How Smart Can a Watch Be?

As with most new technology, people typically don’t understand the need for something new and innovative. Before I got my first smartphone I didn’t understand why you would need to access the Internet wherever you were, at all times. Before I got an iPhone I didn’t understand the appeal of having every app in the world available to you. So when smartwatches first started getting popular, I didn’t understand why you would need your notifications on your wrist. I’ve even had this same smartwatch before! So why would this time be any different?

First off, the Moto 360 now connects to almost any iPhone or Android. This meant I could connect my personal phone to it, and wouldn’t need a second phone like I did the first time around. Second, this 360 is rose gold. I repeat, rose gold. (If you didn’t know how weirdly obsessed with rose gold I am, you clearly aren’t following me on Instagram, so shame on you.) So I decided to give the smartwatch another try. And holy cow, was I impressed. This time around, it surprised me how much I liked being able to look at my wrist instead of pulling my phone out of my pocket. The 360 had no issues at all connecting to my iPhone, and every notification showed up on the watch. I was able to swipe away notifications which also got rid of them on my phone’s Notification Center, and each notification had a particular look to it, which was a nice way to differentiate texts versus Instagram likes versus emails.

The downsides about the Moto 360 were the notifications and the battery life. I didn’t like that I wasn’t able to interact with notifications on the watch. I’m sure this is because it’s a Motorola watch connecting to an Apple phone, so I understand. Although, I would have liked to have been able to respond to texts, because having to pull out your phone defeats the purpose of a smartwatch. I was able to “answer” calls using the watch, but I still had to talk through my phone. Then comes the battery life. I was able to get one full day out of it, but never two full days. I did have the “always on” option turned on, which meant that although the screen went black, the clock face was always on, and I’m sure that drains battery quickly. This wasn’t a huge issue for me, because I took the watch off to sleep anyway, so I just put it on its little charging station and it was good to go for the next day.

I would definitely say I’m a smartwatch convert now. I like what it can do and am interested to see where they go from here. Especially if they keep making them in rose gold!

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Mixed metals. βŒšοΈπŸ“±β˜•οΈ

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(Side note: extra points for you if you counted how many times I said “rose gold” in this post.)

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro

This may sound strange, but I love when my opinion on tech is proven wrong by the product. I often form opinions on tech before I’ve even tried it, so I love when I test the product and realize it’s better than I thought.Β Before I tried out the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro, I really disliked Samsung. I thought their products were ugly and didn’t like how they functioned. Yay for being wrong! The Note Pro is a seriously good tablet. Like, as close to laptop replacing as a tablet will ever get. The screen size is insane, only a few inches smaller than my laptop.IMG_1778

Because the screen size is so large, you can multitask and have two different apps open in the same window. So cool!


The pen that comes with the Pro is so handy. It’s very useful when trying to click small links or navigating a complicated website. It’s also fun to use the pen in the S Note app to draw and doodle! (I drew the “What’s In My Bag” picture on the Pro, above left)

There are a few drawbacks to using a tablet versus a laptop, however. A majority of my classes are online this semester, and they all use different sites for homework. Some of these sites used flash, which didn’t work on the Pro.Β I also missed having a real keyboard sometimes, especially when writing blog posts or papers for class. This could easily be fixed by purchasing a bluetooth keyboard, however.

I would recommend this tablet for people who have a desktop computer, but want something that’s more portable without buying a laptop. The Galaxy Note Pro can do very close to everything you would need in a laptop, and it has a great looking screen, a beautiful display and is very light. I’m not convinced tablets are laptop killers yet, but we’re getting close! The Galaxy Note Pro was an awesome tablet to use, but to be honest, I still think Samsung devices aren’t all that good looking.

HTC One M8 & RE Camera

For the last two months, I’ve had the chance to test out the HTC One M8 and the RE camera. These are both great devices, and I was excited to try something from HTC, which is a company that I believe makes truly great technology. My sister has had the HTC One M7 for a year and a half, and has loved using it. She bought it after I forced her off her Droid 4 and onto a Z10, which wasn’t as appealing to her. I’ve been looking forward to testing out the One M8, since everyone has been talking so highly of it.Β 

Then there’s the HTC RE camera. It’s an interesting little device, and the shape reminds me of a submarine’s scope. The idea of the camera is that you can take it anywhere, including underwater! After having it for almost two months, I still don’t fully understand the point of it. Obviously I have my phone with me everywhere I go, and there has never been a situation where I wanted to take a picture but didn’t want to use my phone. But I really wanted to understand this little gizmo, so I took it to Florida with me, hoping I would get a perfect opportunity to use it. I brought it with when we spent New Years Eve in downtown Orlando, figuring it was better to have that knocked out of my hand than my phone. I took numerous pictures, often of the same thing, since there isn’t a way to see how the picture looks. It’s like film cameras all over again! When I got back to the hotel and had a chance to look at the pictures, I was disappointed. Most of them were either blurry or I had cut out half of the subject. This is the whole point of a viewfinder. After this, I didn’t use the RE camera very much, and instead used either my iPhone or HTC One.

Now comes the phone. The HTC One M8 is absolutely gorgeous. The black screen with the dark grey metal surrounding it makes it seem as if it’s constantly in stealth mode. Which it probably is.Β This is easily the best looking phone on the market right now.

I would love to say that the phone operates as flawlessly as it looks, but unfortunately that’s not the case. I used the HTC as a GPS many times, especially since it came with unlimited data. But doing this would more often than not cause the phone to crash, even if there were no other background apps running. It seemed like the phone was easily overwhelmed, and I couldn’t figure out how to calm it down. One of the features I really enjoyed, though, was that you could wake the phone up the same way you would wake up a BlackBerry 10 device, by swiping up. This feature went further; if you swiped left it brought you to BlinkFeed, and right brought you to Google. There’s a phone for everyone, and as much as I loved looking at the One M8, I preferred using an iPhone. But that’s why there are so many options out there!

The RE camera is a strange idea. Maybe better for someone who is more active? I still haven’t figured out its purpose. The HTC One M8 is a gorgeous phone that works well, but doesn’t live up to my expectations. Maybe because I still can’t “like” Android. There are so many great features of it, but it seems like they’re all mashed together in an unorganized fashion. Lollipop could change my mind, and I’m looking forward to using it, but for now I’ll stick with my 6.

Nexus 7

I’ve clearly been slacking on writing a post for the Nexus 7. This is an awesome tablet, so useful for every day! I’ve been using it to complete assignments online, check my grades (and then regret it), play games, read books, watch Netflix and procrastinate on final projects and papers (like what I’m doing now). […]