Poll: do you think smartwatches should be upgraded every year?

Poll: do you think smartwatches should be upgraded every year?
Smartwatches, albeit not an entirely new concept, are still having a hard time finding their place on the market. While they started off as the geek's accessory, looking like small plastic bricks that you wouldn't want to be caught wearing, manufacturers quickly changed gears and decided to sell them as lifestyle accessories and fashion statements. Gold-plated smartwatches that cost more than a second-hand car became reality, and the refresh cycles of the gadgets became a bit confused.

As a contrast, smartphones have worked great at their current 12-month generation cycles. The balance between the current pace of tech evolution and a flagship's price of $650-ish makes the annual refreshes a reasonable thing — you can most certainly be sure that your top-class smartphone will serve you well for 2, 3, or maybe more years, but if you want to always have the bleeding edge of technology in your pocket, you can still upgrade every year at a fairly acceptable cost (considering you sell the 1 year-old device).

With smartwatches, however, the situation is a bit different. Ever since manufacturers chose to sell them as luxury accessories, it became obvious that trying to go for an annual refresh cycle would quickly net them not only losses, but the rage of top-paying customers. After all — imagine buying an Apple Watch Edition for $17,000, and then have it be rendered “yesterday's news” just 12 months after, when the Apple Watch Edition 2 comes out.

So, despite the fact that the Watch is 15 months old by now, Apple is still keeping mum about any sort of hardware update. Instead, Cupertinians worked hard on the watchOS, in order to make the gadget more useful, and introduced more watchbands for customization purposes. Samsung, too, markets its Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic as stylish accessories that also happen to track physical activities, and to vibrate when you receive a text. It, too, has been busy outing new bands, improving the software, and has also introduced two new finishes for the Gear S2 Classic – Platinum and Rose Gold. With September approaching, however, we still can't know whether Samsung intends to out a Gear S3 quickly, or if it plans to slow it down a bit, take its time with the new product, while polishing the old one to perfection.

On that note — what would you prefer, when it comest to smartwatches? Keep an annual refresh cycle, so we constantly see a feed of new wrist-wearable tech, or slow it down a bit and focus on the software, only upgrading when the capabilities of the old generation have been fully squeezed out?

Which would you prefer: upgrade smartwatch models every year or move update cycle to 2+ years?

Annual refresh cycle, please, I need my tech as bleeding edge as possible
21.26%
Once every couple of years is fine — it's more of an accessory that we should enjoy for longer
54.92%
I still don't care about smartwatches
23.82%

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18 Comments

2. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Smartwatches are not phones. I can see the first generation getting updated in a year, but after that, it should be every two years at the earliest. Because these things are not an neccessity and usage is minimal, people are not going to upgrade that often.

11. sgodsell

Posts: 7383; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Then Apple is late with their new updated smart watch. Maybe they are stuck with too much stock. Anyhow since smart watches have electronic components and become outdated. Not to mention batteries die and need to be replaced. Then the prices should reflect this. Instead OEMs like Apple are putting a sugar coating of materials around an accessory. It still doesn't change the fact that these are electronic accessories. If some idiot wants to pay $800 for a smart watch accessory, then they deserve to be fleeced.

21. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Well if they can pay as much for a 16 gb phone why not milk them more :)

25. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I will never pay more than $200 for a smart watch. It's an electronic with small battery life expectancy is 13 to 20 months. I do enjoy the convenience of smart watch that why I always wear one.

4. DFranch

Posts: 548; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

For now, yes. Currently, I think smartwatches still have issues which need fixing. Battery life isn't nearly good enough, and they are still kinda ugly. The couple I've seen in person (huawei watch, samsung gear s2) were way too thick, and don't look like a real watch. Once they can last say 2 days with the screen always on. Then they can update less frequently, for now they need to keep updating cause they are not good enough.

14. Feanor

Posts: 1367; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

I have a TAG Heuer Connected and it's far from ugly. It's actually gorgeous rivaling expensive analogue timepieces in design. After four smartwatches I must say the only smartwatch worth owning.

17. mrmessma

Posts: 271; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

At $1500, I hope so.

22. Feanor

Posts: 1367; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

It's more like having a traditional high end watch which happens to be a bit cleverer. Which is why it is successful product. Other smartwatches come across as mainly gadgets and therefore the limited usability issue is obvious. The Connected is primarily a product that you buy fist as a watch and therefore the fact that it shares the same limited functionality with other smartwatches is less of a matter.

23. greyarea

Posts: 267; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

"After four smartwatches I must say the only smartwatch worth owning." Bit of a douchey thing to say.

6. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Hell no! For what? The new model isn't gonna do much that the last one didn't. Case in point. The Samsung Gear S vs Gear S2. What new features did th new model get over the other? It got a new shape and a rotary dial. They both have the same wifi, same BT, same UV, same heart rate monitor, same cellular capabilities and the same low amount of apps that are mostly watch faces. if the new model can't bring new stuff to the table, just keep making the one model until something new actually arrives. They are all a waste of money anyways. I have both the S/S2 and I have no plans to ever buy another. I will use these until they completely die.

10. KyleRiemen

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 29, 2014

Just because it gets updated every year, it does not mean you have to buy annually a new smartwatch.

18. mrmessma

Posts: 271; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

I figured as with phones, when my phone no longer does what I need it to do, or a new feature comes out that I just "can't" live without then I'll consider upgrading, if that's 2 years or 5 years, then good.

15. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1260; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Option C

16. kefalin

Posts: 292; Member since: Feb 08, 2015

Well,i plan to upgrade everz 2-3 years,depends on tech used and of course SW support. But now im happy with my GWR

24. sajalb

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 28, 2016

WaterProof + Battery Solve these two to get our money

26. tokuzumi

Posts: 1907; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

smart watches are still in the "not quite ready for primetime" phase.

27. Tariq123

Posts: 186; Member since: May 15, 2016

Battery issue is killing me on the moto 360

28. tyer205

Posts: 41; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

I use smart watch rarely

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