Fossil gen4 Explorist, post-4 months... More inefficient computer than watch
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Thread: Fossil gen4 Explorist, post-4 months... More inefficient computer than watch

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  1. #1
    Member kramer5150's Avatar
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    Fossil gen4 Explorist, post-4 months... More inefficient computer than watch

    Just wanted to share my views and opinions. I am a very basic user. I use it only as a wrist vibration bluetooth notifier for txt, call and g-mail, and a daily step counter. On weekends I use the GPS to track my outdoor trail hikes through the oak / redwood forests. My screen is never illuminated unless I am actually interacting with it. Everything else is turned off and deactivated in an effort to streamline things. That's it... about as simple as it gets.

    Smart watches are really just scaled down laptop computers. Just like a laptop you have to manage and maintain the OS, software applications, on and off line connectivity. You have to set up/manage user accounts on line. Google WearOS and various installed software apps get on line updates, and there are on-line support communities and forums for these. There are passwords and various forms of personal information you have to manage as well.

    Just like a laptop computer you have to manage power usage. The more software you run and the brighter you illuminate the screen the less battery life you get. Of course YMMV but for me ~1.5 days of battery is typical. So I must charge it every night.

    Overall I am happy with the experience when the software works as expected... just like my HP and macbook pro laptops. While it works for me, I find it difficult to recommend it to just anyone...

    Last edited by kramer5150; March 18th, 2019 at 15:58.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Fossil gen4 Explorist, after 4 months... More computer than watch

    Great Review. How long are you able to stretch your battery life?

    The Wear OS updates are not brand specific. And yes, that is also one of the reason why I left my Moto and Huawei behind for actual watches. However I am considering the Samsung S3 as I want a hear rate monitor.
    Last edited by Wolfsatz; March 14th, 2019 at 16:39.
    ... What time is it? ...

  3. #3
    Member kramer5150's Avatar
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    Re: Fossil gen4 Explorist, after 4 months... More computer than watch

    Thanks!!
    With my minimal use as a screen-OFF, bluetooth notifier and daily step counter I get up at 6:30 AM and make it to 10:30PM with about 65% battery remaining. I will receive maybe 10 text message vibrations during the office work-day, where I will pull out my phone and check them. I don't do much actual interaction with the watch during the day. If I wear it to sleep the watch will deplete another ~15% overnight with the bluetooth radio connected to my phone. Starting the next morning at around 45~50%... honestly its tough making it through that second day. The 2-3 times I tried, the battery died around 6~7:00PM on day-2.

    Sometimes I will take a walk during my lunch break with GPS activated for about 45~60 minutes. On these days at 10:30 PM I have about ~25% battery remaining.

    Fortunately it recharges pretty fast. Like ~30 minutes to go from dead to 100%.

    So basically its a nightly recharge device for me. Even with minimalistic use. My understanding is all the WearOS watches only get ~2 days battery life. Honestly that is not very good. My moto360-46mm got similar battery performance, ~4 years ago. 4-5 years is an eternity in tech. For google to have made no efficiency improvements over that time... it shows they just don't care.
    Last edited by kramer5150; March 14th, 2019 at 18:24.

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    Re: Fossil gen4 Explorist, after 4 months... More computer than watch

    Here's an example of an exceptionally good (successful) day of battery use. I took it off the charger at 6:15AM, did a 45 minute GPS walk around noon and still ended the day at 10:30 with ~44% battery remaining. This is not the norm mind you, I would consider this the best case. Normally I finish a day like this around ~15%. I don't think I received more than a couple text/call vibrations during the day and evening.



    The battery percentage tally clearly shows what I think is the biggest battery problem with WearOS. "Watch Idle" for me is almost always the biggest battery consumer. I guess that is all the background CPU processes...???

    So basically sitting idle and doing nothing of value to the end user, WearOS consumes most of the battery.

    Its my opinion that Google as a baseline OS is not a very good program for a smartwatch. It's just too expansive, too big, too vast. It requires too much CPU background processing for the device to micro-manage. None of the WearOS, or full Android watches get longer than ~2.5 days with 1.5 days being typical, and I think this is why.

    The new Huawei watch GT by comparison gets about ~15 days of battery with an extremely basic and lean OS. This despite having a very high pixel density 1.4" OLED display and similar ~400mah capacity battery.
    Last edited by kramer5150; March 15th, 2019 at 20:06.

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    Re: Fossil gen4 Explorist, after 4 months... More computer than watch

    Quote Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post
    The battery percentage tally clearly shows what I think is the biggest battery problem with WearOS. "Watch Idle" for me is almost always the biggest battery consumer. I guess that is all the background CPU processes...???

    So basically sitting idle and doing nothing of value to the end user, WearOS consumes most of the battery.
    ....

    The new Huawei watch GT by comparison gets about ~15 days of battery with an extremely basic and lean OS. This despite having a very high pixel density 1.4" OLED display and similar ~400mah capacity battery.
    Maybe the Fossil is keeping its radios turned on. Does the Huawei GT have the same radios? (and which OS does Huawei use?)

  7. #6
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    Re: Fossil gen4 Explorist, after 4 months... More computer than watch

    Whoa... i just noticed the NFC radio as been on!! I never turned it on and I never use it.

    Hopefully this improves things.

    I don't think the Huawei has NFC. But it does have wifi, BT and GPS. I think it has access to all 3 satellite positioning systems too. Fossil (IIRC) only has GPS and glonas but not galileo.

  8. #7
    Member kramer5150's Avatar
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    Re: Fossil gen4 Explorist, after 4 months... More computer than watch

    Heres what I am getting now with NFC turned off, about ~2 days. I got a TON of txt message notifications yesterday, where I glanced at them on the watch screen just to identify the senders. I did not do any interactions with them on the watch though. It's easier to just pull out my phone.

    25 hours from 6:30AM to 7:30 AM, no overnight charge... battery dropped to 51%. (49% consumed)


    There still are a lot of background processes eating up battery. 26+4+3+2+1=36% does not add up to the full 49% depletion, 13% unaccounted for. Between "watch idle" and the 13% unaccounted... that's 39% of the 49% depletion being used for background and idle processes. 39% is a huge amount of battery depletion, none of it being used to better the end user experience or interface.
    Last edited by kramer5150; March 20th, 2019 at 17:04.

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