Smart watches are leading the way when it comes to wearable tech and Apple, as per usual, have stepped in to steal the vast majority of the attention. The Cupertino company’s foray has far from eclipsed the competition on all fronts however. I was given the opportunity to try out one of the inaugural releases from Vector, in this case the Luna Performance, a company whose smartwatches are above all, watches first.
The main complaint about wearable tech is that it comes with a sartorial sacrifice. Between Samsung, Apple and the like, tech conglomerates have yet to satiate or entice the appetite of those who would traditionally wear a watch; the enthusiasts who get excited by a ticking hand and a solid chronograph. When it comes to aesthetics however, Vector have crafted something more akin to your usual wristwear, something that wouldn’t look out of place slotted alongside your existing horological rotation. The current offering are all 12-inches with a number of cosmetic options available, ranging from leather straps to silicone or stainless steel bands and round or square faces – spec wise all the watches are the same.
Looks are one thing, albeit an important component, but how does the Vector stack up performance wise – after all, you’re buying a smartwatch because it does more than just tell the time.
Vector has a raft of features that’ll come in handy during the day-to-day, the key point being that push notifications are forwarded straight from the watch to the phone. That notification can then be read through either pressing a button, or flicking your wrist towards your face – meaning your private messages aren’t flashing up for the world to see. It also remains discrete, a gentle vibration on your wrist informs you of an incoming call, text message or friend request.
Apps can also be downloaded straight onto the watch, the release offering so far includes BBC News, ESPN and stock and weather information – the likes of Twitter, Uber and Spotify are all planned. Vector also solves a couple of glaring issues that plague almost every other smartwatch. Battery life being the first. A Vector will run for up to 30 days before it ups and falls asleep on you – I didn’t get a sniff of low battery warnings in the 10 consecutive days I had one clasped around my wrist. This is a huge advantage over the likes of Apple, whose take often struggles to last the day, let alone a week or month.
Vectors also work across operating systems being compatible with both Android and Apple iOS and even Windows phones if you’re still using one of those. You also won’t need the latest iPhones like the Watch, anything from a 4s upwards will definitely work with it.
A plethora of interchangeable watch faces, with more coming, also ensure you can find one that suits your style, from ultra-minimal to a chronograph ape (with a working stopwatch too). These faces can then have streams added to them, be that date, weather, stocks and/or meetings for the day, giving you more information at the touch of a button – and without having to fumble around digging out your phone.
The one gripe, if you can call it that, was the lack of a touchscreen. A minor nuisance more than anything simply due to force of habit, I quickly adapted to using the crown and two side buttons to operating the watch, although the first day took a bit of getting used to not swiping left and right.
Up until popping on a Vector, the idea of a smartwatch seemed a bit superfluous. Swapping out my trusty stainless steel, rather timeless looking watch, never truly crossed my mind; particularly if I was going to have to charge the replacement every night. In all honestly, I barely had to dig my phone out of my pocket with the Vector on. Quickly coming to rely on it to check meetings, read texts, keep up-to-date on social media and wake me up in the mornings – never missing a thing in the process.
Vector watches begin shipping September 30, but can be ordered now. For more information, or to view the full range visit the website.