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Smartwatches are awesome. So why aren't they more popular?

Officially, Google isn't finished with Android Wear, and neither are the companies that build watches powered by it. But I'm pretty sure that Android Wear's time has come and gone.

Barring some major breakthrough that will fundamentally change the way we use the platform, there's not much more to be done with it. On the technical side, there is a lot of cool stuff that can happen; things like integration with other IoT gear, point-to-point networking, and things that people smarter than me will think up. But to a consumer who has a fistful of money and an itch to buy something really cool, there is not a lot more that can be put on a wrist that's not already there.

This makes me wonder — why isn't Android Wear — heck, wearables in general from all companies — more popular than it is?

Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of people love their smartwatch. Android fans, Samsung fans, Apple fans, that last Pebble fan. There are millions of people who are very happy that they bought a smartwatch, and may even buy another one. Maybe. Millions of anything is not a failure, and I'm not calling Android Wear a failure. But billions of people have a phone. Billions have a traditional computer or laptop. Billions have a TV. When we first heard companies talking about putting a tiny computer on our wrists, the group mind said that billions would buy one. Billions > millions.

New smartwatches do all the things we wanted them to do and don't suck.

It's not because they don't work, either. If you haven't checked out the latest Android Wear watch, or Samsung Gear or Apple Watch, you should. They do exactly what we all wanted them to do and do it fairly well. At least with no more bugs and technical limitation nonsense than any other tiny computing product.

I have an LG Watch Sport and it can almost replace my phone and makes a great companion product to my phone. Other brands from other companies do the same and while we always want more it's tough to say that a smartwatch doesn't do the stuff we expect a smartwatch to do. They even tell time.

The only reason I can come up with is (drum roll) ... money. Few people want to spend more than they need to, and I get the feeling that smartwatches are just too darned expensive for a whole lot of people to justify the purchase. Cheaper smartwatches exist, but they will never get much of a following because they just don't do a lot outside of notifications, and for a thing that only tells you when you have a message they are probably too expensive for a lot of people, too.

Are smartwatches too expensive, or do they just not do enough to make us want them?

This is a big nasty Catch-22 situation because if you make a product that can be a tiny phone, a fitness tracker, an authentication device, a music player, and everything else a good smartwatch can do you spend a lot of money doing it and need to charge a lot of money for it. Then when people see it on a shelf or online store they balk at the price. I don't how you go about fixing that or even if you can. Hey, I'm good at tearing gadgets apart, programming stuff and playing Skyrim. I leave economics to the professionals.

Maybe I'm wrong and it's not the price, or maybe I'm completely wrong and a gazillion people got a smartwatch as a gift last month. So I'm going to ask you — why do you think wearables didn't take off and become the new thing nobody can live without? Take a minute and let me know what you think because this is one of those things I think about when I can't sleep and would love to have a reasonable explanation for.

Until next time.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

251 Comments
  • Easy, too expensive ! 4-500 for a watch ! Your can get a full phone for that price..
  • I got my LG Sport for 199. I feel like this is a damn good price as a decent dumb-watch cost around the same. I love not having to pull my phone out to check messages, emails, etc.
  • 200$ is not bad, i got the first LG G Watch for similar price.
  • That is a good price, and thankfully smartwatch prices have been dropping. There are many to chose from around the $225 mark. But even then I think they are over priced for what they physically are.
    >Tiny batteries
    >Dinky touch screens
    >Puny storage
    >Slow microprocessors (compared to phones)
    >Stripped down OS and apps
    >Spotty, Buggy, unreliable software updates and support Compare specs of a smart phone to a comparably priced smart watch. A smart watch should not cost as much as a smart phone.
  • ....agree with all and on top of that, i would add that they do not offer best support to wireless headphones(one thing that they could be easy used for), and most of them (only Samsung's Gear supports it) there is no support for Spotify premium - off line....so basically 25$ sport "smart-band" do same as some over 200$ smartwatch.
    I think that there is not that many folk that would prefer to read messages or even something more on smartwatch instead on a bigger screen smartphone. So it is easy to loose interest for one more thing that you need to charge every night and doesn't use that much....
    So,people who bought it once....would rarely buy another one...and there is not that much folk out of "nerd herd" that is interested to invest that much money on something that they don't really need
  • My Fossil smart watch cost $137, which is a terrific price considering all the stuff it does. Compared to a Bulova or Tag Heiur watch, this is a no-brainer choice. C'mon, who would call a $137 watch expensive? I think they bombed because people probably think most smart watches cost as much as the Apple Watch, which gets the most attention in the press for doing about the same as the rest.
  • Smart functions aside, the nicer Bulovas and any Tags are in another league of watch from anything Fossil makes.
  • Not if it is a smartwatch. You can only differentiate so much with materials and precision manufacturing when your entire guts are the same Made in PRC components.
  • They only have 3yr life span with updates, puts me off buying one.
  • Exactly, which is why you can't compare to a dumb watch...a dumb watch can last for ten years. Smart watch has to short if a life span for the price
  • Three years is generous. The one smart watch I owned was dead within about 18 months, because the battery degraded. Also, despite a fair amount of care it had taken much more of a beating in that time than any of my smartphones ever did.
  • Ya, hwatch. Sept 2015 release, Dec 2017 officially not getting anymore updates to AW. HW is fine though.
  • I got my Gear S3 with LTE for $350...
  • My Gear s3 was 279. No LTE
  • I can see them being really great for people that are always on the move and traveling, it's lost its wow too me though. I owned the of pebble which I loved. Moto 360 1st gen(meh), gear s2(pretty solid) and the gear S3(amazing watch). They just don't do enough to justify a new one at this point. It has got me back to wearing a traditional watch daily if not my S3 though. I've bought 4 traditional watches since my gear s3 that I wear more often than it.
  • Don't want to have to charge them all the time/ too bulky
  • That's exactly why they haven't caught on. That's why I went with a Pebble Time. 5 days of real-world battery and waterproof. I have played with Android Wear. Everytime I have the slight urge to make an impulse buy I don't because I remember none of them last more than a day and none of them are waterproof.
  • I thought they were all waterproof. My original Apple Watch is waterproof. Been swimming, showering, and anything else with it with no problems for years.
  • I'll second that. After wearing a watch for years - and now not wearing one for years - I don't think I want to go back. It's one more thing to keep charged, and I just can't think of a killer app that I need on a watch. I've thought about buying one many times, but I haven't pulled the trigger. Not yet, anyway.
  • Agreed. I have 2 "dumb" watches with solar charging. One of them have been going for more than 10 years without any maintenance (i. e. battery replacement etc.).
  • They'll need some kind of radical advancement to overcome hardware limitations. There's only so much you can do on a tiny, wrist-mounted screen. Your smartphone will always be much more capable and it's always with you, anyway. Why struggle on a tiny screen with limited functionality when you can just pull out your phone and do it all...
  • I agree, price is the biggest issue. Also a lot fewer people wear watches than use phones. I hear a lot of "I don't like wearing a watch".
  • We have a winner. The smart watch was and is a success. It has sold millions but not billions as Jerry said but those who expected billions didn't realize that a vast amount of people didn't already wear a traditional watch. Those people don't feel like they need something on their wrist but those who already wore an analog watch saw it as a no brainer to get a smart watch (if they like tech) because even the dumbest of smart watches does more than a dumb watch. So the target audience was a fraction of a fraction of the population. Every house has a TV and every house has a PC but not every home has a person who 1. Wears a watch AND 2. Is a tech enthusiast. They may have one or the other but the odds they have one who is both is much slimmer. To sum it up, the reason they don't sell billions is because watches themselves were never a product that everyone wore. Additionally those of us who buy smart watches (I love my S3), don't see any need to be on the same upgrade cycle as we are on our phones. I don't anticipate swapping out my S3 for at least another 2-3 years (and I've already had it longer than a year) even if I upgrade my phone multiple times in that same time frame.
  • "Every house has a TV and every house has a PC" This is not true for the places that contributed to the *billions* of smartphones sold -- out there your phone is your TV and your PC and your watch.
  • You're spot on Jerry - boils down to the cost. I happily use £200 mobile phone (Moto G4 Plus). There is no chance I can justify £300 spend on the smartwatch that would do what I would like it to do. You are right - there are cheaper options but these are not good enough, so if I have a choice I rather have no smartwatch at all than cheap option that does not do what I want it to do...
  • The Moto 360 is a reasonably priced smart watch that will work great with your g4
  • Easy answer... They don't have a respectable shelf life. I've tried 3 different smartwatches. Each of them had to be retired from various problems... Dead pixels that killed half the screen (Moto devices in particular). Severely degraded batteries after only 6 months of use. And 2 generation lifecycle. Watches are typically like toothbrushes. You buy one and it should last eons. The shelf life of a smartwatch is abysmally small. And the price for a low end smartwatch is much higher than a midgrade normal watch. I've come to the conclusion that smart watches are as valuable as smart toothbrushes would be. A waste of time. Sounds cool from a tech perspective. But realistically just a redundant piece of equipment you really don't need. Leave traditional watches be.
  • This why pebble makes me sad. My 1st gen pebble,released in 2013, works fine with every modern phone (for now...) It started out with a 5-ish day better life. It still gets 4+ when I wear it (usually to protect my pebble 2). A long lasting battery means fewer charge cycles, meaning longer total life. The OG plastic body watches were under $100, steel was $150. The color ones were more expensive... Too expensive really, for the limited color quality. I kept mine in b&w modes all the time to up the contrast. Not a selling point. The pebble2 was a solid device but came too late. I have hopes that my watches will last another couple of years, before the apps are finally deprecated to uselessness.
  • I tried a Pebble but stop using it to poor design. The buttons where on the right side of it, which meant I tried to avoid using them as much as possible. I asked Pebble support why they didn't have s simple software configuration to put the control buttons on the left (upside down display, basically) and was told to "go to hell". Center mounted bottom buttons on the generous bezels would have been great too. On top of that, the first Pebble had a non-standard watch band that new jeweler I went to supported. Once the band it came with broke, I tossed it in a drawer and it hasn't moved.
  • A toothbrush should be replaced every three months.....
  • 1 - They're a bit too overpriced for what they actually can do
    2 - They're almost all horrible looking (badly designed, or with flat tires, or with huge casings etc)
    3 - Google has so fair failed to tell us WHY we would want a smartwatch instead of just a simple fitness band.
    Smartwatches aren't capable of replacing fitness bands. As such, Google (and Samsung) needs to give us good reasons why we should want to wear a smartwatch. I have one. I haven't used it in well over a year. Why? Because it was useless. Even when it came to notifications, I ended up having to pull out the phone anyway. So I don't see why I should waste nearly 400€ on something that does so little and still needs my phone constantly around.
  • I bought a Huawei Watch 2 a few weeks ago, because I needed a new watch and the prices have come down enough to bring it in range of gadget curiosity. I thought some of the fitness features might be useful when cycling, and NFC payments from my wrist sounded cool. it wasn't till I had it that I realised quite how useful it was going to be. Of course what it does is in the realm of "nice to have" rather than necessary, but there's something good going on with relative attention spans: when your phone buzzes with a notification it's hard to resist the temptation to pull it out and check, which becomes intrusive; with the watch you can tell at a glance whether it's important. But this doesn't come over if you're just reading that the watch mirrors the notifications on your phone, so I think the limited demand really is a matter of relatively high price and a perceived limited utility - in a world where many people have been using their phones instead of watches anyway. And I do think there's room for further refinement, as well as a lot of scope around improved voice input, and really we're still in the early adopter phase.
  • I can't think of a single reason why I would need one (that's "need", not "want").
  • Do you really "need" anything besides food, shelter, and clothing???
  • Probably not, but on the hierarchy of "wants" even, the smart watch is pretty low.
  • Ever since I've been able to listen to podcasts on my watch, it has become indespensible for me. I hardly use my phone anymore and only carry it for emergencies.
  • For me, as long as SmartWatches are tied to the phone via Bluetooth, I do not see any real point to them because the phone always has to be nearby so why not just use the phone? If they could piggyback off your cell signal or something - now you're talking! Could leave the phone at home or desk but still have the watch for urgent messages or calls.
  • Well many have cellular connectivity too nowadays so leaving your phone at home and still getting calls, messages and emails etc is no issue
  • You can buy watches that tie to your cell phone number. You can leave your phone at home and take calls and text people, or even use it for navigation using your data.
  • Sure, you can do all that.... for a few hours and then the abysmally tiny battery dies 😂.... For reals tho, I have owned the original LG G Watch, Moto 360 (1st Gen), and the Huawei Watch (1st Gen), and have loved them all. I really find it useful to be able to "screen" my notifications and decide if something is important or is something that can be looked at later, having media controls, weather and date in addition to just the time right on my wrist is convenient, and the most useful feature of all, (for me anyways) is the timer. I use the timer multiple times per day for my job as well in my personal time for cooking or keeping track of my kids screen time. Over the past few years of owning smartwatches, I have found they are invaluable to my lifestyle. I've also been eyeing the LG Watch Sport simply for the ability to make payments with Android Pay, though I'm kinda put off by the inability to swap wristbands. And the Huawei Watch 2 is just plain u-g-l-y. How they went from the simplistic beauty of the first gen to that aborted fetus on a wrist that they call a watch is beyond me. But to answer Jerry's question, smartwatches haven't taken off like phones have because everyone basically needs a phone in today's world, and far fewer people "need" a smartwatch. A smartphone is a "need-to-have" device, and a smartwatch is a "want-to-have" device.
  • Talk about moving the goal post!! First you said "as long as SmartWatches are tied to the phone via Bluetooth, I do not see any real point to them because the phone always has to be nearby so why not just use the phone?" then when someone tells you why you come up with something else. "Sure, you can do all that.... for a few hours and then the abysmally tiny battery dies 😂" You can easily get two days out of even the most complex watch.
  • Ha - very cool. Shows you how much I have been paying attention to these things :D
  • I use mine for fitness tracking, with the "smart" features being a bonus to me. Without the fitness stuff i don't think I'd bother
  • Same here. Just got a Garmin Vivoactive 3 for fitness purposes. Smartwatch features are a nice extra, but not the sole reason for getting one.
  • Well after paying multiple hundreds for a cell phone, most people don't want to then spend another few hundred for what's essentially an extra screen for their phone..
  • Yes, I agree with you and this is why I don't have one.
  • You've hit the nail on the head there
  • You can spend a whole lot less.
  • Smartwatches are very useful if you know what to expect going in. I think a lot of people have unrealistic expectations. I use mine to quickly look at notifications, deny phone calls coming in, send text by voice if I am driving or use it to change music I am listening to in the car, quickly check the weather, meeting request notifications. All easier than pulling out my phone.
  • ^This. Once people get past the novelty factor and thinking SmartWatches are phone replacements the more they'll enjoy them and benefit most from them. They're a phone companion and for checking notifications and maybe quick replies to those if getting your phone out is a hassle. They're really not for running apps, watching videos or playing games on.
  • I don't think a lot of people get it
  • I totally agree with you guys. I use my Gear S3 Frontier exactly like this. I hardly install any apps because I don't need them. I got my Note 8 for that. I just want to have quick interactions and then move on with what I'm doing. Also I think price is a factor with most people.
  • I expected it to be useful. Indeed, with hindsight, that was unrealistic. A smartwatch is worse at all the use cases you describe. In 90% of the cases I ended up getting my phone anyway. Besides, it's not that much easier to reach. Especially when you put your phone in a dock on your desk. But even if it's in the pocket, I didn't feel it mattered that much if I raised my arm and turned my wrist rather than raising my phone. Only thing that I actually like the watch for was "navigation notifications buzzing". So I wouldn't miss them while listening to (loud) music in the car.
  • I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I find it much easier with my watch
  • Exactly! Example: Right now my phone is charging in my bedroom while I am watching the game in the living room. I can check any notifications/emails/texts I get and respond if I want without having to get up and go to my phone. I can even answer phone calls if I wish.
  • Same here, half the time I forget where my phone actually is.
  • Great comment and I agree 100%. I don't view my S3 as a phone replacement, but as a very good companion.
  • And make or take calls while driving as well
  • Can't imagine life without one these days. I work much if the time with gloves on so being able to check incoming messages, emails and calls without having to take my gloves off and pull my Note 8 out my pocket while I'm working is a huge convenience. Especially if I'm having a conversation on WhatsApp etc. Really got my eye on the Huawei Watch 2 to replace my aging ZenWatch 2 and Sony Smartwatch 3. It looks as good as the Gears S3 but with all the benefits and functionality of AndroidWear
  • In my opinion it's because the negatives outweigh the positives for most people. They're expensive, bulky and have low capacity batteries that are relatively inconvenient to change. All that just to have a worse experience than if you just took your phone out of your pocket. They need a killer app, something that makes them worth using. I don't know what though, or I'd be rich.
  • - Too expensive
    - Battery life and needing to charge another device besides phone
    - I can do everything on my phone with a bigger screen
    - Size of the watches
    - Proprietary chargers
    - Did I mention the price!!!
  • Mostly the obsolescence factor.
  • 1- They need to be replaced every few years. That's annoying even to think about.
    2- Android 2.0 was stuck for like a year, I think this killed a lot of interest as manufacturers that helped launch Wear got disinterested. Motorola is out. Asus is out.
  • I think that retailers are a key reason. They didn't have demo units available to try, You wouldn't buy a normal $300 watch without trying it on. Why on earth would you buy a smart watch without trying it on? The retailers were not educating sales staff and not serving customers in a way to generate sales.
  • I am one of the potential customers for this market. I love tech and have no issue spending money on it. Here's why I haven't. Smartwatch makers have done a terrible job telling us why we need one. And an even worse job of telling us why it's worth $500CAD. I have a Google Pixel XL 2. It has an always on ambient display. So I always know what time it is and always know if I have messages. I have read that there is an convenience associated with not having to glance at your phone but again, is that worth $500? My next issue is I haven't been taken-a-back by any designs to date. They have huge bezels and massive metal bodies. I don't want to wear a dumbbell on my wrist. The design restrictions (fitting all that tech into such a small space) have me worried the questionable benefits of the device will be outweighed by the inconvenience of wearing this device all day every day. If watches became bezelless like new phones, and thin like new phones, I would be much more receptive to them. And perhaps this points to a bigger issue with design - why does it have to look exactly like a traditional watch? This is sort of an iterative change is unlikely to be disruptive. They took a watch and said lets make give it a screen. I guess we're all supposed to be impressed by this. Think of it this way, before cell phones we had phones. These were large, banana shaped devices. They lacked a screen and had huge buttons for dialling numbers. They had large ear and mouth pieces. When cell phones came along they first (in the beginning likely in part due to technological restrictions) exactly mimicked home phones in their design. There were bag phones and the Zack Morris phone. Neither of these sold 1B units like this article suggests new technology should. Not until big R&D was dedicated to changing what a phone that you take with you should be. Take a look at telephone and a flagship cell phone. You'll notice one thing right away -- if you didn't know what either device did you would have no idea they do the same thing. And this is how watch design should be viewed and approached. Watches have been around forever. Don't just add a screen. It's uninspired. It's insulting. And we are currently in the Zack Morris phase of what must have wearable will (eventually) look like. You'll know when wearable tech has won mainstream adoption and it will be the day you put a Timex beside a "smart watch" and have no idea they do the same the thing.
  • Maybe I'm old fashioned from wearing a regular watch for most of my life, but I prefer smart watches that look like a traditional watch.
  • A difference hasn't even really hit the market past the slim barely visable screens that we see today. Nothing is around to say you don't like compared to the original.
  • I think we can wrap it up here. Not much more need be said. 👏
  • Android and Apple watches have too little functionality for too high a price and awful battery life. That's why Garmin sports watches are popular (at least with sports-minded people). They have great functionality (including Android notifications) and great battery life (a week or more) for a reasonable price (under $200).
  • Don't forget the Tizen watches
  • My regular watch was $25 and does what a watch needs to do -- tell time. And I don't have to charge it every night.
  • I have never seen a $25 watch I would want to put on my wrist.
  • lol, you don't like those k-Mart watches?
  • Casio calculator watches, along with game watches (I had a Pac-Man watch).
  • Pricing is way too much when they are first released. Main reason
  • I have yet to be told why I should get one. In every commercial the person using one still has their phone in their hand.
  • I kinda feel like its more about redundancy. I know a few people that think smartphone pretty much do anything that they want that owning a smartwatch or even just a watch is useless. Yes, I know that smartwatch can be practical with notification, answering calls and all that but a smartphone also does that so people don't feel the need of wearing a watch to also do that even though its a tad bit more convenient. Me personally, the reason that I don't own a smartwatch and will continue to rock a traditional wristwatch is pretty damn simple, all smartwatch look very ugly.
  • There are many layers to this. Price is just one of them.
    I feel one of the real issues is there perception of a watch. A watch used to be used to tell time, decades ago. Now, watches are accessories or jewellery. Especially since you already have a cell phone that can give you the time, a watch becomes redundant. Also, a cell phone already does what a smartwatch does, so it really isn't solving a problem for society.
    So when we think of jewellery, we expect it to look good, stay is style for years and last many years.
    A smartwatch isn't jewellery, until the manufacturers can dump money changing the perception of what a watch should be, they will continue to have weak sales.
  • Gear S3 using Samsung pay's MST/NFC is the best tech ever! I don't ever have to take my phone or wallet out to pay for anything now cause it works everywhere. Can even leave my phone at home and not worry.
  • Totally agreed. It’s hard to imagine why I would switch away from mine other than the inevitable battery degradation. Even then I’ve already had it over a year and battery life is still awesome. Why do people think charging a battery on these is a pain? I always take off my watch when I jump in the shower and get ready for the day. I just drop the watch in it’s cradle that I have set up in my bathroom right before I jump in the shower and put it back on as I’m heading out for the day. That’s the only time I charge it and it’s the exact same routine I had with my analog watches.
  • I have a Pebble Time Round. I can't seem to find a worthy replacement. The choices out there all seem like huge blocky dinosaurs by comparison. Yeah, even the vaunted Apple watch is a big black hunk of ugly. I'm a lady with a small wrist. The 14mm band PTR was so perfectly sized with just the right amount of smarts - notifications, fitness stuff, tons of watch faces, and the ability to send and receive texts. I really wanted Fitbit to keep up the Pebble goodness when they bought them out. Instead, they came out with a watch that has a lot of great capabilities but has Extra Ugly. So I wait.... Maybe next year someone will replace my PTR with something worthy of my money.
  • Wife loves the PTR I got for her, great battery life, looks great and not like a computer strapped to her wrist.
  • This! I ended up buying a couple extra PTRs when the buyout happened. I am going to keep those puppies going as long as I can. It's the only acceptable smartwatch for Android. (Though the LG Style is almost there - the battery life is truly abysmal, though, for how big it is.)
  • I have a normal pebble time that I've had for about 3 weeks So I was one of those people. When smartwatches became a thing, I found them to be unnecessary and a water. One the past few months I finally decided I want to try one. So my girl told me if I could find one under $150 she'd get me one for Xmas (she was 9 months pregnant at the time so we're being smart with money, just had our baby boy on January 4th😁) and I chose the pebble time which seemed to be the best under $150. And I gotta say, I LOVE IT. wearing it right now. And everything still works after New year's lol. No pebble shutdown, no work arounds needed. The convenience of replying to texts alone is almost worth it. Checking and dismissing notifications, fitness tracking, remote phone control, music control, navigation. I love this thing
  • Price?
    How can that be? The are many many people wearing watches (not smart) that are way was more expensive then any of those smartwatches. So the question is more why are people buying tag heur, rolex and you name them but not a Samsung or any other..
    Is it just the unknown or are they just have a to little time span? What if the real watch brands would jump in? Not only the real expensive ones but also the more cheaper? So they are not sold as a smartwatch, but as a cool accessory.. By the way, bulky? Have any of you seen real watches that people like to show off with? Those can be huge..
  • I think you're underestimating the number of people who simply don't want to wear a watch or anything else on their wrist.
  • This right here. I love my S3 Frontuer and couldn’t live without it but the truth is the vast majority of people are not wrist watch users period. Analog or digital or smart.
  • A Rolex should last you 10 or 20 years, or even a lifetime - at which point you or your heirs will be able to sell it for what you paid for it. If it gets damaged you can have it repaired. Throughout its long life it can be serviced. A smart watch will be replaced with a better version within a year. It might last a couple of years after which the manufacturer won't be able to repair it. If you have treated it very carefully, it might be worth a tenth of what you paid for it. The first generations of smart watch should never have been sold as consumer items, because they were technologically obsolete after a year.
  • I have a Tag and an Omega but your argument doesn’t hold water because if I was of the means to only be able to buy a smart watch I could buy a new one at $300 every 3 years for the next 50 years ($5000) and still spend less than I would on one Rolex, Omega, etc. Fortunately I can have my nice analog watches AND a new smart watch every 2-3 years but if I could only choose one or the other I’m not so certain I’d go the analog route as I get much more use from my smart watches, both in the amount of time they are on my wrist and the amount of utility they give me while on my wrist.
  • For me, a smartwatch is redundant. It can't replace my phone to the point where I can leave the phone at home for a day, so I have to take the phone with me anyway. And for someone on-call, I've been in situations where I've not charged for two days, and on the third day I've had a five HOUR conference call while in OR. The phone pulled it off, but I'm not sure a smartwatch exists that could have done the same.
  • What smart phone is this that gives you 2+ days of use with a 4 hour call at the end on one charge?
  • They were never meant to replace your phone and it's just stupid to even say such a thing. A watch is simply an accessory, nothing more and nothing less. I like being able to know when my phone is ringing or when I get a message when out and about and can't hear it in my pocket or feel it vibrating when I'm walking or on the subway. Not worried about missed calls and messages from my family makes it a must have for me. For you, some kid looking for a new toy--a smartwatch doesn't impress you.
  • Price vs looks is a factor for me as well. Take the Apple watch... That is the ugliest thing ever made. For 350 dollars I can purchase a decent watch that will look good almost forever if I take care of it. Smartwaches on the other hand can last a year maybe? Technology isn't there yet performance wise. Huawei and LG have made some watches that look good, and that's only because they look like nice regular watches. None of this Apple nonsense where they try to tell you what looks good. Did I mention how ugly the Apple watch is?
  • I have one - admittedly it's over a year old and it sits on my dresser.
    -
    Poor battery life - really bad
    Apps have limited functionality
    Price
    Small screen for older people to look at additional information
    +
    Custom watch faces are cool
    Fitness tracker is a plus Screening texts and calls would be nice - mine didn't have a good visual way to show or to do that... Sound - alerts or notifications - that's about it...
  • Stop buying Android ones and buy a Tizen one
  • My view of smartwatches: GNDN. Goes nowhere, does nothing. There is nothing that a smartwatch can do for me that my phone cant't do, and my phone is always nearby. A dedicated fitness tracker is farm cheaper, smaller, more comfortable (I don't even wear a dumb watch) and many can even give you notifications if you must have them.
  • There is nothing a smart watch can do for you because you weren’t an analog watch wearer to begin with. Smart watches will go on the wrists of people who were previously analog watch wearers, the hurdle to get someone who didn’t wear an analog watch to now strap something on their wrists is nearly insurmountable.
  • 1) I have ZERO interest in wearing a watch (or anything else) on my wrist because I hate how it feels.
    2) They do nothing that my phone can't do.
    3) The expense to utility ratio is far too high.
  • 4) I don't want to have to worry about keeping yet another device charged, particularly one that gives me no significant benefit.
  • Then you are clearly not the target demography for this tech. Quite simple really
  • Yes, obviously. That was kinda my point. And so are the vast majority of people, judging by sales figures.
  • Yes it is obvious and something I fail to see why most don’t see. The smart watch is for people used to wearing watches. It is not for every man woman and child like a phone is. Yet they will be highly successful as more and more analog watch companies are making smart watch options. That is their business and their future. Watches in general are niche products so there is no reason to believe adding smarts to them will make them a mass market product. I love my Gear S3 but don’t believe most will.
  • So this isn't even geared toward you from the start
  • For me, It's the size. I am a short person, which means I have short arms and limited real estate for watches. I also have carpal tunnel, so if I wear anything too heavy or too wide on my wrist parts of my hand go numb. I have returned two smartwatches for that reason. Now I wear a Gear Fit 2. It doesn't do nearly everything I want, but husband got it free with a phone upgrade, and it's narrow enough it seldom aggravates my carpal tunnel by weighing on my wrist and bumping my hand when I type. I feel like women are a huge potential market for smartwatches, but they are so consistently made in a size too big for many women's wrists that a lot of us have given up. It's not enough to make it shiny and pink. It has to fit comfortably, and do all the stuff. I mean, right now what would fit me best is a Fitbit, and I don't want that. I don't care about fitness tracking. I want a smartwatch that makes NFC payments and holds store cards and runs the key fob app for my car. And fits.
  • I don't need to be able to answer my watch. My Gearfit Pro 2 does everything I need it to do.
    It shows me my email, my FB posts, my texts, tells me if I have phone calls.
  • My Gear S3 does all that and I can makes calls from it. It's BT.
  • Simple....PRICE & battery life
    Since you would think the majority of people that would buy one, would be the "eighteen to thirty four" crowd, you know, the ones that the demographic people are always saying the ones that buy stuff all the time, are the same ones that grew up with a smartphone. They've pretty much carried a "watch" with them, since they were small kids playing with mom & dads phone. I don't see a lot of youth wearing watches these days, because they carry a watch with them.
    I'm an "old fart"...almost 60. I've worn a watch since the 70's and it feels odd to NOT wear one. But, I won't throw away THAT much money for a watch that has to be charged daily. My cheap casio illuminator watch battery will last for YEARS. Time, day date and time in 3 other places on the dial. For everything else, I carry my phone with me.
  • I'm an old fart and I love my Gear S3. It will last for at least 3 years. I would be embarrassed as a professional to wear a Casio myself
  • I love my Samsung Gear S2. I have been using them for a couple years. Had a Gear S previously. I stay one generation behind and buy them used off eBay. 5 bucks a month on the Verizon bill to have a backup phone, mobile payment, way to check notifications while driving and while in meetings. Usually lasts all day, not always but most the time. When the time is right I will upgrade to a Verizon Gear S3.
  • Spotty software updates, support and reliability (thats been my experience with android wear). Overall too expensive for what they do. What they can do, cant be done for the duration of the day, without sacrificing battery run time. In order to make it through the day, you have to turn off most of the features. Im happy with my moto360, but AW updates have been an awful experience. So i openly discourage android wear to anyone willing to inquire. People are already spending 300-1100 on a phone. $150-1000 more for a watch device you need to throw away when the battery life terminates after 1.5-2 years. Smart watches shouldnt cost more than $100, since technically theyre nothing more than entry level smart phones... With puny batteries, tiny screens, puny memory, and slow (relatively speaking) microprocessors.
  • Then stay away from Android Wear
  • Great question! In my opinion there are four primary reasons that smartwatches havent taken off: 1) battery life. People don't mind charging their phones each day but they dont want to do that for a watch.
    2) screen size. While watches like the LG Sport, Gear S3 LTE, and i series 3 LTE can do many key tasks remotely - trying to read and communicate in the small screen is cumbersome.
    3) not enough advantages over OR differentiating features from a smartphone. Most of us have pokets, so we'd just assume take our phones and why wear a watch that's redundant.
    4) lack of standalone applications. Too few apps and many of the existing ones still rely on the phone connection. The marketing for these products has been all over the board, creating an identity crisis for smart watches. Dont get me wrong, I love my LG Urbane 2nd Edition using Tmobile for service. I do leave the phone behind at times when I want to get away from the tec for a bit or go for a run. I hope Android Wear continues to develop and improve!
  • I love my Gear Fit2 however there's barely any apps available. The battery is just okay, very mediocre. The sleep tracking is probably the most advanced and useful feature, heart rate doesn't work well. Nobody is pushing to improve smart watches, it's pretty much the same as it was.
  • 3) They're too expensive for their stated purpose.
    2) Battery life compared to a regular watch (unfair but true)
    1) People don't even wear real watches anymore, much less an expensive, high maintenance, unsupported SmartWatch. I say this as an owner of 36 "regular" watches and 4 SmartWatches. I love them, but my friends and co-workers under 25 don't even wear a watch!
  • #1 x 1,000,000 My watch box houses about as many as yours does BTW.
  • This is simple:
    Pro:
    - at gym: workout, interval, rest timer, music on your wrist - awesome
    - shopping: grocery list on your wrist
    - variety: watchmaker allows a new, beautiful watch face every day if you want
    Con:
    - pricey: above $300 CAN for the above? That's a stretch...
    - wear 2.0 : why are you crappier in every way other than a keyboard for everything? Slower? Yep. Buggier? Yep. Wtf
    - most models don't play well in water Things people should stop crying about:
    - charging every day - you charge your phone don't you? Figure it out...
    - bulky - have you seen men's watches lately? They are bigger and heavier, hit the gym wussy How to fix it:
    - nothing above $300
    - can wear in ocean swimming
    - replace battery
    - fix your software, seriously.......
  • Most people probably wouldn't mind charging every day, IF they were able to use the GPS, wifi, and LTE radios throughout that day.
    The only way to make it the day is by turning off most of the smart features the manufacturers boast about.
  • Or by using a Gear S3 Frontier
  • Not true... the Samsung Gear watches will not make it a day if you are out of cell tower range. The LTE radio uses a lot of battery pinging for towers. if you are within cell tower coverage, and take measures to limit some of the other battery consuming functions you should be able to make it 1.2 - 2 days.
  • My smartphone won’t make it a day either if I’m out of cell tower range. If I was ever in that circumstance, which I never am, I’d turn off the cell radio on both my watch and my phone.
  • Neither will your phone. Your point?
  • Point being that it would be unreasonable to have that expectation of a smart watch if it isn’t even possible on a smart phone.
  • I think Smart-Watches need to be more voice-focused (think Echo Spot or Echo Show on wrist) and less UI focused. More Alexa and Google Assistant dependent and less scrolling through menus. That would help a lot. Smart-watch apps themselves need to be more like Alexa Skills. Sure the time should be on the watch display home screen, but most features should be voice accessible with Echo Show-like minimized/streamlined results with very few settings to navigate through.
  • I think it's bad timing you can only squeeze so much juice outta a lemon....smart phones them self's jumped up 200$ this year alone it's hard to find the money to buy a 300$ watch when you already spent 200$ that you didn't plan on spending give it a year or two and more ppl will get one I don't think wearables were ever gonna be devices that everyone owns it's not something EVERYONE needs or wants ...I still wear a watch so in time I will get one I just don't have the funds to justify spending it on something that doesn't fill a NEED it's 100% a well thatd be cool to have kinda thing
  • ---The only reason I can come up with is (drum roll) ... money. That's one reason. Others, coming from someone who works in tech and has a phone, an 8" tablet, a desktop, server, dedicated HTPC and touch screen laptop in the house:
    * They're ugly. The black screen is unattractive. They're often very industrial. Sma