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Smartwatch or other notification device for Kiting?
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Hazard to Navigation

Since 12 Sep 2016
51 Posts
Hood River
 



PostFri Jul 21, 17 9:27 am    Smartwatch or other notification device for Kiting? Reply with quote

I'm looking for a 100m rated smartwatch that I can use on the water. My primary need is to be able to get texts or some other notification if there's an emergency or an appointment comes up. I don't necessarily need GPS or a lot of other apps or functions. I do use and prefer Android phones. Reasonable cost would be a plus.

I'm looking at the Nixon Mission, which probably does more than I need for $326 on Amazon. I worry that the battery life may be less than a full day, though. Are there others I should look at in this price range?

I assume I'll need to wear my smartphone in a drybag under my impact vest or something. Any favorites or tips there?

Is there another type of device like a waterproof pager that I should consider? I'd rather not add another subscription service.

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CTkiter

Since 27 May 2011
42 Posts

 



PostSat Jul 22, 17 11:17 am     Reply with quote

I have a Nixon Mission, I had it since last November, so I have had some time to play with. I purchased it primarily for it being a highly waterproof androidwear OS based smart watch / wearable device to use along with my Note 5 phone, especially it being the most waterproof in comparison to the other smart watch / wearables out there in the $400 and under price range, but I have to be honest in saying that I am a little disappointed in the battery life, and a little annoyed with the charger that comes with it.

Battery life without using any of the special features (gps, streaming via Bluetooth, browsing, etc.) is almost a full day, if you also have it in Theatre mode (auto screen dimming and shut off when not actively using it). Battery life while using any of the special features (gps during a run, or streaming audio to Bluetooth headphones while kiting or running or working out) will only yield you approximately 4 hours from a full charge. I thought the battery life would get better with the release of Androidwear 2.0 in the spring, by making the apps run more efficient but it did not, which is kind of understandable being that gps and constant streaming via Bluetooth are pretty demanding on battery life for any smart watch / wearable device, but I thought the Mission would have yielded better than 4 hours of battery life.

As for an onboard Mobile Receiver / Transmitter to enable you to use the watch as a standalone communications device to make and receive calls or text, like the Samsung Gear S3 with LTE mobile connectivity, the Nixon Mission does not have that, nor does it have a heart rate monitor if that is even anything you would care about. The previous being said, you will need your phone on you to receive and send text messages via Bluetooth connection between the phone and the Mission. Since you would not be constantly streaming data via Bluetooth if using it primarily to receive and send text messages, I would suspect that the battery life would be greater than 4 hours, versus if you were constantly streaming Bluetooth audio to a Bluetooth waterproof headset.

Now for the Nixon charger, it kind of sucks. Its has 4 contact prongs that need to line up near perfect for the device to properly charge, and even though it is magnetic, it does not always line up perfectly and make good contact to charge. There are many times I have docked it, and either I come back a few hours later to find my watch
dead, or I hear it randomly buzzing and the charge indicator flashing because it does not have perfect enough of alignment and contact to get a proper charge.

I was really hoping that the Samsung Gear S3 was going to be more waterproof, more so than being water resistant with the ip68 rating (Dust resistant, and Protected from immersion in water with a depth of more than 1 meter). The Samsung Gear S3 does have the desired features that would be perfect for you (LTE connectivity allowing it to function as a standalone communication device, and pretty good battery life (3 - 4days)), but the ip68 rating would be a no go for your or my needs.

Sorry to be a buzzkill buddy, maybe someone else on here has had a better experience with their Nixon Mission.....But, with everything being said, I still like my Nixon Mission. It is probably the most waterproof smart watch / wearable out there, I like using it during my workouts and while kiting, primarily to listen to music, and it has grown on me a bit....Overall I like it, and don't necessarily regret purchasing it, even though I get a lot of shit from my wife making fun of my $400 MP3 player.


Cheers,
B

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user124

Since 02 Aug 2012
228 Posts
Portland
Stoked



PostSat Jul 22, 17 2:15 pm     Reply with quote

The Series 2 Apple watch is a consideration. I've used it for lap swimming dozens of times without any problem and I've worn it kiteboarding. However for kiteboarding I wear it under my wetsuit to prevent any high pressure water damage with a fall etc. I got it when it first came out and no problems so far.

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TomAustria

Since 07 Mar 2013
34 Posts

 



PostSat Jul 22, 17 4:25 pm     Reply with quote

I'm using the Garmin Fenix 3 (they have a Fenix 5 now so the F3 should be available for cheap now).

Shows notifications just fine and battery life is easily multiple days, even when using GPS for activities.

As an added bonus, it can also show you the current iKitesurf sensor data with this app: https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/ea05d8e8-b34f-40c7-a095-2d07671650e9

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
295 Posts

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PostSat Jul 22, 17 5:32 pm    Re: Smartwatch or other notification device for Kiting? Reply with quote

Hazard to Navigation wrote:
may be less than a full day, though. Are there others I should look at in this price range?

I assume I'll need to wear my smartphone in a drybag under my impact vest or something. Any favorites or tips there?


All drybags will leak over time.

I use Google Voice to manage my calls. When I go on the water I use a different (cheap waterproof) phone instead of my normal phone.

I buy a cheap waterproof phone off ebay (ip67 rating) and I stick it in a drybag. I don't link up any of my data accounts with these phones as they are usually cheap chinese knockoffs and I don't trust them to have access to my data. However, in terms of phone and texts I am not really concerned. Even with an IP67 rating these phones will eventually die over time due to the abuses of water and other factors associated with kiting.

The nice thing about a cheap phone that does not tie in with your data is it will last for days without recharging.

I also use a waterproof bluetooth headset. I have gone through many variations of these headsets and haven't found anything that is perfect. All Bluetooth headsets loose connectivity after some period of you swimming in the water. As I am now learning to foil I find my bluetooth regularly disconnects due to my extra time in the water.

I have been relatively happy with the following:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BW5F1ZA/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

As long as winds are below 30 mph I can usually answer calls and keep a reasonable conversation while on the water. In higher winds I need to go to shore to deal with phone calls.

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
3514 Posts
Camas
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PostSat Jul 22, 17 5:56 pm     Reply with quote

+1 for the Garmin Fenix 3 or 5. Hands down the best watch on the market for use during water sports. The Apple will work, for a while. Till it leaks. Even Apple says don't use it for surfing, etc. Even though their ads showed people surfing with it... LOL. The Fenix 3 is a bit bigger than the 5, but both would work great. One thing to consider, for it to show notifications you'll have to have your phone with you. And--as mentioned previously--all waterproof bags eventually leak. I'd use two Aquapack bags, one inside the other.
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Hazard to Navigation

Since 12 Sep 2016
51 Posts
Hood River
 



PostSat Jul 22, 17 7:35 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies! The Mission would probably work for me if I'm just using it on the water, but I imagine I'd be unhappy with the battery life. I assume it gets the time from your phone, so at least you don't have to reset that. I finally have a phone (Motorola Droid) that will usually last a full day, and although I liked my Samsungs better, I'd have to have plug them into a charger whenever possible.

The Fenix 3 or 5 would probably work well enough as my everyday watch, even though they're significantly more expensive. I've had generally good luck with my Garmin Edge GPS bike computers, although their software isn't always the best. Usually after a few updates they're alright.

The waterproof headphone and cheap phone ideas are good ones too.

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Scriffler

Since 03 Jul 2005
553 Posts
LYLE
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PostSun Jul 23, 17 12:42 am     Reply with quote

I used to see a doctor surfing who had a waterproof Casio cell phone with a Verizon plan. He just had it strapped onto his bicep. I asked him if he ever got a call while surfing. He said no, he mostly just used the alarm to time his sessions. I have seen lots of lifeguards in hawaii who use this same phone. Pretty sure it is totally waterproof.



https://www.ebay.com/i/252484414519?chn=ps&dispItem=1&ul_ref=http%253A%252F%252Frover.ebay.com%252Frover%252F1%252F711-117182-37290-0%252F2%253Fmpre%253Dhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.ebay.com%25252Fp%25252FCasio-GzOne-Commando-C771-Verizon-Smartphone-Rugged-Waterproof%25252F558500068%25253Fiid%25253D252484414519%252526chn%25253Dps%252526dispItem%25253D1%2526itemid%253D252484414519%2526targetid%253D323187528950%2526device%253Dm%2526adtype%253Dpla%2526googleloc%253D9032748%2526poi%253D%2526campaignid%253D852311515%2526adgroupid%253D46150848187%2526rlsatarget%253Dpla-323187528950%2526abcId%253D1128846%2526merchantid%253D108187260%2526gclid%253DCj0KCQjwktHLBRDsARIsAFBSb6zQ3S587LO9nONbkWHhE0Eja1Fu9PcoElNZAo5czORWLrM_lP3D5B0aApGzEALw_wcB%2526srcrot%253D711-117182-37290-0%2526rvr_id%253D1264521796427

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bobgatpdx

Since 04 Oct 2008
172 Posts

Stoked



PostSun Jul 23, 17 8:27 am    Apple Watch 2 Reply with quote

Apple Watch 2 works great as GPS tracker for kiting. I've been using it for a month now with no special treatment - working fine after many high speed crashes. If you have your phone along in a waterproof bag/case, then you can get messages, phone calls etc. Personally, I like to leave that stuff on the beach while I'm out on the water.
- Bob


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anders

Since 01 May 2012
94 Posts

 



PostThu Jul 27, 17 7:23 pm     Reply with quote

I was watching the Nixon missions release and was onboard to buy it until I read about the battery. I heard with GPS mode on it only last a few hours. not good enough for the $$$. I ended up with a Garmin Vivoactive HR. Im happy with with especially for the price at $250. Not as rugged as a fenix 3 but has many of the same features. Battery is around a week. I still get text and weather and whatever else apps I want. Only thing I would want is voice command. The screen is not impressive but that is why the battery life is so much better. pick whats most important to you. I mainly wanted to track kite sessions and it does that well.

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JohnB

Since 02 Aug 2010
429 Posts
Vancouver
Obsessed



PostThu Jul 27, 17 9:30 pm     Reply with quote

Scriffler wrote:
I used to see a doctor surfing who had a waterproof Casio cell phone with a Verizon plan. He just had it strapped onto his bicep. I asked him if he ever got a call while surfing. He said no, he mostly just used the alarm to time his sessions. I have seen lots of lifeguards in hawaii who use this same phone. Pretty sure it is totally waterproof


I have one of these and use it when I am kiting alone or doing downwinders it's nice insurance to have in case things go bad.

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shred_da_gorge

Since 12 Nov 2008
724 Posts

Addicted



PostMon Jul 31, 17 9:17 pm     Reply with quote

I was going to suggest that Garmin might have something; anyone have experience with the Vivoactive? I'm wondering if there's a ConnectIQ app to track jump heights, etc. with it. They're less than $100 on eBay refurbished (I've had reliable FR60 and FR70 wristwatches for years from the same seller).

I've got an Edge 1000 that I bike and SUP with; I value it too much to take it kiting with me though.

Edit: https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/9c6b7ae2-ad68-43ea-b129-bbd52f19bd68

Edit 2: Impulse buy on the Vivoactive... I'll let you know how that goes. Great conversation, as I want to explore other options too.

I'm wondering if the accelerometer on the Vivoactive could be used to measure SUP paddle stroke count and rate (and reach), per side...

Last edited by shred_da_gorge on Wed Aug 02, 17 2:17 pm; edited 1 time in total

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dwaynej

Since 09 Sep 2013
185 Posts

Stoked

CGKA Member


PostTue Aug 01, 17 10:22 am     Reply with quote

The Garmin Fenix 3/Quatix 3 is on sale now that the Fenix 5/Quatix 5 is now available. My Quatix 3 has been really good... Great battery life and all.

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topillogical

Since 21 Aug 2014
3 Posts
Olympia, WA
Kook



PostTue Aug 01, 17 2:26 pm    another option Reply with quote

I wanted 3 functions: time, GPS tracking, and an emergency phone. I got a used Samsung S2 watch with the Verizon cellular capabilities. (needed the cellular model for GPS also) I'm not a Verizon customer, but any cellular device has the ability to dial 911, regardless of it being activated or not. I don't know how long this watch will survive in the ocean, but until if fails, I have what I need at a cheap price. You could buy a cell plan, but I didn't need any of those functions. The battery life on my S3 watch (I would not risk dipping this one into salt water) is really bad when I use it as a cellphone, so the S2 must also have bad battery life when used as a cellular device.

I'll re-post here when my S2 watch finally drowns.

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Hazard to Navigation

Since 12 Sep 2016
51 Posts
Hood River
 



PostTue Aug 01, 17 8:36 pm     Reply with quote

The Nixon Mission or Samsung Gear watches are attractive to me, because I could actually send text replies instead of just receiving notifications as with the Garmin options. The Samsung S3 specs say: "IP68 rating means itís water-resistant in up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes; rinse residue/dry after wet. See user manual." I'm guessing that's not nearly as good as the Nixon's 10ATM/100m rating, but maybe there's a reasonable no-fault warranty available from some seller. The S3 Frontier can actually be set up as a stand-alone device with it's own number, so it could be used without connection to a phone. Since I also use a tablet (currently an iPad Mini 3), I might actually be able to use the watch instead of my phone. I'll have to look into that more closely.

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consumer

Since 28 Nov 2010
381 Posts
banned
Obsessed



PostWed Aug 02, 17 4:22 pm     Reply with quote

Apple Watch 2 works great - been kiting / crashing hard and have had no problems. If you took your phone out in a waterproof bag you could receive and send messages with voice to text.
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Westside barge slayer

Since 08 Jul 2012
79 Posts
Portland/Santa Cruz
 



PostWed Aug 02, 17 7:03 pm     Reply with quote

Does anyone know the cost of setting up a s3 as a standalone device?

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