Devices |

Hands on with the Samsung Gear Fit2

By James Howe September 20, 2016

James Howe puts the Samsung Gear Fit2 through its paces. Here’s what he found.

I’ve just found a new way of discovering if something is useful or not. I mean really useful.

While testing a device lets you know if you think the product is any good or not, having to go a few days without that product after you’ve decided you like it is a quick way to cement whether something is essential.

Let me give you an example. I was fortunate enough to receive the brand new Samsung Gear Fit 2, a wearable that tracks your key health and fitness data as well as operating as a fully functional smartwatch. After a two weeks with it I then had to spend four days without it.

I missed it every day. Here’s why

Health and fitness benefits

As far as fitness trackers go, the Gear Fit 2 is up there with the best of them. It does all the standard tracking of steps and floors climbed as well as having a built in heart rate monitor and sleep tracker, all which record automatically. It also comes with standalone GPS tracking meaning I can record runs without having to take my phone.

An additional data field that I hadn’t seen on any other wearable was the ability to manually track how much water I drank during the day.

All of this generated great data which transferred seamlessly to the S Health app and allowed me monitor trends in my data to identify where I need to change my behaviour. After all, a wearable will only improve health and fitness if you know how to use the data.

Through the app I was also able to record additional data such as weight, oxygen saturation and even stress levels.

In my time without my wearable I genuinely missed the data provided to me – what was my resting heart rate overnight and should I push myself hard on my run or was this pesky cough starting to fatigue my body? I also feel like I was drinking less water and staying inactive longer because I wasn’t having the nudges and encouragement when I had the Gear Fit 2.

I know in an ideal world I’d be able to do these things without technology, but by having to go without the data after becoming used to it I felt that the Gear Fit 2 had gone from a gadget to a useful tool.

Technology benefits

The main driver for me in choosing a wearable in the past has always been the fitness benefits it provides. As technology has evolved over the years I’ve been intrigued by the possibility of a smart watch and the Gear Fit 2 really delivered on that front.

The watch synched easily with my phone’s Bluetooth and provided immediate notifications of calls, calendar events and messages as well as the ability to personalise and choose which apps generated notifications. With a series of customisable template responses, I could even reply to messaging services. This was really useful when in meetings for instance and I wanted to be discreet.

Another winner for me was the “Find my phone” functionality. More often than I would like to admit I find myself at home looking for my phone. I dial it from another phone, and then have to tell my family to be silent as I run around like mad man trying to hear “buzz, buzz” because my phone is inevitably always on silent and hidden under a couch cushion. With “Find my phone” a simple press of the button makes my phone ring out loud, even if on silent, making it easy to locate. A small but useful feature.

In terms of battery life, on average I got through two days of usage before needing to charge. However, the big upside is that charging time is really fast. I usually place my Gear Fit 2 on the magnetic docking station when I wake up and have a shower and by the time I’m heading out the door for work it’s fully charged and good to go.

The Samsung Gear Fit 2 is a great all round lifestyle wearable. Just don’t ask to borrow mine – I don’t want to go through more time without it!

Find out more.

Tech and Innovation |

4 ways to get the most from your wearable data

By James Howe August 17, 2016

Research shows that 55% of Australians now own a wearable, but are we getting the best results from them? James Howe takes a look at how reading your data can change your health behaviours.

The true power of a wearable is not in the device itself, but rather the data it generates. While knowing how many steps you’ve done, what your heart rate is or how many floors you’ve climbed may be nice, do you fully understand what you’re measuring and what your patterns are telling you?

It’s also important to note that for any of these metrics a wearable is a lot like a set of scales – you want to be using the same one to ensure maximum consistency as there are slight differences and sensitivities between devices.

Here’s four things you may not know to help you get the most out of your wearable data.

Find out more about Telstra’s range of wearables tailored for your busy lifestyle.

Devices |

Hands on with the LG Urbane

By Ben Tyers May 3, 2016

Okay, so I admit was little slow on the uptake when it came to wearables and I’m not really a watch wearer (my expensive watch sits in its box in my sock drawer). But recently I decided to expand my wearable collection from a fitness tracker to include a smartwatch.

I chose the LG Urbane, because frankly I liked the fact it’s a classic looking watch combining timeless aesthetics with the latest Android tech – basically a smart looking watch that’s..well, smart.

Here’s why you’ll love the LG Urbane.

Hands-free help

Just say ‘OK Google’ to send texts, check the weather, or find out the half time score.

Long battery life

Get more done with the long-lasting 410 mAh battery. Charge at night then power through your day.

Water & Dust Resistant

The LG Watch Urbane is IP67 dust and water resistant (up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes). Wear it just about everywhere.

Swipe the face and swap the band

Fully-customisable. Swap the strap or swipe the screen for a new watch face.

[tw-button size=”large” background=”” color=”blue” target=”_blank” link=””]Find out more [/tw-button]

Need to know:

Compatibility: IOS 8.2+ (must be used with iPhone 5S or more recent) & Android 4.4+

Devices |

Essential Uni Tech Survival Guide

By Laura Cinerari March 4, 2016

O-week has kicked off, meaning the start of semester one is just around the corner. The suitcase is back in storage and with it, the realisation that the summer holidays are officially over and (sigh) it’s time to start prepping for the year ahead.

It used to be that  getting ready for uni meant gathering text books, pens, paper and class schedules. Today, it’s about charging your devices, checking you’ve got all of the right Wi-Fi passwords and making sure you’ve got all the coolest social media platforms loaded. The way we attend classes, write notes and connect with people has dramatically changed. So if you’re anything like me, you find it hard keeping up with what’s available that can make uni life that little bit more easier and organised.

To help, I’ve put together a tech survival guide for uni. Love to hear what tips you have for the year ahead.

Telstra News |

Essential tech for your wedding

By Lani Boldt February 26, 2016

With lightweight cameras capturing choreographed first dances, drones acting as ring bearers and wedding wearables – technology is not only changing the way we live, it’s also changing how we choose to live happily ever after.

With the rollout of the NBN in Australia, access to fast and reliable internet means even more connectivity for planning your big day – so why settle for anything less than extraordinary?

We’ve rounded up our picks of the best apps, websites and technologies to make sure your wedding is truly a day to remember (and playback again and again).