At Techsplurge, nothing gives us a smile like a brand new sealed pack gadget box, that we get to dive into and use. We are always a game for a new gadget or two and more often than not, end up sabotaging our monthly expense budget behind it. The best thing about being a tech geek is that all your friends and loved ones know what exactly would you like as a gift and recently, when I was offered to pick an Android Wear, I politely declined and ended up with an analogue Fossil watch. As much as I am excited about Android Wear and wearables in general, I was not too keen on either the LG G Watch nor the Samsung Gear Live. Reasons for my strange choice? Watch the space below.
The watch design of both the G Watch and Gear Live are truly uninspiring
Its like the age old argument we have been making with smartphones, if you are willing to spend over INR 40K over a phone, it better give you that premium feel. For watches worth almost Rs 15K, neither the G Watch nor the Gear Live have design or build that reek of premium-ness. For the same amount, you could pick a fine watch maybe from Tissot, Fossil, Casio, a good designer brand like KC etc and actually feel proud of sporting it on your hand. Yes, it would not show you your Google Now notifications, but as a standalone, stylish accessory, the Android Wear is far behind.
The Reports of Poor Visibility Outdoors
As somebody who spends a good chunk of his day outdoors, in the sun, it would be absolute travesty if I am unable to see what my watch says when not in the confinement of home or office. According to the reviews of all the major media outlets, both the G Watch and the Gear Live have poor direct sunlight visibility. In fact, most of them have labelled it un-readable. Obviously since this is the first batch of the Android wear, it will take OEMs some time to figure out what screen works the best and we should see some radical developments in this space with the upcoming Android Wear devices. But till those happen, I am not prepared to sport a watch that only tells me details when I am inside the four walls.
The Battery and Charging Issues
The G Watch and Gear Live last about 36-48 hours at max with average usage, according to the users who have spent time with the device. This means, you need to practically charge the watch every two days. In our time of testing the Samsung Gear 2, we got about three to four days out of it, and still felt it was not optimum enough for us. For a watch to be truly smart, you expect it to at least get you through the five working days ideally, so you could maybe charge it over the weekend. Add to it, the watches use a cradle that must be connected to your watch and micro USB charger for juicing up. This means another peripheral to carry with you and another socket. For an average consumer, this can be cumbersome. As it is, we find just carrying the laptop charger and phone charger, maybe even the tablet charger a bit of a pain, add in another one, and its a big no. Solution to this? A solar charging Android Wear or maybe even a true wireless charging solution, that is where the game will change.
The Best is Yet to Come from Android Wear
As the platform will grow older, more niche use cases will be added and we will definitely find a better app selection. When that happens, you can never be sure whether the present hardware will be too old to support some of the actual good stuff. Take example of the first generation of several wearable, be it the first Nike Fuel band, first Galaxy Gear etc, and you will see how within a period of 6-12 months, based on the feedback that OEMs and developers receive, some exponential improvements occur. Given how new the Wearable space is currently, you would expect real rapid development. While, you would expect most of these to be brought over in the form of software updates, you are not really sure of the hardware limitations. Add in, we should see more and more circular Android Wear watches, like the Motorola 360 in the near future, I felt it was best to let the initial storm of excitement pass.
There is always the Apple Factor
There is little to debate that Apple completely reinvented the mobile phone space with the iPhone all those years ago. Apple is slated to bring in an iWatch later this year. While not much is known about the watch, you can be sure that a lot will change in the space when the supposed iWatch comes out. It would not be cheap, but given the recruitments that Apple has been doing in the past 6 months, allegedly, all to make sure their watch is really appealing, you just might want to wait for its arrival before making a jump into the Android World so you know whether it is inspirational enough. Also, given the handoff and continuity features that Apple showcased at the WWDC, it is obvious that an interconnectivity between Apple made devices is the next big step and for someone who uses a Mac computer, an iPad and an iPhone, it makes sense just to wait a bit before deciding which force to follow when it comes to wearables.
Those were my reasons for not picking the Android Wear yet. What about you? Have you picked one? If not why? Let us know in the section below.