In 2017, smartwatches need a 'less is more' approach

One of the many casualties of 2016 was Pebble — the first "mainstream" smartwatch, if such a category exists. For many of us who live and breathe mobile tech, the original Pebble was a revelatory device — here was a small, relatively stylish wearable computer that freed us from habitual phone-checking.

Just as email in your pocket had been the concept that pushed the first smartphones to early adopters, notifications on your wrist, it was thought, would spawn a whole new class of computer. Such was the impact of that smartwatch that more than 1 million units were sold in its first 18 months. In the tech journo bubble, it seemed like everyone had a Pebble — over half the Mobile Nations team at CES 2014 wore the things. (And it was funny to watch the synchronized wrist-raising that resulted when we all received the same group email or IM.)

The original Pebble was great because of its simplicity — a quality modern smartwatches have completely forgotten.

The original Pebble was great because of its simplicity. It did few things, but it did them well. However it seems the industry at large, seeing the trajectory smartphones had taken, wanted to develop smartwatches along the same lines — more computing power, bigger and better screens, more functionality.

At the dawn of 2017, it's obvious that that approach has failed — consumers don't want smartwatches in the way they exist today. That's reflected in the state of Android Wear right now, where the software hasn't received a meaningful upgrade in over a year, as Google overhauls the system from top to bottom. Even Motorola, maker of the critically praised Moto 360 series, is getting out of the wearables game, citing poor demand. And yet the future of Android Wear continues to develop it along those same unpopular lines. In Wear 2.0, you'll get a watch-based app store, a tiny keyboard and a giant wheel of apps to scroll through. Which suggests that the Android smartwatches of the future will continue to chase the phones of today in terms of functionality.

People don't want to poke and prod at app drawers and tiny buttons and barely-legible text. They don't want to scrawl out text messages on a keyboard the size of a quarter. If it takes more than 10 seconds to do, they're just going to take out their phone. And a phone will do all of those things better than a watch.

If it takes more than 10 seconds to do, you're just going to pull out your phone.

Extra functionality — particularly the LTE connectivity now being shoehorned into high-end wearables — comes at a cost to how a watch looks. More complex functionality powerful processors and cellular connectivity demands bigger batteries and larger screens, making them bulky and unattractive. Yet manufacturers continue to pummel that same stone in the hope of drawing blood. The latest Samsung Gear S3 watches, for instance, go all-in on extra functionality in a larger, more masculine wearable. Samsung has decided, it seems, to go after the lion's share of people already buying smartwatches, instead of making the category more appealing to the billions of people who own a smartphone but no wrist computer.

To Samsung's credit, it's easy to disregard all this extra fluff if you don't want it — as I do with my Gear S2. But you could go back and forth on the value of "Hey, look at all this stuff we made that you can ignore."

The success of the Fitbits (and years ago, the Pebbles) of the world shows that the mass market wants something to track their exercise and show them notifications. In the future, you can probably add mobile payments to that list of genuinely useful, convenient, time-saving core features. Anything more than that will, at best, be aimed at tech nerds like us. And as we've learned with current wearables, even then the novelty will wear off after a while.

The Apple Watch — surely the most successful "smartwatch" right now — sells not because of its functionality as a wrist-based computer, but because of its design, the Apple brand, and the fashion-plus-fitness angle the company has been pushing for the past year. That's more in line with general consumers' thought process when it comes to buying a wearable — or, hell, any fashion product. You buy it because it looks cooler than a Fitbit while addressing those same basic needs. Anything else is a bonus.

So what I'd like to see from smartwatches in the coming year is less feature-chasing and a focus on the core functionality that makes wearables genuinely useful. The likelihood of that happening is debatable — Android Wear seems to be on an opposing trajectory right now, as does Samsung's Gear platform.

But maybe, with time, manufacturers will start to remember what made smartwatches worth bothering with in the first place. If they do, this niche product category might eventually hit the mainstream.

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • The beauty of the Samsung Gear S3 is you have all the bells and whistles but you can just use the bells and ignore the whistles. I prefer the bells and whistles approach that allows you to pick and choose what you want to use. Pebble never appealed to me. Reminded me too much of the 1970's digital watches that sold for a premium but didn't do much.
  • That ignores the very real size issue, unfortunately. The Gear S3 is big and thick, which is unappealing to many. I have an Edge S7 and would buy a Gear S3 mini, if it was smaller, and had either bells OR whistles.
  • Gear S3 min i= Gear S2. Gear S2 which has most of the same stuff including mobile payments. voice recognition is good as well.
  • The Gear S3 is the PERFECT size for many of us.
  • This!!! Everyone at Android Central must have baby wrists. The Gear S3 fits an actual man's wrist and is the correct size for what is currently fashionable for men.
  • I actually feel that it is on the small size compared to current fashion trends for men's watches.
  • I don't think there's anything wrong with the size, and I don't have big wrists.
  • The Gear S3 is NOT too big. It's the perfect size for a man.
  • There is no size issue. The Gear S2 looks like a Cracker Jack toy to me . The S3 is perfect. Of course, I'm a man with man sized hands. The reason Samsung updated the OS on the S2 was to appeal to smaller consumers.
  • ^^ sizists ^^
  • I'm offended sir you used the term "smaller consumers". I'm at my house "safe space" and should NEVER hear, or read, terms that can and will offend me. Now I have to go pull out my adult coloring books and silly puddy to calm my nerves. /s :)
  • And yet you mention nothing about how you've been enjoying the Gear S2 ever since it was released. Oh, it's because size really isn't an issue for you. You just wanted to join the discussion with pure nonsense.
  • Mine is coming tomorrow. Can't wait!
  • What companies need to do is to give consumers reason(s) that they need smartwatches. A smartwatch can do everything my phone can do. Why would I pay anywhere between $100-$500 extra for something that my phone can already do?
  • They can go on a jog with you, or accompany you during rigorous exercise without flopping around in your pocket or having to remember where you laid it because it's always on your wrist. If you're not that athletic or don't do many activities where a large smartphone or phablet can get in the way then I can see why the smartwatch would not be viable for you. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • Mostly they can't without your phone hidden somewhere too though... I use my watch because it saves me looking like such a jerk when I am watching for an important text or email, and for sending texts without digging out my phone (especially while driving). While the wear update delay has made that second part frustrating (and is, I think, the big reason a lot of people are 'waiting to see' before getting a new wearable) those two functions are easily worth a few hundred over a few years.
  • Mostly maybe but not really. I've been able to go without my phone to the gym and on my runs without being out of touch since the original Gear S. since then I've had an LG Urbane LTE and now a Gear S3. The phone stays behind yet I have all my communication needs on my wrist. Music, calls, texts, etc. with my phone at home.
  • Honestly, that's what I LOVE about my Moto Sport. I can take the music, GPS tracking, and fitness tracking with me and LEAVE my texts, tweets, emails, etc. behind; knowing that they'll all sync up when I'm done. My workout will be logged, and then I can check my phone messages.
    That way I can do something really crazy like..actually enjoy my workouts in peace. It's great to be able to partially disconnect. My phone stays in my bag or in my car safe and sound, and the emails will still be there when I get done in an hour. Plus, added benefit of keeping my phone sweat free. I go to the gym to work out, and having a smartwatch lets me do that without being tempted to check that email on my phone. Which is probably garbage anyways.
  • That's a good point. I also do own a gear s2. I do the same with that device. It's light weight but it looks nothing like a watch. Posted via Android Central App
  • Which begs the question, why for so long was the Sony sw3 the only android wear with a dedicated gps? IMO, you are correct but oems failed to realize the main target audience for wearables is fitness. Yet, for years we got half-baked devices with basic fitness capabilities. Hopefully, moving forward, they will realize a smart watch needs to have these basic features or be dead on arrival: gps, waterproof, decent battery life.
  • That's why I love my Moto 360 sport. Sure the screen's not amazing, but then again - neither is the screen on my Luminox. But it does allow me to simply bring a pair of Bluetooth headphones with me and run or work out in peace. It's funny watching people who go to the gym stopping every 5 minutes because they get a new tweet or post. Why didn't they just stay at home if they were going to stop every 2 secs ? Plus, added bonus, I don't have to wear some ridiculous running belt or giant shorts with pockets and have my phone flopping all about lest I wanted to lose my music or not track my workout. Otherwise, I agree. I could care less about paying for coffee from my watch or getting 1000 notifications (I turn most of them off anyways, which really helps battery life) or getting GPS turns on my wrist. Plus, let's be honest: it's far more socially acceptable to look at your wrist during an interaction than your phone.
  • Smartwatches will not replace or do things better than you phone can/will do anytime soon. Smartwatches are not needed. They are nothing more than cool items to waste money on. Simple.
  • If it's a cool item then it isn't a waste of money. Cool = benefits. What you probably meant to say is that if it doesn't provide any benefits then it's a waste of money. That statement would be true. There's plenty of benefits to be had by a smartwatch, even with the poorly designed AW OS. If you can get notifications without having to hold onto your phone, congratulations, you've just been provided a benefit by your smartwatch. If you can listen to your personal music collection while lifting weights at the gym and not worry about having your phone on you or on the floor, then congratulations, you've just been provided another useful benefit from your smartwatch. If you're conscious about your heart rate as you exercise/hike/jog, you've received yet another benefit from your smartwatch that you couldn't get from your smartphone. If none of this is making sense to you then you're probably not a good candidate for a smartwatch.
  • The pebble is relatively stylish? You're way too generous there. I agree with what you say about full-blown apps like CNN and other types of apps that make you interact too much with the watch. Those aren't going anywhere, it's better just to do that kind of stuff on your phone. I disagree with the LTE functionality not being included because that is a lifesaver actually. You don't always have to carry around your phone and it's really useful on runs or during different types of exercise. The size is really not an issue if you're a man because most masculine watches are even bigger than the frontier, which is perfectly sized in my opinion. Also, I don't believe they should chase after whatever Pebble was doing because after all, the Pebble did not succeed. For those of you who believe that this product line is going to go mainstream and sell millions upon millions, you are wrong. This is a device that will pale in comparison to smartphone adoption but will still be successful. You don't have to sell a smart watch to everyone who has a smartphone for this to be considered a success, you just have to be able to make money off of it somehow. Apple and Samsung have proven that this can be done. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • So right! The Pebble was never stylish.
  • The Apple watch is horrible and most people I know that have it don't really know why they have it. It's just because apple told them to, basically.
  • Lol isn't that with every Apple product?
  • And it looks like my uncle's Casio calculator watch with some metal trim.
  • Of the six smartwatches I've owned, the Frontier LTE is by far the best. More is more IS better.
  • For you
  • Agreed!!!!!
  • They need a battery that doesn't suck! No one want to charge a watch every day!
  • I keep my wireless charging dock in the bathroom. I just drop it on its charger as I'm taking off my clothes to get in the shower (who wears a watch to the shower after all) and take it off the charger once I'm ready to head out the front door to start the day. That's all the charging I need. I sleep with it, I wear it all day and it has become part of my daily routine. No hassles, no headaches. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • I get a solid 2 days per charge & that's with screen "always on"
  • Doesn't bother me in the least. Do you wear your reg watch to bed? I put mine on the nightstand charger when I go to bed. In inconvenience in any possible way.
  • Turn off the notifications down to ones you ACTUALLY care about, and you'd be amazed at how much longer the battery lasts. I typically get nearly 2 days on my moto 360 sport even with using the GPS and Bluetooth for my run. I get calendar alerts, emails from 5 people, and texts. Nothing else. Seems to have done wonders for my battery life.
  • I have no need, or want of a full blown smartwatch. All I care for is simple notifications of incoming texts, calls, & emails. I can then decide from there if I need to pull my phone out of my pocket, or just ignore it until later.
  • Me too.. I have the fossil q Marshall. Love it. It looks like a normal nice watch. If my phone is in my pocket I can quickly read a text or notification.
  • +1
  • So go ahead and buy an inexpensive fitness tracker. It will tell you if you have a message. However, it won't tell you what the message actually says OR who sent it. So you'll be pulling out your phone for EVERY message including spam messages or from people low on your priority list. Have fun with that. The rest of us are going to enjoy the convenience of knowing when to pull out our phones rather than all the time. LOL. What good is having a device tell you to get your phone because you have a notification if your phone already tells you that you have a notification? The beauty of a full-blown smartwatch is that you can actually reply to any message you choose WITHOUT having to track down your smartphone.
  • Actually my Fitbit Alta does tell me who is calling & texting me, even gives me a good portion of the text message. I also receive calendar reminders. All without having to pull my phone out of my pocket. Smart watches are a niech product at best for the hard core tech nerd that just have to have the latest and greatest, or the apple/Samsung fanboys that will buy whatever they are selling. If you want to spend your money on a smartwatch, by all means go for it. But for the biggest portion of consumers, we don't need or want all that extra fluff.
  • The simplicity of the Pebble is all I need.
    Sure the S3 is a beast but she's beautiful and will most likely be the next watch I buy, although Michael Hill has a nice black and Gold 'dumb' watch that's got my eye! My Pebble is going strong and still has the fastest messaging I've seen. I love that it alerts to me a call before my phone even twitches.
  • Feel the exact opposite. I'm excited by the Android wear 2.0 update next year. It seems like it will bring alot of the extra features from tizen OS to Android wear. I don't feel the main public wants less features. They just want a smaller or more stylish size and I agree that's generally a smaller size. That is a good thing about the Michael kors, fossil and designer brands coming and already here. They can be all minimal and expensive and other watches might be a bit bulkier but more featured packed. I think Google is doing the right thing as is Samsung.
  • I have an s3 coming tomorrow, but I'm excited to see what google will bring to the table.
  • I agree the extra features are not necessarily worth the trade of in battery life. I have a Garmin Fenix 3 and love it. The battery lasts for a week to two at a time with using it multiple times a week to track my running. I looked at the S3 and liked the extra functionality but I'm not willing to lose that battery life to gain the ability to talk to my watch.
  • That's a good point on the mic. I can count the number of times I've used mine on one hand and have enough fingers left over to type this statement. And that's between 3 smartwatches. (LG Urbane, Moto 360 Sport, MS Band 2) It's just a waste of battery.
  • Vector. Just sayin...
  • This current beta version is too flawed. I'll relook at then after they polish up a bit.
  • Fair point. I just wish that their watch faces weren't as massive.
  • Agreed. Love my Vector Luna!
  • In 2017 smart watches just need to die. Do so much less that the entire space goes away!
  • Does their existence affect you in a negative way at all? Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • If you don't like them. Don't buy them. Many people feel differently. I couldn't see life without one.
  • This AC diatribe against smartwatches is getting old. For personal technology, advocating "less is more" is silly.
    It's becoming a internal-looking sound chamber, where group-think is crowding out more critical and useful analysis.
    Less is more will result in less . . .sales. - So you don't want to watch CNN on your phone?
    - So you don't want to share your eight-minute-per-mile run times with the world via internet?
    - So you don't want to make or take phone calls looking like Dick Tracy?
    Great! Don't! But give me a smart watch that lets me:
    - make and get phone calls,
    - send and receive TMS,
    - tracks my physical activity without any button pushing, or me doing anything but being active.
    - provide music to me when I do said exercise
    - pay for purchases on the go, without wallet or phone
    - check my schedule and remind me of appointments
    - serve as an always-on alarm clock when I sleep
    - provide different watches face every day
    - tell time with an always on display that last the full day.
    That's my use-model. Others may want more (email, social media, games or news). Regardless, the Gear S2/S3 provides choices. It provides options to allow all users to do as much of that -and as little of that as one wants. [And] it lasts a full 1.5 days (S2) without me paying attention. Finally, Gear S is not a trap door into a "Samsung Eco-system," as some AC critiques have asserted. It's just a smart watch...period.
    One can make good use today, right now, for almost any use-model and with almost any smart phone if one is interested. Contrary to Alex's closing lament, manufacturers (at least Samsung and Apple) do realize "what made smartwatches worth bothering with in the first place." It's the idea of expanding options and continuing to offer MORE on the device in order to make technology fit into my life just the way *I* want it to fit.
  • Very good post! 👍
  • "But give me a smart watch that lets me:
    - make and get phone calls,
    - send and receive TMS,
    - tracks my physical activity without any button pushing, or me doing anything but being active.
    - provide music to me when I do said exercise
    - pay for purchases on the go, without wallet or phone
    - check my schedule and remind me of appointments
    - serve as an always-on alarm clock when I sleep
    - provide different watches face every day
    - tell time with an always on display that last the full day.
    That's my use-model." And this is why people like their samsung gear watches.
    Most of the jaded smartwatch people are ANDROID WEAR owners.
    Yes there is still much room for improvement
  • "You buy it because it looks cooler " Anyone that thinks the apple watch looks cool needs their eyes examined
  • I gave a Gear S2 as a gift. It was worn one day, then refused to recharge. Going back to Samsung for warranty service. My own Moto360 had to be replaced near the end of warranty for recharge failure. What they need less of is battery trouble.
  • I have the Vector Luna and really like it. Basically notifications with a few extra apps thrown in. 30 day battery life and doesn't look like a smartwatch. Picked it up on Amazon a few weeks ago for $200 so it was a reasonable price as well. Support has been fantastic for the few questions I've had to ask.
    I'm starting to like it more than my Pebble Time.
  • I really like their concept, and also that it works with Windows Phone/Mobile!
  • Yikes! $200 for just that? You OVERPAID!
  • Thanks for your opinion. You obviously have no idea what you're talking about.
  • I had the original moto 360 and didn't like it at all. It did way too much with its clunky interface. I liked the smartwatch idea though and have since tried the Martian, a metawatch, and currently I own a pebble steel. I like the pebble the best because of how dead simple and how customizable it is. Posted via Android Central App
  • Except people really want to do more than just read notifications. Pebble users did install apps to expand the factory capabilities of their watches. I think your complain is that now OEMs are trying to preinstall the extras that they think you'd like (or that they signed a contract to include).
  • What like about smart watches is that you can edit them up or down to what you want. Notifications are great, not perfect but really handy. Fitness tracking is a given. I'm interested and holding off until Google releases its upcoming Android Wear watches. I always wear a watch, the fact I get some notifications and other functionality is a bonus.
  • The gear fit 2 covered all I wanted from a watch.
  • My only issue with the Fit 2 was that I wanted a device that would track my running through things like speed intervals. Unfortunately, I spent the entire week I had a fit 2 it was telling me that "you're running too fast. Slow down. Reduce your pace." And that was it's max level. Which is fine, i'm used to that. I run 5k every morning. But what I couldn't deal with is the fact that it didn't give me a way to up the pace coach at all. if I wanted to run with it, I had to do it based off of the basic run. And Samsung wouldn't open up the Gear Fit 2 to outside development so there was no competition besides S-health. That and the stupid latch mechanism that popped open whenever it wanted to were the reasons it went back. I ended up going with a Moto 360 sport for $99 from Amazon during a super sale. Stripped down the notifications to just what's needed, and after the update that finally allowed me to pick and choose what of my music I'm uploading to the device, I'm really happy with it. Sure the GPS and HRM aren't 100% accurate, but they're close enough for daily workouts.
  • Not only a less is more approach, but the less has to be more. The thing that made the Pebble so compelling is that it's core feature set was really good.
  • The same thing that made it compelling is the same thing that made it lose sales after its debut. It looks boring and has limited appeal. Where is Pebble now?
  • Die in a fire troll.
  • And now fit bit owns Pebble
  • I enjoy my Pebble but it is far from my favorite watch. I'd love to have a better looking watch in which I could swipe down on the screen and get the weather, swipe up for the calendar, right for notifications and left for options. Make it last as long as my Pebble and I'd be sold. Maybe I'm old fashion, but I want my watch to be predominantly a watch.
  • Another baseless article with nothing to add. Let me help. Android Wear truly is worthless and any smartwatch using that OS is destined to fail. There still is a future of smartwatches but scaling back on features isn't the recipe for success. These same boneheads who deride the GearS3 as being ugly and bulky because of "too many features" like LTE are the same fools who applauded the Moto360 complete with its truly unnecessary and very hideous flat tire. So the rest of us consumers can just take their (Alex & his gang) advice on aesthetics with a grain of salt. Consumers are not begging for devices with less features nor are they begging exclusively for watches that are ultra thin. What we want are fashion accessories that are easy to use, responsive, last longer than a day, and provide us with some core features that are easy to access & utilize: 1) minimum 2-3 day battery life
    2) Tailored Notifications
    3) Reply to Notifications by voice
    4) Speaker/Mic
    5) Sports/Fitness tracking sensors & apps
    6) strong water resistance
    6) Standalone usability option (LTE) What we don't need:
    1) dedicated watch app to match each and every smartphone app
    2) a mutant ever-present watch face (spare tire)
    3) a toy-like design (Apple Watch)
    4) endless swiping (AW)
    5) bone-headed editor articles
  • +1
  • Right on this guy gets it ^^^
  • +1 - On the nose.
  • There are plenty of fitness trackers that have what you are looking for. Instead of telling your readers what the world doesn't want., with very little base for your argument, Yes, pebble was popular. They were early to the game. What killed pebble was Android Wear and the Gear. Watches with more features. The last round of watches didn't offer ENOUGH, most of us are waiting for the next batch. This last batch didn't add enough to get us excited. Seems like this site is dumbing down it's content. Most of time you come off condescending. You guys seem like you are burned out by tech. You guys need to get it together. Russell seems to have the passion.
  • I highly recommend they get rid of Alex and Andrew, maybe possibly Jerry. Lately it's been nothing but click bait or pure crap from these guys.
  • I couldn't have said it better . This is like what the 5th article on why we shouldn't buy a gear s3 haha love mine by the way. All the while the average consumer are buying every s3 that's on the shelf the watch is still sold out. I had to go through 2 back orders . Samsung and apple are the only ones that are making waves in that market and to be frank the gs3 is miles better then the apple watch in every way. AC please stop trying to down grade something just cause you don't get it ...we do..Samsung makes three different watches that should have every one covered
  • Pebble still rocks. Though I also frequently enjoy power of Android wear on Urbane 2 LTE and use standalone on runs, though frequently it is just more than I need. I love physical buttons and no touchscreen of pebble.
  • The buttons vs touch screen is one of the biggest reasons I avoided Pebble. I liked the concept, but it was a half baked product at best (and ugly!). It has needed to be bought by a company with the means to move it forward for some time now. Hopefully Fitbit can take it to that next level, if it keeps it at all. Pebble failed while these other companies thrive because Pebble didn't get that the average mainstream consumer wants an attractive, quality, touch screen design rather than their 1980's plastic toy design.
  • "At the dawn of 2017, it's obvious that that approach has failed — consumers don't want smartwatches in the way they exist today. " Yeah, but the failure of Pebble seems to indicate that consumers don't want simple, relatively inexpensive "smart" watches, either. The market for a device that does some of what your phone does, but not as well, simply isn't very big. Especially when you still need to own a cell phone, too. Paying a couple of hundred bucks or more, sometimes much more, just to avoid having to take my phone out to check a notification just isn't in the cards.
  • Less is more. I have a Garmin fenix 3 and just purchased a startup human powered watch on indigogo.
  • Loved my pebble, the makers got what a smartwatch should be. The button controls also meant I could do loads of things like skipping tracks, changing volume, dismissing notifications without even looking at the watch. Also it had an always on display so functioned like a watch. All with a good battery life. I tried android wear and it was awful, swiping everywhere does not work on a smartwatch. The battery life of the moto 360 2 was truly awful too. I have now got a Samsung gear s3. I have tried many different smartwatches but this one is the only watch that comes close to the pebble in terms of usability and functionality. It's a brilliant watch with great hardware and software.
  • I have a Gear S2 Classic, and would like to get a weather complication that shows the temperature, without having to tap the complication. It is no problem on my Apple watch. I like the S2, but that is an aggravation.
  • I enjoy wearing my Breitling too much to be bothered with a smartwatch, and I like the nerdiness of buying stuff with my phone at WholeFoods, etc. But really, I just can't and won't bother being plugged in 1000% all the time. I am sure there are plenty of people who love wearing a fitness/smartwatch -- and plenty thereof have great reasons, other than enjoying their nerdiness -- but to each his/her own. I like the way the S3 looks, and I think it's the right size -- but totally unnecessary. If I grabbed an S3, knowing myself, I would kind of resent having to establish four separate chargers when going somewhere (phone, tab, iPod/music player, and watch). Ridiculous. Just my $0.02.
  • I actually enjoy my S2; pretty much just use it as a watch with notifications most days, but it's nice to have a "phone" with me through its 3G connectivity when I go for a run. Can take my music, track my run, and leave the phone at home but still have connectivity should the need arise. Same goes for if I go out with friends or family; can leave the phone in the car so it isn't a distraction, but still have calls forwarded to my watch in case the kids need to reach me ;) So... bells and whistles can be a good thing.
  • I completely agree with this. Watches are trying to do way too many things on a ridiculously tiny screen. Smart watches are fantastic, but they need to focus on complimenting your other devices rather than trying to replicate functionality, but in a far more cumbersome way on a tiny little screen. I want a watch that does little more than tell the time, track my fitness, and give me some simple notifications. Most Android Wear watches are **** for fitness tracking. If they do have a heart rate monitor, it's probably terrible (granted most wrist mounted are), pedometers are all over the place with AW devices, GPS is something that could actually be useful but is frequently overlooked. Yes, as someone else stated, there are fitness trackers that already do this, some even using AW. That's why you see FAR more people wearing fitness trackers than smart watches. And all of this is certainly not to say that there still isn't a smaller market for feature packed watches too for those who do want that. Lots of the kinds of people that would be on this site may like more features. By all means, keep a category of smart watches that do cost more and do more, but focusing on fewer and more useful features for the watch to perform would help the market tremendously with the general public, I believe. I know a couple of people who still wear AW watches and do like them. Most who had one seem to be people who already liked watches and have gone back to wearing their old analog watches again (myself included, actually I'm wearing a Withings at the moment). Mostly I just see people wear Apple watches and 9 out of 10 of those people wear it just to show off that they have an Apple Watch.
  • Almost every device mentioned in this article simply called a smartwatch whereas the Apple Watch gets called a "smartwatch" with quotation marks? It's the only use of quotation marks around the word "smartwatch" in the entire article, but why?
  • As a Pebble user and having tried Android Wear (and subsequently selling it to go back to my Pebble), I can tell you what my perfect smartwatch should have: - The ability to easily filter which apps give notifications (Pebble made this extremely easy, and it made the watch FAR more useful since I knew notifications were only important if the watch went off) - The ability to dismiss notifications on my watch WITHOUT dismissing them on the phone (so I can check them later when I have phone time) - A simple, non-distracting interface (Android Wear's overtly graphic-intensive display set my ADHD off every time I looked at it, while Pebble's simplicity kept me on task) - An always-on watchface with customization, including DIY (I have my own custom-coded Zelda watchface that I built in CloudPebble) - At least 4+ days' battery life (I use my Pebble for sleep tracking, and can't live with a watch that I have to charge every night or even every other night) - Calendar, tasks, reminders, weather, health tracking, compass, timer, and phone location (I can't tell you how many times I've had to use the RING MY PHONE Pebble app) - Quick notification when Bluetooth goes out of range (Admittedly, I had to program this into my watchface, but Pebble notifies me within a few seconds, whereas my Android Wear watch took about 2-3 minutes to notify me - by which point, it was usually too late.) - Voice control (although admittedly, a swipe keyboard would be nice - I have to repeat things to my Pebble over and over sometimes with no success) Anything less than this is a no-go for me. Android Wear fails 6 out of 7 of these criteria, and that's why I won't go back to an Android Wear watch until I know it'll be as good for me as my Pebble has been.
  • I'm not sure when was the last time you tried android wear but basically everything on your list can be done with modern android wear watches. I currently use an LG Urbane LTE v2 and also a Gear S3.