Smartwatches

Looking good matters

Back at the beginning of the week we asked you what mattered the most to you in a smartwatch. Maybe it matters most who made it, or what shape it is, or even how it feels when you wear it. Or maybe you just never are going to want one. All valid answers, but none were even close to being the popular choice.

That honor goes to how it looks. It makes sense — a watch is not a smartphone but a piece of jewelry. Functionality aside, nobody wants to wear something that looks hideous on their wrist and look at it hundreds of times a day. I sure don't, and voted accordingly. And 47.41-percent agree on one thing.

A watch has to look good if you want us to wear it.

Poll results

I'm most surprised (and pleased) by the last-place option — manufacturer. The Internet is the place where people like to defend their preferred brand from all detractors. I'm glad to see that this may not carry over into the world of smart watches. Unlike a precision mechanical watch, where the manufacturer and design makes a big difference in quality, almost any company is capable of producing a nice watch with a PCB inside to run Android Wear. And I hope they all do.

 

Reader comments

Weekly sidebar poll results: What matters to you in a smartwatch?

43 Comments

I want a smartwatch that I can glance at to get the time and info that I need instantly without having to push a button or flick my wrist to turn on the screen. And I don't want a bright screen coming on with every small move of my arm. I tried a Samsung Gear live, but couldn't stand the screen lighting up all the time. I took it back and got a Pebble, which I can live with much easier due to the "E" ink display. I realize now that I want the best of both worlds. Give me an Android wear watch with an "E" ink display. I don't need a full color display on my watch like I do on my phone. Oh and this type of display also has far superior battery life, too.

I really want a hybrid e-ink/lcd screen that is e-ink when it sleeps and LCD otherwise. But Apple owns that patent.

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Battery and looks are equally important. Watches are functional jewelry that are useless if the battery dies during the day.

Waiting for a G-Shock smart watch.

Also, the watch on the left in the pic looks Hideous, the body is Giant compared to the band. Fat guy in a little coat kinda thing.

On the other hand, if it looked great and did nothing I wouldn't wear it. Polls like this only really reveal primary preference and not the order and magnitude of the preferences that follow it. Unfortunately, things that don't make you trade off between looks and features tend to be expensive.

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So if none of those were exhibited by a Samsung smartwatch, would you die? Start shriveling up and scream "I'm melting, I'm melting!"? Start worshiping some other manufacturer?

Unfortunately, that's what happens when you devote so much time and effort saying the same stupid stuff.

It's terrible, but there it is. In showbiz it'd be typecasting.

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Can anyone else read the chart inside the Android Central app?

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Open the first link in the story and it will take you back to original poll and you can read it there

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You can press the menu button in the top right corner of the article and then open in browser. This way you can pinch to zoom. I do this when I can't see a graph or picture very well.

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Magnification gestures, in my opinion one of the best features ever added to android. Invaluable to me.

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I would only buy a new smart watch if it was also able to work away from the phone for apps that don't need data. My motoactv works great but I would love to have a moto 360 with the functionality that my watch has. So I can go for a run and not have to lug around my note 3.

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Interesting you say that. I had a similar thought. After discontinuing the MotoActv, Motorola created a MotoActv App in Google Play, but the last update was almost two years ago. I wonder if Motorola will move and/or update the app for the 360. The MotoActv always got great reviews, but the Google Play app isn't, probably because it hasn't been update for so long. Maybe there will be some good news on Sept. 4.

Display quality in terms of outdoor visibility and always on. Don't care about color quality on a watch. Also hackability would be nice. I like Omate TrueSmart running regular Android since that leaves you pretty unlimited, but wish it had a high resolution Mirasol display.

Are any of the current smartwatches visible in sunlight? If not, the media really needs to harp on this so manufacturers get with it...

Yup. Pebble is my daily companion. Still the best option. The TrueSmart is pretty visible outdoors but the display sure burns through that little battery. I like it mostly just for running without my phone.

Actually, the Samsung wear is easily seen when in sunlight on high brightness settings

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How about the Toq? Any of you guys used one? I've never actually seen one out in the real world...

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A watch is a fashion accessory to me. Looks is the most important aspect. Don't care how amazing or what the smart watch can do, if it's ugly (LG G Watch, Samsung Gear, LG Watch R etc) I'm not putting a cent into it.

Except we're talking about smart watches here. Much more than a fashion accessory. Functionality tales the top spot. If you're still focusing on looks then you're in the wrong place.

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For me its all about the combination of function and durability. That's why for now I'm sticking with my Pebble.

I think the reason why the manufacturer option got so few votes is that a new device gets cranked out every few weeks, and support for existing phones gets dropped so quickly, that we know if we buy a smartwatch, we're likely to get burnt on the support end.

"Waiting for a G-Shock smart watch."

I am also waiting to see what someone like Casio and other traditional watch companies come up
with if they ever do. Battery life is a huge thing for me. You would think someone could develop a
charging system that runs off of your body motion or something photovoltaic. Only a couple of
days of run time is a deal breaker for me.

I just don't see the point full stop. For a product to work it has to solve a problem, and taking my phone out of my pocket to look at it is not a problem big enough to sink hundreds of pounds into a watch to resolve! Smartwatches are a gimmick, nothing more.

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The poll should have done combinations to determine what is most important to people. A nice watch that doesn't function well, last long or feel good will not sell.

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Yup, not a surprise at all. Watches are, after all, a fashion accessory. And I'd say the functionality isn't quite there, at least not yet.

Not saying watch people are vain, but watches are a vanity item. (And if someone owns more than two...)

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Battery life of say 3-4 months on a charge. Not a daily charging event. Yep makes em unworkable for me.

Plus plastic straps that are part of the overall design are a bad move. Anything but a metal strap is classed as only having to last 6 months in the watch trade.

The truth really is that a watch needs to be more affordable than the price points they have been releasing at. They just don't do enough to warrant $200 of my money. $150, maybe. $100 and I'd by one.

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I've gone back and forth with Gear, Pebble, and now Wear, I do think Gear 2 is best but I want it to lite up easier, Pebble is like a mini Erector Set on my wrist, I like how three look, I'm not bothered at all with all the charging

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