After a while with the Garmin smartwatch I'm really pleased with it, Garmin have mixed a smart watch, exercise watch and fitness band into one and while it's light on all three I think they've chosen a good mix. Its small size and weight makes it comfortable to wear day to day plus the batterylife is superb compared to most smart watches.
Its most useful function is simply that it shows notifications from the phone which means anything incoming on the phone I can just glance at my wrist and know whether I need to use the phone or not. When I'm cycling it means I can easily tell whether it's a call I need to stop for (I'm on call for many hours a week) and on longer road rides some nonsensical Techpond Live conversation keeps me entertained as I can read the messages coming in.
I've also since found I don't actually need any ringtones or notification sounds on the phone when I'm wearing the watch as the vibrate is easily felt( (whereas I find the phone isn't) so I just keep it on silent which makes the phone much less intrusive.
The Garmin's notification handling isn't great though, it works by simply piping the text from the notification preview which shows at the top of the phone to the watch. This gives good compatibility as it works with any application that uses the notification bar however it comes with some irritating limitations, when the phone receives the first text it shows all the text in the notification bar which the watch also shows. However if the same sender sends another text, it changes that text to two new messages and won't show the contents of the text. Ideally it would be better if the watch captured the text as it came in and saved it which I'm hoping they may implement in time. Any notifications read or dismissed on the watch aren't reflected on the phone, it will still show the notifications there.
The watch is very functional looking and the basic display doesn't make for anything pretty either but the low power consumption means it can be on all the time plus it's primarily lit by ambient light meaning it's easily read in most conditions including bright sunlight.
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