Slow Death of Smartwatches – Reasons we think they are going to die
A couple of years back, smartwatches were the hot product in existence in the market and everyone wanted to own one. From LG to Motorola, all the manufacturers were getting on board the hype and were coming up with their own variant. The Moto 360 was the first one to win all the hearts with its round design whereas the Huawei Watch, LG Watch R, etc. followed the trend after that. This spiked the interest in the market and Apple also came up with Apple Watch which was again updated with the Apple Watch Series 2. Overall, it is safe to say that the smartwatch market is quite crowded with a ton of offerings out there.
[quote align=’left’] smartwatch market is quite crowded with a ton of offerings [/quote]Now, what does it mean to the consumer who is looking to buy a smartwatch today? Well, if you are in the market to buy a smartwatch, there are quite a few things to consider. Firstly, make sure that you know what exactly you are going to use it for. Now, this might sound very confusing since there is only so much that a smartwatch can do. So here’s the thing. Most people are using smartwatch as a fitness tracker as well and this is where things get complicated. It is really important that you understand the purpose of using one and then go for it.
Secondly, if you are in the market to buy one, well, our suggestion would be not to buy one. Yes, you read that right. We just asked you to drop the idea of buying a smartwatch completely. First of all, to clear the air, we don’t mean to say that all the smartwatches out there in the market are bad or useless. It just means that none of them are worth spending your hard earned money. However, this doesn’t mean we are saying that they are dead already. In fact, few of the reports which we came across says the opposite of that.
According to this reports from Canalys, the smartwatch sales have increased by 60-percent in Q3 2016. Now, this is definitely a huge increment considering the fact that the numbers were plumming down before Q3. The Canalys pegged Apple as the top player with its Apple Watch series 2 winning the market. Samsung, Fitbit, etc. are trying to keep up as well with a decent set of numbers to back them up. Check out the graph given below for more details on the same.
Despite the graph showing some improvement in numbers, there are certain reasons why we think the smartwatches are dying slowly. These are some of the reasons why we think you also should not buy one just yet.
Reasons why we think smartwatches are going to die
Lack of innovation
Talking about lack of innovation, we need to first understand what a smartwatch is supposed to do. As we all know, the primary function of a smartwatch is to show you the notifications when you are on the go. Now you might get into a debate asking if this is what it is supposed to do, then what is the need for innovation here. Well, this is where things start to get complicated. Let’s face it, no one wants to buy a wristband which just shows you the notifications or buzzes you upon getting a notification, right? So we all want something that not only looks cool but also does a lot more than that.
[quote align=’left’] there’s no need for anything new here in this space [/quote]And the truth being to told, we already have a lot of them in the market which does a lot more than just show you the notifications. Android Wear, when it came out pretty much changed the game by bringing Google to your wrists. Soon after that, a lot of OS came up and now most of the smartwatches out there (Apple watches included) can do most of the tasks like initiating a call, playing music, tracking fitness metrics, etc. That is why there’s no need for anything new here in this space. And hence the lack of innovation. As we all know, there is only so much that a device of this size on your wrist can do and as far as the current offerings are concerned, we have definitely explored most of it.
Now that we know what a smartwatch can do and cannot do, it is also worth acknowledging the fact that the smartwatches that are there in the market are quite expensive as well. For a device whose primary function is to show you the notification, it is absolutely insane to ask upwards of 18,000 INR to 20,000 INR. In fact, most of the watch offerings are more expensive than that. No doubt you also get other features like fitness tracking, the ability to play music, etc. but do you really them all the time?
[quote align=’right’] people are not willing to buy them because they are not worth the asking price [/quote]In fact, there are a lot of reports which shows that people are not willing to buy them because they are not really worth the asking price in most cases. This in a way is directly related to the first reason which we saw that is, lack of innovation. Since there’s no innovation out there in the smartwatch market, people are not really ready to drop a lot of money on them. This obviously could change with time, but again, that will happen only when there is some innovation.
Other known issues
Apart from the reasons mentioned above, there are a lot of different issues which users face on a daily basis. The fact that you have to charge the watch almost every single day is quite annoying. The Power saver mode literally cripples the watch making it unusable and hence you need to make sure that you have enough juice to get through the day. And yes, not to forget the proprietary chargers which you need to carry in most cases.
One-handed usability is nonexistent as well. Considering the fact that the smartwatches are supposed to make your life easier by helping you out, there’s no practical way of using your smartwatch with one hand. This might not be a huge deal for most people but it is indeed worth considering. And there are a lot of other issues as well which is not something that we will be discussing in detail here.
[quote align=’left’] We either need some innovation or the existing prices need to go down [/quote]With that said, if the manufacturers manage to work on either of the two points listed above, we will definitely have more people buying the smartwatches. Either the smartwatch offerings out there in the market needs to offer more for the value of money or the manufacturer have to understand what the market reality is and reduce the price. Well, we can’t give you assurance on either of them happening anytime soon, but we can definitely suggest you some good offerings in the market if you still somehow want a smartwatch even after reading this.
Smartwatches worth checking out
Apple Watch Series 2
The Apple Watch Series 2 has managed to impress most of the consumers with its functionality and simple design. Although the functionality of the Apple Watch series 2 is not significantly different but it does a great job of syncing with iPhone and making the whole experience seamless. While using the Apple Watch 2 with an iPhone, there is a sense of satisfaction which you get and that makes the world of difference. For pricing details, we suggest you check the company’s official website or nearest Apple Store, but if you own an iPhone and are looking to get into the smartwatch ecosystem, then the Apple Watch series 2 is just the right place to start.
Samsung Gear S3
The Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch (both Classic and the Frontier) is one of the best smartwatches out there in the market. They work with both Android as well as iOS and the overall user experience is completely different then what you would be used to from the Android Wear or Watch OS. The hardware is quite refreshing as well with the rotating bezels being the icing on the cake. It takes the UI to a whole new level and we haven’t come across anything that could possibly replace it with being the best in business. The Samsung Gear S3 watches are definitely on the pricier side, but hey, most of the smartwatches are anyway pricey and at least in this case, we are getting a unique user experience. Check out our full written review of the Gear S3 Frontier here.
Having said that, we would like to know what do you think about this. Do you think smartwatches are still worth buying or do you think the manufacturers should stop manufacturing them? Be sure to let us know by dropping a comment down below and also, stay tuned to PhoneRadar for more info like this.