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Other The Smartwatch Thread

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Parge, 6 Sep 2013.

  1. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Is anyone else interested in these?

    I personally can’t wait for someone to bring out a genuinely good product, I just don't think we are quite there yet.

    We already have Sonys Smartwatch, which was ugly, with a pretty horrible UI (I have one).

    We also have the Pebble. Does anybody have one of these, what do you think of it? I like the E-Ink screen (I think that is the right way to go with these til battery life/CPU power catches up with the tiny space requirements of a watch. Also, the battery life is rated for 7 days. Even if it only does 5, I’d be happy with that.

    Next month, Sony launches the newest version of its Smartwatch, which will be paired with its new flagship Z1 (but is actually compatible with most Android devices) and appears to have gone down a similar road to the pebble, focusing on battery life rather than functionality.

    Samsungs new ‘Gear’ Watch takes a different road and has a better screen, a 1Ghz CPU, Mics, 4GB of storage and in my opinion, much better aesthetics. However, one days battery life is simply not enough for me (and we all know that probably means 12 hours).

    I've posted the known specs below for you all to compare.

    SONY SMARTWATCH SPECS
    1.6-inch, 220×176 display
    Aluminum body
    Micro USB charging
    Compatible with most Android phones
    NFC and Bluetooth 3.0 for connectivity
    3 to 4 days battery under normal use
    €199 ($262 U.S), Ships in late September
    No camera, mic or speakers

    SAMSUNG GALAXY GEAR SPECS
    1.63-inch, 320×320 display
    Stainless steel body
    Snap-on, proprietary USB 3.0 charger
    800MHz Exynos single-core processor
    Bluetooth 4.0 LE
    Compatible with new Galaxy devices, previous gen Galaxy support coming soon
    Around 1 day of use
    4GB of onboard storage
    $299


    For me, the perfect smartwatch would have:

    • Nice aesthetics (lets face it, a watch is often part of your 'style')
    • Good battery life (5 days or more, )
    • E-ink screen to acheive the above (don't need fancy graphics or colours, just good enough to read text messages etc in the sunlight)
    • Good application support (so whatsapp messages etc show up as well as SMSs and I can control my music player)
    • A mic, so I can use it for calls (and look like an FBI agent)
    • Physical buttons (because touchscreens on small devices suck balls)

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Picky88

    Picky88 New Member

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    I think it would be a tricky market as a wristwatch is a bit like clothes, people are much more fussy about style/colour etc. Also I dont see what I need it for? What is a "smart watch" really supposed to give me?
     
  3. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    Don't want one and won't buy one, charging your watch every day is not my idea of useful. Smart watches are good for bike people for the GPS stuff or runners.

    Your gonna look like nerd city talking to your watch or trying to text on a 1 inch screen. Watches are a style / Fashion item as well as a time piece for most people.

    Just can not see this taking off.

    There's also the fact that for the qouted prices you can buy designer brand watches that are quality built and not plastic crap for less cash.
     
  4. Picky88

    Picky88 New Member

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    If some of the designer brands made a bluetooth enabled version, with a very simple "you have a new email" type thing, I think that would be popular. But as rollo has said, I dont think battery technology is good enough yet.
     
  5. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Access to messages and being able to skip track/turn vol up and down etc without taking my phone out of my pocket would be a massive boon on the commute to me. Not only that but it'd be cool be able to do that and make calls etc while my phone is in its charging dock and I'm say, sat across the room at my computer.

    Yeah, so again, like you, I don't want to have to charge my watch everyday either, which is why I prefer the route that Sony is taking (though they need to address the aesthetics etc before I'll buy one).

    I also agree they are perfect for runners, but the reason you are saying that is because you can already imagine that usage scenario because it already exists.

    I'm surprised that you say you can't see them taking off - despite the fact that this was THE biggest funded kickstarter of all time, and 3 (probably more) of the biggest smartphone/tech manufacturers in the world (Samsung, Sony, Apple) are focusing serious cash on developing this product line. In fact, I'd go out on a limb and say you are just plain wrong if you don't think that these won't take off.

    None of the devices on the market today are designed for texting - so not sure where you got the idea that they would be.

    The 'designer brand' watches you talk about aren't really comparable. All they do is tell the time and are 95% fashion/money statement - no one that has a 'designer watch' doesn't have another way of telling the time. I have zero interest in that as I'm not really a fashion conscious kind of guy, but I'm certainly interested in a smart watch.
     
  6. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    Blue tooth headsets Sony sell will do that for you.

    Like the idea of a smart watch but they are too clunky at the moment, might pick one up to tinker.
     
  7. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Can't read my messages though can I, only do calls and you have to have a thing clipped to your ear making you look like you want to be an Asda security guard.
     
  8. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Personally don't like them, nor the idea of them really.

    As others have said, probably going to have to be comically big/bulky to be 'useful' (be able to read a text at a glance rather than sitting there staring at your watch for example)

    Also I laughed when you made the comment about how it looks, I think the watch will be just as bad :p
     
  9. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to know the target market personally. As most people I know have said it might be a great toy but your not gonna wear it on a night out. And if your paying $300 or £300 as the case will likely be it would have to always have a use.

    If it also requires a constant Bluetooth connection for phone / SMS that's gonna hit your battery pretty hard. The battery tech is just not there anyone who has used there phone for more than the odd text or call will tell you that.

    Look at your smartphone 60-70% of that is for battery alone. The rest of the bits and bobs fit in a tiny portion of the available space.

    Also if 1 day = 6-8 hrs then its not useful period.
     
  10. davefelcher

    davefelcher New Member

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    Saw my friend's Pebble at the weekend. I was sceptical before I saw it but I was quite impressed. I thought it looked quite nice too.
    He said the battery lasted about a week which is long enough to be useful.
    The ability to see who is calling or read a text without getting your phone out is good. I often miss texts when my phone is in my pocket so a vibrating watch would be useful.
    As mentioned above, the sports tracker apps would be cool. Running with one of those armband things is all well and good but it's impossible to see your phone.
    It even had an app that displayed the time in the form of a picture :)
    I'm not sure it's £100+ useful but if someone bought me one I certainly wouldn't complain.
     
  11. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    As you stated changing tracks etc, I was assuming something was in your ear so something like this might do you, you can read texts, do calls etc. just looks like you are using normal headphones, gives you decent range so phone can sit in dock, I do similar at work, it works a treat, though I have no need to read messages, so personally I use the over ear headset BTN200s which have no screen but with 40 hour battery life, means I can listen to music all day and not miss a call etc. when phone is in charging dock. SBH52 might be up your street though.

    http://www.sonymobile.com/gb/products/accessories/smart-bluetooth-handset-sbh52/
     
    Last edited: 6 Sep 2013
  12. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    I actually already have one of those too! It was great.....til it broke after a few months of using it. Now just refuses to connect to my phone.
     
  13. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    It launched this month with the Xperia Ultra :confused: or at least I though it did, but fair enough, straying off topic, thought it might have done some of what you were looking for.

    I think the smartwatch is only going to fly when they can thin it out, perhaps curve it a bit (flexible ideally )so you could have a larger more useful screen but not look like you have strapped a tablet to your arm. I guess which ever way you cut it, it's never going to look amazing.

    I reckon it'd need to be more of a cuff to give you a use workable wearable machine.
     
  14. j_jay4

    j_jay4 Member

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    I've seen the adverts for a free Smartwatch 2 with preorders for Sony xperia z1. I am definitely getting this. I think most people that say they won't catch on haven't seen/got one/imagined how'd they'd use it. I think it's one of those things where once you have it, it makes sense. Most people said tablets weren't useful, "why would i need one when i've got a phone for casual web browsing and email and a laptop for more productive things" And they have a huge market now.

    I'm not sure I'd pay hundreds of pounds just to get one. But if it comes free with the phone, I am in!

    Just a pity there isn't one that supports windows phone
     
  15. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    Depending on the Smart Bracelet thing [they're not a watch imo], it may be possible to support WP, it would depend on how easy it is to get WP [via an app] to send data to the watch in a form it recognises...
     
  16. meandmymouth

    meandmymouth Well-Known Member

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    I do like the Nike Fuel Band and similar products, but a smartwatch just doesn't do it for me. I already have to charge my phone everyday and my tablet most days so putting another gadget on charge everyday will just annoy me.
    I just can't imagine a smartwatch being practical and for $300 I could have a very nice watch that will last many years. I really don't get what all the fuss is about and I can't see them being successful. Maybe I would change my tune if I got to play with one like the Pebble which has generally got good reviews, but as for the Galaxy Gear, no thanks.
     
  17. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Just picked up a Pebble in the Amazon Black Friday deals. Anyone got one? What are they like? Worth £75??
     
  18. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Swinging the banhammer Super Moderator

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    I was tempted by that I have to admit but I decided to give it a miss. I really want a LG G Watch R but haven't got the disposable pennies at the moment... I'd be interested to hear what you think of the pebble however :thumb:
     
  19. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    I'd like that, but I think E ink is the way forward. I don't need colour or fancy graphics - I need decent (week long) battery life and functionality. The Pebble does that. I'd have preferred the new steel version, but for £75, I thought I'd take a punt and see what it was like.

    Version 2.0 of the software was recently released, so hopefully now its matured, it'll be stable and have a decent amount of app support.
     
  20. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    I've got Pebble steel black a few months ago. It looks nice but not as nice as my Omega branded wedding gift. :p

    I use it for current weather (mainly temperature outside), Pebblets watchapp (calender, timer, stopwatch, weather forecast, RSS feed), Endomondo run tracker (just a display for phone app), Misfit step tracker (this tracks and syncs with iphone's health app), UK transport watchapp (look up bus/tube/train from your wrist).

    The pebble's display is simply awesome. I've got backlight set as auto but not motion controlled, as it's simply not needed. Most other LCD watch require you to shake your wrist, pebble constantly shows without doing any fancy movement.

    At the moment, there are LOADS of watchapps and watchfaces. It's at firmware 2.8 and everything is very well supported. You can even customise your firmware at pebblebits.com, I just use it to remove the default 3 watchfaces.
     

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