Galaxy Watch back

Having had a Garmin watch for the best part of 4 weeks I’ve finally got my Samsung Galaxy Watch back from the warranty repair. The battery had failed quite spectacularly – draining from 100% to 0% in under 30 minutes, often getting very warm in the process. When I charged it, it would often get to 100% charge but the light on the charger would stay red.

Anyway, it’s now back and to be honest it feels nice. The Garmin was OK, but rather limited, especially the notifications section which would often deliver the same notifications repeatedly.

Yeah the battery life is the killer on the Samsung – a day at most, and the weight difference is rather noticeable with the Galaxy Watch being somewhat heavier than the Garmin, but to it’s credit I can charge it from the powershare feature on my phone.

I’m still going to keep the Garmin for a while, and I’ll see how it goes for the next few weeks before I decide whether to sell it.

It has to be said though, Samsung have the nicest platform. I still can’t get on with Android Wear.

My Carry

I’ve often seen people sharing “what’s in my bag” posts when it comes to tech. These people often traipse around carrying a huge backpack with dozens and dozens of cables, bricks, chargers, dongles. Well I’m the opposite. I’m a pocket guy and I have an absolute bare minimum of kit. I like everything the have multiple uses and if it doesn’t fulfill my requirements precisely I’m always seeking a better version. So here we go… My pocket carry.

1. Phone

It’s a Samsung Galaxy Note 10+. The rather nice shiny chromatic one.

It’s main selling point for me is the stylus – but more importantly the fact it’s a Bluetooth stylus with accelerometer and allows remote control over the phone to an extent. I have used it for presentations and it feels great holding the button in and flicking left to go to the previous slide. It’s also usable as a remote camera shutter.

The camera is very capable and I no longer use my other cameras because of this.

Also, with an almost 7″ screen it’s a great media consumption device and because the screen is AMOLED it’s daylight readable and usable.

I’m also a huge fan of Samsung Pay. It allows me to leave my wallet at home. I’d love the ability to log into a cash machine with it and dispense cash, but alas that’s not a thing yet.

2. Headphones

Media consumption is also improved with my earphones – the Samsung Galaxy Buds. Great sounding. Good battery life. And I can charge them using the same cable and charger combination as the phone itself, or for a top up I can use the reverse wireless charging feature in the phone.

3. The Watch

I also have a watch to go with the setup. It’s good as a notification tool, but also has the added bonus that you can use it as a remote control for the camera too (with viewfinder).

The Watch I have is a Galaxy Watch LTE. It’s the smaller 42mm version as I just find them a little more manageable. I’ve had a 46mm version and it was also nice, but the 42mm just feels the right size to me.

4. Keeping it running

I have a number of solutions for keeping all this stuff working.

First I use a folding charger. It’s made by Mu and answers all my grief about British plugs.

Unfortunately development on these seems to have stalled which means the USB C version never appeared. Not to worry though as my next item depends on a regular USB A port.

The cable I keep with me is a bracelet in disguise. It’s a beautiful invention and looks just like a simple leather band bracelet, until you separate it at which point it turns into a USB A-USB C cable. The one I have is a good enough spec to do DeX on PC.

Finally, for longer journeys I have a battery brick, or battery case, or a combination of both for even longer journeys.

Also in my occasional carry is a Surface Wireless Display adaptor and pocket projector. A small gadget which allows you to project wirelessly and the projector to plug it into.

These all charge using usb C so I can keep a battery case charged rather than having to tether to a socket using an obscenely short usb cable.

For now this all works for me, although I’m sure it’ll constantly evolve. Note though that just 2 years ago I was a bag person.

One port to rule them all?

So after purchasing my new tablet (Tab S3 in case you missed it) I have now headed another step down the road to being totally USB C sufficient.

USB C is the new de-facto charging standard which if rumours are correct might even be coming to Apple devices (yes, I know, Apple using a global standard rather than making their own) but then Apple did adopt Qi charging so perhaps they’ve realised that being exclusive is hurting customers?

It’s great to see USB C on my phone, tablet, Nintendo Switch, and one of my 360 cameras.

So I suppose the next step is to now get the other end of the cable to be USB C so the charger and power bricks support the standard?

Well here’s my new power brick…

Note the single USB C socket on the end. This can be used to both charge the brick, and to charge other devices (as is the nature of USB C), and amusingly, when the device you plug into this brick recognises it, it offers the choice to charge the phone from the brick, or charge the brick from the phone. Quaint.

I think we’re a few years away from the one port to rule them all, but with its flexibility, ability to send video, data and power the USB C port might be the answer.