back to article They’re FAT. They’re ROUND. They’re worth almost a POUND. Smart waaatch, smart waaatch

Samsung teased its Gear S2 smartwatch at IFA on Thursday night. Like others I’ve seen here, it looks really handsome: expensive, well made, and well designed. Makers now realise they have to look like luxury goods to justify the price. But the Gear S2 is no exception to the fundamental challenge they all face. They’re all, …

  1. Little Mouse
    Coat

    A whole pound?

    Too expensive.

    (ba-dum-dum-tsh!)

  2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly 92 million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

  3. kmac499

    Too Fat and Too many pounds

    Most smart watches are just too big for slimmer wristed folks like me. Watches seem to have gone the same way as phones, bigger makes a bigger statement.. Just look a the F1 drivers popping their sponsored ingots of steel back on at the end the race.

    As for the bracelet being the smart bit, a while ago I suggested that a track pad\mouse and buttons be fitted in the clasp because that is where your fingers naturally fall when using the other hand to work a device. Pebble may be able to do this with their smart strap design.

    The spec for a smart watch is simple. Small, light (titanium maybe), always visible, waterproof, long battery life, and a few useful functions.

    .

    1. Pristine Audio

      Re: Too Fat and Too many pounds

      If my LG watch is anything to go by, weight isn't a problem. By comparison to similarly-sized conventional watches it's much, much lighter. To me that's a bonus, albeit not a major selling point.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too Fat and Too many pounds

      You've just described a Pebble...

    3. NotWorkAdmin

      Re: Too Fat and Too many pounds

      Tsk. I won't mention what it is for fear of sounding like I'm advertising the thing, but my watch is 100m water resistant, gives email notifications, is solar powered, changes time zones automatically and a few other things. On a good old fashioned "ticking" analogue movement.

      To me, that seems like a smart watch.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Too Fat and Too many pounds

        My dive watch can do amazing things and it doesn't cost anywhere near what these things do

    4. therebel

      Re: Too Fat and Too many pounds

      The Vector Watch launching in a couple of weeks, 30 day battery me and always on screen.

    5. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Too Fat and Too many pounds

      A Tissot T Touch titanium is a smart enough watch for me, they came out with a touch screen in, I think 1999, the current solar or the sea touch does all I could want in a Watch, ti tells the time,how high or low you are, where North is ( something I find handy when wlking around in foreign cities) and the temperature ( good to know why you are sweatingor shivering), for anything else I have a phone with more computing power than the last laptop I bought plus a tablet, other laptop, desktop...

  4. TeeCee Gold badge

    Perspective

    In a market where size is everything and smaller is better, Huawei aren't doing themselves any favours.

    That pic makes theirs look like a kitchen wall clock on a belt.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: Perspective

      "In a market where size is everything and smaller is better"

      I think you are in the 70's.

      Now it's bigger, flasher and more pointless.

      1. kmac499

        Re: Perspective

        Maybe that's the answer, forget wristwatches, make them as pocket\fob watches. The chain would make a really good wifi aerial ...

    2. Richard 22

      Re: Perspective

      You clearly haven't been following the fashion in watches then. That Huawei one is probably considered a ladies watch in some circles...

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Perspective

      Perhaps it is? If it was as slim as I expect a watch to be, they'd be showing it actually on someone's wrist.

      Then again, quite a few of the hideously expensive luxury watches are bloody enormous. I don't want half a tonne of ironmongery on my wrist thanks.

      Although it looked OK otherwise, assuming the gold on the case isn't going to come off and turn your wrist green within a week...

      I don't really see much point, except the fitness controls, and controlling music you're listening to. But you can get inline controllers for your headphones to do that. Then again, I know plenty of people who say they don't see the point of proper watches - and I'd not be without mine, even though I probably only use it a few times on a normal day. I suppose I have to admit that I'm wearing it as much for the way it looks, as what it does.

      Then again, on other days I'm using it constantly to get to meetings and trains on time.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Perspective

        I've got a pathfinder watch that allows me to set a recurring alarm (vibrate or beep) to repeat at any time of the day, every day, plus 5 other alarms that can be programmed individually (per day, one off etc).

        It also seems to have phases of the moon and sunset/sunrise times etc..

        It has loads of other stuff I haven't bothered dicking around with as well.

        It's only spoil by the naffness of it's casing & strap :) but it is extremely useful to have set alarms to remind you of things when you are hopeless at keeping track of time.

  5. Cardinal

    "Huawei the lads"

    Chortle!

    1. ravenviz Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: "Huawei the lads"

      Ticks oot for the lads!

  6. BenR

    By Jove! I think they've got it!!

    Here at IFA new watches appeared from, amongst others Samsung, Motorola, Huawei and Sony. Sony’s Wena is by far the most unusual and interesting, and is completely at odds with the rest of the industry. Wena is an employee skunkworks project ( that moves the “smart” part to the bracelet – the watch is a conventional analog timepiece. The bracelet will have NFC and notify you via vibrations and an LED light. It will only be available in Japan from next spring.

    YES!!! This! a thousand times this!!

    Now - to find someone who might be going to Japan to obtain one for me.

  7. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Looks big enough to be a decent mood monitor

    Nice green display when I'm in a good mood and leaves a dirty big red mark on the forehead of anyone who pisses me off.

    Excellent. I'll have one for each wrist.

  8. James 51 Silver badge

    Amazon had the orginal pebble on sale for £70 a little while ago. Regretting not getting one now.

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "a solution looking for a problem to fix"

    The one thing they seem to offer is fitness apps. Which seems to be a solution to an anti-problem as fas as I'm concerned.

    1. Synonymous Howard

      The new Pebble Time has a much much nicer feel on the wrist than the original (it has a better curve case and silky feel sport band) .. I have both and keep the original for the days when I'm doing physical work that might cause me to whack the watch and the 'colour' PT for all other days.

      The PT also has the concept of the 'smart band' which /should/ make the functionality (and/or battery life) extendable ... although at the moment its a moot point due to the lack of SBs.

      It also has a microphone but not seen anything which uses that yet (could be used for Siri or for PTT etc).

      The Apple Watch also feels nice on the wrist and has some interesting functionality but also a bit of hipster level 'touchy feely' UI guff (send your heartbeat or finger painting piccies) ... I'm waiting to see what WatchOS 2 and Apple Watch++ brings next year.

      Notifications (receiving and responding to them) are the killer app for smart watches and that does not really need huge resources so ought to allow for better battery life.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        The Pebble Time watch also has the smart strap concept that Sony seem to be trying to claim as theirs.

        Some things in the article that are just not right:

        They are not a solution looking for a problem, there is no problem, it's not about problems. They are an option for people who can find them useful. If you don't find them useful, fine, move on. There is no need to keep telling the world "I don't get it....". I don't get Pandora charm bracelets or those things that expand your earlobe, but I don't feel the need to keep telling everyone.

        They are not, and not supposed to be a "must buy" (is anything?). They are just another choice, that is all. No big deal.

      2. Neil Alexander

        Re: The Apple Watch also feels nice on the wrist

        Yes, I have to confess to rather liking my Apple Watch Sport. I don't think it solves any huge problems, I very rarely use any "apps" on it and I certainly could live without it, but it's a nice enough watch to wear and the complications (i.e. sunset/sunrise, temperature, daily calendar) are a nice touch.

  10. DrXym Silver badge

    Same old problems

    Here's a picture of the first watch I owned as a kid:

    http://www.vintagelcd.com/images/watchlibrary/cache/3434-400x500.jpg

    This magnificent watch was ridiculously chunky, had a battery life that measured in days and it turned its display off to conserve power. So basically like today's smart watches.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Same old problems

      Here's one I still have kicking around somewhere - very retro now..

      http://the-gadgeteer.com/2005/05/16/time_technology_led_binary_watch_review/

      1. Frank Bough

        Re: Same old problems

        I've still got one of these kicking about in a drawer. http://youtu.be/AGUNtBmh9yw

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: Same old problems

          This was my pride and joy at school: http://www.digital-watch.com/DWL/1work/casio_ax-2101/

          Truly a smart watch in its day. I don't think Casio or anyone could've fitted any more functionality into a 4 button digital watch.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Same old problems

      The first watch I owned as a kid has a mainspring that sill works.

      It doesn't give silent ring alerts though.

  11. graeme leggett

    Too expensive

    If the phone can do most of the work and the watch is an alternative to the phone's screen, then it ought to be possible to make cheaper devices.

    If necessary by having a range. leaving out the sensors on basic models and having everything on the top line.

    1. ravenviz Silver badge

      Re: Too expensive

      Or a version where *everything* is brass dials with electronics underneath, for the discerning steam punk!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not that smart a watch

    You still need two hands to tell the time

    1. En_croute

      Re: Not that smart a watch

      Or not....

      https://www.slow-watches.com/

  13. BlartVersenwaldIII
    Happy

    I feel we're about ready for an 80's revival that's ripe for stuffing with new smart watch technology. Are there perhaps any alumni from noted hip-hop ensemble Public Enemy that could effectively grow the brand for our smart watch paradigm?

  14. Cubical Drone

    Someone needed to say it.

    Not sure that Wena is a great name. I keep having phrases pop into my mind like:

    I love my Wena.

    I am always playing with my Wena.

    Would you like to touch my Wena?

    My dog will not stop licking my Wena!

    Oh my God! My Wena has stopped working!

    I am so, so, very sorry. Let the down votes commence.

    1. theOtherJT

      Re: Someone needed to say it.

      I'm just not finding it possible not to pronounce it wiener...

    2. silent_count

      Re: Someone needed to say it.

      As much as I hate to admit it, I think Sony has perhaps the smartest play in the market. The worst a 'smart' watch band can do is provide no benefit over a 'dumb' watch band - it doesn't detract from the watch's existing function. Nor does it doesn't involve discarding the watch you already have.

      It neatly sidesteps the trade-offs involved in the purchase of any of the existing stable of 'smart' watches.

      If only they didn't go, as you point out, with such a daft name.

      1. Super Fast Jellyfish

        Re: Someone needed to say it.

        @Silent_Count : another potential advantage is that you could upgrade the strap and keep the watch when next year's model comes out.

    3. Sarah Balfour

      Re: Someone needed to say it.

      Somebody already did, six years ago: - http://youtu.be/rLYJIIkKOxk

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Someone needed to say it.

        Also acaiaob r as Smart strap on Pebble time.

        1. silent_count

          Re: Someone needed to say it.

          @ Sarah Balfour & werdsmith

          You're both right and I must confess that I don't pay much attention to the wearable gadget market.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: Someone needed to say it.

      I agree. To go with it, Sony is also bringing out stylus to aid function selection. It was to be called the PenIs - a clever contraction of 'this pen is useful', but the marketing department is apparently now having second thoughts.

    5. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Someone needed to say it.

      "Someone needed to say it.

      Not sure that Wena is a great name. I keep having phrases pop into my mind like:

      I love my Wena.

      I am always playing with my Wena.

      Would you like to touch my Wena?

      My dog will not stop licking my Wena!

      Oh my God! My Wena has stopped working!

      I am so, so, very sorry. Let the down votes commence."

      I'm sure you also had fun at the launch of the Nintendo Wii. I like playing with my Wii, etc.

    6. John Savard Silver badge

      They Spelled It Wrong

      Unfortunately, a watch just tells you what time it is.

      With a name like "Weena", people might hope that if one advanced the year to, say, 802,701, then one might actually be able to go there and meet interesting people.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £400????

    My Sony Smartwatch 3 cost me £125, new.

    Nice try..

    I also find it very useful, onboard GPS, WiFi, bt4 and 4gb storage, its the only thing I need to carry when I go for a run, I also wrote an app to control my Sony actioncam, so I can start/stop/view video when I go snowboarding.

    For me, worth every penny (ironically, Sony sell a liveview remote that's thicker, uglier and more expensive than my smartwatch3)

    1. Richard Cranium

      Re: £400????

      Me too - but only paid £109 - I guess the price drop reflects the fact that Sony have been doing an annual new version so v4 coming soon?

      At that kind of price I'm happy, I wasn't ready to pay as much as a smartphone for a device with less of everything. It's worth £100 to help decide if smartwatch concept is a brilliant innovation or another opportunity to screw a few more quid out of the gadget freaks.

      So far the experiment is a success, the only downside is the need to recharge every couple of days. The main benefits are the way it pairs with the smartphone - things like the vibrate alert for incoming messages & reminders (I find that better than a loud ring-tone or phone on vibrate). The "OK Google" Voice control is more convenient without the need to get the phone out. Watch proximity unlocking the phone is a easier than having to keep typing in an unlock code. I'm fairly sure that when it dies (I guess realistic life is comparable with smartphone: 2 or 3 years) I will look for a comparable replacement and will be happy to pay twice as much.

  16. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

    What am I missing?

    Don't get it, sorry, I may be being a Luddite here but I have a smartphone I really like, I have a selfwinding watch I really like, what benefit does a smart watch give me?

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: What am I missing?

      Tsk. Without one, how can you gloat at we other Luddites who consider a watch too large if it's more than 38mm across and 6mm thick?

    2. Bob Dole (tm)

      Re: What am I missing?

      >Don't get it, sorry, I may be being a Luddite here...

      You're not a Luddite. You just aren't very well in tune with a large part of the world.

      Many people depend on advertisements to tell them what they should drive and wear, where they should live, the kind of haircut to have, etc. When a company wants to make sure everyone buys their new widget the first thing to do is spend ludicrous amounts of money on advertising. It helps if that money is tied into what I've heard referred to as Adicles (Ads masquerading as news articles). Basically, you need to have your product spoken about in as much media for as long as possible so that people think that they are missing the bus if they don't also get one.

      Again, you, apparently, have an innate ability to think for yourself. As this is a problem in a consumer driven economy you should report yourself to the local Big Box Retailer for reeducation purposes. Be sure to bring a clueless expression and ask the inside representative to help you acquire the latest greatest stuff. Also bring your wallet. Of course if you want to truly be a part of the New World Economy, you ask about their 72 month payment plan.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: What am I missing?

        I think he's more like the sort of person who believes that his little world is universal and representative of everyone. Far from being an independent thinker, self-absorption is more appropriate.

        Some people love tattoos and nose piercings, I don't. But I don't question the desire other people have to indulge in them.

        There are thousands of things that don't make logical sense to purchase, but there is something about smart watches that seems to bring out the pompous and supercilious in people who need to declare at every opportunity that they "don't get it". Makes me wonder what they are overcompensating for.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I actually have an Apple watch...

    (yes, I know, boo, hiss, I'm the spawn of Satan)... and I like it. I don't think it's worth the money for everyone, but it's a decent proposition for me. Here's what I like and now wouldn't want to live without, in no particular order:

    1) Not having my phone buzz for calls or texts during meetings. I can discretely check and send canned text replies without being rude and interrupting the flow. At a certain level of people you meet with, this is a big plus. Unfortunately, I'm at the awkward stage where I'm high enough up to be in these meetings, but not high enough up to put people off through them.

    2) Being able to reply to text messages without pulling my phone out. For some reason responding quickly via voice allows me to get back to people without "unloading" whatever complex project I'm working on. This saves me at least 5-15 minutes of productivity per interruption vs. responding with my phone. I don't fully understand it and I don't know if it's just me or if it would work for everyone, but for me this is huge. It probably saves me the cost of the watch at least every two weeks.

    3) Wrist taps for navigation are awesome - I can keep my eyes on the road or the street.

    4) I like being able to get workout stats by glancing at my wrist rather than looking at the phone.

    5) "Ping" my phone when I set it down someplace stupid and can't find it.

    6) Telling Siri to remind me to do something. I find myself using this a lot more with the watch than I did with the phone.

    There are a few others, but this is a decent list. Some things are bad: taking voice calls is almost useless due to poor audio quality, and some of the apps are just stupid. The heartbeat monitor is meh. Email is a joke. All in all, though, if my watch was stolen I'd buy a new one immediately.

    1. Lucky2BHere

      Re: I actually have an Apple watch...

      Yes, yes, yes, all the way down (even though it's Satan watch...). I don't get what all the gruff is about. They are, indeed, really damn useful. My 360 has been great, and I'm getting another. They come in handy throughout the day, aren't expensive and are made at least as well as other watches in the price range - most better.

    2. Esme

      Re: I actually have an Apple watch...

      @AC thank you! Even though I'm amongst the semi-luddite brigade (eh? 'smart watch? what on earth for?!), it's interesting to hear comments from someone who does find such things useful, as unless one has one, how in heck can y'tell just how useful or otherwise they actually are to people? WHen I first heard of teh wrist taps thing, I wondered how well it'd work, as that did sound quite useful to me - and now I know that it, apparently, it does work well in practice. Hmmnnn.. well, I'll be waiting until something with that sort of functionality gets down to prices I can afford.

      As for those railing against folks posting 'I don't see the point'-style remarks, I don't see your point; having contrary comments rather than just supportive ones induces one to think about the subject, and, in response, things like AC's post above that has me now going 'hmmnn" about the wrist-tap function thing.

  18. Lucky2BHere

    Enter the current century

    What's with all the Luddite comments?! Specially from this lot.

    There are several reasons for wearables that are logically applicable. After my first 360, I'm on my way to another, probably the new version or the Asus. I'm even looking hard at the S2s. Why?

    - I can leave my phone in my pocket or backpack most of the time

    - I don't have to dig around for the phone or take my eyes *way* off the road in the car

    - It is a godsend on a bike

    - Checking messages is no longer such a big, rude social deal (and it really is)

    - Remote pics are easy

    - A quick scan of *all* my messages, or a quick voice request for directions, weather, businesses info, etc. makes it all worth it

    - With my phone at 5", and my next at least the same size, leaving in a pocket/carry bag is making more sense for the myriad incidental status checks we *all* do every damn day

    As the software gets better - and it will - I'm hoping to keep the phone out of sight all day, save for that video or document. And as the hardware gets better - and it will - I'm expecting to not even have to use my phone while out (Hence the S2 G3 as an option).

    Some of what I see pushback on is the manifestation of what we've come to accept with mobile phone usage: we've gotten too comfortable with our bad habits. Frankly, much of it is socially unacceptable and certainly not at all sustainable; all the ill-timed status checking, the errant rings, the insidious stealing of attention whilst driving or walking or riding, etc.

    WTF? This is a huge step in the right direction. If y'all are real, thoughtful tech weenies, then support the development of this stuff, fer chrissakes! Instead of complaining, join in to improve. And all those who complain about costs are truly not aware of what a decently-made watch costs these days. These are great watches, yet much more.

  19. Alan Sharkey

    I looked at a Pebble the other day.

    I wear glasses for reading. Without them, I couldn't read the notifications etc. I'm not going to search out my reading glasses just to see the time!!!

    I'll stick with a nice analogue old fashioned watch with a battery that lasts years.

    Alan [Founder member (only member) of the Luddite Watch Society]

    1. Baskitcaise
      Happy

      @ Alan

      "I wear glasses for reading. Without them, I couldn't read the notifications etc. I'm not going to search out my reading glasses just to see the time!!!

      I'll stick with a nice analogue old fashioned watch with a battery that lasts years.

      Alan [Founder member (only member) of the Luddite Watch Society]"

      I am also in the same boat.

      My Old, old Casio Telememo 50 has a db onboard, stores phone numbers, passport and other stuff, plus more.

      It has gone through 3 straps and only 4 batteries in approx 20 years, 50m water proof and still runs like a trooper, bit scratched here and there but I do wear it 24/7, plus it does not wake me in the middle of the night because some pi55ed person cannot access their pr0n as the internet is off :-)

      May I become a "Chronorary" member of your club please?

      1. Esme

        Re: @ Alan

        @Baskitcase - tsk, call yerself a Luddite using a watch with a battery in it? Cor, even Luddism isn't what it used t'be, these days.. ;-}

      2. Alan Sharkey

        Re: @ Alan

        "May I become a "Chronorary" member of your club please?"

        Consider yourself elected.

  20. Graham Newton

    In the 70's I had a FIVE function digital watch. OK my class mate had a SIX function digital watch but you really should know what year it is.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Junk

    Omega Speedy Pro is a much better status symbol than these crappy things. "ooh..look...I don't have to get my phone out of my pocket" compared to "This was the first watch worn on the moon and was used to time Apollo 13's 17 second burn to get back home...Have a listen to it tick...."

    Costs a bit more, but as we are all professionals....

  22. Christian Berger Silver badge

    The problem is the target market

    The manufacturers target smart watches to a very... let's say non-technical... audience.

    Those people have no ideas what computers can do and what they can't do. Because of this, they have little imagination what to do with wristwatch computers and even if they had, they are far to complicated to be programmed by them.

    And that's the problem, far to few people bother thinking about what could be done by those devices as, in order to experiment with them, you'd need to set up a complex system just to develop software for them. It's not like the HP-01 which, after reading the manual, is immediately useful for everything time and/or calculation related.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wouldn't touch the current crop of smart watches with someone else's barge pole but I can't help feeling there is a niche that isn't being catered for. The problem with smart watches as I see it is terrible battery life and too little screen space to be useful. The solution is therefore to go big. In 80's sci-fi people walked around with a screen that went half way up their lower arm, it was usefully large. Combine that with a super easy to change battery (and a small internal battery to keep the lights on while you swap over) and I think you have a useful device. Not quite sure what you would use it for mind.

    1. Alien8n Silver badge
      Alien

      So the next-gen smart watch should be the Pip-Boy 3000?

  24. iMap

    spyware in a timepiece

    Yet another Tag in so many ways..but I'd rather have a REAL Tag watch

    Where you are, what you are buying etc..spyware in a timepiece.

    NSA, Governments, Google et al will be happy

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sony smart watch 3

    I have a sony smart watch 3 yes it was expensive but it is worth it for me as it has built in gps and wifi so you don't have to have your phone on you all the time (however you need your phone to set up the wifi hot spots in cafes etc) you can use open street maps on the smartwatch without using your phones battery because of the built in gps and the battery in the sw3 lasts me around a week with minimal usage which is quite good and takes around an hour to charge the only things it doesn't have are a heart rate monitor which i don't use anyway .

  26. Dr_N Silver badge

    Still not going anywhere

    I got an original Sony Liveview in Februaury of 2011.

    I'd stopped using it by March due to the daily charging rigmarole and the limited uses. (Useful for picking up messages whilst in meetings but little else.)

    4 years later and I don't see any real improvements to this tech...

  27. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    The iBuckle

    If the problem is that they are too big and still can't hold useful batteries why not make them even bigger but put them around your waist?

    They could vibrate to let you know you have a call and you with NFC you can bonk the bar to pay for your drinks. I assume Texas Instruments will be the first to market.

  28. Yugguy

    Luddite my arse

    If you want/need one, get one.

    It's neither for me, so I won't.

    The end.

  29. Mitoo Bobsworth
    Joke

    Smart watch - dumb prefix

    Until an incredible electronic wonder is invented that can solve the Greek national debt, the Euro problem and Donald Trump running for U.S. President, please stop prefixing ANY device with electronics & a bit of code as smart - they're just not.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: Smart watch - dumb prefix

      Suggest to always read "smart" as "smart ass". It helps.

  30. regprentice

    In my view smartwatches have one major flaw. Other people can see my notifications without me realising.

    Some texts are ugent, some are useful, some are offensive some are private. All those types of message may come from one person so its difficult to sort those i want flashing on my wrist.. I.e. my wife has recently texted/called me to tell me....

    - my 2 yo daughter has fallen down a stair case

    - the painters are in and she needs a bar of chocolate on the way home if i want to live

    -why hasnt my bitch boss hasnt let me out of work yet.

    One of those messages is important the other two could cause me problems if they flash up on my wrist in a team meeting in full hi res view of others.

    Montblancs system which sits on the inside of your wrist and can be fitted (in theory) to any watch seems to me the only useful iteration. Unfortunately they got v1 wrong lets hope they make a (thinner, higher resolution, cheaper and more featured) v2.

    1. En_croute

      This is a nice idea, a dual watch strap - smartwatch for notifications under the wrist, a smart analogue watch on top - a Dual watch strap.

      Not sure about the wooden barrel, but the concept is interesting!

      https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/004/001/644/98b24a980f305bc2bad0b29ec164916f_original.jpg?v=1434592876&w=680&fit=max&auto=format&q=92&s=45fd98058bab15da80be60a5396fa89e

  31. Eponymous Cowherd

    Steel youselves

    I have a Pebble Steel (original, not Time) and, for me, it ticks all of the boxes.

    First of all, I actually like the "Industrial" look of it. It doesn't look like girly bling, like a certain other smartwarches.

    played around with a variety of apps and functions on it, but the feature that it is most useful for is notifications. A quick glance at my wrist and I can see if its something I need to deal with. It does this as well as any other smartwatch, but without their inherent downsides of poor battery life and normally off display.

    The always on display is clear and means it doesn't really look like a smartwatch. The battery really does last 7 days and it really is waterproof. This, pretty much, means I can treat it like a "real" watch in the way I wear and use it.

    I like the wide range of 3rd party watch faces that are freely available. Currently sporting a LCARS style face. Nerdy but actually looks rather nice.

    The "Cloud Pebble" development environment is rather neat. It works well, is well documented and means I can knock up apps and faces wherever I have access to a web browser.

    Essentially it is a watch that is "smart", rather than the micro-fondleslab on your wrist that the more "upmarket" smartwatches try to be.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What I don't like about the apple watch

    1. The shape. I generally don't like square or oblong watches (JLC Reverso and Tag Monaco being notable exceptions) and the Apple watch hasn't changed my mind one bit.

    2. No design: the most lazily designed apple product for a long while. All the effort went into the straps, none into the watch. I mean, who signed off that off-centre 'digital stump'?

    3. Display is too lo-res. I don't like its blankness when not in use. I don't like the pixels when it's on.

    4. 3rd party apps are slooooow.

    5. Daily charging.

    6. Odd proportions. Small size is too small, bigger size too slab-like. People just look a bit daft with them on.

    7. Feels cheap in use.

    8. No matter how much you pay you know there's approximately $10 of electronics in there. Contrast with any mechanical watch.

    9. Just that feeling that if Casio really put their mind to it, they'd come up with someone far cooler.

    10. Only works with iPhones. Putting artificial limitations on a product no-one really wants in the first place is just dumb.

    And unfortunately all other smart watches so far are even worse. I raised a flicker of hope for the new Moto 360, only to have my hopes dashed by Motorola's unthinking embrace of mediocrity. And the Pebble is the sort of device really only a 12yo should own - too much like a tamagotchi. Sorry, Pebble fans.

    Could 2015 be the year of the smart watch? No.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone make a stylish gshock line

    The casio gshocks have enough functionality in them. Why can they just make them look a bit less vulgar ? At least remove the "IMA WATCH" "ALARM HERE" "OMG LIGHT BUTTON" "PROTECTION!" labels all over the damn things.

  34. John Savard Silver badge

    Maggie Thatcher

    I'm torn between whether the title of this article is a reference to the theme of the Batman TV show, or to the description of the modern British pound coin, compared to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on the basis that it was thick, brassy, and thought it was a sovereign.

    1. John Savard Silver badge

      Re: Maggie Thatcher

      Another look makes me think that its rhythm corresponds to the sort of thing cheerleaders might chant at a football game, so my guesses were all wrong.

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