It really says something when there’s no new tech news except for articles on the Apple Watch. That’s been the case for the last few days across the Internet – we’ve scoured the sites and there’s little else going on at the moment, as the entire tech press is seemingly on tenterhooks waiting to see what the Cupertino tech giant will unveil at 9AM PST today.
Are there any great smart watches?
There are already a slew of smart watches available, but despite the industry’s best efforts, it’s debatable whether there are actually and great ones. There are dozens of models available today from manufacturers like Pebble, Samsung, LG, Sony, and Huawei, each trying to stand out in a sea of mediocrity.
The first smart watches did little more than show notifications from a Bluetooth-connected smartphone, but they are steadily becoming smarter and more capable. The only problem with that is the battery life – the biggest bugbear of smart watches that use LCD-type screens, rather than the more energy sipping e-ink displays as found on the Pebble Watch.
There’s also the question of fashion. Early smart watches either looked like toys (Pebble), or had questionable build quality (and value to the wearer) – such as the Samsung Gear series, which basically look like a smartphone strapped to the wrist.
Now, companies like Sony, LG and Huawei have realised that a smart watch isn’t just a watch, but a fashion statement, and thus have started to created more appealing timepieces that look more like traditional watches. Perhaps the best example of this recently was the Huawei Watch, unveiled at Mobile World Congress last week. It’s generally been hailed as a great piece of design, but again, there may be issues over the battery life, and it’s rumoured to cost nearly $1,000, if its appearance on a German e-retailer’s website is accurate.
The elephant in the room is the Apple Watch, which was first unveiled last September, but there’s been an agonising wait for more details – importantly, the price. Are consumers willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for a smart watch that doesn’t have a clear purpose? The Apple Watch looks great, and is one of the most visually striking smart watches, but perhaps the reason to buy one will only become apparent in time (excuse the pun) as consumers discover what type of apps work well on a tiny device?
Just like the iPhone only found true success after the App Store allowed users to download all manner of novel apps, perhaps this will be the case with the Apple Watch. It still comes back to this issue with the battery life – if it needs to be charged every day, that may prove too much for some people. Waiting for the inevitable second generation Apple Watch may be a wise bet, as the battery and screen technology will continue to improve.
There’s only hours to wait until all is revealed at the Apple Watch ‘Spring Forward’ event, so stay tuned for an update tomorrow…