‘Apple Watch Series 5’ Looks Good, Of Course, & Attractively Priced — BUT Only Has 18-Hour Battery Life.
18-hour battery life still does not cut it. I would say you need, at a minimum, double that to make it competitive with the likes of say a Garmin.
But, at $400, it is attractively priced and, as always, looks impressive.
Not sure why Apple struggles so with battery life. Some folks are now getting 2-weeks.
But, this is good for us Garmin fans. We can still make fun and look down our noses at Apple Watch wearers.
Click Images to Display.
All images from garmin.com
I had given you a head-up on the Venu a few weeks ago, but I had no idea what the specs were going to be. Now, we know.
It, other than in terms of physical size/weight, DISPLAY TYPE and battery life, is IDENTICAL to the also new Vivocative 4 — albeit the Venu $50 more expensive. See 2nd image above, from Garmin, when you do their COMPARE and ask just for the ‘differences’.
The BIG breakthrough is the AMOLED touchscreen display with a 390×390 resolution, a full 50% higher resolution than on other recent Garmins, including the new Fenix 6. That is BIG. Wow. A 50% increase in screen resolution. The watch face is Garmin’s ‘old’ 1.2″ standard (as in say Fenix 5 Plus) rather than the new 1.3″ as in Fenix 6 & VA4. Also 20mm strap, as in Fenix ‘S’ models rather than the 22mm strap.
I gather, however, that this takes a heavy toll on battery life and it is difficult to keep it in ‘Always On’ mode. Garmin’s stated battery life (above) would indicate (to I) about a 24-hour battery life with 3-4 hours of music and 1.5 hours of GPS. I could just about get by with that, but it would be frustrating.
Garmin has added a LOT of high-end functionality into the Venu & Vivoactive 4: viz., Pulse Ox, Body Battery, respiration tracking, advanced sleep monitoring, music, Garmin Pay, fall detection etc. So, that is a LOT of smartwatch for the $399 price. Much better than anything that Fitbit offers — from what I can see. I am glad. I am a longtime Garmin shareholder. SMILE.
While the Vivoactive 4 is available now, the Venu is slated for Garmin’s infamous 5-8 weeks. That is not good. I will keep an eye on that for you.
A Google showed that I was NOT alone.
So, I set out to see if I can try and coax more life out of the battery.
I followed these 4 steps and I appear to have more than DOUBLED my battery life — though it is still from adequate or acceptable. My ‘HR’ would literally go for ‘weeks’ without needing to be charged (and that I mean about 9-days). So, having to charge the ‘3’ every other day is NOT good. Would be a real pain if I was travelling.
The 4 Tips.
- Ensure that your Vivoactive 3 firmware is at 2.60 (and NOT at 2.50).
- Recycle power, i.e., turn it off and then on, after charging it.
- Keep the screen locked as much as possible. The touch screen is very sensitive and comes on at the slightest touch.
Having it locked is real important while you sleep, take a shower or wear long sleeves that might brush the screen.
- Do NOT repeatedly synch with your ‘phone’. Keeps the synchs down to 4 – 6 a day. Noticed that synching noticably
drains the battery (as you watch). I guess the ‘3’ downloads more data than previous devices.
And, of course, keep the brightness down as low as you can, and ditto for the ‘time out’. Hope this helps.
Please share YOUR tips. Thanks.
I have only had my Garmin Vivoactive 3 for 6 days so it took me awhile to fully appreciate what was happening. Plus, I did have the Backlight cranked up to 40%. Though that that was the culprit. Also think I need to lock the touchscreen when I go to bed because I noticed it was coming up often while I was in bed!
I am charging it even as I write.
Googled “vivoactive 3 battery issues“. WOW. I am, by no means, alone. A lot of others experiencing the same problem. Not good.
I am on Firmware 2.60. Problem supposedly started with 2.50. 2.60 does NOT seem to have fixed it.
So, a heads up.
I ordered the Lenovo 10″ Tab 2 last Thursday when the 10.6″ 8-Core Dragon Touch X10 Android Tablet which I had got from Amazon the day before proved to be a major disappointment in terms of screen resolution and USB-based battery charging.
The 1920 x 1200 screen on the Lenovo, as is mentioned in all the product reviews and many of the Amazon ‘feedback’, is pretty spiffy. Vastly superior to the Dragon X10. Crisp and vivid (and I do have it set to ‘vivid’). It is also surprisingly and pleasantly fast. That was a bonus. As I have stated before 96% of what is do on a pad is Web browsing — using Chrome. And it seems to be very adept at doing that. I am pleased.
Slightly more ‘bloatware’ than was in the Dragon. Most of it was easy enough to remove though I am still stuck with a few, such as ‘FM Radio’, which I will never use because it needs an earphone cord to act as an antenna and I don’t use (or like) earphones.
It upgraded, as part of a mandatory System Update, to Android 5.0.1. So I have only used it with Android 5. Works fine (so far). Haven’t found an APP that has not been compatible,
The only problem I have is I can’t get a magnetic compass APP to work. Yes, I know I about calibration but I still haven’t managed to crack that. GPS works. So not the end of the world.
Only has USB-charging (as opposed to also have a separate charger as was the case with the Dragon) and charging, so far, seems par for the course.
So bottom line, after (say) 28 hours and maybe 90 minutes of use is that ‘So Far So Good’, screen is impressive and performance, including Wi-Fi, more than acceptable. I am happy.
Hope this helps.
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The 10.6″ 8-Core Dragon Touch X10 Android Tablet which I ordered from Amazon over the weekend arrived yesterday. Definitely a nice, responsive unit with NO BLOATWARE — and it was fully charged when it arrived. It even came with fairly comprehensive instructions and a very cute, ‘clingy’ screen protector with additional guidance. I was able to get it up and running with my core set of APPs — Chrome, Bank of America, Fidelity, ‘GPS’, ‘Home Security’ etc. — very quickly and with NO issues. I was impressed.
But, I have already printed the paperwork from Amazon to return it! I used it for less than 2 hours!
There were two things that were not up to my requirements and those were such that I would never be happy with this tablet. These being: screen resolution not good enough when using Chrome and battery charging/battery life.
The screen resolution is 1366×768. In theory that should be good enough. It is OK when you are using APPs so to speak, but not when trying to read Webpages on Chrome — in particular ‘marketwatch.com‘ (in desktop mode). Deanna had a look and agreed. Resolution way below par. Also the case when watching video. Given that I HAVE to read at least 30 – 40 minutes of ‘marketwatch.com’ a day, in order to be I, this was NOT going to fly. I need a tablet where I can read Webpages without the screen resolution getting in the way.
The second issue proved to be worse that I had hoped, given that I had already read, on the Amazon reviews that this could be a stumbling block. Though it can be charged via USB it is NOT ‘happy’ being charged as such. It, appears, though I did not bother to try, that it prefers to be charged using its dedicated charger. I had hoped that this would not be as bigger an issue as it proved to be. It was NOT fully charged after 7.5 hours plugged into my standard USB charger! That is not acceptable. Every room in this house is set up, one way or another, for USB charging. Plus when we travel I carry a pouch of USB chargers. I am not going to take another dedicated charger. IF it is not going to charge, fast and adequately, via USB, it is NOT for I. Alos noticed that battery capacity was going down in front of my eyes. Wow.
It also appears that I can’t get the magnetic sensor, used by non-GPS compass APPs to work. Not a showstopper BUT annoying. I like an ‘analog’ non-GPS compass on my tablet. Also not convinced that it had the latest and greatest Wi-Fi chips.
So the Dragon, alas, is going back. Shame.
I have already ordered a 10″ Lenovo tablet:
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