Maybe I’ve missed it but I don’t recall seeing a specific thread dedicated to smartwatches.

I know they still come with limitations, but they are gradually becoming more and more useful.

Personally I’m a tad curious about the Huawei Smartband 8. Primarily I would probably use it as payment device. In Japan that means Edy, Suica, Paypay and similar systems. Has anyone used a smartwatch to pay for stuff? Does it work as expected? In the U.S. I’m guessing that Apple card or Google pay are the primary movers. Curious to learn a little more before I (vicariously) dive into that shallow end of the pool.


I almost exclusively use an Apple Watch to pay for everything, it’s so easy! I’m UK based so most (all?) shops, restaurants, pubs, buses, trains etc have contactless.

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I had (still have somewhere) a Gear S2 Classic. It was nice enough.

In Japan, only really Apple Watches work in lots of places. Garmin Pay is supported by about three banks (one is Sony though, which is good).

Here in the UK there’s much better compatibility. I’d only consider a Garmin for contactless payments due to the stellar battery life, but honestly my cards do that just fine and I have zero battery concerns with them.

I ended up getting a Polar as all I really care about are decent enough looks, good battery life, basic phone controls, and most of all fitness tracking. Already scratched it up less than three days after getting it though… Maybe I should have gone with the supper expensive Garmin with sapphire glass…

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My Apple Watch works for payments most everywhere nowadays except for the supermarket I go to most often so I haven’t gotten into the habit. It’s fast and simple and there’s never a time it’s not with me. Mine’s cellular and will do just fine if I’m out without phone or wallet. Apple Pay lets you load in cards from just about anywhere (not my PayPal debit card though for whatever reason) so it’s not like you have to be locked into one payment choice. The watch is just the mediator.

The watch keeps me honest on my fitness tracking and the health app sends me reminders every so often if I’m slacking or, more rarely, if I’m doing better than ever before. What is the best thing for me is that I can take a walk or hike and leave my phone behind. No brick in my pocket. With cellular on walks I can screen calls and accept them if not spam (blue moon), receive and dictate short texts, dictate notes if an idea comes to me while I walk, which is just about every walk, get email, listen to podcasts, audiobooks or streamed music. I mate it with an Aeropex bone conduction headset so that I’m not isolated from the world when I’m enjoying the outdoors.

It reminds me when it’s time to take a medication. I use it as a timer when I’m cooking. As I travel by vehicle it’s my GPS (relayed from my iPhone)— I prefer glancing at my wrist or having it vibrate to remind me about an upcoming turn rather than having my phone in a holder on the dashboard.


It’s become as much a part of my life as a cellphone.


Lack of a deeply integrated smart watch has been a carbuncle on my Surface Duo experience.

Plus all the digital assistants are variously stagnant (Siri), deprecated (Cortana), feature restricted (Google) and hardware dependent (Bixby). I never heard much about people’s experience with Alexa on smartwatches, but reading between the lines with Amazon’s statements, Alexa as we know it is likely to be lobotomized.

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I can see that that would be a problem. I have never used digital assistants aside from dictation. If that counts.

This discussion further cements my belief in use cases generally and why some love a product and/or product category, some are tepid (me in this case) and some actively loathe them.

As I have talked about in other threads, I got the Apple watch ultra as a Christmas gift and it’s nice enough and works well for my biking and hiking expeditions. But it still feels redundant most of the time as I otherwise always have my smartphone with me which does all of the things like notifications better.

Additionally while I think it may be the nicest looking smartwatch, that’s a pretty low bar to clear IMHO. It certainly doesn’t have any of the elegance of even my lesser level analogue watches as I’m not a fan of the rectangular face (nor as quickly readable for the basic function of telling the time) and while it makes a valiant try, it still feels fragile compared to any of my gshocks and lacks that brands general aesthetic appeals (which not everyone even agrees exist for that matter).

And even for hiking and biking the simplicity of the UI on my garmin is far more manageable during a tricky hike or in the middle of an intensive ride where you simply cannot beat the benefits of real buttons.

TLDR I still would not buy a smartwatch for myself given the current state of them especially that even with the ultra, I still have to charge it too frequently or at least I haven’t for whatever reason been able to integrate it in to my standard routine.

PS: this is very much a somewhat unique thing to my job, but I have had to turn Apple pay on the watch off as otherwise it can start to activate 10 times a day when I’m working with one of our divisions that does point of sale systems.


I think “trying to be TOO helpful” is a thing for “smart” devices. That behaviour has me turning a lot of it off.


I’m wondering if the difference between those who love it and those who hate it is whether or not they want certain things (e.g. GPS for hiking/cycling) to be done exceptionally well, even if it means doing other things poorly or not at all, or if they like having many many things done acceptably well with all of it well integrated into an ecosystem? I’m in the latter group.

That’s the source of Apple intertia for me. Siri will put reminders and appointments on my calendar, make/answer phone calls, send/read text messages (so far the things Cortana did beautifully on Windows Phone), control music playing on my phone, give me directions, and make (simple) web searches on the phone and the watch.

I haven’t found that combo in any other pairing. So I stay, for now.

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And can add multiple timers on my watch…

:+1: :+1:

But PLEASE APPLE, bring us the day when a question to Siri gives us an ANSWER and not - “Here’s what I found on the web, check it out…”


I’m in the former for sure.

Polar have great sleep tracking, and their app and web UI for data is fantastic.

Most of the none fitness features are either acceptable enough or just not there.

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