Entries tagged as water resistance

Summary of Apple Watch reviews

Apple Watch's Korean launch is just a few days away (June 26) and I'd like to offer you a nicely consolidated list of all my reviews for your convenience. I hope this will help you get some idea on whether you should get one and how you should use it if you do.

Preview Summary
1. One of the first Apple Watch in Korea
Sent three days after the official release in the US and arriving about a week later, one of the first Apple Watch to land in Korea gets prompt unboxing and gets ready for a full review.
2. Getting the Apple Watch up & running
I have the bands installed in place and the battery wirelessly charged up, so that I can pair the Apple Watch with my iPhone 6 Plus and make it work.
3. Basic screens & buttons of the Apple Watch
Apple Watch's many screens are explored, including the watch face, lock screen, home, and favourites. I also try out the digital crown and the side button.
4. Notifications & contacts on Apple Watch
As one of the primary functions, I took a look at how the notifications appear and interact. Then I tried contacting someone with Apple Watch, either through text or voice.
5. Apple Watch's daily life tracking
Fitness tracking with Apple Watch is explored, including the heartbeat measurement with an integrated sensor and the daily activity logging through a three-ring system.
6. Running, swimming with Apple Watch
I had both Nintendo Wii Fit Plus and Apple Watch record indoor running sessions to see how they compare. Then I went swimming with my Apple Watch to see if it'd actually work.
7. Apple Watch as an extension, stand-in
I tried using Apple Watch as a replacement for membership cards. Then I remote controlled my Apple TV and iPhone 6 Plus camera with it, as well.
8. Battery life of the Apple Watch
I recorded my Apple Watch's battery life for three weeks, through international travels and all sorts of exercises, to see if Apple's claims stood up.
9. More Apple Watch observations
I took a look at how fast the Apple Watch charges up and how step counting data are consolidated. Also, I have some more tips and observations on its daily use.
10. 45 days with Apple Watch & watchOS 2
Seven weeks later, the hardware of Apple Watch Sport is still standing up quite well. But early watchOS 2 and iOS 9 betas are incredibly rough to use.

More Apple Watch observations

Apple Watch charging curve

1. Charging Speed

I knew that my Apple Watch gets charged in about two hours, but I couldn't do charging test because it's rare to see it drained to 0% on normal use and I was collecting battery use data for the first three weeks. Now that this was done, I induced the watch to drain until it went into Power Reserve mode as it hit below 1%. Then I put it on the charger to see how it went back to 100%. During the time, no notifications were received by the watch and the only time the screen was on was when I checked the charging status every 5 minutes.

Apple's official document claims that a (38mm) Apple Watch would charge up to 80% in 1.5 hours, and take another hour to hit 100%. In testing my 42mm watch, it charged to 82% in 1 hour 20 minutes, getting about 5 to 6% charged every 5 minutes. 37 minutes later it became fully charged, taking slightly less than two hours (1 hour 57 minutes) total. Perhaps Apple's estimates were conservative.

Seeing as I generally have 20 to 30% of battery left when I charge it daily, this means I can put my watch back on after about an hour and a half of charging. Less downtime is good.

Washing Apple Watch in water

2. Water, Cleaning, & Touch Screen

In the first two weeks of use, I didn't let my Apple Watch touch flowing water. I simply wiped off any dirt or sweat with a cloth. Interestingly, the digital crown began to feel sticky. It used to be that it would effortlessly spin when touched with a finger, but this was not the case anymore.

Seeing that the device was water resistant, I thought it would make sense to clean it with water to resolve the situation. And indeed, after a light dip in the running tap water, the stickiness was gone. To prevent any future occurrences and for good hygiene, I have the watch washed at least once daily these days.

As I wash the watch, the flow of water onto the touch screen usually turns the screen off. But occasionally the screen gets turned back on and certain flows of water get interpreted as finger touches, resulting in unintended button pushes or swipes. This seems to be the culprit of a minor annoyance when swimming with the Apple Watch. Midway through a swimming session, it sometimes decides to stop logging, and an errant press on the (X) button on the screen might have happened.
Continue reading "More Apple Watch observations"

On water resistance of (smart) watches

Testing water resistance of Oband T2 smartwatch

With the Apple Watch going on sale next month, interest in smart watches should spark in 2015. Being wearable, water resistance of these sort of devices is one of the aspects that's getting attention. Usually, the IP (International Protection) rating, an IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) 60529 standard, is used because they're electronic devices. This rating certifies resistance to solids and liquids.

Lots of good quality smart watches and water resistant smartphones are rated as IP67, including Samsung's Gear 2 and Gear Fit. Apple Watch has an IPX7 rating, which has the same water resistance rating, but without dust resistance certification. The last digit, 7, indicates that the device can withstand submerging at a depth of 1 meter for at least 30 minutes.

Information on IEC 60529 Standard: [1], [2]

Meanwhile, traditional watches often sport "water resistant to X meters" or similar indication instead. The problem is that the IP rating seem very underwhelming in comparison on the surface. Casual water resistant watches often have a 30-meter mark, which seems to be much better than the 1-meter rating for IPX7.

But if you delve in deeper, you'll find that the 30-meter mark is only good for splashes and short immersion in water. The watch cannot be expected to withstand dives to a few meters, let alone 30. This is because the mark merely indicates momentary resistance to static pressure of 3 ATM, which is what water exerts at a depth of 30 meters.

[Information on water resistance ratings for watches]

10-meter (1 ATM) water resistance is only good for accidental splashes, which seems analogous to an IPX4 rating at best. A 30-meter (3 ATM) mark is good for general splashes and short immersion. An old standard quoted in a FAQ of a watch company says that the 3 ATM watches "must be able to survive 30 minutes under water at a depth of 1m (3 feet) followed by 90 seconds under a pressure corresponding to 30 meters." So a 30-meter water resistance is more or less like an IPX7 rating. If you're to go swimming, a minimum of 100-meter mark or a IPX6+IPX8 rating seem necessary.

So the current crop of smart watches have a useful water resistance not unlike many casual watches, and shouldn't been seen as too inadequate. Still, as the competition heats up, we might eventually have proper swim-proof versions. I see so much potential there.
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