Bangle.js 2: A Quirky and Customizable Smartwatch for Tech Enthusiasts

I ditched my Fitbit for something…different. As an MSP tech, I crave tech that breaks the mold. So when I stumbled upon the Bangle.js 2, I had to give it a shot.  Open-source? JavaScript powered?  This wasn’t your average smartwatch. Four months in, and it’s been an eye-opening experiment. Coming from a background of using Fitbit for years (especially the Versa 2) and even trying out the Pavlok 2 watch, I was ready for something different when my trusty Fitbit finally stopped working. I didn’t want to break the bank on a new smartwatch, but I still wanted something that could keep up with my tech-loving lifestyle. Enter the Bangle.js 2!

The Good Stuff

  • Open-source awesomeness: The fact that Bangle.js 2 is open-source is a dream come true for tinkerers like us. You can install new apps, modify existing ones, or even create your own! This level of customization is something I really missed with my previous smartwatches, and it’s been a blast to explore.
  • App-tastic: The web app store has goodies, from games to fitness trackers and funky utilities. One of my go-to apps is “Hanks Worldclock” – it lets you have multiple time zones on your watch face, which is pretty handy when I want to see the time of some of my family members. It is also good for when I work with clients and colleagues across different time zones, this has been a real lifesaver.
  • Battery beast: You can quickly get a week or more on a single charge, depending on the apps you use. This thing is a powerhouse! Coming from the Fitbit Versa 2, which needed charging every few days, this is a really welcome change. Now, I can focus on using my smartwatch without worrying about running out of juice mid-day. Do note that certain apps really hurt the battery life more on this below.
  • Stylepoints: The Bangle.js 2 has a cool, retro-tech vibe that sets it apart from the sleek, modern designs of most smartwatches. It’s a conversation starter, and I’ve gotten quite a few compliments on it. Plus, the fact that you can customize the watch face and apps means you can really make it your own.

The Not-So-Good Stuff

  • Battery drainer alert: Just keep an eye out for those power-hungry apps if you want to maximize your uptime. Some of the more complex apps can really put a dent in the battery life, so it’s worth being mindful of what you’re running.
  • GPS woes: The GPS can be a bit touchy sometimes. It might take a while to find a fix, and the accuracy can be a tad off. This can be a bit frustrating if you’re using the watch for fitness tracking or navigation, but it’s not a dealbreaker for me.
  • Notification overload: While getting notifications on your wrist is handy, it would be nice to have more control over which apps can buzz you. The Fitbit Versa 2 had some nice options for fine-tuning notifications, and I do miss that level of control. Currently I find it’s best to keep the notification off.
  • Missing integrations: One thing I really liked about my Fitbit was the integration with third-party apps like (read about it here) . The Bangle.js 2 doesn’t have quite the same level of integration with other services, which can be a bit of a bummer. However, the open-source nature of the watch means that there’s always the potential for new integrations to be developed by the community.

The Verdict

Overall, I’m really digging the Bangle.js 2. It’s perfect for folks like us who love to customize and don’t mind a few quirks. If you’re used to the sleek experience of mainstream smartwatches, it might take some getting used to. But if you’re into open-source tech and unique gadgets, it’s definitely worth checking out!

Sure, it might not have all the bells and whistles of a Fitbit or an Apple Watch, but that’s part of its charm. The Bangle.js 2 is a smartwatch for people who want something a little different, something they can tinker with and make their own. And let’s be real – as an MSP technician, that’s right up our alley!

So, there you have it – my 4-month adventure with the Bangle.js 2. It’s been a fun ride, and I can’t wait to see what other cool stuff the community comes up with. If you’re looking for a smartwatch that’s a little different and lets you get your geek on, give this one a shot! Who knows, you might just fall in love with its quirky charm as I did.

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