Android Central 318: Smartwatches are dead

In this episode, Daniel, Jerry, Andrew and Alex debate whether wearables, and smartwatches in particular, are done for — or whether there's still a pulse ... nope, not going to finish that one.

Meanwhile, RCS — Rich Communications Services — could be the iMessage alternative Android users have been waiting for, but it's probably going to disappoint.

Plus, favorite apps! The team goes over their best apps of the year.

Daniel Bader

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

  • Dead? It's only just begun. Stupid and short-sighted. Do yourselves a favor and get a new job
  • Thanks for your insightful feedback!
  • You're welcome
  • It's a niche product, that it's days are numbered. In the case of merging tech, this category will surely die once foldable phones become a reality. The only thing I can see is you can glance at the watch, take that away, as a advantage, and there truly is no need for one. Foldable phones, that you can fold on your wrist, give that purpose, and more. The only reason a smart watch is viable, is a second's convenience. Not gonna spend extra on what a smartphone does, and better.
  • Smartwatches are nerdtastic and thats Ok. not everyone has to like or want one. I had a first gen moto 360 and found android wear a PIA, and that woeful battery life. returned it. Now i've a Gear S3 frontier for a week, I really like the fast Tizen OS, the rotating bezel is smart and intuitive design, battery life is acceptable, and the watch is not too big for me. Everyone's results may vary. Thats OK. Controlling music and notifications and GPS for runs works for me, and there are a lot of other useful things like timers, emergency sos messages and other things the watch can do that's easier than reaching for my phone. Personally, I don't think the category is dead, but mass market appeal? NO. And that's fine by me. Nerds win.
  • Can't beat Samsung Pay on the S3.
  • It may be that smart watches only make sense to people who grew up wearing regular watches. When I was growing up if you didn't have a watch you were called irresponsible. So now that smart watches are a thing it just makes sense to me. A watch is a piece of jewelry as well that accents what you are wearing. So for me I like smart watches that look like regular watches. I have 5 of them. I change according to what I may have on including the color of the other jewelry I wear. I understand this younger generation is much different and jewelry and watches aren't really a thing but I would be sad if smart watches went away. I don't think they will however I do think Android Wear should die.
  • You have 5 smart watches or 5 watches?
  • The smart watch market just never took off. It's a tough sell. There's no compelling need for one like there is a smart phone. Apple smart watch sales plunged 71% last quarter.
  • But that's Apple lol
  • You do realize that Apple's share of smart watch market share is 70%? And the entire market saw a drop of almost 33% last quarter. Smart watches just aren't seen as necessary.
  • 71%? There is no proof of that.
  • Correct. While there was a report claiming this, Tim Cook was very quick to point out that sales of Apple Watches set a record during the Thanksgiving Holiday Week (right around the time the report came out). Judging by how hard it can be to find Series 2 watches at various stores (including Apple themselves), it seems they are still indeed selling fairly well.
  • I have my series 2 Nike I'm happy!
  • Here's your proof: From IDC: "Apple sold just 1.1 million of its Apple Watches in the quarter, compared with 3.9 million a year earlier -- a 72% decline."
  • They declined because it sucks. I know 2 people who bought the apple watch and returned it, stating that it was featureless. Another colleague and I bought the moto 360 and still love it 2yrs later. My only frustration is that the 2nd generation didn't come with a speaker. So when I upgrade, I may get the Huawei watch. I know I don't really need a speaker. .. but why the heck not.... We'll see.
  • Do your own homework next time. Sales figures aren't tough to find.
  • Go away, troll.
  • You just want to justify your over priced Apple Watch.
  • Um yeah there is. Don't be so obtuse.
  • No proof whatsoever.
  • Does your momma hit u for being so obtuse?
  • Here's more proof u obtuse sack of flotsam..."Worldwide sales plunged 52% in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, according to a report by the market analysis company IDC." IDC is smarter than you.
  • IDC has been wrong before. Apple doesn't release numbers, so they are guessing.
  • I'm guessing you're an obtuse imbecile. Wait a sec, that's not a guess.
  • Does your mama know that you're on the computer? Enough of the name calling. Stores are out of stock, and sales are down? Use your head for something besides childish comebacks.
  • U are immune to facts. U deserve all my name calling. You define the post truth world. Big deal shelves are empty. Means nothing. Jerry is right not one maker has made a cent of profit on smart watches.
  • What facts do you speak of? IDC is certainly not facts.
  • The only reason this worm in an apples ass is here, is that his products are soo inferior. That they've list their luster after a week of purchase. So he's bored. I feel sorry for him. Just ignore. Do not reply to anything he says and keep the conversation with the grown-ups. He'll tire and go beddy bye soon.
  • Apple watch inferior? LOL! Get a life. BTW, I am using a S7 Edge, and a Gear S2 Classic, so I do have experience with both brands.
  • Lol.. Slow up. I was on YOUR side. But yeah. Android wear is way better than apple's offering. Gear S... I don't know. Not a fan of Tizen. Love my Note though.
  • No they're right these dumb things are dead. O I need a phone in my pocket and another on my wrist so I don't have to pull my phone out of my pocket because that's too hard 😅😅😅😅😅😅.
  • It depends on the person. For me I have a Microsoft band as I had a Lumia 950xl and OK I use it more for fitness than a watch but it tells me the time. That said I find it great to look at if my phone is ringing and I'm working so I can see if I need to answer it or not the same if I get a text message. But what I use it most for is Twitter. Not to send tweets but keep up to date with football and ice hockey scores as it is setup to alert me for goals team news ECT. They are not for everyone but they can be a great tool if you can set them up to do what you what. That said the biggest issue with smart watches are the price. The bad was not that bad of a price and did more than a fit bit that's why I got it. I have had the lg smart watch 1st gen it was not a looker but worked well for what I needed. I want a watch again now for when i go out and weekend ECT as my band gets battered due to biking and my fitness bits I use it for but I don't want to spend a fortune on a smart watch like I don't want to with a watch. I think this is the biggest issue with smart watches.
  • The market is five years old. At its peak, nobody making them turned a profit from their sales. The company who pioneered it all was sold for less than the balance owed to creditors, because they could never make enough money to build them unless they built to fulfill existing orders on Kickstarter. Even companies with their own gigantic manufacturing plants in China can't make money building and selling them. Five years. Zero dollars. A long list of partners who has thrown in the towel. Define it however you want. Apple Samsung and Google will still work on building a better smartwatch because they can afford to lose a lot of money and want to offer it to their customers. Nobody else wants to. The next major Android Wear partner will be in that position because Google pays them to be there. Probably in advance and in cash. (just kidding on that last part :P )
  • Do you have a link to back up that there is no money being made by Smart Watch makers like Samsung or Apple? I understand that Pebble went down the tubes but that's because their product was not very attractive in the first place. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • One of the big issues I see with smartwatches is a general lack of marketing. Outside of Apple and Samsung, I don't think I've seen an actual smartwatch ad on TV. Seeing as they are still a very niche product, many people don't even have an understanding of what they do other than the "view notifications on the wrist" ability. Show fitness capabilities, show someone with their hands full receiving a notification and replying to it! Show someone using tap to pay at a grocery store! (you won't believe how many people are amazed when they see me use Apple Pay from my watch!) As for Pebble failing, marketing was a big aspect, as was their design. When a $100+ smartwatch looks more like a child's toy than a $20 basic digital watch, there's a big problem. As the evolution of Android Wear and even Samsung's Gear watches has shown, people tend to want something that at least somewhat resembles a watch; not something more akin to a buttonless calculator watch from the 80s! Yes, the above argument doesn't exactly explain why the Apple Watch still seems to be popular, but it still looks better than most (or all) of the Pebbles and early Android Wear watches outside of the Moto 360.
  • Obviously you have never seen a Pebble Time Round. Its virtually indistinguishable from a regular watch.
  • It's dead. The Apple watch is a typical Apple person move. " Hey this phone is the same as the last one , but hey they have a watch!!
  • You're right of course. This is just lazy journalism, this 'story' seems to be doing the rounds on all the pseudo news sites and just being reposted here (so it must be true).
  • You just want them to justify your Apple Watch purchase.
  • There's definitely a place for them. I think the software still has a ways to go before they become truly useful. Android Wear 2.0 is gonna make my Huawei Watch a lot more useful to me with the built in keyboard.
  • Smart watches will always be a niche market. Wearable technology will need to find a better product. Let's face it after smart phones became universal many of us stopped wearing watches and the sales pitch that a smart watch could be an extension of your smart phone just fell flat.
  • Maybe you did, but I will always have a watch. I don't have my phone on my wrist...
  • I think it is time for watch to evolve now that phones are almost at its plateau.
  • Evolve into what?
  • Transformers
  • Ties. Smart ties. Okay, Google. Light up my tie like a candy cane!
  • The Pixel just took phones to a new level
  • Lol
  • Do tell
  • New level of ugliness...
  • Your Samsung may be a pretty piece of jewelry for others to do over. My pixel xl is a flawless piece of tech for ME to drool over.
  • A hole new level of meh.
  • Obviously you don't have one.
  • I don't think people want 100's of apps on their watches. With Gear watches you use the features you want and forget about the ones you don't need. Increasing battery life is important.
  • Bullshit. I just ordered a gear s3 and it's backordered.
  • The author is just grasping for straws
  • Because they distribute them the right way. They want to prevent them from sitting on shelves forever like the Gear 2 Neo (for example). Every one of those you see in Best Buy or on Amazon has had the import and handling fees already paid. That's not smart business, and Samsung is all about smart business. Samsung had to build and ship a bunch of Gear 2 watches in configurations that didn't sell very well because they needed to gauge the market. Now they have done that, and have a pretty good idea how many Gear 3s they're going to sell, and when they will be selling them. Best case scenario is to carefully monitor sales so there is never a huge stock sitting somewhere other than a Samsung warehouse outside of North America or western Europe, while making sure that no customer ever has to wait very long for them to come back in stock. Samsung is committed to them. Very likely it's already built, tested, boxed and shrink wrapped. It just needs to get on a boat and ship to a distribution center. Samsung understands the supply and demand thing. This is part of the reason Samsung can and will keep making them. The income from sales might be in the red, but as an overall play for their ecosystem of products and content for those products, it's a win and makes more money for Samsung. Business sense like this on the manufacturing and distribution side is part of what makes Samsung one of the market leaders in so many categories — they can maximize profit and minimize loss better than almost anyone.
  • You can say that again.....
  • +1
  • LOL Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • So to reiterate the point they actually are making money off of these? At least part of their total business package involves a smartwatch that provides them income enough to keep making them? Then I don't see them being in the red. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • Well except Apple :-)
  • That's because they only made five of them
  • You must have been one of those people that was really impressed when the Nexus 6 sold out.
  • I think the army of `me too' smart watches are dead. There is really only room for the big boys unfortunately. Apple, Samsung and Moto.
  • Moto. Dropped watches.Dead. Not a major player. The rest will keep fighting over nothing for awhile
  • "Fighting over nothing"? Smartwatches (mostly the Apple Watch) make billions of dollars a year. That's far from nothing.
  • Moto already threw in the towel.
  • You're both right. I didn't realize it. As far as the other to fighting over nothing? Have at it, as long as I can buy my Gear 3.
  • The big boys are apple, asus, Samsung, fitbit and garmin. I think all the rest are going to be dropped....maybe LG will continue...maybe not.
  • Actually FitBit and Garmin sales are second to Apple. Surprised me too. I think the phone carriers are pushing them hard though. Probably a profit thing. Funny thing is Samsung makes the best smart watches. Mobile payments are a must for smart watches going forward. I also want to see boarding passes on my watch as well.
  • Smart watches are dead for now, at least for the masses, but only because of the fact that they just can't hold a charge (no pun intended). If I could get a small sized smart watch running Android wear that held a charge for a week under some what heavy use, I'd buy it. Especially if it could make calls and had a web camera, but with current battery tech, that seems like a few years away.
  • Why does it need to last a week? My 360 gets more than a day. I charge it when I go to bed. What more do you need?
  • Asus ZenWatch 2 has been sitting on my nightstand for say 1-2 months now.....I dont even wear it for 'fashion' anymore....those who find usefulness from these gadgets I dont think they can carry the market......that said......I used to count my steps and miles...but realized...who cares I just need to stay active.....I find it way easier to just do it than worry about the numbers game
  • Very true. A recent study came out and concluded Fitbit wearers lost less weight than those without one. Never got the point of any of these smart watches. I have a Garmin Vivoactive and only useful feature it has is telling me distance to hole when I'm golfing. Agree with u just stay active u don't need a fitness watch and as for smart watches I have no desire to be bothered with notifications and emails let alone calls on a watch.
  • You sound retired. People that work like it so they can keep their phone silenced and still get notifications without disturbing anyone.
  • I don't need a smartwatch at work when I can have my phone in front of me and can always be on silence with whatever notification the phone offers. Anyways, did you mean you need a smartwatch to hide your phone so your boss doesn't see you using it? Lol.
  • ^^ this
  • Of course as soon as I buy myself a new Asus ZenWatch 2 this pops up in my feed... Why are all of the things I like just dying lately? Guess it's just my bad luck this year. :P
  • Well, when you have a chicken wearing a sombrero as an avatar, bad things can happen!! Lol
  • Love my smartwatch. Samsung. Can't wear a dumb watch anymore
  • I haven't been without my Moto 360 in a couple years. The screen is pretty burnt... Can't wait for my s3!
  • I would say this is usually the way it works. People who have smart watches can't live without them and people who don't feel a need for them think they are useless to everybody. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • It's that people, like me, can't justify buying what is considered a throw away, especially at the price they are asking. Now, if they lasted 4 years with updates and user friendly battery replacements, I would consider one. But as of now, spending 200+ on a watch that will be obsolete in 12 to 18 months just to get a new one that dies the same thing is insane!!
  • I paid $100 for my gen 1 Moto 360. Still runs butter smooth. I'm only upgrading to get Samsung pay.
  • The LG Urbane I got last Christmas has been back in its box since about march. Just to big, and charging it every night. Realised I just didn't need it.
  • That's the biggest problem. I like gadgets for their own sake, and I'm sometimes willing to overpay for something relative the actual use I'll get out of it just because I think it's cool. But there is not a single smartwatch on the market right now (RIP Pebble) that's useful enough to be worth bothering to charge as often as they require. Unless battery life on these things significantly improves or smartwatches get a killer feature that makes it worth the money and charging hassle, I won't be replacing my Pebble once it eventually dies.
  • But do you sleep with your watch on? What is difficult about putting it on the charger before bed?
  • Yes, I do. One of my favorite features of my Pebble is the "silent" vibrating alarm. Also, I travel for work. I'm away from home for four days at a time most weeks, and I'm just not willing to carry a wireless charger along with me to charge a watch nightly.
  • I only charge my watch while I'm showering and getting ready for the day other than that it's always on my wrist and including when I sleep. It's not difficult at all just to drop it on the charger right before I jump into the shower. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • I charge my Moto 360 nightly. It's not different than taking off any watch at night.
  • I'm curious to see if Google introduces any new watches with the release of AW 2.0, but I've pretty much fallen by the wayside with my smart watches. I have a ZenWatch 2 that has been worn maybe 6 times in the last 6 months, and in the same time frame I've worn my gear s2 classic 3g (what a name), maybe a dozen times. I think it's time to cancel that line with Verizon, one of the very reasons I paid for the watch upfront, so their would be no ETF B.S. I think for me, the biggest negative is the"one more thing to charge nightly routine", coupled with the fact that you pretty much always have your phone with you. The most useful scenario I've found for them is while driving. That's for me, anyway. My wife has an Apple watch 1, and wears it at least 5 out of 7 days, but when asked directly about the Apple watch 2 as a gift, has absolutely zero interest.
  • My wife is the same way. She wants something and gets it, but then holds on to it till it's no longer viable on this earth....
  • "She wants something and gets it, but then holds on to it till it's no longer viable on this earth...." That explains why she's still with you.
  • Wrist worn fitness trackers do have a market. Had a couple of them. Tried a smart watch and thought it would be an improvement... No battery life. Sometimes it wouldn't last a day. If - they could - extend the battery life - 20 times what it is now - they may have something. It's almost like they were trying to make something too smart, with too many functions. That's a naive guess at best. But also something simple - just plain works - and being dependable - goes a long way. The tech just isn't there yet to truly support the smartwatch as it should. I'll listen to the podcast tomorrow...
  • I never leave the house without either my Huawei Watch or original Moto 360. Have it connected to my trusted devices, allowing me to bypass my lock screen, is the best feature for me.
  • I thought watches in general were dead except for fashion. It's like a bracelet for men, no one needs them to tell time anymore. Only watch I've owned since I started carrying a cell phone was a smart watch.
  • Actually, I do. For whatever reason, I lack the ability to process linear time. Without a watch, I could barely tell you the date, let alone the time. Now a pocket watch is a slightly different matter
  • I'm starting to agree and I was a big fan when they first launched. I'm now on my second Android wear and really thinking about it I don't use it for much other than the time!
  • Actually one other use is that if someone calls and my phone is in another room I can see who it is before running to get it. Still not a common occurrence though!
  • Still more than an analog watch though right? Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • At 5x the price
  • My analogue was way more than my smart watch. But it was a present.
  • Expensive smart watch = $350. That's a budget analogue watch...Like low end citizen or fossil.
  • I regularly use my Apple watch, can I carry on without one? Sure I can when I'm using my Pixel as daily driver but I do see value with my Apple watch. It won't be successful like phones but more like an phone accessory. The price point is little high for good smartwatch like Apple watch and Gear S3 to be mainstream but I do see lots of people with Apple watch now a days.
  • Just about the only smartwatches I see are Apple Watches, especially when watching unscripted TV or YouTube. They're far from dead.
  • I've owned 3 smart watches and while the mid-priced and high-end models are on life support, they aren't dead yet. At the entry-priced end of the spectrum, I love my Martian Notifier. I need at beater watch for work and chores but I still want to be notified who is calling or texting me and I want a preview of any texts. My Martian Notifier watch does all of that for ~$30, lasts 3+ days on a charge, and looks good doing it. 90% of the time that's all that most people need from a smartwatch. Mid-price and high-end smartwatches like my old Gear S2 have been cool tech in search of a use that justifies their price and short battery life. Up until now, they've lacked a killer app that made them worth their price and the hassle of nightly charging. Manufacturers had hoped that fitness and a wow factor would be enough, but fitness trackers are better at fitness tracking and let's face it, fitness tracking tools interest maybe 5-10% of the adult population, making smart watches toys for geeks, early adopters, and those with more money than sense looking for the latest bling. This year I traded in my mostly useless barely make it a full day without charging 2015/16 Gear S2 for a 2016/17 Gear S3 Frontier w/LTE and it has the killer app - fully functional in hardware Samsung Pay and my S3 usually lasts two full days of normal use. If I'm going to have to dig out my phone to pay then I may as well just dig out my wallet. Pay by watch really is head and shoulders more convenient than pay by phone. I go nowhere other than work (my work is hard on watches) or camping without my S3. I like having on-wrist access to my calendar, my reminders, critical incoming texts, and the ability to, in a pinch, make calls from my watch without bringing my phone everywhere, but it's Samsung Pay that gets the most use. Is a smartwatch worth $400 to most people, even with pay by watch - heck no! But once the price of this functionality trickles down to down $100-150 watches with 3+ real-world days of battery life I think there is a plenty big enough market to justify the manufacturers' investments.
  • Your last paragraph hit it on the head with a sledge hammer!!
  • Why will I need a kind of wireless remote (called smartwatch) of my phone, when my phone is already wireless, and takes a second to take it out of the pocket? It's not needed. Thanks Casio for making such a good "dumb" watches. Peace.
  • And yet some of those Casio dumb watches cost more than a regular smart watch. And all they do is tell the time for the most part! Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • Can you take a smart watch diving? Smack it on the concrete skate boarding? Get it clogged with dust and debri from a job site? And still be ticking along? Nope....
  • Android watches will always be a thing for me. I've had one since the first Samsung Gear S Live. As a chef with rubber gloves on most of the day or wet hands and sometimes stitches and bandages... Smart watches are almost a necessity for me. Battery life is a bummer, but I can get almost 70% on my ride in to work charging it in my truck. Some company will continue to make them for dopes like me.
  • Tell me where you work so I won't go there. I order steak well done....not!! J/k
  • Android wear better bring an entirely new game with 2.0 because outside of 'Ok Google' it was the worst interface between watchos and Tizen. Otherwise Google is just throwing money at a wall.
  • I don't need a bunch of features. All I want is a watch to show my notifications and do voice and/or one touch replies while also getting a week of battery life. That's why I love my Pebble Time. It's a shame they went out of business. Hopefully someone steps in to fill the gap they will leave behind.
  • They might be dead. But my gear live is still alive and kicking and does everything I need it to do...
  • Smartwatches were never really alive. They've always been a solution to a problem zero people have. There was a weird bit of time when people started pretending they were valid when Apple finally arrived to the party, but even that wasn't an effective defibrillator to bring the market back from a (relative to most other tech markets) flat-line.
  • Your right. If all of apple's commercials, didn't really sway the public, and create a need, then it's pretty much a failure.
  • The smartwatch genre was never going to support more than 3-4 players. There just wasn't the massive interest beyond fitness and supporting a major ecosystem (Apple, Samsung)
  • Are you recycling this rubbish, or have I read the same garbage on another tech site recently?
  • Smart watches are great, the major companies just need to drop the price and include a standalone cellular connectivity for any carrier, I mean apple is just milking it and samsung stupid move with the exclusivity of a few carriers, I got a sony smartwatch 3 and it's great bit I also got a 16 dollar Chinese watch that pushes my notifications annnnnnd also takes most sim cards ,which tells me for the premium price the big companies are charging they definitely could implement alot more than they're offering, it's great to be elsewhere and receive notifications and answer calls if need to without needing to carry a phone,especially since I use Bluetooth earbuds.
  • Smart watches may be dead... But they're still useful. I use my 1st gen Moto 360 every day (until it dies around 4:00...) and simply the fact that I don't have to pull out my phone or walk over to it to see my notifications is blessed.
  • My needs for a smartwatch were for GPS and music ....Purely a fitness watch...The ability to listen to music and track activity on the Sony Smartwatch 3 is great ....Watch isn't perfect ....Now if I could throw a SIM in it and get messages and calls in a pinch independent of my phone it would be perfect ....There's a market for them....But they need to work independently....I don't want to bring my phone on a run. Strapping a small devices to my wrist and using bt headphones is ideal for this ....Don't understand why manufactures aren't getting it....Still use the Sony 3.... Everytime I run ....And only then. Oh... Independent payments would be useful too.
  • Um......I think you've just described the Samsung Gear S3
  • I'm currently wearing my 4th smartwatch. I started with a Samsung back when I had a Galaxy S3, then got a Moto360, a Pebble Time and am now wearing a Vector. The Vector has 30 days of battery life and provides notifications. Also has specific apps that can be downloaded for other functions. Does it do everything I want? Nope but it comes close and hopefully over time they'll improve it so that it will. For now it does what I want though which is notifications for the most part .
    Oh yeah, I really like the quality and the style as well. I've also had to contact customer service a few times (new user questions) and response time has been nothing less than excellent.
  • Live with an s3 for a month and then see if you think this is true.
  • I don't care what the author writes, I absolutely love my Gear S3 Frontier. It looks fantastic, syncs with my health apps and allows me to see most stuff going on with my phone whilst it's still safely in my bag or pocket. It's also a watch! Something most people have on their wrists anyway.
  • Agreed. My Gear S3 is fantastic. The size is just fine for a sporty watch on a male wrist. And I get almost 2 days charge which is more than ample as you wouldn't sleep with this thing on so the wireless charger is an ideal place to put it overnight.... Job done. All round, it's a great bit of kit (albeit a bit expensive)
  • Speaking only for myself, I have 2 smart watches a Huawei and a Pebble. I did not like the Huawei, and it resides in a drawer. Generally, I find Android watches to be just to darn big, like wearing a wall clock on your wrist. I also think that Android Wear tries to do too much. I don't need dozens of apps on my wrist, my phone is only a foot away in my pocket. And, I don't need the health apps, although I recognize that many people do use them. I like the Pebble, as it does just what I want which is notify me when a message, phone call, etc. comes to my phone so I can quickly see if it is something that I need to take care of now or can wait until later.....that is all that I need a smart watch to do. The Pebble, of course, will soon die. At that point, given what is out there now, I will just go back to a plain old tell me the time watch.
  • Are you female? Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • Yep, dead.
  • I have worn a watch for decades on my left wrist. Years ago now, I got a simple Sony Smartwatch. I was recently in a bad accident which has my left arm in a cast. I tried putting the Smartwatch on the right and that is a real hassle. So for three weeks now I have been without my watch. It is really annoying getting emails, texts, phone calls or appointment notification, and needing to dig for my phone from this wheelchair, to find out what is going on. Having simple notification on the wrist is very handy. But at the same time, I do NOT need an LTE connection to my watch or anything else bizarre. Just the time, and simple notifications.
    So I don't think they are 'dead'. I think the companies will find that they just need to stick with simple features.
    (positive thoughts go out for my wife still in the hospital)
  • Best wishes and prayers to you and your wife!! Get well soon and merry Christmas!!
  • Only one company has been making a profit on wearables, and that is Garmin.
  • I think it just needs more time even with apples declining numbers im shocked at how many Apple watches i have seen lately in the wild. I also consider most of the latest fitness bands as smartwatches since most tell time and handle notifications and you cant go anywhere in the US without seeing one lately. So it appears wearables are slowly gaining traction.
  • My opinion. They really don't serve a benefit. I've used one for the last couple of years and really haven't seen much of a purpose in using it. Never used the text or calling capability on the stand alone devices, so that was really just throwing money down the drain for me.
  • I've been having a friendly disagreement with a friend of mine for years regarding smart watches. He teases me by asking me why I don't have one, and will jokingly characterize me as being behind with the times. I always respond by pretty much saying that smart watches, as they are, don't make sense to for me to purchase and I feel like they aren't going to take off. The main reasons being: 1. Limited Functionality: Smart watches don't really do anything that my phone can't. In fact much of what they do, my smartphone does better. My friend often says that he bought his so that he access his notifications easily. Let's be honest here, most people aren't getting enough urgent notifications to warrant buying these things. Many also don't mind grabbing their smartphone to access their notifications. Couple that the with the fact that many don't really function without being tethered to a smartphone and you're essentially trying to sell a mini-smart phone to smart phone consumers. Most people aren't going to be sold. Imagine trying to sell an energy shot to coffee enthusiasts that is only activated by the caffeine in their coffee, for the same price as their coffee. Who would be willing to spend money on that? Which brings me to my next point... 2. Pricing: With such limited functionality, the range of prices for these devices is insane especially when you consider that a significant portion of the smart phone market isn't clear on the value of a smartphone.
    It wasn't long ago that most phones were being subsidized by most carriers. Many people still aren't beyond seeing smartphones as worth only about $100 - $300.
    Just a year ago I was trying to explain to coworkers why I chose to leave AT&T Next and instead save a small amount monthly to put towards future phone. It makes all the sense in the world as I find AT&T's selection of phones limited and, although I don't tend to hold on to phones long, don't mind doing so if it means I have more options. We all work in finance, however no one could get over what I would be spending on my smartphone. Some were even talking about the being on T-mobile's jump plan and didn't have the tendency to purchase a phone yearly.
    The cheap watches aren't at the forefront of the market, the premium ones are and most people will not buy something that needs their smartphone and does exactly what their smartphone does for the price of their smartphone. And it really is that simple. In my opinion most smartphone manufacturers need to get out of the smart watch business and leave it to fitness tracker companies. In the hands of a company like Fitbit you get a product with far less noise in terms of its functionality. To the consumer, it isn't just an extension of their smartphone, it's a device that specializes in areas that their smartphone can't. Sure their smart phone has similar functions, but that's for the casuals. For the people that are serious about fitness and want the best of the best device they'll opt to buy a smart watch if it's marketed correctly.
  • I got my wife the Fitbit Alta for xmas. I was considering the gear fitness from Samsung but at 179 vs 84 was really a no brainer. Amazon just put the Samsung on sale for 129 and considered trading up, but couldn't justify it.
  • *Opt to buy a fitness tracker if it's marketed correctly.
  • I've been an early adopter of all kinds electronic gear going back to the day of the 'Pocket Wizard' devices that predated PDAs. At that time convergence was about carrying a smart device like a PDA and a separate device like a flip phone and trying to make them talk to each other - yeah, this was way before Bluetooth. Everything was serial and either a cable or IRDA based.
    Point is no matter what the current technology people are going to try to shortcut usage scenarios. It's always going to be a moving target. That said, I really want to like smartwatches but balanced against a stainless steel solar-powered diver's style watch that never needs batteries, is way more waterproof and shockproof than I am and something that I never have to think about...Nah, I'm not going to strap a fragile hi-maintenance device onto my wrist instead. Here in Wisconsin we just got a big dose of winter which means heavy jacket and gloves so even a basic watch is unusable because it's so friggin' cold one doesn't even want to open that gap between jacket and glove.
    IMO I still think smart eye-wear is the way to go - if done right. Something with the style of high-end Oakley's with built-in audio, a visual overlay that toggles between one eye display, both or none that you could easily see through or dismiss with a verbal command when desired - leaving ordinary looking eye-wear. This could offer multi-media, augmented reality, communications and data storage all in one hands-free device that is not affected by clothing choices. I think this is the holy grail of device convergence that will take us up to the next step which is implanted wetware devices and Bio-nano-tech
  • I've noticed a lot of people say daily charging. I got 3 to 4 days out of a Gear 2 Neo, typically only had it on the charger while I showered, otherwise wore it almost 24/7 for fitness/sleep tracking. Best alarm clock I've ever had too, wore it in my sleep, nothing like a vibration around your wrist for a wake up call.
  • Exactly this. With the amount of battery life on smart watches now all you have to do is set it on the charger while you shower and get ready and leave it on your wrist the rest of the time. The fact that it wakes me up the way you mentioned is a huge plus since that way the alarm doesn't have to wake up my wife. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • My wife likes vibration also when waking up!! :)
  • Too expensive
  • 9 months or so ago, I finally made the plunge and bought a smartwatch. For the first month, I used all the features cuz it was a new new gadget. Today though, while I still wear it, realistically the only thing I use it for is looking at the time (go figger). My smartwatch has been relegated to the simple classic watch category. Mainly because all the other features are redundant. Get an email notification? I wind up grabbing my phone anyway. Instant Message? Again, wind up picking up my phone anyway. I find it much simpler to let my phone provide the notifications, since that's the device I'm most likely going to use to interact with the notifications whatever the case.  
  • Bang on
  • The other big advantage of a smartwatch is you get notifications without bothering everyone around you or looking like you're not paying attention to them by looking at your phone.
  • For me smart watches were just another gadget to keep charge up and updated. No thanks. It's hard enough just keeping up with smartphone tech. I feel the same about Bluetooth headphones.
  • The only really problem with smart watches they never really filled a need. Smart watches are just tech junky item. I just see less and less people that wear watches in general. Back in the seventies eighties and nineties you could ask almost anyone what time it was and they look at their watch and tell you. Now they just pull out their smartphone and look at it. I guess I'm just a salty old fart. I'm not going to pay 200 to $500 for Smartwatch that might last ten years maybe. I'm going to date myself here but when I graduated high school 1985 my father gave me as a graduation present an Omega Seamaster watch. The watch is over 31 years old and it still works flawlessly. Good luck trying to get that longevity in a smartwatch
  • Very true. I'm from your era and the smart watch never made sense to me. A watch is for telling time. Have a watch from my dad like u for decades when smart phones came out like many people I stopped wearing my watch unless it was special occasion. Then smart watches came out that had maybe 48hr battery lives and I didn't see the point. As for checking notifications, emails and making calls on a smart watch I never saw a need to do that. All those actions are much better done on a smart phone.
  • I have an Omega Seamaster in my collection as well. Unfortunately it's usually in my watch case because all it does is tell the time while the S3 frontier (at a fraction of the price) is on my wrist about 23 hours a day because of the many added features. The S3 frontier will eventually reside in the watch case too and will be able to do the same as the Omega even after many years,,,,,,,tell the time. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • That battery in your S3 will be toast after a few years. Hardly the decades of usefulness a regular watch can provide. Sure, you can replace the battery in that Samsung....but at what cost? 100 bucks? It's 5 bucks at my local jeweler to replace the battery in my relic. Also to note, in about 4 years, that S3 will be so obsolete, it will be a miracle to be able to connect it to a smartphone because technology is changing...and changing fast.
  • I bought a Timex Indiglo as a freshman in college back in 1993 and its still going!! I own a Gear S3 now, but I got it free after using a gift card promotion at Best buy, selling my old phone, and selling my Gear Fit2 that I got free from Samsung promotion!! It's really nice to use at work as we can't use cell phones on the floor at the hospital.
  • I'd say in the short term, smart watches are dead but like Android before it, Android Wear will take the world by storm and and because the world's most popular OS just like Android is the world's greatest, popular and most advanced OS already.
  • You know you really want to say apple. Go ahead. It's ok.
  • At work my watch is my calendar, notifies and reminds through day. Off work, turn off calendar so im not bothered.i use multiple calendars so i can tune my notifications easy. Im also the guy that doesn't have to be rude and answer my phone in public places. Check the watch, ignore or reply
  • Same for me. I'm a medical doctor and so find the smart watch extremely useful.
  • Well, sales do speak of a strugling industry. Pebble died, which further supports this argument. You know, wearing a smart watch requires you understanding the product and what it can do for you. Unlike phones, watches are not intuitive. I've learned to use them and I've achieved productivity. But don't think most people have the interest or the knowledge to achieve this. So, who knows what will happen.
  • You realize I'm going to spam the crap out of your email don't you?? Lol! J/k
  • I bought my first smart just this august. For years I thought it was just a fad. Finally saw a Samsung watch that I liked the look of- namely the Gear S2 Classic. Is great for me on the job and while working out. . Will definitely get the Gear S3 Classic. Next august. 😀 . Thank God Samsung can afford to lose some money for us nerds.
  • I can't find the hermit crab's instagram account <frowny face>
  • If they are dead, it's because Android Wear killed them.
  • Another issue is longevity.... Eventually the battery goes bad and the updates stop coming or the technology gets dated. I've got watches that are at least thirty years old that still work. How long will a smart phone survive?
  • I have an original Sony smart watch about 6 years old that still works though I don't really use it anymore because I prefer my frontier. That being said I also have several mechanical watches I hardly ever wear either. That doesn't mean I won't keep buying more since I thoroughly wnjoy all my watches. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • Nothing wrong with liking watches!!
  • My biggest issue with smart watches is that the life cycle on them is way too short. If you want planned obsolescence with smartphones, fine, but not with an accessory piece that you are trying to sell a vision on.
  • Shoot, I never thought smart watches were alive in the first place.
    Considering most youth to young adults don't even bother wearing a watch,
    these things never had a chance. Had they come along in the mid to late 90's,
    it might of had a chance.
    When you carry "a watch" with you all the time, considering the price of these things,
    along with a few days at most battery life, it's no wonder they aren't selling.
  • Hell, most young adults don't even care about time itself...
  • Second article this week with a similar tone and headline. The real answer is that busy little AC editor bees don't have a use case for them, and that's fine. But many other people do. I'm not going to re-present my case since I did that in the other thread, but the lack of comprehension or learning on your part when dozens of readers have shared use cases is getting annoying.
  • +1 Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • When they get to $25.00, I'll think about it.
  • Lol, and able to buy them at your local dollar general!!
  • In general, smart watches are just too large and bulky for the average woman. That greatly reduces potential sales. Women like our techy stuff too. When the Samsung Galaxy 7 was released by Verizon they had a giveaway for a VR system or a Gear 2. I chose the Gear 2 and was looking forward to receiving it (fulfillment problems aside). I wore the watch for two days and put it away because it was too big for me and the silicone band was uncomfortable. I even ordered the Gear Classic adapters so I could try smaller leather or fabric bands. Better, but still too big and bulky. I wear a watch every day and I'll stick to my "dumb" watch. It tells me the time and is comfortable to wear. I wish I had chosen the Samsung VR system!
  • I totally agree. SmartWatches simply have not reached a level where they can have all these features built in or putting them in a watch the size necessary for a woman. Fortunately these watches are a perfect size for your average man. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • I'm a woman, and I know at least 3 other women that wear smartwatches. I've struggled with the look and size of them, but refused to let it hinder me. As I stated in a post below, I find them useful, especially at work. My daily drivers have been the original Moto 360 and the Gear S2, depending on what phone I was using. I recently had to replace the Moto 360 due to a connection issue (had the protection plan with BBY) and upgraded to the Moto 360 2nd gen 42mm rose gold model. So now I FINALLY have a watch that looks feminine. *woo hoo* I'm unsure why everything seems to be geared towards men. Roughly 30% of the people I know that wear them are women, so.... yeah.
  • My issue with every other option besides Pebble is battery life and feature creep. I don't need an app drawer, I'm never going to want to browse the web on my wrist, and even a dialer is pointless. But my week long battery life and notifications with some simple response capability? Priceless.
  • I don't get the whole battery life thing. I've had 6 different smartwatches. Gear 2 Neo, LG G Watch, Moto 360, Gear S2 3G, Asus ZenWatch 2, Moto 360 2nd gen. The only one I've ever had trouble making it thru the day with is the Gear S2. The Neo was a beast and could last me two days. It was just ugly as hell. I routinely have 30-40% left on the Motos. I LOVE smartwatches. I work retail, and it comes in super handy for a quick glance at notifications (in case it's important like the school calling about my kids, etc) without being rude to customers. I use it to set lunch timers, reminders, etc. Many of my co-workers use them, too. That said, I'm a total geek. I love tech. So it's natural for me to want one. And I will continue to buy them because I find them useful. 😎
  • At work, I get at least ten notifications an hour. I work eighteen hours. The S2 and the G Watch (only non Pebbles I've had) didn't make it to lunch.
  • I love gadgets. But smart watches have never held any interest to me because the value for dollar is crap
    If I spend 250 bucks on a smartwatch it lasts two years before it is obsolete. If I spend that much on a real watch it still be working 50 years from now. And the battery lasts a year and costs $1 to replace.
  • Where are you buying these batteries that cost a dollar?
  • My local jeweler. I get them for a buck, but 5 if they install it for me. :)
  • LOL, must be nice. Cheapest around here is $10.
  • I stated before I got my Gear S3 Frontier for free so it is a good value. I was even hesitant to make the jump to blue tooth head phones and I did and can't believe I waited so long. No wires, the sound is just as good for what I listen too and battery life is several days. Now the Frontier has lasted me two full days receiving notifications, and phone calls. I enjoy not having to pull out my phone. I play the music while cleaning up around the house and at work.
  • It did not see the light of day because it cannot replace our standard watches. Yes our watches tells time and others the date, some can even set off an alarm. And most importantly, it stays on for months and years. We are fed up by charging our phones everyday. It's become a chore. Adding another gadget to charge everyday is already a nuisance. Plus, smartphones and smartwatches generally doe the same thing. They both receive and send messages and calls track steps, control music, and both need to be charged everytime. The only thing smartwatches outsmart phones is that its more mobile. By the end of the day, smartwatches are not really practical and intelligent choice.
  • To be honest, I feel the same as you, but they do hold value to some.
  • Setting my phone down on the wireless charger is a chore? Setting my Gear S2 on the wireless charger (about every other day) is a chore? I can't think how it could be simpler. I use my smartwatch for so many things... notifications, calendar events, reading emails and texts, screening phone calls... and it even tells me the time. I don't use a lot of apps, but I do like having a calculator, tip calculator.... and I can even control my hue lights, if I wish. I am not the type of person that keeps my phone in my hand every minute, so for me it is very practical...... and I am fairly intelligent, too!
  • Actually, neither of those devices are wireless... there's still a wire involved. They're just plugless. Call me when TRUE WIRELESS becomes available.
  • That logic is dumb. Following that logic, there would never be what you consider to be wireless know, because wires deliver the electricity from power plants.
  • I believe the podcast did a disservice to Android Wear as none of you have experienced the latest version of the 2.0 Developers Preview. I understand that this is preview version, but speaking of its features only from other's reports does not properly add your own knowledge (which I respect) to the discussion. I have recently put 2.0 rev 4 on my Huawei Smartwatch and I the difference in ergonomics and flow is significant over 1.0. Please consider trying it out before commenting on just the written features. I am a gadget geek and have gravitated to new technology for many years (my disclaimer for liking new tech). After a few years with a smartwatch, I believe it does have a place in the retinue of wearable products out there (yes, even smartphones are wearables in that you carry them around, view them on an ongoing basis while mobile, stuff receivers in your ear, and respond to their notifications without missing a beat). I like not having to take my phone out for every notification, email, and call, but just glance and swipe at the screen (or push a button) to dismiss what is there. I like that I can open my garage door or arm the security in my house without plowing through phone apps. I like that I can send/replay to an SMS verbally or with a few swipes without having to reach for my phone when in public. I wish that there was an easier way to restrict the type of notifications I receive, but regex filtering and other software tricks are still too cumbersome. Battery life is a bit of a pain, but that is what you get as a new adopter. Android Wear devices have a place, but we as users need to help shape their intended purpose rather than just say "they didn't work for me."
  • What app/system allows you to open your garag door?
  • Chamberlain MyQ garage door module --> Wink Hub app (no hub required)
    Chamberlain MyQ garage door module --> Vera hub with MyQ add-in --> IFTTT Do
  • Give me a smartwatch with Google assistant and 7 day battery and I'll buy one. I really mean it.
  • Pebble couldn't even do that with an e-ink type display and no assistant or anything. That essentially means you will never own a smartwatch,
  • Fitbit Charge is the type of wearable most people seem to want. They aren't called Smartwatches but that's basically what they are. It handles phone notifications and the fitness stuff. It also has decent battery life, they are inexpensive and isn't huge. Android Wear is done. People who want a true smartwatch are probably going to buy an Apple watch or a Samsung watch.
  • It's not really a "smart" watch, but I wear the Garmin Fenix 3. My only gripe is the height of it as some dress shirts have too tight of cuffs. Otherwise, it's the perfect device for me. I swim, run and bike a lot, so that helps. It gets almost a week of battery and gives me notifications. The notifications are all I really need as I don't ever want to text or call with my watch. The other key is when I travel for work (which I do often) it automatically updates the time! I haven't heard anyone mention that yet, but that's huge when you're trying to make appointments and connections to other flights.
  • And triathletes like their gadgets!
  • Would love to see Samsung Gear S3 sales figures - they've been selling out everywhere since release
  • I agree. Totally useless devices. ...... Not! I bought a moto 360. And found it as useful and even found it replacing the need to grab my phone in some cases. Do you need one?.... absolutely not. Is it useful, even helpful? .... Absolutely.
  • I think that we're lucky that we have then at all. It's just a geek gadget... And I for one love them. But not really a big need fire the market. ... I just hope they keep coming.
  • Maybe they are dead.... However I'm going to continue using my Samsung Gear 2 Neo until it croak's. I currently work as a janitor and sometimes touching my phone just isn't an option when I'm dealing with harsh chemicals among other things. I use it in conjunction with my Bluetooth headset, I don't have to take my phone out of my pocket just to see whose calling me. Another reason I'm not quick to give up my Neo is because I use a water resistant speaker in the shower that does have the ability to accept phone calls. However that speaker can't id whose calling me. I hang that speaker and my watch on a coat hanger and hook it to a shower ring. This is a perfect solution for having access to my phone as it rests on it's wireless charger in my living room. Although it's not a feature, my watch let me know that I nearly forgot my phone. Sometimes when I'm in a hurry I'll head out the door only to wind up breaking the Bluetooth link to my phone and getting a vibration warning me that Bluetooth was disconnected. When that happens I have the opportunity to run back up to my apartment to get my phone. Also I like using my watch as a trusted device. It's nice not getting bothered by my phones security every time I want to use it. My watch might not be fancy, but it does a lot of work for me.
  • A suggestion to improve the Android Central app, maybe make the "Read All" check mark a little more responsive. Whenever I tap it, it doesn't look like anything happened and after a moment it looks like it does what it was supposed to do. At the moment, seems to lag.
  • I hope all smartwatch makers will change there mind and try to make some useful watch unless just showing notification. I think only standalone watch will last in this competition. All Bluetooth notifier watch will dead.