What makes a great smartwatch?

What makes a great smartwatch?
The wearable computing revolution is coming. We have been hearing this for years now, but with smartwatches like the Pebble and heads-up displays like Glass it finally seems like the revolution is starting to dawn. We have now heard it from multiple sources that Google might be preparing its first smartwatch to launch as early as this year, and Apple has allegedly assembled an all-star team to work on a watch with fitness tracking functions that might be ready in 2014. We really are on the verge of this wearables revolution.

However, we have also seen countless failed attempts. The Samsung Galaxy Gear was met with lukewarm reviews and disappointed many people waiting for a breakthrough smartwatch.

With all this in mind, we decided to brainstorm this smartwatch uprise with you and ask meditate upon what makes a great smartwatch. We are trying to imagine a device that would not just throw a phone operating system on a small screen attached to your wrist, we are trying to think of what will make it a whole new category.

So what is it? One-week battery life or an amazing screen? Or does it take a future technology like flexible screens to have it? And what would you use it for? Take a look at our requirements for the great smartwatch of the near future and chime in with yours in the comments right below.

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17 Comments

1. tadaa

Posts: 267; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

smartwatch can do that except 2, 4, 7, 9. dunno about galaxy gear haven't played with it yet

2. SlimSoulja86

Posts: 660; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Someone is a fan of Pebble I see

3. improv

Posts: 96; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

I don't need a fitness tracker or a notification panel on a smart watch but I wouldn't mind a smart watch that provided turn-by-turn voice voice navigation by pairing with my phone via Bluetooth. I think the ability to make voice calls would suffice and a camera on a smart watch is unnecessary. Perhaps since there is already a speaker, it could play music and also work as an alarm. Watches should be kept simple/minimalist with small screens; otherwise, I think it loses it's value and becomes gimmicky.

4. DaHarder

Posts: 177; Member since: Oct 10, 2009

As the owner of the I'm Watch, the Pebble, ALL 3 versions of SONY 'wearable, and (most recently) Samsung's Galaxy Gear, I find the following most desirable for a modern 'smartwatch': 1 - Ability to accurately tell time... Winner: All of the Aforementioned 2 - Ability to last at least 2 days of actual/real world usage... Winner: All save the I'm Watch. 3 - Display Quality/Touch Screen Responsiveness... Winner: Samsung Galaxy Gear 4 - Durability/Excellent Build Quality... Winner: Galaxy Gear via Stainless Steel + Sapphire 5 - Catalog of Useful Apps... Winner: Sony Smart Watch 2 and Samsung Galaxy Gear 6 - Features and Functions... Winner: Samsung Galaxy Gear 7 - Integration with Applicable Host Devices... Winner: Pebble and Sony Smartwatch 2 8 - Value for the Money (not overall 'cheapness')... Samsung Galaxy Gear. Ultimately It all comes down to user expectations, and for me (based upon my ownership experiences), I want my 'smartwatch' to look and feel like high-quality digital 'wrist-wear' NOT some cheap toy, which means high-quality casing material, a durable sapphire crystal, as well as a full-feature set, that integrates well with my smartphone's 'ecosystem', all of which the Samsung Galaxy Gear does excellently with my Galaxy Note 3. NOTE: Other opinions will likely vary, but this one is mine and I stand behind it 100%.

6. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

+1 mate, good of you to write down your experiences. For me, integration is key. Have a smart watch flexibly integrate with ANY android device and we have a winner.

13. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

You forgot a couple of metrics: 9 - Least compatible...Winner: Samsung Galaxy Gear 10 - Highest return rate... Winner: Samsung Galaxy Gear (33%) 11 - The "Fool and His Money Soon Part Ways" award...Winner: Samsung Galaxy Gear BTW, the "2 days of actual/real world usage" is utter hogwash. Not ONE reviewer has managed that, but somehow you do? Your writing looks like the worst astroturfing in the business, DaShiller.

15. Pancholo

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

At least he took the time to write that and make it look like he talks modestly regarding his experiences (but it's the internet, hey). You simply seem to talk out of your anus sometimes. Bad, bad troll. Go home.

16. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

He writes like some paid shill. If you are so blinded by your fanboy nature that it is indistinguishable from actual constructive dialogue, then I pity you. The fact is, he is talking up a device that has been roundly criticized, panned, and lampooned by every reviewer on every tech site, which should be your first clue that he is the one talking out of his ass. I try everything, and use that experience to inform my opinion. DaHarder has been an Android-exclusive fanboy since his days inciting flame wars on Engadget. There is nothing informative about only seeing the positives in your chosen "side" to the exclusion of other opinions or choices.

5. StreetNerd

Posts: 870; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

pfffff all ugly, just wear a GC watch =)

7. buccob

Posts: 2949; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

3,4,5,6,10 Sony SW 2 already has most of them... I would improve on it, battery life, better screen, and maybe premium materials if the idea take off really good... Titanium SW would be awesome

9. Sauce unregistered

Victor, #9 says "second" a second time instead of "third".

10. ilia1986 unregistered

A smartwatch doesn't need to work both with Android and iOS. The best OS - Android - is quite enough.

11. xmusicianguy

Posts: 96; Member since: Jul 13, 2011

Honestly sounds like the G-Shock (Bluetooth) Watch has alot of that covered. Yeah it doesn't have "apps". But it can provide info from the phone to the watch.http://world.g-shock.com/us/en/ble/

12. jonbed

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

Your finally getting it.....round and customization for your own style, I've been preaching this for the last 3 years. One thing you forgot is the ability to create or custom your own faces or mulitple faces such as evening out face, workout face, work face.... So that I can put relative informational icons (like micro widgets) on my face for quick glances of information that I care about and not have to drill down into apps (unless I want to like a short cut). Just like we can do on our phone screens. My rule is if I have to spend more than 5 seconds getting to information that I am interested in I've spent too much time with a 1.6 inch screen. The apps are fine but the UI needs to be totally different than the phone. I have a 6inch HD screen inches away in my pocket so why would I want to spend that much time playing with a small screen. I've owned several smartwatches and you tend to feel foolish after a few seconds knowning you are playing with this small of a screen.

14. makio9

Posts: 48; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

I'll tell you: A smartwatch that does something a smartphone already doesn't would be a good start!

17. DaHarder

Posts: 177; Member since: Oct 10, 2009

Ok... A 'smartwatch' provides information/notifications as it rather comfortably fits on the user's wrist whereas a smartphone Does Not. Now What?

18. makio9

Posts: 48; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

Now what? So your rebuttal is that is does all the same things but put it on your wrist? You clearly missed the point. I'm aware where a smartwatch gets put on the body. Thanks.

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