GeekChurch Review of Matrix PowerWatch X

It seems that fitness watches are all the rage lately. We found one to review that is a little different from the others, though. This is the Matrix PowerWatch X.

This smartwatch is unique in that it is the first in the world to be powered by the heat of your body. That’s right. You don’t have to charge your fitness tracker. This is the big selling point of the watch.

Other Matrix PowerWatch X Features

Water resistant to 200 meters, the watch is great for people who don’t want to take it off for swimming or showering. Unfortunately, it’s not good for tracking calories burned while swimming. Like most other fitness trackers, it will keep track of steps and estimate calories burned. It also tracks your sleep patterns. You pair it with a free downloadable app, and notifications of texts and calls can be sent to you, but the context of the text is not shown.

The Matrix Powerwatch X has a stopwatch, and also a small led light that doesn’t glow very bright, honestly. The buttons on the side help to cycle through the different functions of the watch.

My Overall Analysis of the Matrix PowerWatch X

I was excited to try this watch out, but with the exception of never having to charge the watch, I did not find it to be something that I would spend the $279 on. It’s an innovative idea for sure, though.  It’s bulky, but tough. I would have liked to see more smart watch features. If it was more like the Fitbit Versa with the unique features added, it might be more attractive. Did I mention that I like the feature of not having to charge the watch? It’s really nice not having a dead fitness tracker and worrying about having to charge if you are out in the wilderness.

Thanks to Matrix for lending us this watch for the purpose of the review. No compensation was given in exchange for our fair and unbiased opinion.

Catalyst Products for the Holidays, Part 1: Waterproof Cases for the Apple Watch Series 1, 2, and 3

It is always great to review Catalyst products, as they usually make waterproof products for mobile devices that can get you through life itself. I reviewed one for the iPhone 7 at the beginning of this year, and I was pleased to review three for the Apple Watch Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3.

Catalyst Waterproof Case for 42mm Apple Watch Series 1

It’s hard to believe that the Apple Watch is on its third series, but this is made for the Series 1. The Catalyst case for the Apple Watch Series 1 is IP-68 waterproof for up to 165 feet, and I have no idea why would be going that deep, but there it is.

This is all thanks to the high impact polycarbonate case front, allowing access to the touchscreen, then a layer of clear silicone that connects with the tactical side button with the crown dial. Even though you need to screw it together, it comes with the screwdriver you need and keeps water out and protection in.

If you want this for your Apple Series 1, head to the Catalyst site here and lay down $59.99 for it. It is available in Stealth Black, Rescue Ranger (black with orange dial), and Green Pop (variation with white and green dial).

Catalyst Waterproof Case for 42mm Apple Watch Series 2

Okay, it would appear that Catalyst really upped its game when it came to the Apple Watch Series 2, as this case is also IP-68 waterproof for up to 330 feet. Dang, you can go super deep with this! Also, you can drop it from 6.6 feet, something that you can do with the Series 1, which I really should have mentioned in my review prior.

Near as I can tell, it looks like the construction is similar. It has that impact-resistant polycarbonate housing and the silicone waterproof sealing wrap. Yes, you have to screw it in like the other one for the iPhone Series 1, but you get that protection!

You can get this Catalyst Waterproof Case for the 42mm Apple Watch Series 2 for the same price ($59.95), and it is available in Stealth Black, Alpine White, Army Green, and even a special glow-in-the-dark model.

Catalyst Waterproof Case for 38mm Apple Watch Series 3

This particular waterproof case for the Series 3 can also accommodate the Series 2, which is quite something. Like the one made for the Series 2, it can also go 330 feet deep and survive drops of 6.6 feet.

The construction of the case is similar, so I won’t bore you with the details about the polycarbonate outer shell, the inner membrane, and all. However, I will say that the features of the watch are fully functional including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE, Siri, Digital Crown, Side Button, Hear Rate Sensor, and Magnetic Charging.

You should be able to pick up the Waterproof Case for the 38mm Apple Watch Series 3 for $69.99 on the Catalyst Site, but is only in one color: Stealth Black.

Casio WSD-F20 Smart Outdoor Watch

wsd_f20_maki_orI figure that this announcement is a week late since it was made at CES, but what can I say, I wasn’t there. Still, Casio made a big unveiling of their WSD-F20, the follow-up to the WSD-F10 Smart Outdoor Watch that came out in March of last year.

The WSD-F20 has a low-power GPS and color map functionality that can be used offline, and can be used as a standalone wrist device. It is made to support outdoor and water activities without a cellular service. This is possible with Mapbox, allowing maps to be downloaded in advance and then have the GPS data track the user’s location.

So it is good for outdoor activities like trekking, cycling, fishing, winter sports, and watersports. By the way, the WSD-F20 has a “Moment Setter” which can be set for conditions to automatically receive important alerts, such as the best fishing times, rest break intervals, and sunrise/sunset times. Also included are three different apps like ViewRanger GPS hiking app, MyRadar weather app, and the YAMAP GPS app for hiking.

Just to let you know, the Casio WSD-F20 watch is water resistant up to 40 meters. It also has some additional protection with button guards, protective bezel, side buttons and more.

I don’t have a price point for it, but it should be released on April 21st.

Nomad Leather Strap for the Apple Watch

nomad-modern-42mm-silverWell, we just had a chance to review the Nomad Leather Wallet for the iPhone, and I suppose that it is only justified that we review the Leather Strap for the Apple Watch. Yeah, because its Leather and made for Apple, right?

Okay, I don’t really think they are that much related. However, I haven’t had too much chance to review a lot of Apple Watch products, but it looks like Nomad has a way to make the Apple Watch a little more fine watch than it is technology. I mean, this is the strap that you wear when you are in your Sunday best.

You know how the Apple Watch comes in Black or Silver? Well, Nomad has created a strap with a silver buckle or a black buckle. By the way, there is a modern build with no stitches, and a traditional build with stitches.

Like the aforementioned Leather Wallet, it is made with Horween leather. They also have 316 stainless steel, and I am not sure what that is. Either way, they are really great craftsmanship.

Anyway, you can get this strap on the Nomad site for $59.95 for the modern build and $149.95 for the traditional build.

Helix Dock for the Apple Watch from Standzout

Helix-Main_790a0529-0347-4d2a-80bc-f8270afefeebIt has been a while since I reviewed a Standzout product, at least three years. As for an Apple Watch product, it has been about three days.

The Standzout Helix is one of the best ways to charge an Apple Watch. You just plug it into the wall, and lay it on top. It has a compact housing that stores up to two meters of the Apple Watch charging cable, which allows for reducing cable clutter.

It is quite a decent product, and will recommend it for your Apple Watch needs. I can be purchased on the Standzout site for a now reduced price of $19.99, and available in colors of white, clear, black, and glow-in-the-dark.

Nomad Stand for the Apple Watch

Nomad StandThis is one of those products from Nomad, a company that I will always recommend. Their products are usually chargers and batteries, but these practical products are well-made and stylish. In the case of the Stand for the Apple Watch, this is as “simple as possible”.

Go ahead and look at the design for the stand. It is just a cord with a strip, with the strip bent at a slight angle so the Apple Watch can rest very naturally while it charges. The stand is made of aircraft grade aluminum, which means that it is strong and has a rubber footing to keep that watch there.

If this is something that you want for an Apple Watch, then this means that you have an Apple Watch. I’m told that a lot of people have it, but I kinda don’t. Anyway, you can get it on the Nomad site for a low price of $29.99.

Fuz Designs Dock for the Apple Watch

Fuz DockThis would be the first time that I have reviewed an accessory for the Apple Watch, and I am certain that it won’t be the last time. This is from Fuz Designs, and I believe it is pronounced like “fuse” and not “fuzz”. There is supposed to some line thing above the letter “U”.

The Fuz Dock is a dock for the Apple Watch, and it is there not just for charging, but for looks as well. It seems to be made for minimalism, but what it does really maximizes the Apple Watch experience.

It also has other features such as a microsuction that holds the dock and the charging cable securely in place. By the way, it works really well with the EverDock, so you can dock your iPhone in the same place where you charge your Apple Watch.

If this is something you want, you can get the Fuz Dock for a low price of $29.99 on the Fuz Designs site here. While you are at it, you should check out the other products Fuz Designs has. Soon, they will make a Bluetooth lock that I can’t wait to review.

LG G4 gets a release date

LG G4It seems like I can’t stop reporting about the LG G4, the company’s flagship phone and follow-up to the popular LG G3. We have already reported on the company’s official debut on April 28th, which means we had an announcement of an announcement, or something.

Now I am getting some interesting news saying that the LG G4 release date is going to be on May 31st. The information comes from a Korean website, which means that the LG G4 might make its way around Korea before it comes to the states.

One thing to notice is that it will have a carbon-like front and a leather back. The Leather is something of a new touch, as this hasn’t been a part of the rumored specs. For example, it is rumored to have a 5.5 inch Quantum Display LCD display, possibly QHD resolution, not to mention a battery of 3,000 mAh and microSD slot. Then there is the 13 Megapixel Camera or 16 Megapixel camera, but we have heard that there will be a f/1.8 camera with an infrared color accuracy sensor.

There are a lot of colors available on the leather look. I suppose that we’ll have to wait until the end of the month to see what the LG G4 really has in store, but perhaps you might like that little preview.


The Apple “Spring Forward” Event Finalizes Apple Watch Details

Apple WatchThe Apple Watch was announced back in September, as we have reported before. Since then, there still haven been some things not revealed about it, like the release date, the price, battery life, and other features. Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage in San Francisco at a “Spring Forward” to shed some light on the mystery.

There was much time devoted to the many features of the Apple Watch. Tim stated that developers have been working on thousands of applications since the company released tools last November. Apple Watch users will need iOS 8.2 in order to get the Apple Watch to work. In fact, iOS 8.2 adds the Apple Watch to your iPhone so it can pair with the Apple Watch. Fortunately, it is available now.

Another big question of the Apple Watch is how long the battery life will be. Tim Cook wanted to let Apple users know that it will be good for 18 hours. By the way, it will have a charger cradle that will charge it magnetically as it clicks into place on the back of the watch.

Then there is one feature that Tim Cook has wanted since he was five years old: it can take phone calls. I don’t remember whether or not Tim announced that at the original Apple Watch unveiling.

The 38 mm model of the Apple Watch will be $349, and then there will be another 42 mm version (an Apple Watch Plus?) for about $399. There will be mid-level models for about $549 to $1,099. There will also be a luxury 18 karat gold edition for $10,000. The Apple Watch can be pre-ordered on April 10th, and it will be available worldwide at Apple Stores on April 24th.

What Apple announced today

iPhone 6We all knew that Apple was going to announce something big today on September 9th, and we thought it was going to be the new iPhone and the iWatch. So what did they announce? It started off with Apple saying they had lots of products (plural) to report, and while they had a new smartphone and smartwatch, it was not quite what expected.

Apple began with the new version of the iPhone, which is actually two versions with the iPhone 6 (4.7 inch display) and the iPhone 6 Plus (5.5 inch display). These are pretty thin at 6.9mm for the 6, and 7.1 mm for the Plus. There are curves around the side, which is an entirely new design. Each have a new generation A8 chip, a next generation Retina display.

Besides the difference in size, the iPhone 6 Plus has a landscape mode. If you double-touch the Touch ID, stuff moves to the lower half of the screen. To tap it again will move things to a full-screen mode.

As for the battery life, it is 14 hours of 3G talk time for the iPhone 6, and 24 hours for the iPhone 6 Plus. As for the standby, it has 10 days for the 6 and 16 days for the Plus. The video time for the 6 is 11 hours, and 14 hours for the Plus. There is some kind of new sensor, which can estimate distance and has a barometer too. Both of these two phones will have WiFi calling, and there is a New improved FaceTime HD that Apple states: “your kids are going to do that”.

So what about the camera? There is an 8 Megapixel iSight camera, with Panorama with 43 MP. The video has 1080p at 30 fps or 60 fps, up to 120fps on the 5S, which makes them both capable of super slo-mo.

As for the price, the iPhone 6 is on $199 or $399 for the largest model. It starts with 16GB and goes to 64GB, all the way up to 128GB. As for the iPhone 6 Plus, it starts at $299. It will ship on September 19th.

After unveiling the new version of the iPhone, the gears shifted to a new software, an Apple payment system known as Apple Pay. Apparently, you use it by holding the user’s thumb on the TouchID button, and it is on both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. As the presentation says, “Cashier doesn’t see your card number” and “Apple doesn’t know how much you paid for it”. This could easily change the way iPhone users pay, and I’m certain that this will change the way smartphone users will pay.

Then the gears shifted again with a “One more thing”. Apple knew people would be looking forward to it, and it had some huge buildup. This is the Apple Watch, and you will note that the “i” is missing. The Apple Watch is stainless steel with a sapphire screen with a dial on the side known as the Digital Crown, and it got thunderous applause with standing ovation.

Apple says this is “the most personal device we’ve ever created”. It has an incredible new operating system/interface. It can sense what you’re doing on the wrist, and it has a gyroscope and accelerometer. It has six different straps and can make those straps interchangeable. Then there is the feature like Glances, to swipe up from the bottom to see meetings, weather, stocks, or music. It is a comprehensive health and fitness device.

Okay, I’m not going to say more about Apple’s new smartwatch, because I will talk about it more on Smartwatch Reviews. I can’t honestly analyze Apple’s this move without using the word “takeover”. Not only do they have a smartphone which could easily become number one, but their Apple Pay can change how smartphones could pay. I’m probably going to write about that later.

The Apple Watch is easily a huge play on the company to reign the smartwatch industry. Just like they created the ultimate smartphone and tablet.

Oh Apple, what will you do next?