State of wearable tech

 

The last time I wrote any kind of article was in 2013 when I was doing reviews for a tech blog, so here I am on my own website trying to revive my old occupation. 

Smartwatches, wearable tech, the future. This is what we've been hearing for the past 4 years or so, that wearable tech is going to take over the world, smartwatches are going to replace our classic timepieces and in the end even our beloved phones. So where is that future? It's been 4 years of bold promises, big launches and after all, empty words.

 

I'm a smartwatch geek

I'm not saying all this from your usual "wearable hater" that has never seen or used a smartwatch before. Oh no, not at all. I'm actually one of the biggest smartwatch geeks you'll ever meet. I'm that guy that bought the first Galaxy Gear in 2013 and wore it proudly everyday, sometimes taking photos and talking on it (#noregrets). Of course it was bulky, made me look like a 90's nerd and it had really limited functionality, aside from the camera, I actually enjoyed the camera. To demonstrate how much of a geek I was, I rooted my Galaxy Gear, installed full fledged android 4.3 on it used it liked a Neptune Pine type of thing (if anyone remembers that flop). But the novelty quickly faded away. After 2-3 months I used to wear it but I didn't even connect it to the phone, it's purpose was literally just being a digital watch, and sometimes I played 2048 on it and even Flappy Bird.

 

 

Switching gears

Everything changed when the new Android wear was launched, or so I thought, new hardware, new software and a promise for a better future. But what really caught my eye was the Moto 360. When I first saw it online I fell in love with it. I said hey, this is a smartwatch that looks just like a classical timepiece, it's water resistant, charges wirelessly and heck, it has the latest software straight from google, so I don't have to hack my way with it like the Gear. 

So me being me, of course I've bought one as soon as it landed in my country. It was truly amazing, I could wear it with a suit, or casually, nobody ever noticed it and it could still run 2048! Also being able to change the straps on the fly with fancy leather ones or nylon bands was a big breakthrough compared to the static galaxy gear silicone band. What I enjoyed the most about it, and I still do, is the collection of apps and watch faces. I'm a pretty picky person so I always like to have the nicest looking thing on my wrist. I had like 20 different watch faces that I used to interchange depending on time of day, occasion, mood. A dream come true really. Not so fast. Aside from the really slow update roll out, meaning I had to wait for around 3 months to get the newest software from it (this watch charges completely wirelessly so there isn't any real way to connect it to a computer and sideload custom ROMs), the battery was and still continues to be a pretty big issue for me. With it's antique Ti Omap chip inside from 2010 it doesn't really know what efficiency is, so it sips through the whole juice in less than a day. Truth be told, it was always connected to my phone and the screen was set to always on (because hey, what's good to have a watch if you need to press a button to see the time).

 

 

Back to the basics

I used to live with these issues, it's part of the course for being an early adopter after all (i'm pretty used to that and I'll talk about it more in depth in another post) but after a year and a half of wearing the Moto 360 everyday, I finally gave up and got myself a really fancy Orient watch. At first I thought it won't be as useful, or as "fun" as the Moto, but after 3 weeks of using it I'm totally out of the smartwatch game and now I can understand why everybody's doing the same thing. As for aesthetic purposes, the classic watch isn't "much" better looking than the 360 but it sure has it's timeless flair to it, also maybe most importantly, it won't go out of style in 2 years.

 

Nothing changed

The thing that makes me really said as an avid tester of new tech is the fact that the new options from LG and even Huawei aren't so good. I'm not the only saying this but, the Watch Urbane and the Huawei Watch were really amazing looking compared to their bulky and plasticky successors launched at MWC. The only real option right now in my opinion is the Gear S3 from Samsung, which I gotta admit looks really sick and works pretty well. But then again, it's not for everyone.

 

Verdict

Seems like the state of wearable tech is on an slippery slope right now and I really hope it's gonna get better. I'm not in a need for a smartwatch anymore as my classical watch does it's job perfectly, but we need competition and innovation more than ever, especially in this dying segment.

Hope you liked the article, I flexed my writing skills today after so much time and it was really refreshing, expect more of these and maybe even product reviews soon! Also you should check my Instagram page as I'm the most active there posting dope pictures daily.