Why phone makers should take a break from making Android Wear smartwatches

Christmas came and went and no one I know received a smartwatch as a gift. Conversely, I saw plenty of mechanical watches sprouting up on social media — I even received one for Christmas.

Admittedly, that's not a benchmark for how smartwatches are performing, but it is a valid reminder that smartwatches have had a relatively slow year. The Apple Watch had lost some traction, and while Google was prepping the Android Wear 2.0 update, some manufacturers decided they're better off hanging out on the sidelines for a while.

2017 is supposedly the banner year for this niche product category, especially for the incredibly abundant group of Android Wear smartwatches. But as Android Central's Alex Dobie wrote in his editorial, smartwatches need a "less is more" approach, because right now there are way too many. The good news is that there are plenty of companies that have taken a pause from Android Wear for the new year, so we won't be bombarded with new designs as the platform figures itself out. Here's my plea to those manufacturers who might be considering taking their place.

Seriously, less is more

So many varieties.

There are way too many Android Wear smartwatches. Huawei has several varieties. Fossil, Michael Kors, and LG do, too. And Asus just introduced its third-generation ZenWatch. In the new year, Google will launch two more smartwatches, which will add to the already lengthy list of devices compatible with Android Wear 2.0.

This is a very good thing for Google. It means the new version of Android Wear 2.0 will have plenty of wrists to land on, which means plenty of people using Google services on the go. But more smartwatches means more confusion, and Android Wear has yet to establish its narrative among the general populace. Is it for the nerds, for the athletic, or for the fashionable? It's obviously for everyone, but how do you choose which one is for you?

Let Google handle that by letting its "Nexus" watches shine for the year. It means Google will have to handle the marketing effort, but it's doing pretty well with the Pixel thus far, and even Google Home and Daydream View. If Google can convince a manufacturer to work with it behind the scenes on its future smartwatches, like it did with HTC for the Pixel lineup, that means it can control the marketing, software updates, styles, and customer support. Having all that be a centralized experience — rather than a fragmented one — will make it easier to sell to those who may already be apprehensive about Android as a platform.

There needs to be more innovation

Responding to a message by typing the reply on a 1.4-inch screen is neither cool nor innovative. It's simply meaningless, and it does nothing to push the Wear platform forward.

I'm with The Register on this one: the "Wouldn't it be cool?" factor should not be applied to wrist wearables. Yes, it is cool to do that thing with your smartwatch, but if it's not a necessity, it shouldn't be marketed towards consumers who already lead complicated lives.

Maybe it's time to reimagine their use case.

Until Google figures out what consumers do want from their wrists, manufacturers should sit out the race. Companies like LG and Asus have done little to add to the Android Wear platform, save for encouraging you to download a proprietary app that adds "extra features." And with the demand for new smartwatches at an all-time low, maybe it's time to reimagine their use case, too.

Leave it to the fashion brands

It's not that technology companies aren't capable of great design, but they sell technology, not style. The only other technology-first manufacturer that's been relatively successfully with wearables is Apple, and that's because it's already established itself as a design company in both technology and fashion.

I know — this sounds like ridiculous pop culture vernacular, but the disparity is obvious. Just look at the way that Michael Kors advertises Android Wear compared to Asus. Michael Kors focuses on the functionality compared to Asus, which uses buzzwords around component names but fails to explain why custom widgets would be useful.

Android Wear could try existing in two parts: Google's part and fashion's part. Google could continue to working with major brands to make fashionable timepieces, while also fostering development with its "Nexus" watch program. That would ensure that as more people adopt a smartwatch from their favorite designer, it's using Android Wear, and eventually, it's name would be become synonymous with all the major fashion houses available at the department store.

Florence Ion

Florence Ion was formerly an editor and columnist at Android Central. She writes about Android-powered devices of all types and explores their usefulness in her everyday life. You can follow her on Twitter or watch her Tuesday nights on All About Android.

  • I agree with this article here, except for the bit where you say "Leave it to the fashion brands." See, smartwatches need to be DEMOCRATIZED more than made exclusive. It's hard enough to convince folk that smartwatches are nothing more than smartphones you slap on your wrist, or are exclusively used by the Best Buy Geek Squad and those who don't get up from their seat for days on end, the last thing the smartwatch concept needs is a perception of unreachability, and snobby fashion labels ARE the very definition of unreachability. Basically, we need a good $199 smartwatch from Google, than a $19999 Swarovski laden smartwatch you could only get from the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue...
  • The Michael Kors watch is $400 - which isn't cheap, but it's not that much more than the Huawei and Moto 360 were at launch either. The Fossil Q Founder is about $200, well within the middle price range for Android Wear. I'd rather see a few great watches from fashion companies that know what they're doing instead of a hundred from tech companies that can't market a fashion item.
  • I've seen both designs. I would return them in a heart beat. Ugliest things that I have ever seen.
  • "Ugliest things that I have ever seen." It's this kind of hyperbole that is too pervasive on the Internet.
  • How so? Of the various models that I have seen on the market, the ones designed by fashion designers have been the least aesthetically appealing by my own personal standards. The Fossil watches weren't too bad, but the flat tire was a no go for the price point. Were I to upgrade from my LG URBANE, which does not look half bad, the Huawei would be the only watch that would also be more of a style upgrade as well.
  • "It's this kind of hyperbole that is too pervasive on the Internet." It's this kind of hyperbole that is too pervasive on the Internet.
  • +6.74
  • As a non-smart watch wearer (have been since I was 12) I have long maintained the problem with smart watches is they have been targeting the wrong demographic. Smart watches should be pitched at people who like watches and wear them everyday first and foremost. Trying to convince tech nerds, many of whom don't wear watches ("that's what my phone is for") to put on a watch with limited functionality is poor marketing. I think the Kors marketing makes sense. Watches are fashion accessories. Watch wearers want a watch that looks good and feels good on the wrist, THEN, you can sell us on functionality. I like the new Gear S3 classic for example, not because of the features, but because of the looks. If it feels good on my wrist, I may buy one.
  • I have always worn a watch and I always will. A watch as a fashion accessory makes absolutely no sense to me. I am apparently in a very tiny minority of people who wear watches and find a smartwatch useful. There are a number of features that I find invaluable. That being said, if I have to, I will revert to a normal watch should AW die off. It will be considerably annoying, but I will deal. I will probably use my phone less as well.
  • You're not in a tiny minority. There are plenty of us that love our smartwatches.. We just don't need to be so vocal about it like the ones who don't understand them.
  • All the AW haters have not actually given them a shot. I've given 3 as gifts (to non-geeks much less) and all 3 recipients now use them daily.
  • Precisely. I stopped wearing (and buying!) fashion watches long ago. Between the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear S2 I've started wearing watches again. My grandfather clock can tell time and look nice, I want my wristwear to DO things.
  • "Smart watches should be pitched at people who like watches and wear them every day first and foremost." This is exactly why fashion brands should continue forth.
  • Not as the primary option though. I will always wear a watch, otherwise I have no idea what time it is. I have never owned a fashion watch and the AW ones that have been released so far have yet to appeal to me.
  • Agreed. My 1st watch was a Cub scout watch my parents got me when I was about 8 or 9, I'm 52 now and have worn a watch ever since. I have several watches, mostly Fossil, I had the S2 and now the S3. I want my watch to look good and be functional. I refuse to use phone as a timepiece. Even the watch faces I have downloaded must 1st tell me the time everything else is secondary, but I do love the notification functionality. Just my 2 cents.
  • Fashion labels also have a name to protect.. Something they can't do by producing a cheap smartwatch. Neither will people buy an expensive electronic watch.
  • Yeah, but someone made a pretty good point below that not everyone wears watches. A fashion brand could take over the marketing to market to the people who would actually pay the price, while Google hones in on the app development process.
  • functionality over fashion. all fashion brands will charge a premium for their name. just like hermes did with the apple watch. they added their own band and tripled the price.
  • "Until Google figures out what consumers do want from their wrists..." To my admittedly limited view point, there's only one function that a smart watch can provide - notifications. Something has happened. Do I need to pull my phone out of my pocket to deal with it? Apps for a smart watch? Why? All of that is easier to do with your phone. And again, in my admittedly limited view point, there's definitely one prevalent function in a smart watch that I have zero interest in - fitness monitoring. Without that nonsense, a "smart" watch could be much, much thinner. With much better battery life.
  • I think pebble had the right approach. Notifications and health tracking primarily. Problem was their watches were not attractive, except for the round.
  • The people who eschew fitness monitoring are exactly the people that need it most.
  • I do want fitness monitoring and I continue to search for a quality product. As much as I would love to have my smartwatch double as an accurate fitness tracker, that day has not yet come. When it does, I will gladly stop wearing a device on each wrist
  • For me I use the Microsoft band 2 for fitness as it is the best on the market at being fitness and smart watch in one. I have this on Mon to Friday as I bike and keep a track of things at work. I also have a Moto 360 for weekends and none sports days. They both work for what I need and want. That's how I get around selling a smart watch to people who ask me why do have have 2. I like to have a watch that looks nice the 360 but keeps me up to date with sports scores emails calls texts ext in a weekend and when I'm working and biking the band 2 dose all this for me to but more down the fitness and less chance of breaking it side to.
  • I have my LG URBANE 2 LTE on my right wrist as my watch and a Mio Fuse on my left for my fitness tracker. I want my fitness tracker to excel as a fitness tracker above all else.
  • (I'm recycling a previous reply because the question fits.) You can turn off notifications and use it as an electric watch with a lot of other great features if that's what you like. That's what I do. Like any fancy watch, it's an accessory. The problem most articles and arguments hit is whether it's necessary. Fancy wheels on a car aren't necessary, and neither are the vast majority of accessories. I used to wear different watches depending on the mood or where I was. I now just change watchfaces and for me that's fair enough. I can use voice to text to send a quick message while I'm driving and never have to get to my phone or take my eyes off the road or my hands off the wheel. I like being able to let my family or friends know if I'm suddenly in bad traffic, I'll be late, and not answering my phone. Pretty handy. Other apps are handy as well and some aren't different from my watches of years gone by - timer and stopwatch come to mind. I'm not into fitness monitoring but my doctor has asked me to keep an eye on my ticker - ok, heart rate monitor isn't perfect and I can do that on my phone too just as imperfectly but it's more convenient with a watch. My phone is just far more handy than my laptop and I'd hate to be without it. My watch is handier for some things and while I don't hate leaving it behind, I enjoy the extra convenience when I want it. And curtailing functions does increase battery life, sure.
  • music controls and navigation.
  • I think pebble got the basics right - always on display, one week battery life, and show basic information and notifications. I hope fitbit can build on that and add some style.
  • I thik youre right , and i got the Garmin Fenix Chronos .. always on display, 10 days battery and like a real style watch .. ok its expensive but i feel like i have a premium watch , if to expensive there is the Fenix 3
  • You are exactly right. I have the Garmin Fenix 3. Great watch that does all I need and the battery lasts a week at a time. When smartwatches are advertising 24 hour battery life as a feature that tells you the companies are missing the point. Who wants another thing to plug in every night when it doesn't add that much to your life.
  • If they would get rid of the significantly flawed stair counting feature, then they might have a future. I would never get one. The constant attempts to make smart watch fitness trackers has always been one of the worst ideas ever. Adding so many useless features to a device that it diminishes its features
  • No
  • Could you be more specific?
  • He can't. His vocabulary is limited to words only used by Dr. Seuss.
  • Lol, I thought they were taking a break because they don't sell.
  • Everyone is claiming doom and gloom for Smartwatches, but I love my S2, can't wait to get a S3. And Samsung must be selling some, or they wouldn't keep pumping them out. Plus I see a ton of people wearing a S2
  • I agree with you on this. I just bought the S3 and love it, not only for its simplicity, but for the fact that it looks like a real watch. Just because Google isn't making something well, yet, doesn't mean there is not a market for it. Don't get me wrong, I am a google fanboy, but Samsung beat them to the punch on this one. I have had this watch for less than a month, but it does everything I like and is completely easy to use...
  • Fix the OS and I might consider a Samsung watch. I have no use for Tizen
  • Fanboy alert. Tizen is better than Android Wear.
  • If you say so. I haven't used it.
  • No use for something you haven't used? Lol
  • Yeah, I am the same way with Apple. I have glimpsed it and poked at it. While the style has improved with the s3, the only feature that would be of any use to me is Samsung pay. The bezel doesn't impress me at all, more like repels.
  • Which is a huge feature. I have needed to reach for my wallet since I got my s3.
  • And I haven't since I got my S7 Edge
  • What bezel? The face is amazing and the size of most analogue watches. The "bezel" is a way of controlling.
  • Which means your opinion means nothing.
  • I see, so because I have looked over a device and found the OS lacking, but have not done an indepth look, then my opinion is worthless.
  • Basically
  • Seriously? Tizen is amazing on a watch!!! Don't think I would do a phone, but it's incredible for a supplimental device!
  • I'm glad that it works for you, but it does not work for me.
  • That's because you don't have one. Duh.
  • same here. mw zw2 is great and has hands free gestures. and the s3 was too pricey
  • If by a ton you mean 3 people then you would be correct.
  • Three tech nerds probably weigh a ton. They don't get much exercise.
  • Got mine this week. It's incredible.
  • I was using the Microsoft Band 2 for a year and that thing was fantastic. I was looking at a 360 or Huawei watch, but I am not sure what I would get over the band 2.
  • Just set my MS Band 2 down for the Gear s3. Got to say I luv it so far. Can't get wrong with the s3.
  • Leave it to the fashion brand. All they do is outsource this to a company to make and stamp a brand name to set a price. My Huawei is just as fashionable as those if not better. At least the tech companies make tech products.
  • I'm not sure if I'll be in the minority, but I like my ASUS ZW3. In my opinion, the ZW3 is by far the best-looking smartwatch I've owned (from the OG Pebble, Moto 360, and Samsung Gear S2). I also like the three button setup (with the top and bottom buttons being programmable). Sure it doesn't have a heart-rate monitor, GPS, and *maybe* NFC, but it does get the job done and it does it well. However, I also agree that "less is more" should be applied to upcoming smartwatches as well.
  • The ONLY thing that made me chose a Huawei over the ZW3 is the band. I wanted something I could replace if I didn't like it (I am not a fan of leather bands, but nylon or metal are fine). The proprietary band connections just ruined it for me. I am sure someone will eventually make lugs like they did for the OG Moto360, but I was not going to wait around. The ZW3 (in black if it was available) with a true Nato band (the one piece band that wraps around your wrist) would be my favorite smartwatch.
    I am "settling" for a Huawei in black with metal band. Settle isn't the right word, but I will use it for now.
  • I hear you. In fact, I share the same feelings with you about the proprietary band on the ZW3. Brown is not my favorite color, but the way the band feels around my wrist is a redeeming quality. However, I do look forward to being able to replace the band.
  • Smartwatches are useless... their utility is questionable as is their value. Most of them are the result of an OEM trying to stuff as many phone features into a watch as possible, when all people need is something that tells time, spits out some notifications and records their steps and heartbeat. We don't need LTE modems, speakerphones, cameras, doodle grams or keyboards. The watch industry has a better approach. Smart tech is just another complication to add to a watch to augment the watch's features... So it's a smart watch, rather than a compromised, miniaturized smart phone.
  • That may be true for you, but not for all. I'd rather a company make a do-it-all device and people can choose to use or not use whatever features they like. You say that people want a watch that tells time, spits out notifications, and counts steps and heartbeat. Many of them do those things very well now so I don't see how they are "useless" just because they can do other things that you find unnecessary..
  • Because those other things use battery life or make the UI more complicated than it needs to be
  • A basic smartwatch (like pebble) helps me assess whether to take my phone out of my pocket. I know once that happens I'm going to spend another 10 minutes fiddling with everything else on the phone. When I see a text from my wife on the watch I can frequently reply with an ok/yes/no on the watch and move along.
  • Spot on and the reason I use a pebble. Excels at what it does. Fitbit is going to kill it.
  • For you, they might be. For me, they are quite useful. AW currently has a nice selection of features that I use as frequently, if not more so than my phone.
  • not at all i use mine everyday. when im driving i can still check text messages, change music, and use my navigation. it also helps at work so i dont have to pull my phone out when im with customers.
  • Maybe no one should make Android Wear smart watches, but that doesn't make other competitors less viable. I think Samsung is doing a great job with their Gear S2 and S3 lines, for example. Much more functionality than Android Wear, better battery, better UI (the spinning bezel). That said, I don't think there's harm in making an AW smart watch as long as it is designed with the hardware needed to support the feature set of AW 2.0. I do own two Android Wear watches and have a Gear S3 on the way (backordered currently). The Gear S3 will be my daily watch. The Nixon Mission is my active watch. The ASUS ZenWatch 2 was just too hard to pass up when Amazon had them for $95 :-).
  • Aside from Samsung Pay, what functionality are you referring to?
  • Fashon brands will not push the technology forward, you need a tech company to do that. I think the Gear S3 is the best looking smartwatch yet. Unfortunately, Samsung is using tizen instead of android Wear. I'm not a fan of proprietary OS's.
  • I agree the Tizen part threw me to for a very long time but I got a Gear S3 and the best part about that watch is Tizen and that Bazel. The way you navigate around on that little screen with the bazel makes for a much different experience. I really like it.
  • Sounds like what they are trying to do with AW 2.0. I'm perfectly happy with Wear Mini Launcher.
  • Tizen is open source, just like Android.
  • so it works with all android devices?
  • It has a minimum requirement like Kitkat and above and at least 1.5 gigs of RAM iirc.
  • I have been using smartwatches for a while now. I started with the Backer Edition of the Pebble and then went to a Samsung Gear Live as soon as AW was introduced. I moved on to a Motorola 360 and I am now on an LG URBANE 2 LTE. I find them truly invaluable and helpful. Should they die off, then I would reluctantly revert back to a normal watch. I would expect that I would use my phone less frequently without one though.
  • I agree if I'm talking about Android Wear. I had the Moto 360 and I always described myself as an early adapter and told people to pass on it Smart watches because they weren't ready. I still feel like that when it comes to Android wear watches but I did something I said I would never do and got a Tizen product, The Gear s3. And I have to say the Tizen experience with that rotating bazel is a big leap ahead when it comes to the Samsung watches over Android Wear. It's faster, easier to use, and the OS is much cleaner. Biggest drawback is app selection but I haven't missed anything currently on my Moto 360 on my Gear s3. And if it were slightly cheaper I'd strongly encourage my family and friends to try one especially if their Samsung smartphone owners.
  • Exactly my experience. While I loved my 360 it had a lot of issues. So far the s3 has been pretty flawless. And Samsung pay is a total game changer.
  • i preferred my asus zen 2. since is works with all android devices and i tend to get a new phone every 6 months or so. and it was definitely cheaper at $169. and the hands free gestures are a lil better than the rotating bezel.
  • The problem with smartwatches is that the manufacturers tried to fit almost all phone functionality into them. Watches are items that you glance at, not stare at. I don't need for notifications to continuously pop up on my watch because the only time I want to look at it is when I need small bits of information. Time, weather, and a calendar reminder on the face work well, but that's about it. Continuously looking at your watch for texts' email, scores, etc just simply remove you from the world around you. If a user wants notifications then a subtle vibration would suffice to let you know that there are messages waiting for you on your phone. The only other feature I would find useful is a music player so I can leave the phone in the locker when exercising, but that's about it.
  • They already have... A Fitbit does 99% of what most people want which is to notify you of calls and texts.
  • Actually, a fitbit does closer to 45% of what I want it to.
  • But looks damned ugly...
  • I like smartwatches I've own the lg g watch pebble classic , pebble Steele. I've always like having a watch with everything on em . So for folks like me Smartwatches will sale. But China can come up with some great products that it cuts into the big boy's pocket now. Hint apple, lg, moto, etc ..
  • I agree. A lot of smartwatches are really cold looking or they have a huge face to me. Not really a fan of them at the moment. I don't really like watches that try to do too much. Less is more for me. I would like watches to be a bit more fashionable and more unisex. The Huawei Watch Jewel is nice though, I just wish that there was something less flashy.
  • I'll agree with unisex look. But, my LG Watch Urbane in Rose Gold is perfect for me with the Large Watch Face. Nothing screams confidence like a large gold watch. But, I do wish it had a bit of feminine detail. Plus, there are currently more men in the tech world buying these eventually women will catch up.
  • I got a Samsung gear s3 and it's incredible. These articles are what needs to stop.
  • While we will disagree over our models, I think that we can agree on the article points.
  • Agreed.
  • I owned 2 smartwatches in my life and my wife told me twice it was useless and a bad way to spend money. Two days ago, we were at the mall and she was hard headed on going to Michael Kors to see "their new smartwatch". "I saw it on Facebook, it's so nice". She couldn't care less that I told her it's the same program running as mine.. It's MK and it looks nice. All that to say, I agree. Let Fossil, MK, Guess and whatever other midrange pop culture brand fight over it to bring visibly to Android Wear the right way and THEN be the tech company to "invents" it for the techy person who would be ashamed to wear a MK.
  • Oh yes, those...
  • The problem with smartwatches for me is that they're trying too hard to be a phone. I mean, that's not a bad idea, but many of those implementations just fell-flat, either through clunky UIs or bad battery life. Adopt the K.I.S.S. principle first, then work on the extras.
  • Seiko 5 automatic...nice! (says the guy with 2 smartwatches relegated to a desk drawer)
  • I'm not sure why there hasn't been more companies to go the route that martian went. I own a martian notifier and I feel it does everything I would want out of a smartwatch. Plus it has the style of a good looking watch. I think it just gets silly when you are trying to do all of the functions of a phone on a watch.
  • What I use my smartwatch for is snippets of information from my phone. The fitness aspect of the watch is just an addon that is used very seldom for me.
    If it's a text that needs a long response I don't try on the watch I just get my phone and use it. Since I have an apple watch Siri is garbage for AI uses in my case.
    I really liked the style of the Samsung S2 compared to the apple watch I use now. I have small hands and wrists so the round looked better to me. I would have stayed with a round look if apple had offered it.
    But I do agree I don't need my watch to control NORAD. Just give me some basic functions that work great and not look like I have a grandfather clock on my wrist.
  • Google needs to actually make Android Wear desirable rather then trash. If it wasn't for the OEM's Wear would be nothing.
  • Honestly, if citizen or omega made a smartwatch I would probably at least consider it.
  • Ow, who am I kidding? I would buy and then look at my wallet in pain.
  • I recently bought the Samsung Gear S3 and am really with it. None of the others have appealed to me. I think Sammy got it right. The hardware is perfect for me. I just wish developers would create more apps.
  • Great! Another AC "death of the smartwatch" mime. This constant dirge is wearing thin, which AC writer hasn’t contributed yet?
    -- What smartwatch to buy? Florence suggests we “let Google handle” the decision-making for us! That can’t be a good solution, even if you really like the Pixel or Gmail.
    -- Also, what exactly is a “technology-first” company? What criteria defines that club? Is Google’s advertising and monetizing search an afterthought? Is profit or growth secondary goals behind a higher calling to find “tech”? How is Apple a “tech-first” company? Nokia might not agree these days
    -- Finally, the premise that “tech companies sell tech,” is not quite right. Tech companies sell solutions, not technology. Companies with a heavy reliance on technology succeed because they deliver solutions. Microsoft, Amazon, eBay, Google, Oracle and Cisco come to mind. Tech sector companies rise and fall based on the effectiveness and popularity of their solutions. (I haven’t bought “tech” lately; but I did get a new Smartwatch, replaced my tablet, computer and even my GoPro camera. I was not thinking of how “techy” these items were, but rather considered what I could accomplish with them.) The smartwatch is a conundrum. Looks like a mini cell phone, but it isn’t. So, Cell-phone reporters are choking on how to interpret and understand it. It's not their fault. Scores of professional Marketing, Sales, and “product-solution” experts, with years of success ensuring mega-corporations make big bucks, are also are wrestling with this same dilemma --the smart watch. Florence’s article did touch this point with the Michael Kors v. Asus marketing, and that is a better direction to examine! Rather than complain how much of a fail the smartwatch is, better to track (1) the emerging use models and (2) how they are promoted by business, and (3) how they are accepted or rejected by consumers. That clear approach is muddled right now. It would be great to read interviews and insights by the business professionals & entrepreneurs, who are getting their metaphorically fingers dirty trying to shape the smartwatches’ future.
  • Businesses don't create a "use model" for anything, nor do they "create" demand. Those are a function of the consumer, who together are the market. And the market, as manufacturers are learning, can't be created by presenting a product and marketing the life out of it. Only when the manufacturer listens to the market, and then produces the desired item, will they be successful. And judging from the small and shrinking market for the smartwatch, they tried to create demand, and failed.
  • Wow, you guys are on a roll. There are thousands of products out there that sale to a lot smaller markets. So you are petitioning companies to not supply product to a group of consumers that are into it because you don't find them necessary? How bout I petition Topp to stop making baseball cards because sales are down and I am not into them. Screw all the fans that are still into them. They annoy me. (sarcasm)
  • Remember when Android Central used to not push the Apple model where only one maker is allowed to do something? And content was informative and not click bait?
  • Pebble placed simple functions and battery life to the top of thier list. Add in electronic payments and google assistant to those and I'm sold. But then again I wear mostly mechanical watches so I probably still wouldn't buy one.
  • Smartphones (and arguably the first feature phones) replaced the primary need for wristwatches... to tell time and date... for most of us long time ago. Smartwatches, for all their features, haven't really changed this in a meaningful way for many. Until someone finds a unique feature that appeals to the masses, they will always remain a niche product. I own a Pebble Time, and do enjoy using it becuase I find the notifications features useful. But I am one of the few.
  • Ticwatch 2 just ordered and I am looking forward to evaluating a $199 watch that I also recieved a 15% discount for over Xmas. Ticwatch also have several more umarket models. If you are contemplating a Gear S3 .. I would check out Ticwatch first .... https://en.ticwear.com
  • I love my Gear S3. After owning Moto 360 1st and 2nd edition it is a much better experience.
  • I think regardless of what happens smartwatches are going to be a hard sell either way. It's either to expensive, ugly, not needed, not smart enough and the complaints go on from there.
  • Wow, you guys have it out for smart watches lately. Are you you going to have every author put their name to a different article to say you're basically down on smart watches? Most interesting to me will be when Google releases their smart watches soon. I suspect that the tone will be entirely different then. Lol.
  • Maybe Android Wear should take a break, but Tizen is on a roll! Oh, wait a minute... Android Wear IS taking a break! :-D Frontier LTE is the best of six smartwatches I've ever owned. Four were Android Wear and include the Huawei, GWatch, and both Motos, and one was the original Gear S. The Frontier puts them all to shame.
  • I don't know anyone with an Apple watch or Android watch, I do know a few people with Samsungs Tizen based watches. Samsung is the only one who makes a watch worth buying IMO, the ability to run off a mobile network and have access to calls and texts while away from your phone is huge to me. It's the only watch I can take jogging, stream music too it, track my fitness, have GPS tracking, and not miss an important call. Yes I know that makes me a niche market, but it's the only reason I see to own a smart watch, if I need to stay by my phone it offers little benefit. I admit notifications on my wrist and fitness tracking are cool, BUT EVERY SMART WATCH DOES THAT.
  • The market has possibly reached a saturation point, all of the early adopters and curious either own one or have owned and gave up. I certainly hope they continue to evolve.
  • I have owned both AW and Tizen OS watches. I think they both have there Pros and Cons. I just left my Moto 360 and bought the Frontier LTE watch.
    In my opinion, smartwatches are the same as any technology, you either accept what they can do and what the limitations are or you won't be happy.
    Also just because it can do something doesn't mean you have to use it. If I get a message on my watch and want to respond, I am not going to struggle with using the little keyboard. I would not have a lengthy conversation on my watch but love that I can answer the call on it if my hands are full or I have walked away from my phone. I have many friends that love their iPhones for its simplicity but for me IOS is way to limited so that is why I love Android. We all have or reasons why we like or dislike specific technology. I can't imagine that there will ever be a time that I don't wear a smartwatch.
  • I have owned all three iterations of LG smart watches: G Watch, G Watch R and the first Urbane. Honestly, for what they do they provide the solutions to what i want. Co Worker is late and I need to place a call? Tell my smart watch to place the call on speakerphone without bring out my phone, check. Just received a notification check smart watch. Need a one minute timer due to job, check. Answer a quick text, check. I'm out of town and need directions to nearest bus station without looking like a tourist, check. Sure, there's no killer feature but it does what I need. The smart watch like smartphone before it can or will do whatever you the user can think of it to do. If it can't do what you need then there's probably an app for that. Otherwise get coding and build your own smartwatch.
  • I have owned most of the watches in the Samsung Gear line (currently use a Gear S2 daily). I bought it because I could do SO MUCH with it. A year into it now, all I really use it for are: - Tell Date/Time
    - Make/Use custom watch faces
    - Health Tracker (Steps, Sleep, walk/bike distances and stuff)
    - Notifications (Too bad they ALL sound the same) - I use my phone to actually see/reply to the message
    - Occasionally use it for taking and making calls - Really rarely as I normally have my BT headset on Not much else. All of these games/apps like CNN? Who wants to read the news on a small screen when their phone is just a short reach away? So much useless stuff and so much more it could do with what I really want to use it for. You have to carefully balance what you want to do with your wearable because the batteries are so damn small. Until I pared it down to just what I really needed from a smartwatch to trying to utilize all of the features I could, I barely got 12 hours of battery. Now, I can get up to 72 hours on a single charge. That's better for me as sometimes I am away from being able to charge for lengthy times.
  • Isn't the fact that the Gear S3 was sold out almost every where and is still hard to find an indication that there is a huge demand for at least the Gear S3 smartwatch? It took me close to a month to get the Frontier, but it was worth the wait. It is the best watch I ever had.