS & Wireless even though wifi is off).
-Heart Rate on during sleep (approx. 7-8hours) then switched to never. The watch is not connected to mobile during sleep but BT is left on anyway.
-Notifications On (vibrate on) – I get maybe 30 a day (not really counting).
-Screen brightness 4.
-Goodnight Mode when sleeping.
-‘Inactive time alerts’ switched off.
-‘Workout detection’ – alerts on.
-I use water lock mode once per day (maybe twice).
-Samsung pay once a day.
-Apps cleared when not in use.
-I don’t have ‘weight management’ switched on – although the widget on the watch still estimates Kcals.
-Added Apps – Strava & Endomondo


How long does the battery last?


I did a test where it was charged to 100% before bed. I got to the end of the following day after 22hrs of “on” time with 51% battery left!!

Screenshot_20180913-203130.png

Doing what?

-Using Spotify offline for approx. 55 mins via bluetooth headphones – I press play and leave it running. I have tested this 3 times with same playlist and it consistently uses about 20% batter during this period. This could be better imo.

- Sitting at my desk working most of the day (12hrs) but I manage to be doing about 4000-7000 steps a day.

Some of that step count can come from the gym. Sometimes if I end my gym session with 15 mins on the treadmill it auto detects activity and times it. I don’t think in this case it starts the HRM if the HRM is switched to never – this seems to be different than if you selected to do a workout.

What Else?

I recharged the battery to 100% and repeated the process with my other, often repeated, daily routine.

This time I left HRM on and instead of an hour in the gym I did 30mins of surface water sports on a lake tracking my usage using Endomondo app which tracks everything, speed, altitude, time, heart rate, location etc.

We are now at 3pm in the afternoon (watch has been running since last night 11:30pm) and I still have 70% battery left!! The Galaxy wearable App is suggesting I have 1 day 6hours of battery left.

However, I am not 100% keen on the battery info on the Galaxy Wearable App. I am not the detail accurate. For example; after charging to 100% a % usage is displayed for Spotify despite the app not being started. It is either always running or this calculation is incorrect.

 

Screenshot_20180913-232448.png

I will test it again at some point with Spotify uninstalled to see if it really is showing “since last fully charged” or an accumulation.

Reported Issues and My Thoughts

Step Counter

It has worked for me. The only notable thing is the first few steps may not update on watch face until arm is lowered and raised again. However, they do still get added to the running total.

Just walking around your living room won’t trigger auto-tracking. You need to walk for an extended period of time and then the time will be ‘back dated’ to when you started to walk when auto tracker kicks in.

Calorie Counting

The watch estimates my calories to be circa 1900kcals a day. Given my lifestyle this is quite accurate compared to a clinical BMR test I did a while ago. But more importantly it seems to be consistent. So similar days seem to be reporting similar kcals.

I do however agree that set targets seem to be fixed in S Health which seems odd. In my opinion you should be able to input your anticipated intake, current intake and it subtract your current burn and tell you the differences, so you can adjust as you go through the day. Maybe the app would adjust levels after a couple of days of missing the intake target??


But for me, if you can input your kcals yourself I wouldn’t bother with such apps. In my experience to make body composition changes, you should always start with an intake level and adjust based on changes in your body. Any Apps auto-starting point will always be random for the individual imo. I hope people find a solution for this, that suits them.

I would suspect there is a 3rd party app that would do this? MyFitnessPal maybe?

Floor Counting

Seems to work for me but you have to move the required 3m Floor height in one go I think for it to count. Going up and down 3 x 1m won’t count as a floor. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Workout tracking

Seems to do what I would expect for ‘walking’. I haven’t tried others. I am not sure why they don’t include windsurfing or such like exercises which used to be available in S Health phone app for the update. I am testing out Endomondo at the moment which seems to be okay. You get 1Y free premium account as a Samsung user or at least I did when I installed the app.

HRM

I can’t compare to anything but seems to track less high than the silly trackers on gym machines which is what you would hope for from my knowledge.

Battery Life

I think ‘Settings’ etc uses a lot of battery relatively and I believe (no evidence yet) using the S Health/Wearable app on your phone also uses a decent amount of battery up on the watch.

So the less you have to ‘play’ with your setup the better. I am literally, only looking and reading notifications or turning on/off the functionality when I need to.
I do think doing a full charge for <10% to 100% with it switched off improved performance but again I can’t prove it.

Location Tracking


Can't fault it at all.

Screenshot_20180914-122700.png

In-Car Systems

I managed to get my phone connected to my system to play music whilst driving as I normally do whilst simultaneously being connected to my watch. I think calls would have come through to watch rather than car system but didn’t test this. I don’t think there is a way to switch watch audio off so you can use the car system, but maybe I just haven’t found it yet. 

Summary

All in all, I am pleased now with 42mm. If the 46mm came in black I may have upgraded even though it would be a little big for me. But I don’t like the silver enough to put up with the size. I am not sure what Samsung considers "light" use to get 4 days battery life but I definitely think it is time manufacturers sold the watches set up to achieve the stated battery life and then consumers can make an informed choice as to whether that is really "light use" or not.

One thing I have noticed is that I use my mobile a lot lot lot less which I good thing. I don’t get distracted by another app when checking notifications like I do with a phone.

If Samsung released a black LTE version in the UK where you can have LTE on all day for 1.5- 2 days I would be very tempted in buying it and leaving my phone at home for checking stuff like Instagram in the evening. I really like the idea of not needing a mobile for most of the day.

Useful Link:

Reporting Issues: https://eu.community.samsung.com/t5/Smartphones-Tablets-Wearables/Galaxy-Watch-Gear-Activity-Trackin...

3 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser

Thank you for sharing. 

 

 

 

Current Phone ~ Samsung Note 9 Model: SM-N960 Duos 512Gb
Samsung Gear s3 Frontier Watch

Explorer

Thanks for the update, great to finaly hear some positive feedback on the Galaxy Watch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think I have definitely been able to show that Spotify eats up battery even if you don't open the app. Maybe worth some removing if they aren't going to use it.

It could be up to 10-20% assuming the battery usage is correct in the Wear app.


I will post the images later. 

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