Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Pairing iSmoothRun with Echo

December 1, 2013

My first test drive of the iSR and Echo smart watch combination went OK.

My second run with Echo was in trouble.   It was my habit to turn on my Garmin as soon as I step out of the door, GPS running watch takes time to lock into satellites.   I did that by mistake, I shouldn’t have started pairing Echo so early.

The Echo smart watch pairs with an App, in my case iSmoothrun, in my iPhone but not with iOS.   If I let the watch to search device without the App running (in fact at the right page of it, see below) it’ll attempt to pair with iOS.   Of course it didn’t work that way.    The device id inside the App has gone perhaps pairing was done with iOS instead.   Throughout my run the watch displayed no data but the mapped buttons (music control, running statistic etc) worked?!!

I was quite upset with it, especially with a new gadget, it turned out to be my bad.

I experimented with the watch and the App few more times at home the correct way should be like (1) start the App you paired with the watch, you’ll be reminded to turn on BT if you haven’t already done so (2) go to the page where connecting/pairing was done (3) press the pair/search button of your Echo watch. In 8 seconds or so you are good to run!

Front page of the App, don’t start pairing yet

This is the page where pairing was done, the App starts looking for paired Echo

On average, in 8 seconds, you are good to run!

Echo running watch

November 23, 2013

It’s smart, sort of! Let’s see how smart it is.

My Garmin 410 is almost 3 years old, it died once and I paid HK$7xx to get it repaired. It survived my fall also.

I considered a new Garmin perhaps their latest model 620, that’s pretty dear and after using 410 for a few years I realise that I’m not using much of the features in a watch like that.

So I decided to try something simpler, cheaper and smarter. The other key consideration was that I run with my phone for music so features like GPS, tracking by app etc are all duplicated. I read review for Echo the best feature I like is that the battery lasts for 6-11 months, currently I need to charge my Garmin every 2 runs and the pins of the charging “clamp” all failed to spring out due to corrosion.

The package

I bought HRM in the box as well, total $199

Screen Shot 2013-11-23 at 9.33.17 am
The pairing with an App (not with the iOS) is dead simple except this Step 6 of the instruction is wrong. I had to press “bottom-left” button instead of bottom-right.

The smart watch doesn’t really do much apart from being a watch displaying time and date so it acquires data and brain power from outside, i.e. your smart phone. It comes with an companion App in iTunes store as utility for you to set things up. If you want to know battery level you need to read from this App.

The secret of long battery life is that the display is off whenever it doesn’t detect movement. It contains an accelerometer so whenever your wrist moves it wakes itself up. The display can’t be any simpler you see only day of week, time, date and your weekly total.


To run with it you need an App of course I’m using the best and my favourite iSmoothRun. You can choose to display from 1 to 3 rows of data per page and total of 5 pages to display the data you want.


I have yet to test drive it, so far these are some no so good features

  • The display looks cheap, well it’s cheap I shouldn’t expect anything like Garmin’s, I’ll have a look at my friend’s Pebble later.
  • It’ll be better if small text can be displayed along with data, if I have multiple pages I want to know what those numbers are
  • The touch screen perhaps isn’t really a touch screen it doesn’t respond if I touch it softly I have to punch it hard with a finger.   May be it’s the accelerometer that does the trick?   I hope iSmoothRun could let me set up a button to switch between pages
  • I hope it’s thinner and display a bit bigger in future hardware refresh then this could be my everyday watch


October 9, 2013

My contract with carrier is ending in 10 days and since they took my aged iPhone 4 which is 3 years 2 months old for a reasonable sum I just have enough excuses to do this.


Can’t resist this

March 9, 2013

I got the last one 31 months ago.

I’m still comfortable with iPhone 4 the only downsides are (1) it’s getting a bit slow as the phone got filled to the top (2) my music library has grown to such a size that it’s hard for me to decide what tracks can’t stay.

Now I have below with 64G so all my tracks are with me while I run.


Just few weeks ago I also bought a Samsung SIII mini with a SIM provided by employer, I have my voice calls directed to this. I’m still trying to get used to Android 4.1.2 especially the keyboard. I do find Google’s navigation app using voice command very handy when I need direction.

So far the Samsung battery is pretty bad, worse than the near 3 years old iPhone 4, and I have to charge while I drive.