Standalone watch use (not paired)

nanonano Posts: 17 ✭✭✭✭✭

Please limit this discussion to using the Quartz without being paired to a phone because that's that's the point!
I'll start off:
What kind of coverage are you getting with your watch?
How well does the phone work?
Does voice texting work well?
Can you get them by turn navigation on the watch?
What apps work well in standalone use?****

Comments

  • samsamhasamsamha United StatesPosts: 2,180 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    hi, @nano , welcome to the forum.

    Have you gotten yourself a Quartz or thinking of getting one. If you already have one, then congrat!

    The Quartz has its own SIM card, so when you said without it paired to a phone, I presume, you meant that just use the watch as its stand-alone device with its own sim cards. I hope I am right.

    Currently, Android Wear is still like a companion device and there are still things that sometimes you would need the phone. Though, the watch can do a lot of the things if you do not have the phone. If you enable Cloud Sync, notification will come through to the watch. And since the watch has its own sim, you can call, text without any problem.

    As for the coverage, since the watch is running on 3G network, speed is not going to be as fast as your phone. Though, I do not have issue making and receiving calls. Bare in mind that it is running on TMo network, so if you got good coverage with TMo, it should be fine. I always felt funny talking to a watch but voice call worked well and it has a surprisingly good and loud speaker consider its size.

    Voice texting works (don't really use it personally) but you can use google assistant or open the app and use voice input.

    as for the navigation. you definitely need the phone. You can use the watch to search for an address or a location, but once it found the location. It will open on the phone for navigation.

  • nanonano Posts: 17 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks Samantha, very helpful!
    So for me, I'm very outdoors oriented. Phones just aren't practical for me. Also, mostly I just need to make or answer calls and texts. Doing that would justify buying the watch. I use a tablet at home and don't really need a phone. I also have the tablet connected to my T-Mobile simple one plan so I can use it if I'm away from home longer term.
    As far as coverage,.is the coverage for 3g similar to 4g LTE ( so using the same towers) but with slower speed? Speed for texting and calls should be fine at 3g.
    Would it be possible to use digits and get the calls and text using my TMobile tablet account?
    Thanks for your help.

  • samsamhasamsamha United StatesPosts: 2,180 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I see. for making call and text, you should be okay using just the watch's embedded SIM. When you first set up the wear, you would still need a phone as it requires you to connect to a phone. I think you should be able to also pair to a tablet though I have not tried it, so I am 100% sure if there is any drawback or loss of functionality if you pair with a a tablet.

    You mentioned that you are outdoor person, you probably will not able to just use the GPS on the watch for navigation because that would require the phone in order to pull the map info. I think if your tablet has a built in gps, then it maybe possible to use that for navigation.

    As for the speed, yeah, 3G is slower speed. For texting and calls, it should not be any problem.

    Digit should work: https://support.t-mobile.com/thread/139978

  • gottagogottago Posts: 25 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I understand this thread is over 6 months old but in an effort to keep subject matter in one place I'm replying, hopefully to aid future Quartz owners. This watch is pretty inexpensive and readily available on fleabay so I would expect an influx of new owners.

    I too am attempting to use just the watch without a phone and have found so far that I was able to load WearOS (Android Wear) onto my tablet for initial setup with no problems. I am able to use TMo's DIGITS on the tablet so, if it is more convenient to answer my watch number on my tablet, I can do so with no problem. My tablet is an unlocked ZTE Trek 2HD running a TMobile tablet plan.

    The real question for me has been related to battery life when using the watch for voice and text while using my tablet for internet. After 4-5 days of usage and testing, my watch is getting 12-14 hours with minimal usage (notifications mostly). I have noticed that the simpler the watch face the longer the battery life. My next test will be to forward my main cell number to my watch to get a sense of how battery life is impacted with my normal phone usage.

    Coverage in Atlanta is pretty good as I drive around the city and test calls have been as I would expect. There really isn't any difference in voice and text between the watch and current phones. The difference will be in the data access and associated speed. 3G can be spotty when compared to 4G LTE coverage. As mentioned there is definitely a speed difference. That said my expectations aren't that high, as I don't foresee using the watch for a lot of data due to limited apps available for WearOS.

    Voice texting has been a real godsend. I really like that you can append your message by just tapping the mic and continuing your thought. Very helpful and useful.

    Sorry for the length but I'm excited to have this watch and more excited to optimize it's use.

  • samsamhasamsamha United StatesPosts: 2,180 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Great to hear your experience on the watch @gottago .

  • nanonano Posts: 17 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for your replies! I have a quartz on order and hope for a successful experience. I'll be posting here after unboxing. I won this watch on eBay so stay tuned.

  • gottagogottago Posts: 25 ✭✭✭✭✭

    UPDATE: I'm 2 weeks into using my Quartz and now have mixed feelings with using it as a stand alone device. Yes my voice and text messages work but it seems any other app usage will require being connected to my tablet or to WiFi. Since I don't have WiFi I am dependent on my cell connection. 3G, while seemingly fine while driving around town, at home it's hit or miss. Also, has anyone noticed that when connected to your phone via Bluetooth that the data connection on the watch is not on?

  • samsamhasamsamha United StatesPosts: 2,180 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @gottago said:
    UPDATE: I'm 2 weeks into using my Quartz and now have mixed feelings with using it as a stand alone device. Yes my voice and text messages work but it seems any other app usage will require being connected to my tablet or to WiFi. Since I don't have WiFi I am dependent on my cell connection. 3G, while seemingly fine while driving around town, at home it's hit or miss. Also, has anyone noticed that when connected to your phone via Bluetooth that the data connection on the watch is not on?

    @gottago

    At the moment, Android Wear still cannot function as a fully independent device and still depend on the phone or a tablet for some tasks. So it is normal that something may still require you to use your tablet/phone (like google map etc).

    As for the connectivity, the device will try to connect via BT or WiFi over cellular since cellular. BT consumes less power and wifi normally has better transfer speed over cellular. When the device is connect to the BT/WiFi, the cellular part is still active, except that the watch will be using BT/WiFi as preferred method over cellular but when you are in an area that lacks BT/WiFi, the cellular conductivity will kick in as a fall back.

  • gottagogottago Posts: 25 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I get that for some tasks connectivity to a 'host' is required. Given that the majority of Wear OS devices do not have cellular capabilities it makes sense. I do think it's a flaw, but it is what it is.

    I do not understand why BT cuts off my data connection, WiFi I get, but not BT. I surely can't download a web page via BT. This seems, to the initiated, to be a hardware flaw.

  • nanonano Posts: 17 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yesterday I activated my new ZTE Quartz via T-Mobile customer care center by phone. The agent was helpful and guided me through the process well. I requested the line with paired digits. She took my watches specific id's and paired it with my Samsung Grand Prime phone number. This process took about 15 minutes and went smoothly. The new line cost $10 per month to activate. I'm not sure about any activation fee until my next bill. The provisioning took about an hour, after which the pairing worked perfectly. I was able to call and text. Initial coverage is good. I'll let you know how things go in a week or two. So far I'm very happy. I'm getting 12 hours with about 50% battery use. I haven't turned on the phone yet. I bought the watch and the phone on eBay for less than $100 total. Great deal so!

  • jasonejasone United StatesPosts: 2,065 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @gottago said:
    I get that for some tasks connectivity to a 'host' is required. Given that the majority of Wear OS devices do not have cellular capabilities it makes sense. I do think it's a flaw, but it is what it is.

    I do not understand why BT cuts off my data connection, WiFi I get, but not BT. I surely can't download a web page via BT. This seems, to the initiated, to be a hardware flaw.

    It's true not every app can act independently and this is a limitation of Wear OS and it is also why I think along with the battery that these really are not truly standalone devices. Your webpage won't be downloaded via BT but the host device will download the webpage and transfer it to your watch via BT.

    As @samsamha points out BT uses less power and so the watch will toggle off Wifi and cellular in order to make your battery last longer until those connections are needed and toggle them on accordingly.

  • nanonano Posts: 17 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for participating everyone! I've now had the ZTE Quartz for about 10 days. Here are my results:
    Setup by phone with customer care was easy and took about 20 minutes choosing the data with paired digits plan and pairing with my existing cell phone number. The cost added $10 to my existing monthly rate.
    I haven't installed any additional apps. My main needs are having stand alone texts and calls service. So far the watch has performed these function very well. My signal coverage is very similar to my cell phone coverage. Phone calls are as good as on my phone in both directions. My longest call has been 24 minutes with no issues. My texts service has performed equally well. Mostly I use voice texting and it seems to work about as well as my cell phone. Occasionally in low signal areas I have to type on the keyboard. This has not been easy, but I can get by if need be. I have found the suggested replys very useful when texting. The contacts program is basic but works well.
    Battery life for this watch is excellent. I typically wear the watch from 14 to 18 hours daily. I seldom drop below 50% at the end of the day. Charge time from ,50% is about 90 minutes. I'm not a power user so for me it's very satisfying.
    I have the digits program set up but I really don't seem to need it. The standard messages program works fine and I'm thinking of uninstalling digits so I don't get redundant messages and call alerts.
    Overall this watch exceeds my expectations and I will recommend it to anyone who just wants to call and text without carrying a cell phone. My cell phone sits at home now and I haven't missed I at all
    I'll post again once I try some new apps and log more time.

  • jasonejasone United StatesPosts: 2,065 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 19, 2018 6:09AM

    @nano said:
    Thanks for participating everyone! I've now had the ZTE Quartz for about 10 days. Here are my results:
    Setup by phone with customer care was easy and took about 20 minutes choosing the data with paired digits plan and pairing with my existing cell phone number. The cost added $10 to my existing monthly rate.
    I haven't installed any additional apps. My main needs are having stand alone texts and calls service. So far the watch has performed these function very well. My signal coverage is very similar to my cell phone coverage. Phone calls are as good as on my phone in both directions. My longest call has been 24 minutes with no issues. My texts service has performed equally well. Mostly I use voice texting and it seems to work about as well as my cell phone. Occasionally in low signal areas I have to type on the keyboard. This has not been easy, but I can get by if need be. I have found the suggested replys very useful when texting. The contacts program is basic but works well.
    Battery life for this watch is excellent. I typically wear the watch from 14 to 18 hours daily. I seldom drop below 50% at the end of the day. Charge time from ,50% is about 90 minutes. I'm not a power user so for me it's very satisfying.
    I have the digits program set up but I really don't seem to need it. The standard messages program works fine and I'm thinking of uninstalling digits so I don't get redundant messages and call alerts.
    Overall this watch exceeds my expectations and I will recommend it to anyone who just wants to call and text without carrying a cell phone. My cell phone sits at home now and I haven't missed I at all
    I'll post again once I try some new apps and log more time.

    Glad to hear you are enjoying it and it has been a successful experiment, and thanks for letting everyone know how it's been working out for you. :smile:

  • samsamhasamsamha United StatesPosts: 2,180 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @nano

    thank you for sharing your experience with us. It's amazing that you manages to get the watch to have 50% juice after 14-18 hours!

  • nanonano Posts: 17 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've had my quartz smartwatch about a month now. I continue to have good use in a stand-alone mode. One problem is I have not found a way to add contacts on the watch without adding them with a paired phone. I can enter a number to call or text but can't add it to the contact app. Any ideas? I don't carry a phone anymore so using the phone doesn't help me. Thanks.
    Also, on road trips good signal coverage can be spotty, however it's good in my home area. I think a 4g watch would improve that. I don't know if TMobile allows 4g operation on a wearable line.

  • samsamhasamsamha United StatesPosts: 2,180 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @nano said:
    I've had my quartz smartwatch about a month now. I continue to have good use in a stand-alone mode. One problem is I have not found a way to add contacts on the watch without adding them with a paired phone. I can enter a number to call or text but can't add it to the contact app. Any ideas? I don't carry a phone anymore so using the phone doesn't help me. Thanks.
    Also, on road trips good signal coverage can be spotty, however it's good in my home area. I think a 4g watch would improve that. I don't know if TMobile allows 4g operation on a wearable line.

    what a brave man for not carrying a phone with you (I can't even image not having a phone with me:)). I believe that you would still need to use the phone to add a contact. In your case, I think you could just use a browser on the computer and log on to your google account and add the contact there. Then it should be synced to your watch afterwards.

  • nanonano Posts: 17 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I tried adding the contact on my tablet and it showed up on the watch soon after. Thanks. Yeah about carrying the watch only, we must live in different worlds. I'm not a very connected guy, I really don't miss my phone at all! Making a watch that performs just a few functions works for me.

  • nanonano Posts: 17 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hello again. I am still getting good battery life and service from the Quartz smartwatch. I have tried adding some functions to the watch with varying success.
    Calls continue to work well. A call log or recent list would be a good addition.
    Texting continues to work well with one exception, I don't get short code texts from my bank. They worked initially but have now stopped being forwarded to the watch in paired data with digits plan.
    Assistant works well ecept when service is limited by signal. Signal seems to be about the same as my phone, though I seldom take a phone with me now that I have the watch.
    Fit seems to track my workouts and runs well and helps me meet my fitness goals. It doesn't seem to forward my location tracking information.
    The maps functions don't seem to work and I can't get the maps app on my phone and computer to recognize the watch as a device.
    I can't get my phone to recognize the digits app as my default sms program so I'm stuck with Samsung messages app and I sometimes get double texts on the watch.
    None of these appear to be problems with the watch. Overall I'm very satisfied with the ZTE Quartz smartwatch and it continues to be a viable stand alone device for my use. I haven't noticed many of the complaints that others have posted about the watch. I think vendors are making a mistake in not offering a watch targeting this market. Sometimes a simple solution is all we really need! IMO of course!

  • gottagogottago Posts: 25 ✭✭✭✭✭

    UPDATE: It's been almost 2 months with my Quartz and I have tried a few apps that enhance the usability of the watch on an independent basis. My number one app was an email app where, instead of just a notification, I can actually read an email and take action if necessary. I also have web browser, WiFi manager (succumbed to cable internet) and calendar apps that all are independent of my 'host' but connected with my Google account. These apps have made for a relatively easy transition from phone dependency.

    I have also found that using a BT headset relieves that nerd feeling of talking into my wrist (a la **** Tracey) but, carrying it can sometimes be more problematic than caring a phone. I use a headset mostly when I expect longer conversations.

    I have noticed that when I'm on WiFi I'm unable to make our receive calls, so, I have to deduct that the Quartz doesn't do WiFi calling.

  • nanonano Posts: 17 ✭✭✭✭✭

    gotta go I can confirm mine doesn't make wifi calls either. Which email client did you choose?

  • gottagogottago Posts: 25 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @nano - all of the apps I'm using are from the developer appfour at the Play Store. NOTE: I'm not affiliated with them at all. Be warned that they will offer a one app price and then offer a bundle price for 8-10 apps for a short time period. I saw the value of multiple apps vs one app. Do a search on appfour and all of their apps will come up. Enjoy your day!

  • nanonano Posts: 17 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hello folks,. I just wanted to check in with my usage report. I have owned my ZTE Quartz smartwatch for about 6 months now. I am still very satisfied with my purchase. I do have some no 3g signal areas, but in general the watch continues to function well. I no longer carry or even use a cell phone anymore as I have paired the watch with my Nexus 7 tablet. So at home I use the tablet for most of my internet needs and only carry my watch away from home. Battery life still seems to be adequate for a 12 to 14 hour day. Call quality is good and using the watch in a wet environment or shower isn't an issue. Once after a good shower I noticed low call volume and found soaking up water left in the speaker slot/opening with a paper napkin solved the problem. I haven't found a way to add a WiFi connection with password yet. This currently requires using the tablet or a paired phone which is useless for me. I think this would be an easy fix for a developer and would enhance coverage for secured wifi spots tremendously. It also appears the watch can't do WiFi calling which would ba nice improvement as well. So if anyone knows how to add either of these in stand alone mode please post your answers here!
    All in all I am still very satisfied with my new watch and certainly would recommend it to anyone wanting to free yourself from being a phone slave and the restrictions that come with all that. I'll post any changes to this forum in the future and do another follow up by the end of this year. Cheers!

  • gottagogottago Posts: 25 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @nano - it's encouraging to hear you are also having success in using your Quartz as a standalone device. I have a similar set up as you and don't miss carrying my phone with me at all. The final nail in the coffin for carrying my phone was when I realized I could stream Pandora from my watch to my car stereo. I hadn't tried because I thought the 3g signal would be spotty but as it turns out it's okay thanks to the buffering that Pandora does.

    I use WiFi Manager for Wear OS. It was part of the bundle referenced above. Check it out in the play store as it may work for you too. Cheers!

  • nanonano Posts: 17 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Does anyone know if there is a way to turn on sound notifications for text messages? My ZTE quartz watch only notifies me by vibrating? Thanks.

  • samsamhasamsamha United StatesPosts: 2,180 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @nano said:
    Does anyone know if there is a way to turn on sound notifications for text messages? My ZTE quartz watch only notifies me by vibrating? Thanks.

    I don't think it is something that the default app supports (I kind of prefer this way but I can see why you may want the audio notification.) Since from your previous post you mentioned that you no longer carries the phone, I am assuming that you have the text sent directly to your watch's sim and not from the phone's sim. As far as I know, you cannot do it but I can be wrong and you could try maybe download any of the wear specific messaging app to see if that function is available.

    If you are referring to text from your phone and getting notification on your watch, you could potentially check the "Feel the wear" that was mentioned in the past that let you adjust notification (not sure if it will work though).

  • nanonano Posts: 17 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hello and Happy New year to everyone.  I am still using my ZTE Quartz watch.  I did change from a digits with data plan to a wearable plan about a month ago because of issues with my watch being disconnected from the call side of things.  This was supposed to save some money but ended up costing me more!  I'm going to try and resolve this in the next few days.  Otherwise, the watch works better now.  It simply uses it's own number and always works on calls and texts if I have adequate signal. I'm still getting about 12 to 18 hours of battery time with normal use.  I mostly just use it for calls texts reminders and Google Assistant things.  For me the watch has been worthwhile and I never use the paired with phone or tablet stuff except for setup.  So I still think Standalone use is what I like and don't miss having a phone in my life and am probably better off without one.  But then I'm a minimalist and happy for it.  Have a great 2019!
  • samsamhasamsamha United StatesPosts: 2,180 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    that is great to hear that the Quartz is still doing its job @nano. Thank you for keeping us posted. Hope you have a great 2019. 
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