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Wyze $20 Smart Watch (wyze.com)
256 points by ignorantguy 52 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 283 comments

Smartwatches have fallen so far from their peak.

In 2015, Pebble had a watch that had:

- an app store, third party apps, third party watch faces, and a developer ecosystem

- always on screen that didn't require a button press or specific arm gesture, and worked in bright, normally lit conditions

- physical buttons instead of tiny buttons on a tiny screen barely larger than the finger pressing it

- week long battery life

Pebble was crushed by Fitbit, which didn't have any third party support, and by Apple, which had miserable battery life and relied on the connected phone to do most of its work.

Now Pebble is long gone, Fitbit bought the remnants of Pebble is being acquired by Google, Google itself doesn't seem to have any interest in WearOS, and Apple Watch almost has two-day battery life and app store has never lived up to expectations. We now have "smart watches" which basically combine basic phone notification API implementations, a package of often unreliable sensors, mostly-off touchscreens, and bundled "apps" which can only be used with the hugest social media sites.

Garmin has been crushing it with their smartwatches.

* App store with 3rd party apps and faces.

* Always on screen

* Physical buttons (Vivoactive is mostly touchscreen oriented, but all their "athlete" watches use buttons)

* Week long battery life - Even running GPS tracking for 12 hours straight leaves enough battery for the next day.

The biggest downside to the Garmin is trying to figure out which watch to buy. They stupidly gate certain activities to specific watches. For example Garmin has a Hike activity on their Fenix line, but not their Vivoactive so I need to track my hikes as a Walk.

I've also switched to a Garmin when Pebble went kaput, and one of my todo list items is to port some of the more fun Pebble faces over to Connect IQ.

However, as you've noticed, each device feature set is determined by overzealous marketing. My Forerunner 245, despite having tons more memory than my ancient Fenix 3 and considerably faster, has less data screens for running. It doesn't have an altimeter, but the cheaper Vivoactive series has an altimeter because fitness users want to count floors climbed. It has Bluetooth but is not allowed to connect to bike power meters, because then it would overlap with Garmin's much more expensive triathlete watches.

This leads to app store problems, because each app and watch face has to be explicitly compiled for each watch - even when the watches have the same display size and feature set. Buying a new device often means that you'll have fewer options than someone with an older one.

I had 3 Pebbles, and a Kickstarter pledge in for a fourth that they cancelled and refunded me when they sold out.

I spend the refund money on a small but fun collection of old soviet mechanical watches. The kinda ubiquitous Vostok Amfibia, a "Big Zero", and a pretty poor fake of the Sturmanski Yuri Gagarin wore.

I get much "more joy" from these - even the fake Yuri watch - than I ever got from a "smart watch".

My usual story about smart watches was that I jumped on the very first Pebble Kickstarter, because I thought it'd be useful while riding a motorcycle to be able to see who's calling/texting my phone when it was vibrating in my pocket, so I could decide whether I wanted to stop and answer it. Turns out, the answer was _always_ "No!". Even if it _was_ someone I'd normally pick up for, I was either gonna arrive at my destination in 10 or 20 mins and would deal with it then, or I was on a trip and wasn't gonna be stopping until the tank was empty - possibly at a place with no reception - and I'd deal with it late that evening or in a few days when I got back to town.

2nding mechanical watches, though my preferred value brand is Orient, but nothing wrong with Vostok. Seiko seems overpriced these days, Orient seems like the new Seiko (though Orient and Seiko are both owned by the same holding company, which happens to be Epson (yeah, as in Epson printers)).

While mechanical and real watches are fun, smartwatches' biggest selling point for me is body telemetry. Steps taken, floors climbed, pulse, activity tracking, etc.

I've disabled everything notifications and phone-control wise on my MiBand. I exclusively use it for a body telemetry device and I love it.

While I miss my proper watches, I just can't leave the MiBand at home.

I've loved every mi band I've had - they are great simple devices.

I loved the first one (or the 2nd revision of the 1st) that just had vibration and 3 coloured led.

It meant I turned vibration off in my phone, and I set the band to vibrate and flash 3 times white for sms, green for WhatsApp and red for calls. But if any of those were from my wife (who was pregnant at the time) it would vibrate longer and flash for 20 seconds.

It was so simple to feel and glance and get the info I needed - no need to squint and try read. It annoys me in meetings when people think they are being subtle reading a full notification from the apple watch or similar. If it is important just get your phone out it will be quicker to read and reply.

Actually, the NavMe app for Pebble was really useful as a navigator when riding a motorcycle. It would vibrate to yr attention when you were approaching the next turn and the turn info was easy to see on the watch while riding. It was a brilliant solution that would take you to your final destination without y having to stop once in a while and take out your phone to see what's next. I always used it when going places I never been or were unfamiliar with.

My main problem with Garmin, and the one that gets me really hard when camping, is the fact that Connect requires internet in order to be able to see even basic statistics. I absolutely love my Garmin Vivomove Style, but because of the small screen I can't really see any activity other than very basic things, which requires that I fall back to my phone app... which doesn't work when camping or hiking because I don't have cellphone reception.

If they could fix this one problem, I'd buy more of their sports-oriented watches, but this is the one thing that I find really hard to deal with.

Otoh, the watch is phenomenal and beautiful, and I love having a watch that lasts 5+ days on a single charge and looks like a normal watch, but tells me my calendar and such, and can be used to track running and hiking.

I was bitten by this just the other weekend. Out in the middle of nowhere for an organised event, and the organisers said we had to use the backup route. I had it downloaded to my phone, but Garmin Connect won't work at all without an internet connection.

Ended up just using my phone for navigation, and even though I was recording GPS and heart rate the whole time, I'd only used 50% battery after 14 hours riding. Nice.

There was another guy at the campsite who was looking for someone who had downloaded the route. I AirDropped it to him, and he transferred it to his Wahoo bike computer with no trouble.

For shorter rides/runs, I use the WorkOutdoors app on the Apple Watch. It's only battery life that's an issue when the activity is longer than 6 hours. Just this morning I had the opportunity to go for a run a bit out of my normal zones, so within a minute I had sketched out a route on the phone and transferred it over to the watch. (That some of the paths I'd used didn't actually exist anymore was a separate issue, but I've already updated OpenStreetMap to fix that.)

Similar experience on my side. I was sitting on the fence between an Apple Watch and the Garmin 945. I'm quite pleased with the Garmin 945 all day tracking, the ability to track activities for over 12 hours (GPS, routing, and bunch of metrics), and good battery life. While the software ecosystem in Garmin feels a bit rough, it's usable. It's the software that makes it stand apart from these lower priced offerings. Even the Garmin VivoActive has interesting metrics when paired with software Garmin Connect.

After going with Android Wear and seeing how they made everything worse with WearOS, I switched to a Garmin Fenix 2 years ago.

It's the best thing if you're sporting an Android phone. 3rd party apps are mostly weather apps and apps mimicking features of more expensive Garmin watches to be used on cheaper models. And don't expect apps to talk to the apps on your phone - you mostly have to enter all details into the Garmin apps again (using the Connect software on your phone).

However, I recently switched to an iPhone and bought an Apple Watch and it's so much better if you are more into smart watches instead of a fitness tracker with smart features. Yes, the battery has to be recharged as often as I do. And yes, it's a touchscreen that's utterly useless in a downpour or when swimming. But apart from that, and I don't say this easily, I get more from the Apple Watch than from my Garmin then-top-of-the-line model.

What I have heard and experience makes me not so sure. For example, a kid’s Vivofit regularly crashes on the countdown timer and skips or repeats numbers on the stopwatch. Then there’s the thing where they paid $10 million to unlock a ransomware attack.

Yes, I had friends affected that were unable to access years of running data during that attack, which made them think maybe having a local copy of their data was a better idea.

That’s not specific to Garmin, though. It could happen to almost anyone.

I’ve enjoyed the Garmin instinct. It “just works”.

Yeah I love my Instinct...great as a basic everyday watch (always on, easy to read, never have to think about charging it), full-featured as a GPS running watch, nice addition in the backcountry as it integrates with my inReach satellite device. Sending and receiving text messages from my wrist while on the side of a mountain 50 miles from the last trace of cell service is kind of fun.

I resisted the idea of a smartwatch for years and bought this mostly for outdoor stuff, but I've found myself wearing it all the time.

This. It is absolutely my favorite piece of gear when hunting, hiking or fishing because it just works. I have the Solar Version and while it can’t fully recharge from solar with GPS in full power tracking, it’s amazing how long it’ll run in expedition mode.

More importantly it looks like a G Shock and is similarly tough.

I had a Pebble Time Steel. Loved the thing to death.

The battery was a bit degraded and I got tired of not being able to acknowledge Pagerduty notifications (even though I could receive them), as well as not having any fitness features whatsoever (other than the steps counter). So I bit the bullet and bough an Apple watch.

Within two days, I stop using the Pebble. Yes it's nice, but against what's essentially a supercomputer in my wrist, with a bunch of useful apps... I switched. Sure, having to charge daily is not _ideal_, but I can put it to charge while I'm having dinner or in the shower, and it will be full pretty quickly - specially if you are just topping off daily. It is not as convenient, but I didn't hate it as much as I thought I would.

The screen is always on too. I disabled the feature, didn't see much of a difference.

Just this weekend, I had a pretty spectacular fall from my bike. Fall detection kicked in - I did not need emergency services, but it was a reminder that some features can be life-saving.

My company's SSO supports IOS, which means it is now integrated with my watch. Pretty secure too, the watch will lock if it is removed from my wrist. It can unlock my machine (and my car). I can control other devices. I can take just the watch outside and still receive phone calls, or buy groceries. Many of those things, I couldn't do with the Pebble, or they would be more cumbersome. Yes, physical buttons are nice, but also limiting.

Pebble had the right idea. But they executed too slowly and too late. The fitness focus was missed by them for quite a while, I bet that they could have stayed relevant if they had implemented features like heart rate monitoring.

> Pebble had the right idea. But they executed too slowly and too late.

They were also _way_ too small to compete with the industrial design, manufacturing capability, and marketing clout of Apple. Or even Samsung. They were inevitably gonna get crushed.

And I say this as a four time Pebble Kickstarter backer who could see it even back then. A couple of kids with an amazing YC pitch deck and ambitions-untempered-by-experience-or-reality? They were never gonna "win" if Jony Ives and Foxconn ended up in their market segment. I don't regret a cent I spent with Pebble. I hope the founders made out like bandits when they sold out, and I hope it launched them onto spectacular career trajectories. But they never really stood a chance of being the top player in any sophisticated consumer electronics space...

Eh, that depends on how you define "win".

If you mean sell as many units as Apple and never get bought? Sure.

But as someone who also owned an OG Pebble, if the "Pebble-way" was actually better, it would have won.

Winning might have meant getting acquired, or even just competitors making devices similar in spirit to theirs, but it'd still be a victory.

The "Apple Watch way" was the anti-thesis to the Pebble philosophy with it's needing daily charges and it's color screen, and trying to be a second phone on your wrist with beefy specs. While the Pebble was trying to be _literally_ a smarter watch.

And Apple's way won out. People just preferred that.

The mistake we made was thinking we had to compete with Apple. Unfortunately, we realized that a little too late -- had we kept to our own pace we'd still be around, and by now would have figured out how to reach a more mainstream market.

> I hope the founders made out like bandits when they sold out, and I hope it launched them onto spectacular career trajectories.

Well uh... The company went under, so I doubt they made out like bandits. The IP was sold off, but I suspect that much of that money was used to pay off outstanding liabilities. My impression was that the founders tried to do right by their employees as well. I find it unlikely that they came out of the process with a ton of money- more than likely they lost money.

Just as a counter, I'm a (current) Pebble user, and I bought an Apple Watch and returned it. I don't need fitness tracking, the Apple Watch's screen was a little too hard to see outside, and the UI was too cluttered for the type of super-quick tasks I want to do on a watch. (I also really really disliked the lack of an always-on screen, which didn't exist until a few months later.)

I like my Pebble because it's a watch first and foremost—I've worn a watch since I was around ten years old—but it just so happens to also show me notifications, and glance at things like the weather and my calendar. And I can do all of that super quickly.

I bought the Amazfit Bip because the format came close to what Pebble was, but I still miss third-party apps and the timeline UI, which made so much sense on a device that focus mainly on telling the time and upcoming events.

Hopefully the folks working on Rebble will make a nice open-source OS that can be ported to other watches out there.

I have a Bip and it is really great, except for the GPS which takes 10 minutes to get a lock and no 3rd party apps.

Everything else is perfect. Although I try to track my runs with it, so it is sadly a big hit against it.

Make sure your aGPS is updated and also that your time is correct (timezone ). I had the same issues ( not 10 minutes but not instant ) , now am getting fix in seconds.

Don't forget: 7.5mm thick (for the round version). There is nothing on the market even close.

I wore mine until last month when the battery gave out. If I could buy one with a new battery (not a replaced one as it compromises the waterproofing) I'd choose it over any other option available today.

Look for devices supported by the gadgetbridge 3rd party app (found in android's f-droid store). I have an Amazfit Bip S lite. 45days battery, always on lcd. Custom notification filters by gadgetbridge. Great


I assure you, I have evaluated everything on the market. Amazfit devices are >1cm thick (even the ones that claim 9.2mm, it's a lie). They are also larger diameter than the Pebble Time Round, so overall more than twice as big and much less comfortable.

The phone software is nowhere near as good, the watch UI is poorly designed, and the watch face/app selection is poor in comparison to Pebble. I haven't tried gadgetbridge yet but on newer Amazfit devices it requires some hacking to get it to work (extracting login tokens or encryption keys or something) and I expect that it will be fragile.

It is fragile. But, the key can be fetched from their server. No root, no funky hacked app, judt one time effort. Bip is not perfect, but the translucent display and GPS, plus many weeks of life are great. You can even push it for BipOs and write your own apps.

Disclosure: I help with Gadgetbridge :)

I can confirm that vanous is helping users :)

Hi vanous!

I know you said you don't want a replaced battery, but if you were interested in doing the (fairly easy) battery replacement yourself, there's a link to where you can purchase a battery on Aliexpress here:


In case it helps with the token


I'm not sure how you evaluated it. I took my Amazfit Bip off my wrist in order to measure it right now. From top glass to bump at bottom surrounding the optical sensor it's 8mm.The diagonal from case edge to case edge,is 47mm. I agree that the phone software could be better. However, I think the watch UI is reasonable given the constraints. As for watch-face selection - there are a couple of dozen - how many do you want for <$100?

Reviewers report 9.5mm, not 8mm [1]. But the original Amazfit Bip is no longer for sale on their store or on Amazon except for overpriced marketplace sellers. They only make later models now which are thicker (they have a dizzying array of different models with similar names which is quite confusing).

I did purchase an Amazfit watch, the GTR 42mm which is supposed to be 9.2mm thick but is >11 in reality. "A couple of dozen" faces is laughable compared to what Pebble offered. The community produced an incredibly diverse set of faces and apps for Pebble. I find the quality of the GTR faces to be mostly poor with them all pretty much looking the same with the same features. For example, you can't do this on an Amazfit watch face: https://store-beta.rebble.io/app/57cc2c33be5ad0d9500002cd let alone the apps which have no equivalent AFAIK: https://store-beta.rebble.io/apps/most-loved/1

[1] https://www.zdnet.com/article/amazfit-bip-review-100-smartwa...

Far more than that it you consider the community created ones. Heck I built my own too.


Isue with those: they're often battery leeches. Especiially when displaying highly dynamic content - the lcd draws almost nothing when the displayed image stays static

Yep, the newer amazfit's server based key-pairing is nuts, but there's a solution and you only need to do it once until you hard reset your watch (hopefully never). The watch dials are rather ugly but functional. The built in dials are also much better battery-wise than custom faces

I just measured the Bip S lite: 9.7mm height x 34.8 x 41.6mm rectangle (without lugs + crown).

Did you include the sensor bump? The official specs claim 11.4 mm [1] so it would be strange if it was thinner. The Amazfit GTS 42mm is claimed to be 9.2 mm thick but actually measures >10 even without including the sensor bump. In any case, still much larger overall than the Pebble Time Round.

[1] https://www.amazfit.com/en/bips-lite.html

No, i excluded the sensor bump deliberately. Its area is too small to have a notable effect - the 8.5x9.2x1mm sensor bump sinks into the wrists skin and raises the watch by a lot less than the nominal 1mm. It probably is measurable, maybe calculate the space of the bump (~80mm³) and virtually redistribute the displacement across the whole 42x35 base plate and assume a calculated effective thickness of less than a tenth of a millimeter (80/42/35=0,054mm)

> Its area is too small to have a notable effect

We'll have to agree to disagree on that one. Bumps protruding into my skin definitely reduce my comfort wearing a watch all day. Your measurement still doesn't match the official specs and even assuming it's correct and they're all that thin it's still not close to the Pebble Time Round. 30% thicker and 60% more volume.

The measured data is for my Bip S lite (which is a bit smaller than the Bip S). A bump of 1mm high with an area of less than 1 square centimeter is not noticable imho. My other watches also have bumps (nato strap seams, the gshock's rear plate is uneven by 1mm easy, and seiko's glass rear window...)

The spec page I linked to showing 11.4 mm is specifically for the Bip S Lite.

Maybe the lugs are included in the official specs' height/thickness. If you put it flat on the table the backside doesnt touch the surface because the lugs protrude a bit - maybe to protect the sensor from scratching. I ignored the lugs though as they're wrapping around my wrist and don't add to the thickness.

Or maybe i measure again to be sure.

Man never heard of this Gadgetbridge thing. Thanks for bringing it up. The awful apps are the worst part about these kind of Chinesium devices.

The first setup to get started can be a bit rough, especially with server based key fetch + pairing. Gadgetbridge's issue tracker will help if you get stuck.

There's also a bunch of us on the Matrix channel https://app.element.io/#/room/#gadgetbridge:matrix.org

I finally bit the bullet and replaced the battery in mine. It wasn't my favorite process, but it seems to have turned out fine. Used a hand rolled bead of Sugru [1] to re-seal it. Not sure I'll ever be able to try again, but at least now it works again.

[1] https://sugru.com/

I still have mine somewhere, I wonder if the battery has survived... Probably not.

I don't agree with all their business practices, but if you're looking for an alternative, Garmin watches do all of that well these days. I'm quite happy with my Forerunner 735XT.

Mind if I ask what issue you have with their practices? I try to be a conscious consumer so I’m curious if anything you know would concern me as well.

Mainly that they sell health data (anonymized and aggregated, but still), to undisclosed third parties and they're not super upfront about it.

I can’t find this information and there are way too many policies to sift through. It doesn’t seem unlikely or abnormal, though. Do you think many wearable manufacturers aren’t sharing or selling data like this?

This right here. When I see a twenty buck wearable I immediately think surveillance.

For what it's worth, I wear a Garmin Vivoactive 4 and it has the following:

- an app store, third party apps, third party watch faces, and a developer ecosystem

- always on screen that doesn't require a button press or specific arm gesture, and works in bright, normally lit conditions

- physical buttons instead of tiny buttons on a tiny screen barely larger than the finger pressing it

- week long battery life

Also has GPS, Music storage/playback, actionable notifications, and a ton of health and fitness stuff.

PineTime is the only watch that is cheap and can be programmable. However, it's software isn't mature enough for daily use.


Do you have one? What are the problems with it so far?

I have a few, its a functional smartwatch that is super snappy and responsive to touch. It does not have the largest feature set, but I can see the time, my heartrate, control the music player on my phone, etc.

The feature set is expanding as people develop for it, and you have a choice in OSes (much like the Pinephone or a Thinkpad can run dozens of diverse OSes)

I'm kind of hopeful an interesting community will develop around the PineTime Watch.


You can get most of the Pebble features you listed on the Amazfit Bip and Gadgetbridge.

It's not perfect, but it's the closest thing to what the Pebble used to be.

See this thread from below here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25269500

I like my Amazfit Bip, but the integration is no where near as smooth as Pebble was. I only stopped using my Pebble because I had the first gen screen corruption issues. By the time they were getting to be an issue, the writing was on the wall for them.

It's silly, but I miss having my TOTP codes on my wrist.

It also had an open ecosystem.

You could create and compile your watch apps to your heart's delight without asking someone for permission.

Pebble may be long gone, but there are plenty of people still using them with 90% of the functionality still intact!

I do love seeing all the other pebble people show up whenever smartwatches come up as a topic. After a few years of looking into smartwatches (and working on my own ATTiny/ATMega/ESP32 smartwatch project) I finally bought a Pebble Time Steel this spring. I had expected the Pebble hype to wear off after a bit, but so far it's lived up to pretty much all of my expectations.

I don't even have a Rebble account yet, but it's surprised me how much still works and how much use I can get out of it in my daily life.

Pebble watches still run on Android thanks to Rebel. My Pebble Time rules!

Google acquiring fitbit? Nooooo, I've been in the process of de-googlification and fitbit has massive amounts of my health data from the last half year. Need to figure out how to nuke all of that.

If your Fitbit data is linked to a residual Google account, you can use that account to delete it.


I have a Garmin Forerunner, it’s basically the watch you’re describing from Pebble but better. Longer battery etc.

I backed the first Pebble. I think you're overselling how great things were as compared to now, where I can make calls from my wrist or use it as golf GPS. And it's not like smart watches are the only app ecosystem to become closed and shittier.

I have a Fossil Hybrid HR. It has an always-on e-ink display with physical watch hands, back light, Heart Rate monitor, and a 10 day battery life.

It's great, and probably the closest thing to a successor to a Pebble watch.

Second this and at the same time don’t. The watch is great, it’s the closest to Pebble I’ve gotten. It also has features that I wanted out of my Pebble, like sleep tracking. The battery life is also fantastic and closer to 14 days for me.

But, the big downside is the software. It’s veeeery limited. The latest update made things a lot better and Fossil seems to be headed in the right direction, but it’s just not there yet. Customization is big for me, and the Fossil HR has limited amounts of it. No SDK for example, so no third party apps. You get what Fossil says you need.

That being said, I love my Fossil HR to bits. But man, I really wish I was wearing a Time Steel 2.

I've been tempted but I do use some of the smart features on my Apple Watch. It's a tough tradeoff.

It's sad Google is so incompetent with WearOS, I would kill to have a cheap smartwatch just to use Google Pay. Instead the only ones are overpriced and shit battery life.

I miss my Pebble big time. Still nothing compares.

I would encourage you to look at Garmin watches. They definitely compare

They are not interested in providing watch experience, but rather to harvest as much data about user as possible. This should be illegal.

Only the Apple Watch 1 ran its applications on the phone, and the current version is 6. And it has an always on display.

What is it you're looking for in a smartwatch?

It's almost the same as comparing PC and smartphones... Smartphones are restricted in a lot of ways for no good reason which is why I am still wanting a true Linux phone.

seriously - it's been _years_, it should only be easier to get to pebble's level (if not surpass it)

anecdotally, in my life I've seen maybe enough apple watches to count on one hand? and a few fitbits. That's it. A far cry from what I expected the future to be like, back when pebble was getting hype and when apple announced their offering. What is the problem with the market? is there really just no demand for smartwatches of any kind?

I own an Apple Watch 6, but I'll tell you the problem: charging $400 for a watch.

If they got down to $100 or so, you'd see wide adoption. Which is why the Wyze Watch at $20 is so fascinating to me. At this price, you can just buy one instead of a Casio.

How is Wyze churning out so many new hardware devices so rapidly?

I hadn't heard of them till this year when I saw their camera on sale, but now they have a full suite of hardware products with ~50 employees.

Are they essentially rebranding some Chinese manufacturer?

This watch is potentially a rebranded Xiaomi Redmi Watch, with minor modification to the sensor plate maybe.


Otherwise there other very similar looking watches in the Chinese market as well.

Thank you, this is now on my AVOID list!

When it comes to their webcam: absolutely yes. You can get the exact camera they sell on Alibaba. That said, the software on the Alibaba versions is awful. I think their business model makes sense here: buy commodity hardware, make your own, better, software.

(though to be honest their iOS app isn't great. But still)

I'd pay good money if I had Chinese hardware with secure, privacy-guaranteeing software. I'd buy the smart watch right now if it was either open-source, it came with a strong privacy policy.

As is, I see no reason to upload my health information to a random corporation.

Indeed, I can see plenty of business models where I could give away smartwatches and cameras for the wealth of data I'd collect. Selling still makes more sense; you want people to have a vested interest in them.

have a look at gadgetbridge, no need to upload anything anywhere

What about Apple's privacy do you disagree with?

For example: "It may be necessary − by law, legal process, litigation, and/or requests from public and governmental authorities within or outside your country of residence − for Apple to disclose your personal information. We may also disclose information about you if we determine that for purposes of national security, law enforcement, or other issues of public importance, disclosure is necessary or appropriate."

Why would I want my health data uploaded to an Apple server to be shared with governments?

My data should live on my own devices, encrypted, and unaccessible to anyone other than myself.

Thanks. I agree with your concern. Apple's support answer paints a different picture.

"Your HealthKit data, including your health records, remains under your complete control. You can choose to use iCloud to keep your data up to date across your devices, choose to share your data with a third-party app, choose to share your data with Apple under the Improve Health Records program, or choose to back up your data to an iTunes encrypted backup on your computer."


I interpret this to mean we maintain full control who and where your health information is stored. It's only stored on your device, unless you chose to share it with other apps, and/or use iCloud to sync across devices.

As an American, if I am being honest, I trust Apple far more than I would a Chinese company--given what I understanding about the CCP.

I trust Apple as much as I trust Yahoo or Google. Which is to say, Google was honest 5-10 years ago, and Yahoo was honest 15-20 years ago. Apple is honest today, but whether it's honest in 5-10 years is TBD.

This document is a little bit better than the general privacy policy, but I'd still want to be asked. "By default, iCloud automatically keeps your Health app data, including health records, up to date across your devices." This is different from your interpretation (opt-in versus opt-out).

Call me a cynic, but I read this as "We might upload your data to Apple if you miss something walking through configuration screens, or if you an app somehow gets your data before you've toggled a setting. Our next default update might include a default-insecure setting for new types of data you'll never find out about without navigating our screens." Google does this all the time; they start collecting new information, and provide an opt-out, but by the time I opt-out, they've scarfed a ton of my data. I assume it's in a backup somewhere.

Apple says they do end-to-end encryption, but key exchange is an honor system. As I understand, Apple could set up a new iPhone in-house connected to my account, and have it sync up my data (with end-to-end encryption), scarfing up all of my data. Apple could be compelled to do this with a court order, or might change privacy policies in 5 years.

The nice thing about open source is that I don't need to trust. I trust Apple today, but it's not an ecosystem I'd buy into right now. The upsides of monitoring my health are far outweighed by the downsides of privacy and security risks that brings. That goes for Chinese companies too. Hardware can be compromised, but open source + CCP is more trustworthy than Apple.

I'm actually surprised there aren't more CCP companies doing open source. I'd gladly pay double for an open source mouse, keyboard, or other device.

> but I'd still want to be asked. "By default, iCloud automatically keeps your Health app data, including health records, up to date across your devices." This is different from your interpretation (opt-in versus opt-out).

You are right. This is a meaningful distinction.

They are just rebranding Chinese hardware and it's great.

Doing quality control + localization and delivering a product that just ridiculously undercuts the competition.

I have a lot of admiration that they can make these prices work at all.

They must be, but they are running things pretty close to the bone.

They had a home sensor platform that seemed cheap ($5!) and reliable, but Reddit forums are full of complaints that a low battery bricks the sensors.

Wyze will send you a replacement, but can’t engineer a fix on the fly, apparently.

I bought one of these during the early-access program, as my old Charge 3 had recently died. I really wanted to like it.

Sad to say, it's terrible. Mostly what it did was remind me how much I appreciate stuff that actually works well (e.g., wrist position sensing, so that it turns on when it's supposed to, a reliable touch interface, etc). I ended up buying a Fitbit Sense when they came out a month or so later. I don't regret it, even at >10x the price. I have my gripes with the sense but most of the time it is vastly more usable.

How were the sensors? (e.g., SpO2?)

If you want a "smart enough" watch and you are mainly care for your health, I highly recommend any of the watches from Withings: https://www.withings.com/hu/en/

They are a really awesome company, not trying to sell you some shit and making money, but honestly wanting to develop good products to improve your life! Very useful features for health monitoring and they don't cost as much. Plus the watches looks super cool!

I looked at all the high-end smart watches, decided they pretty much all sucked, and went with Withing's Steel HR Sport.

I love it- Like you said, it's a smart-enough watch. I get text notifications on the small screen, which is surprisingly useful, and it does things like step tracking, heart rate, sleep tracking, etc. But it also has a multi-week battery life, and looks like, and is sized like, a normal watch. Highly recommended.

Can fully back you up on this. Also, as a sidenote, their scale devices are awesome as well, and the watch line you linked used to be Nokia-branded (back when they owned Withings, before they spun out to be independent again).

I wore a Steel HR for a couple years, and if the heart rate monitoring had been reliable, I most likely still would.

Liked having a real watch, loved only charging it every two weeks, but finishing a squat set and having it tell me my heart rate was 60BPM when it was closer to 180 just bugged me.

This was before they put in sapphire glass, during the time when it was sold as a Nokia, so it wouldn't surprise me if they improved this in newer models.

The Apple Watch does so much more that it isn't even funny, but it's also not a watch, it's a rounded rectangle that sits on my wrist where a watch goes. I wish the perfect fusion between these products actually existed...

I’ve always called it “smart-ish”, but yes, Withings watches are pretty awesome.

I’ve recently gotten the ScanWatch and it feels quite premium. Probably the sapphire glass adding to the heft.

My only gripe is that they do not offer any sort of repair service! If you break the glass, they will instead off you 25% off a new purchase.

I don't have much interested in their watches but I have the Thermo and I'm really impressed with it. I wish the BPM Core wasn't so expensive.

Those watches are nearly 300 euro..

Is the price difference that great? I paid ~$150 for mine a few months ago, and checking Amazon here in the US, they're still going for about that.

I often wonder how Wyze makes any money.

They're usually 2-10 times cheaper than their competitors, while providing better features, better design, and better support.

I love all of my Wyze devices and purchased another $100 worth of them just yesterday (3 bulbs, 2 sockets, 3 sensors, 1 camera, 1 SD card).

I like how they go out of their way to add features to their devices. For example, they provide a firmware for the Wyze Cam that turns it into a webcam, which I've been using for online education for the past few months.

For the past few days, I've done extensive research on smart watches and fitness bands. I looked into everything, from Apple Watch, Tizen, Pebble, WearOS, Fitbit, PineTime, etc. I haven't found anything with such a good value as the Wyze Watch. Some of the hackable nRF52832 based devices (PineTime, Colmi P8) have similar prices, but they have a smaller display, no SPo2 sensor, and you basically have to write your own OS (InfiniTime, WASP-OS, Zephyr, RIOT).

I'm really impressed. I wonder if there's a catch.

It's funny - i avoid Wyze because it seems such a good deal. Something seems off about that, the price is simply too good - and i loathe being the product these days.

I hate being the product as well, but it's pretty much inescapable now. Paying for a service does not opt you out of being marketed to other income streams as a product (ie, combined stats, being part of a test group, etc).

The best we can hope for by paying for a product is getting additional features and not being inconvenienced (ie, avoiding ads).

I almost bought an $80 pdf application (pdf expert) only to find out it phones home with my device details...

And now that company won't be getting my $80. I'll use the open source alternatives, even if they aren't as nice to use.

Use open source, write your own open source or just do without. You can't just accept the inevitable and bow into it - inevitability doesn't change morality.

Device details? As in, operating system and version, cpu, etc. That seems super reasonable for support purposes...

> 2.1.2 Regarding the App: certain data is transmitted by your mobile device: namely your IP address, the periods of time in which you use the App and the type of device you use (e.g. IPhone, IPad), as well as events within the application recorded with Amplitude analytics in order to give us the possibility to continuously improve the App.

From their privacy policy. Oddly enough, no, they don't need to broadcast my ip and when I use the app. Not required at all for me to read PDFs. They may want that data - and if so they should ask me instead of just taking it.

I agree, but in the case of audio or video recording devices i am especially paranoid. If someone sells how often i use a toaster i'm annoyed - if someone sells video or audio of me i'm livid.

don't give up.

Been a customer for a few years. They're upfront with everything. From what I know I'm not the product (so far). Everything I ever purchased was an excellent value and met 99% of my expectations. My only gripe is there is no desktop software to manage all the devices. You should give them a try, the cameras are awesome.

Honest question: what do you base that off of? I can’t think of a way to prove the negative, that I’m not the product, that overcomes the assumption that the hardware prices are so low that they will have great incentive to monetize in other ways.

I got the feeling that the price was too good to not be something else as well.

I might be mistaken, but it appears to me that they might have ways of monetizing user data.

From the privacy statement:

> We allow others to provide analytics services and serve advertisements for us across the web and in mobile applications. These entities may use cookies, web beacons, device identifiers and other technologies to collect information about your use of the Services and other websites and applications, including your IP address, web browser, mobile network information, pages viewed, time spent on pages or in apps, links clicked, and conversion information. This information may be used by Wyze and others to, among other things, analyze and track data, determine the popularity of certain content, deliver advertising and content targeted to your interests on our Services and other websites and online services, and better understand your online activity.

I agree. It has to be like how smart TVs are so amazingly cheap. They are going to monetize your data.

Well I base it off the fact that how could the possibly monetize a video of some guy walking his dog or a vehicle going by. I can opt out of their marketing material and everything can be saved locally to an SD Card.

In my opinion the hardware prices are cheaper because it's sourced out of China and the product is at the lower end but worth every penny. I use to source widgets out of China that were amazing quality. I would have them delivered to my factory in Canada. The price of the finished product delivered to my factory door step was cheaper than the cost of raw materials in Canada. There were no duties involved since the HS Code of the item was duty free and China had Most Favored Nation Status.

So that's probably how they do it. The Camera costs them a few of $$ delivered and they sell it for $20 +. The only draw back is that the Chinese copied the design and would be selling in their internal market or markets where Wyze wasn't in yet.

Because it’s essentially Amazon, ex Amazon engineers and they integrate with Alexa by default which likely means a nice side channel income.

How does Alexa integration open up revenue? Does Amazon pay companies to integrate?

This may have changed, but in the past, I believe they were essentially just rebranded Xiaomi cameras (possibly from other suppliers) with different firmware. I originally thought the Chinese products were clones of Wyze, but it appears Wyze is actually just using existing low-cost hardware from overseas. Happy to be corrected if I'm wrong though.

FYI - for some camera models (Xiaomi or Wyze), you can flash them with this custom firmware[1], allowing for a lot more customization.

[1] https://github.com/EliasKotlyar/Xiaomi-Dafang-Hacks

Are they selling a bunch of activity data to people or something? $20 for a smart watch has me wanting to try this. I wonder if the catch is that they only work for about a year?

You might just be seeing the markup of other products.

Their products are cheap enough that if it misses a motion event you'll say "oh well, it's doing well for a $20 camera."

Has anyone done a thorough security analysis of any of their devices? Do they phone home or otherwise open some sort of back door? I agree that it does seem too good to be true

"Wyze Labs, Inc ... are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates."

I would like to believe there is good in the world, but other than Linux nothing has held it up.

While Wyze has undoubtedly a relationship with Amazon that goes beyond them being just ex engineers the trade mark disclaimer isn’t for Wyze Labs Inc itself which is privately owned but for Alexa and the rest of the Amazon products they integrate with.

> but other than Linux nothing has held it up.

You could probably include the EFF, GNU Project, BSD's, and a couple others as well.

Inspect Element shows that's just a formatting goof in the footer. Wyze is not part of Amazon (...yet...).

© 2020 Wyze Labs, Inc

Amazon, Alexa, Echo Spot and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Google, Inc., Google, Google Home, Google Home Mini, G logo, The Google Assistant built-in, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google, Inc. All rights reserved.

You've misread.

> © 2020 Wyze Labs, Inc Amazon, Alexa, Echo Spot and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

The page is copyright Wyze Labs. Separately, those other terms are trademarks of Amazon.

I blame their website for the mixup. they forgot a newline.

Selling at a loss to build up their ecosystem I imagine, same as Amazon with all their devices.

They could be hoping to be acquired by Amazon as well.

This. The founders are all exAmazon and I think this is a likely exit strategy.

I was only aware of their Wyze Cam (which I have a couple of) and I had no idea till I saw this post that they have other devices now, such as Plug, Bulb, Scale etc.

Quality can sometimes be a bit iffy (my motion sensor and door open sensors failed) and now the useful camera event alerts are behind a (small) monthly fee.

There are a lot of cameras at that price range. I got one from a competitor (some router manufacturer, forgot which one).

You were able to find sensors? When I've looked they've always been sold out for months.

They are coming out with new sensors.

Been a Wyze customer for couple of years now. Bought many of their cameras from their store and Home Depot. The cameras are real good and much much cheaper than other big brands (Ring/Nest etc). It seems they are basically building a Xiaomi kinda of brand in the US (Xiaomi is extremely popular in countries like India where they have huge market base with well styled products similar to Apple line).

I'd suggest giving Eufy 2k cameras a try. I was also a long time Wyze fan but I've recently switched to Eufy after trying out their 2k cameras. Compared to Wyze, it offers better resolution (thus 2k in their name), on-device pet/human detection (Wyze charges monthly fees for cloud-based detection), and way better app experience. It's slightly more expensive but well worth the price for me.

Very slightly more expensive when you hit a sale like this past cyber monday they were $28 each. To build on the plus sides vs wyze, they notify you almost instantly while wyze cams take 12-15 seconds. It has custom detection zones that can be any shape/size polygon, not just a square. I was most disappointed with the wyze outdoor having a hardcoded detection zone... and then unlimited detection time with no cooldown between detection which is also part of wyze's subscription service

For me the real selling point of the wyze cams is the free one week cloud storage (for detection event, with 5 minutes cooldown period, not permanent recording). This means I don't need to subscribe to anything and still have a record even when the burglars take the cam/system.

Considering they often re-brand Xiaomi hardware, i wouldn't say they're building "a Xiaomi kinda of brand" as much as "re-building Xiaomi's brand"

I have multiple Wyze cams and recently got hit with a big surprise, if Wyze cam lost power suddenly, the past 4 mins event footage is NOT stored on the local SD card, and the actual event is not stored on the cloud as well. Wyze still has a long way to go for resiliency comparing with Ring or Nest.

I tried to test this and discovered that my Wyze Cam thinks there isn't even an SD card installed (there is). In the cloud, it showed there was an event just before it was unplugged, but it won't let me download the footage. I would be pretty upset if I discovered these issues when I was trying to get footage from a break-in or other important event.

EDIT: After a firmware update, it's now recognizing the SD card, but just as parent said, there is no video of me walking up, standing in front of the camera, and unplugging it. It's not missing 4 minutes, but definitely at least 20 seconds.

This means a thief could just walk up to any Wyze cam, yank the power cord, and be certain that he wouldn't be caught on camera. Maybe there's a way for Wyze to grab the data from their cloud if the police asked for it, but it seems impossible for an end-user. Really disappointing.

Interesting, but they ship only to the US, which is a deal breaker for me. Would've ordered.

Similar here. I hadn't heard of them before but took a look at their site and am impressed by the range. If they shopped to the UK I'd be buying a few bits for sure.

Similar prices to xiaomi etc but their apps look good. (though the xiaomi apps are pretty good too)

In some cases their hardware is xiaomi hardware. Their model is to utilize existing low cost hardware but run their own custom firmware on it. This is how they have grown their product range so quickly.

Gah! Dammit.

The price point is right, and there's a lot of functionality. I wish Wyze well in its quest to sell a lot of their smart watches, and they probably will.

That being said, what I'd really like (if someone out there is listening) is a smart watch which is not only cheap (<$20), but it would also have microHDMI and microUSB ports, and basically you could take it off your wrist and hook it up to an external monitor, keyboard and mouse, and use it like a very underpowered Raspberry Pi...

Yes, it would be slow compared to other computers...

Yes, it would be limited in many respects compared to other computers...

But dagnabbit if it wouldn't be cool to have, if you couldn't just take it off and use it like a general-purpose stand-alone computer!

To me, that's the killer feature that any smart watch must have...

Oh yeah, and Open Source everything, too...

And yes, I realize that I ask for a lot! <g>

Any indication that these will be hackable like their cameras? What SoC are these based on?

Good chance that they are based on Nordic's nRF52.

I wonder if this is roughly similar to the Sylvania branded smart watch that Ben Heckendorn recently evaluated and disassembled: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-Me4eP8c2Q

Was thinking that too. I saw that MediaTek SOC in the Ben Heck teardown and started wondering about whether it was running Linux.

Are there any developer-friendly hackable smartwatches?

Lillygo makes a couple of interesting options built around the ESP32:

T-Watch-2020 - $26 - http://www.lilygo.cn/prod_view.aspx?TypeId=50053&Id=1290&FId...

T-Wristband - $18 - http://www.lilygo.cn/claprod_view.aspx?TypeId=21&Id=1282&FId...

These are amazing, thanks for sharing!

Pinetime maybe https://www.pine64.org/pinetime/

Pebbles were very hackable, but you can't buy new ones as other threads have pointed out.

Lots of nRF52832 watches syncing with Dafit are hackable.

They pretty much have the same hardware as the PineTime. The most popular one is the Colmi P8, which you can buy for $20-25.

Someone already said PineTime, but here is an interesting blog post about it: https://lupyuen.github.io/pinetime-rust-mynewt/articles/watc...

Is Wyze owned by Amazon? Web site says started by folks from Amazon, but Copyright says Wyze marks owned by Amazon.

And Google is an affiliate of Amazon? ;)

It's just not well formatted. If you look into the source code it's supposed to look like

> © 2020 Wyze Labs, Inc

> Amazon, Alexa, Echo Spot and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

> Google, Inc., Google, Google Home, Google Home Mini, G logo, The Google Assistant built-in, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google, Inc. All rights reserved.

Can anyone comment on the current state of the art for the sleep tracking feature of this or other smart watches? I have a Garmin Vivosmart HR that is close to end of life. I'm looking for something light with >7 day battery life, vibrating alarm clock, and decent sleep tracking.

I have a Vivosmart HR as well but my wife got me a Fitbit Versa last year and it's a give-and-take.

The battery life is worse but the color screen is really nice and the watch can do more (most notably have multiple alarms set from the watch). Vibration motor is better on the Fitbit.

Sleep tracking is slightly better on the fitbit (re. graphs and data). Accuracy seems better but I'm no expert (I've gotten false positives where the Garmin thinks I'm sleeping if I'm sitting at my computer not moving much, Fitbit has tracked naps which is impressive).

I kind of liked the Garmin app more than the Fitbit one. The fitbit app can be confusing to navigate and it's irritating that they try to upsell you on a subscription. The garmin app is more spartan but it's easier to see your data. I think it might be easier to extract your data from garmin as well.

Syncing both watches to your phone is equally painful.

I don't know of anything new that has a long battery life like the Vivosmart HR. Garmin claims equally long battery life on their newer devices but I'm skeptical.

I am a Vivoactive HR user and will be buying the Vivoactive 4 soon. The always on display is indispensable, as is the battery life and SpO2 monitoring; Garmin is gold. I've tried Fitbit, Vivosmart 4, and AW4 but the Garmin is what I feel makes the best tradeoffs between functionality, usability, and quality plus they have great customer service. Edit0: fixed model names - darn Garmin with its meaningless model names.

Just curious, what do you actually do with your sleep data? After trying several trackers and building up a week or two of data I don’t really see a use for it. What’s the point of regularly monitoring it?

I don't believe in the accuracy of the data I currently have to make any judgements. For several months, I have been measuring my blood pressure and noted the effects of caffeine, alcohol, and exercise. I would like to gauge sleep length and quality to correlate with physical and mental well-being. Ideally, this would be passively measured and monitored, but I haven't gotten that far into it yet.

I'm using a vivosmart 4 to monitor my sleep. I mostly care about my SpO2 data to detect sleep apnoe. But also my avg. heart rate is a great indicator whether I'm fine or if there's a health issue or extreme stress at work.

Does it run a Linux? Will I be able to ssh to it?

With 512KB RAM and 16MB flash[1] I assume it's a microcontroller and doesn't run Linux.

[1] https://wyze.com/wyze-watch.html#pageDetails

Slightly off topic, but are there microcontrollers that run Linux?

One could argue that the difference between an MCU and an MPU is whether or not it can reasonably run Linux...

It's possible, but my impression is that no MMU makes it difficult. Here is an example [1] of Linux on a Cortex M4 (a very boring STM32F4XX)

[1] https://elinux.org/STM32

Linux required an MMU at inception[1] and currently requires an MMU. Instead you have μClinux[2] which although it is integrated with the mainline kernel since 2.x, it lacks some important features, like it has neither fork() nor autogrow stacks[3].

[1] https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~awb/linux.history.html

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ΜClinux

[3] https://www.eetimes.com/how-uclinux-provides-mmu-less-proces...

Would it matter, as long as you can build and flash it yourself ?

Will this just run the same wearOS as other watches? It just says "compatible with popular apps", but the only thing I could see myself using a smartwatch for is xdrip, which is fairly niche

Would love to see a write-up on COGS. Others have said they are buying commodities from xiaomi and reselling but it's not like there is magic here. 50 employees and real working capital needs means real overhead. Obviously they are living on VC to some extent, but how is there enough money long term to sustain a business with zero or negative margin? Boom and bust?

Really keen on Wyze's lineup of products, but unfortunately after countless requests from people, they still don't ship to Australia.[1]

[1] https://forums.wyzecam.com/t/deliver-to-australia/3666

Can you just use a reshipper? Or are there customs implications? It may honestly be a blessing if they ignore Australia - the usual route for companies targeting Australia is to double the USD price for the same product.

Not always, but that's certainly often the case.

I've never used a reshipper but I looked up reship.com and they charge at least $30 (!) to get a 200g parcel (150mm x 150mm x 150mm) shipped here.

AmazFit (Xaomi basically) makes great long-battery devices that are cheap too. Not this cheap though.

I wouldn't recommend an Amazfit watch. My Pace's battery was completely fried after 6 months. A few times it even started audibly sizzling. Maybe if you are okay with buying a new one every six months, but with wearables it's probably better to pay a bit more for a better designed Garmin.

As a runner, this is relatively useless without a GPS. Include that and sign me up in a heartbeat.

Look into the Amazfit Bip. A bit more than $20, but cheap and the battery lasts ~40 days. If you're using GPS a lot it will be less than 40.

Even so, battery life is measured in weeks, not days.

I'm still rocking my Bip even though I don't use most of the smart features(heart-rate sensor doesn't seem very accurate). I just wear it as a regular watch because it looks good, it's slim and discrete, visible in the sun, has customizable watchfaces and shows me notifications from my phone(via Gadgetbridge, no cloud account BS). That's all I need, I don't want fancy interactive smartphone features on my watch to provide an endless source of distractions for the whole day at an easier reach.

Oh, and the battery lasts forever and because of the low pricetag I won't cry if I break it or scratch it during sports or household chores.

I feel like the Bip is the unofficial successor to the beloved Pebble.

My BIP fell apart (the screen popped off). Was relatively easy to re-glue. It's a common issue.

But I was most fascinated to see the hardware inside. It's crazy how miniature it is when the actual body/face of the watch is detached.

I actually stopped wearing it simply because I found even the basic notifications I had set were affecting my brain -- an issue with any smartwatch, not just the BIP.

One cool hack I worked out was combining MacroDroid + BIP to trigger any phone action (Intent). So, you can use the BIP as a remote trigger for your camera, to start/stop music, send an SMS, etc. I added a tutorial to Reddit a while back but can find it if you're interested.

I feel like the Bip is the unofficial successor to the beloved Pebble.

That's exactly my story.

The Bip S is great (or the Bip S lite without gps if you don't need it). It has all the necessary basics (gps, step counter, always on color display, heart rate sensor, notifications, weather forecast, time, alarms) and real 40-45 days between battery charging. I couldn't stand charging each day or a few times per week.

Edit: and it can be operated in a real un"cloud"ed mode if you use the 3rd party gadgetbridge app (born of pebble user needs and extended to support more watches since). That was the dealmaker for me.

I've got a Bip. Using the GPS to track running or hiking does use a lot of power. I need to recharge about every 2 weeks, tracking a 1-hour walk every day.

I do recommend it. Another differentiating factor is the display. The Wyze product doesn't indicate the display tech, but the Amazfit using e-Ink, so it's always on and has good visibility even in bright light, something that competitors like Apple (with its minuscule battery life and disappearing display) can't claim.

Just one point of clarification, the Amazfit Bip does not use e-ink. It's a transreflective LCD screen, kind of like the old Game Boy Advance screens. It's easier to see in bright sunlight, and always on.

Another clarification, the display of the Bip(and Pebble, Garmin and others) is not a transreflective type but a SHARP Memory LCD where pixels only need power to change their state but need almost no power keeping their current state, like e-ink, but better, so it looks like transreflective in the sunlight.

The transreflective LCD type of the Gameboy would absolutely nuke your battery life as it needs to be actively refreshed even on stationary images.

I'm deeply saddened this type of display is not more popular among wearables vs OLED. Who doesn't want 30 day+ battery life and always-on sunlight visibility?

Can you get your data to other apps like Strava, or do you have to use Amazefit's app?

The factory software supports Google Fit. I think various third-party apps, like "Notify for Amazfit" (which I use and recommend) can also send the data over to Strava.

+1. Highly recommend Amazfit Bip! The battery life is so long that I forget where I keep my charging cable.

"9 days battery life". It is Okay and better than the abominable life of a single day of the Apple Watch. But, it is still pale in compare to the 14 days of the Garmin Instinct. I put the Apple Watch 3 away to have the Garmin Instinct. It doesn't have all bells and whistles comparing to the Apple Watch: no apps, no payments, no direct texting input (at least for my iPhone) but I can wear it while I sleep and charge once every 9 days (I use the GPS quite often and it eats up battery). The GPS in my opinion is superior to the Apple Watch. It's pretty rough, too. I have the regular Instinct but you can opt in to buy the Military one with tougher case and HALO jumping alert.

After using it for a year, I kind of understand why pilots often use Garmin watches:


Newer Garmins seem to have added some of the bells and whistles i.e. Garmin Pay and the Connect Store (where you can find software written by the inimitable Antirez (https://github.com/antirez/iqmeteo) ); even my 4+ year old Vivoactive HR supports the Connect store.

Is there any smart watch out there that does not suck in offline scenarios? Like syncing data from the band to the app without having to walk around the forest to find a place with GPRS to know how was the first leg of your hike.

Garmin watches allow downloading activities as .fit files via USB.

New routes can be uploaded as .gpx files the same way.

Not super convenient but it works.

How will a company like Wyze survive in the long term? They seem like too small of a company to be able to survive on razor thin margins, half the price at smaller scale seems like a recipe for disaster.

I've been using their products since their first cam came out (was skeptical but hey, $20-odd bucks was low risk).

Now have multiple cams, bulbs, and so on. Getting the watch is a low dough no brainer.

Solid stuff for not a lot of money.

I am trying to build something similar but I don't know how to get a non-functioning physical prototype built initially. What's the simplest way to get these type of aluminum cases, bands, etc?

Short of paying many thousands of dollars in prototype engineering fees, you either buy an existing device and strip out the guts, or one of these for $20 https://serpac.com/bw-series.aspx

How about buy a cheap Chinese smartwatch and reuse the case? If that works for you, it is very likely you could discover who manufactures it, and work with them to build yours.

Aluminum fabrication?

personally, i find the 9 day battery life to be pretty darn impressive in this day and age.

i also like the heart rate monitor, great for runners.

1-2w battery life is par of the course for smartwatches that don’t try to be smartphones.

If anything, it’s not that good because my Forerunner 735XT does more stuff and achieves that while doing GPS tracking on workouts.

I've found wrist based hr to be extremely unreliable to the point of uselessness when exercising.

Some are, some aren't.

Like the sibling, I've found Apple Watch to be totally reliable, but my Nokia Steel HR was not.

The visible difference is, when you flip the Steel over you see rapidly flashing green lights, when you flip the Watch over it looks like solid green, presumably flashing too fast to notice.

One gets two weeks between charges, the other one day. Guess which is which...

I could not find much of a difference between the heart rate monitor on my apple watch vs a blood pressure monitor.

Wyze will be a great acquisition, Guessing it would be Amazon that will acquire them eventually.

I get why the Apple Watch only lasts for a short time, but why do all these watches that do considerably less have such miserable battery life? Every Mi Band I've ever owned lasts for 4+ weeks on a charge.

I miss the simplicity of the original Mi Band and with the Mi Band 4 was more open, but they're both fantastic and do most everything I need a smartwatch to do.

The old adage 'you get what you pay for' comes to mind here.

I wonder if Purism has any long term plans for a smart watch.

Looks nice but a bit too similar to Apple Watch maybe?

Misprint. One '9' missing in price?

I see no way anyone could make this bit of hardware this cheaply without some pretty nasty exploitation going on somewhere up the chain. Count me out.

You might be surprised at how human ingenuity sometimes finds a way to make expensive hardware using just as much exploitation…

Um, having trouble understanding what you mean...?

You're taking the low price as evidence that the device was manufactured by exploitative means. I was pointing out that at least the converse is not true: A high price is absolutely not evidence that something was NOT manufactured by exploitative means.

For sure, but you could reasonably claim that higher end manufacturers at least get slightly more attention from an oversight POV. Although not a direct correlation you could probably make some connection reasonably well between expense of gadget and extent of media / public interest in the manufacture / supply chain.

As if by buying the 1000+ USD Apple phone you are not supporting the same system. Newsflash, there is no ethical tech shopping, there will always be someone exploited along the line.

Reading this on a Fairphone. It's worth trying for something better, dude, even if you aren't ever likely to get to perfection.

So I've been looking through their supplier list:


In what way would you consider this superior to Apple's corresponding record?


To my eyes, Apple actually has (or at least claims to have) better auditing of their supply chain. In particular, for Cobalt, one particularly concerning conflict mineral, Apple has over the last couple of years established complete auditing, while Fairphone is not even reporting numbers for that mineral yet.

To be sure, they did not do that out of the kindness of their hearts (particularly not in the Steve Jobs era). Pressure from NGOs and maybe also competitors like Fairphone helped.

[Disclaimer: I work for Apple, but don't speak for them, nor do I have firsthand knowledge of their supply chain]

Sure, and interestingly you've made my point in one way as I was arguing it elsewhere in this thread, namely that more expensive products from companies like Apple are likely to come under more scrutiny from an ethical POV.

I do highly rate Apple for what they are doing - albeit under pressure from others. I chose FF more specifically because of the part maintainability / ability to replace as well as what seemed to me an ethical approach.

Back to the main point though: surely companies producing goods this cheap are going to de facto be cutting corners all the way up the chain, including ethical ones

$20 with Blood Oxy Meter is a good deal.

How accurate is it and who owns or has access to your data?

Shame that is doesn't have contactless payments, that's probably the one must have feature missing for me.

US only shipping...


How do we know these are perfectly functioning devices? The average person wouldn't read studies and documentation or ascertain the quality - I barely can and check HN comments for many medical studies :) FDA approval is a very strong signal at least.

I'd rather avoid the supplements situation where manufacturers can essentially claim almost anything and most of the population isn't aware that it's a free-for-all. Manufacturers can still claim some function but at least there's currently a disclaimer that makes average people question some claims.

I don't really love the mix of deregulation and healthcare (even adjecent, see supplements).

> FDA approval is a very strong signal at least.

FDA approvals of medical devices essentially breaks the software update system.

So one of my possibilities was tweaking how thats done on devices. People seemed to decide to disagree on my post based on whichever possibility they didn't like, and ignored the possibility they wanted to discuss.

I like this person's rather thorough reviews of device accuracy: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChNWxrTlmh4IRSevon1X93g but you are right, the ambiguity is bothersome.

Personally I like the idea of someone qualified spending the time to evaluate these and give it a stamp of approval. I just wish that led to something more like "we are being evaluated by XYZ agency, see this URL for approval status".

Sure, it leaves an opening for egg on your face, but if you're serious about passing the test (and you shouldn't be selling medical devices if you're not) then you're going to pass eventually so show the confidence.

Apple was smart not to compete on the low-end for watches.

Median income in the USA is $68,703.

Why would someone spend 1/25 of 1 percent of their income on something that they wear 100% of the time? That makes no sense.

I shell out $200-$300 each year for the latest FitBit (Apple Watch is promising, but that battery life :(. The sleep tracking is gold).

That $68,703 figure is the median HOUSEHOLD income that encompasses more than one bread winner on average.

That's a clear nit. I'll just give you that point and say 2/25 of 1%, and the argument is exactly the same.

The problem is, aiming to create a "high-end" product up front ends up shaping the product design.

Now that it is aimed at the high end, Apple needs to include lots of features, a nice display etc. Lots fancy features means they need to use a powerful processor, which along with the nice display leads to a lot of power draw. This is why they have a small battery life, as you mention, and didn't even have an always on display until S5. Neither of these are technological constraints, since the Pebble had 7 day battery life with an always on display from the first version.

Now, the Apple Watch has sold well, so maybe it's a fine tradeoff to make. But I think this "high-end" constraint has definitely shaped the product (and in a way I think is worse when viewed as a watch first).

> Median income in the USA is $68,703.

Be that as it may, there's absolutely a non-trivial amount of revenue available at the low end of the market. Apple historically never participates in that market, but that's an opportunity for other hardware providers.

Yeah, I have an Apple Watch but I usually just wear a $30 Timex because I don't need to worry about charging. When the band and/or battery give out after a few years I replace it with another of the same model.

I buy lots of cheap things even though there are "better" versions available for more money.

I’m so used to the fuggeaboutit reliability of my digital and automatic watches that the battery life of the Apple Watch is absolutely appalling.

In fact if you get "good enough" at the low end there is more money there than up top. Sure $200 isn't much compared to me income, but it is still more than an impulse buy. If you can get the $20 market it becomes an impulse buy for a lot more people. If you are good enough they compare with their friends and the friends also buy - those who would never spend $200 on an impulse buy, and those who already have and are looking to replace theirs.

The low price of $20 actually slows my impulse to buy it. Sure, it's not a lot of money, but how reliable or usable can it be for that price? It makes me think of a cheap knock-off device I'd find at a TJ Maxx store on clearance. What makes it so cheap even compared to a Fitbit?

You might be right, but the current price point of watches could also be inflated.

Let's not forget that once upon a time, pocket-watches were only for the rich. It wasn't until the advent of quartz watches that you could find a solid watch (digital or analog) for under $100. Today, $20ish digital watches are fairly common on the market. One of my favorite watches is a cheap Timex Weekender (a favorite of /r/malefashionadvice IIRC).

Just like one might decide to go for a stylish (but cheap) quartz watch instead of that expensive automatic, one could decide to go for a stylish (but cheap) Wyze watch instead of that $300 Apple Watch. We'll have to see if Wyze (or someone similar) can actually execute and pull that off.

Here’s the income distribution per household from the last census:


There are a lot of people that can’t spend $200 on a watch, but can spend $20.

That's a good point.

U.S. per capita healthcare spending is $11,172. If the U.S. gave everyone a $200 a year tax credit to spend on a smart health watch, we'd probably save $2,000 a year per capita and get a 10x ROI.

Most healthcare costs are at the end of our life, and we all die and often spend all we have, so the costs are fairly invariant i.e. you can never “save” $2k.

The ROI for better health is very odd to measure.

If you use dollars (for an economy) then the best ROI is to spend nothing once someone is of no economic benefit (i.e. the vast majority of healthcare spending is on the elderly and provides no dollar benefit to society, so economically most healthcare spending should be drastically cut).

You could also look at an integral of quality of life over time. However “past me” is really bad at caring about “future me”, and “current me” doesn’t care at all about optimising for “past me”.

Most people seem happy to argue that the amount that society should spend on them (or their loved ones) for health services is infinite (you can’t put a price on life), and the amount they should spend on the health services for others should be zero (those scabs should have made better life choices!)

Good luck trying to make sense out of spending $20 to save $2000!

My ROI argument is approximately that allocating $200 for health watches for everyone AND cutting $2,000 across the board everywhere else in healthcare would lead to the same health outcomes.

It's a good point about how the cost of healthcare is unevenly distributed toward the end of life. I really like the newish term "Healthy Life Expectancy".

> ROI argument is approximately that allocating $200 for health watches for everyone AND cutting $2,000 across the board everywhere else in healthcare

That sounds a lot like taking $2000 from an elderly cohort (where savings today would mostly come from), and spending $200 on a younger cohort (who would eventually get the $2000 health gains!).

Your statement needs far more qualification on who would pay the costs, and who would get the accrued benefits. And even if you make it fair, people would still complain because I think we are mostly hopeless at understanding past costs versus future savings/benefits (both individually and as a society.)

The gist of what I got from the post you're replying to, which I agree wasn't well fleshed out, is this:

If everyone gets a $200 smart watch, and 1/10th of those people avoid obesity, we can avoid $20,000 a year in diabetic care and heart surgery and hip replacement for them when they get to be 60.

Completely made up numbers of course, but speaking as one smartwatch wearer, the nudges built into the system play a significant role in keeping me heading to the gym.

It doesn't follow that we'd get the same effect if everyone wore one! But there's something to the case they're making.

> $200 smart watch, and 1/10th of those people avoid obesity, we can avoid $20,000 a year

Oh, I completely agree that that is a realistic and worthwhile scenario.

I just think that lifetime health costs in dollars do not decrease.

Let’s say we get 1/10th less diabetes due to subsidised watches. The total number of people with chronic diseases remains constant because we just get a different chronic disease on average (because we all die of something!). So the $2000 saved is just spent elsewhere. Ignoring potential savings we could make by increasing the number of sudden deaths and decreasing chronic conditions.

Or from another angle, at an individual level many spend all they have on their final healthcare costs so our individual spending remains the same, and at a government level total healthcare spending mostly remains constant regardless of health improvements or lack thereof (e.g. we spend close to 0% on polio these days – however healthcare costs didn’t decline and instead other health costs substituted instead).

Now, quality and length of life may improve, but total spending has not changed. I suspect I lack the economic language for talking about situations where we need to optimise for cost substitutions and quality of life. I do believe that optimisation of healthcare for an economy just using dollars as inputs to the objective function would fail us miserably.

I find it really hard to think about healthcare costs, because it just doesn’t work like my intuitions might expect about saving money.

Edit: the original post “U.S. per capita healthcare spending is $11,172. If the U.S. gave everyone a $200 a year tax credit to spend on a smart health watch, we'd probably save $2,000 a year per capita and get a 10x ROI.”. I believe U.S. per capita p.a. healthcare spending would now be $11,372 (the extra $200 couldn’t be found in the budget, and the amount spent on diabetes did not decrease, the total budget was not decreased.) However people have a better QOL, and are living longer so they are better off, but the economy is worse off because we’ve added years of extra cost to support the longer-living elderly!

I'm with you on this one: my intuition on the subject is screwy and I don't trust it.

Some people spend the last ten or twenty years of their life in and out of the hospital, and some just fall over from an aneurysm after otherwise perfect health. Obesity (really type II diabetes, which morbid obesity pretty much guarantees) really pushes people into the first camp.

But sure, a smart watch won't keep cancer from metastasizing, and staying out of the obesity BMI band only decreases lifetime cancer risk, doesn't eliminate it by any means.

What this thread needs is an actuary...

> and staying out of the obesity BMI band only decreases lifetime cancer risk

Three times as many people die from cancer now than in 1900!

Our percentage risk of dying from cancer decreases significantly after about 65 - but only because because heart disease and mental health issues become so deadly: https://flowingdata.com/2016/01/05/causes-of-death/

Nice infographic on actual versus perceived versus media: https://twitter.com/randal_olson/status/986272007770615811?l...

A mite morbid topic, but interesting to me because the facts seem so contrary to my intuitions. PS: I am not a specialist in the topic, the above is just from a quick google.

> Three times as many people die from cancer now than in 1900!

I usually look at that as "today's medicine is advanced enough to keep us alive until we get a cancer". Keep in mind that research on antibiotics only started about in 1928...

Here's one perspective: about five years ago I stopped buying expensive phones. Now I buy economy Motorolas, and I've never looked back. The performance is somewhat worse than a flagship phone, but I damage my phones pretty frequently and I'm so much less worried about it when the replacement cost is $200 rather than $900.

Price has been a main barrier to my wearing a smart watch as my expectation is that something on my wrist will get damaged even more often - I do a lot of mechanical work. Certainly my $15 Casio is pretty scratched up. At the $20 price point, though, I might give this a try.

It's a reasonable perspective, and one a lot of my friends share. I guess I look at value/cost. I drive a $2,000 car and use a $1,000 phone because I get a lot of value for the extra $500 in the phone, but wouldn't get more value out of having a nicer car. Like you, I also find it nice to worry less about the car because the replacement cost is low.

But I view the value of smart watches in the $100,000+s if not $1M+s. How much is your health worth? How much is it worth to passively keep an eye on your heart rate, and stress levels, and oxygen levels, and sleep levels? Granted, I still think it is very early for smart watches, and the value we are getting now is ~1% of the value we will be getting from them in 5-10 years (if they aren't replaced by a "smart tooth" or "smart necklace" etc). But I think at this point the value is definitely there and easily worth 10x+ the cost.

Making a single actionable decision based on data received from a wearable could have a life changing impact.

And again, speaking in probabilities here, and it depends if you look at the data and adjust your life based on it, but I think expected value of these is huge, and probably the best single health measure anyone can take.

I would say try the cheap one, and think about upgrading if you like it.

I think your last line is key to why a low price is a good idea. As someone who did a lot of research before buying my first smartwatch, I found it difficult to actually estimate how much benefit I would get from owning a smartwatch. What this essentially does is lower the barrier of entry. Now, a prospective buyer doesn't have to see much benefit to take a chance on buying the product.

Yes, and I realize that maybe my comment about Wyze is harsh——I think it is a FANTASTIC thing that more companies are making these things (and getting the price down!). I just think from a business point of view the smart watch business is all about the top end, because the real estate is so valuable, literally on top of someone 24/7, that the focus should be on how much value can you deliver to that person, and target a 1% of their income price point (hopefully delivering a much greater benefit than 1%). But absolutely, this is an awesome development, to have a $20 smart watch, and I agree if Wyze is getting more people wearing these things, that will be a huge win for the world.

> How much is it worth to passively keep an eye on your heart rate, and stress levels, and oxygen levels, and sleep levels

For me, zero? Or close to it. I can't imagine obsessing about this stuff. I think it would cause me more stress than it would help. That's to say nothing about the privacy issues.

> How much is it worth to passively keep an eye on your heart rate, and stress levels, and oxygen levels, and sleep levels

Yeah, if you need to monitor that perhaps you need to work on what's causing the need to monitor it instead ;)

> Why would someone spend 1/25 of 1 percent of their income on something that they wear 100% of the time? That makes no sense.

If the product fulfills their needs why would they waste an extra $180 on a different product?

We had a terrible experience with Fitbit. My wife’s Versa delaminated just out of warranty. Screen and guts all fell out. Fitbit basically shrugged their shoulders and said too bad.

My experience with them years ago when they first launched was really positive. Any issues with a device, and another one was in the mail.

Yeah I've had a number break on me (not the versa, but ionics and charges) and they've usually replaced them (but not always).

I consider it still "early adopter" territory and am happy to put up with some problems as they blaze a trail to a healthier world via massively increasing the amount of health data available.

Plus they managed to run the gamut of security failures including RCE on users home computers.

How swatch got started may be able to answer your question. Similarly, 13 year olds don't have a thousands in disposable income but are often the primary demographic to make a fortune selling $10 items. Someone who can afford crap is useless if they can recognize it.

Except nobody actually thinks this way, so there's that.

$300-400 is a high ticket item, point blank.

Aside from Apple, the world is owned by entities that compete mostly on price.

I recall an interview where the palmpilot folks opined that $300 was the magic price point where someone could still make a purchase without consulting their spouse.

Obviously there's strong middle-class bias built into that number, but I don't feel like it has moved much in decades.

> Except nobody actually thinks this way, so there's that.

I won't argue with that, especially in 2020 :).

> I shell out $200-$300 each year for the latest FitBit

Why would you update your Fitbit that often? Is it really that much of a difference from year to year?

Sometimes I'll go 2 years without upgrading. Certainly the difference every 2 years is enough to warrant it. It seems there's a new sensor for measuring a new dimension at least every 2 years. But I also put these things through the wringer (lots of physical activity, including salt water ocean adventures).

I wear them 24/7, so it's literally the thing I use most in the world.

How much of that income is spent on healthcare, food, and housing? 40% americans can't afford an unexpected $400 bill [0] https://abcnews.go.com/US/10-americans-struggle-cover-400-em....

$200 spent on a FitBit will save thousands on annual healthcare bills.

Someone using a FitBit as part of shifting to a healthier lifestyle may result in better health outcomes (and presumably lower costs) but there's no "will save thousands on annual healthcare bills" about it. Certainly just wearing a FitBit has zero effect on health if you don't do anything based on the collected data.

> Certainly just wearing a FitBit has zero effect on health if you don't do anything based on the collected data.

Surprisingly, even this I disagree with. Simply buying one nudges the healthcare world to a more data driven place, and simply wearing one provides data and feedback to the ecosystem that will have a positive value.

That being said, yeah you should look at the data if you personally want to benefit.

I attribute my Garmin Vivoactive HR to pushing me from chronic sitting to being reasonably active and its heart-rate monitoring alerts for letting me know when something was off. I agree with you that spending money to get a good device is worth it, especially since my Garmin has lasted me 4 years without issues.

That's so awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Buying one also probably also pre-supposes that you care--at least in principle. I agree it can be a useful nudge. I have friends who totally swear by their FitBits. And that's great.

Personally, I'm fairly active--at least at a walking level of activity day to day--and quantifying the number of steps I take or whatever just doesn't really do anything for me.

But I'm a big believer in nudges generally and I expect that, over time, we'll see more and more data that is more directly actionable. I just don't really see it (for me) today.

Yup, makes sense! And you may want to take a fresh look at them, because now it's a lot more than steps (rem measurements, heart rate, blood oxygen level, perspiration, temperature, etc).

[citation needed]

There's entire companies built around this data. In fact, one of my former employees partnered with one and paid for my FitBit. In the aggregate, FitBit purchases will drive down the probability of healthcare claims, saving the company money overall.


Betting against this trend would be like betting against toothbrushes and floss.

I'm not saying it's not useful, but I doubt the typical user is going to save all that much money.

Unless a fitbit convinces my insurance company to drop their rates in half, I'm not saving thousands. If I google insurance savings I see... they'll get me a moderate discount on the fitbit itself.

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