When Samsung first introduced their smartwatch Galaxy Gear, everyone was craving for one, to see how the new technology pairs up with smartphones. 2014 was claimed to be the year of the smartwatches, but not many succeeded in this industry.
Smartphones have literally replaced every other device – laptops, tablets and smartwatches and the main reason being that a lot of punch is packed in a small device at cheaper rates. Smartwatches these days can cost up to Rs. 40,000, making us wonder if we really need them along with our smartphones.
Google, however, feels otherwise and wants to take the Apple way again to launch not one, but two smartwatches this year, under the brand Nexus. So this makes us assume that the devices will be closely integrated with the Nexus family and might be cheaper than we’re expecting them to be.
About the new smartwatches
Since there will be two watches, one of them will be bigger than the other one, and obviously better equipped. You can find LTE, NFC, GPS and heart rate etc. in the larger one, while the cheaper and the smaller one will not have mobile data options.
The larger version is code named ‘Angelfish’ according to leaks, while the smaller one is codenamed ‘Swordfish’. Both the watches will sport a circular design like the Moto 360 smartwatch, but with distinct designs.
Coming to Angelfish, the design is reminiscent of Moto 360, but with some differences like improved ergonomics and curves to make it look sporty. There will be three buttons on the side for dial movements and app toggles, will measure at 1.4cm thick and sport a 4.35cm screen size diagonally, giving it a big frame.
Swordfish, on the other hand, will not have the bells and whistles of its sibling, instead it will have just one button on the side, measure 1cm thick and about 3.6cm diagonally. It won’t have LTE or GPS, so it is primarily just a watch to mirror your smartphone’s apps, and show time of course.
Thankfully, both the watches will have Google Assistant integrated into them, which is huge plus and a really convenient technology to employ. Pricing details have not been revealed yet, so keep watching this space for more leaks.
Is smartwatch something we need or something we want?
For months now, smartphone users have been craving for an improved battery life and innovative features that can actually make one’s life better. Throwing in a big RAM thrashes hard at the battery and eventually makes the phone unusable.
Smartwatches, similarly, lack the battery life to connect with a smartphone user. Most smartwatches have to be charged everyday for use, which means charging two devices at once, to be used for nothing more than checking the time, replying to messages and calls in a jiffy, sometimes listen to music and more often than not, checking exercise stats.
2015 and 2016 saw a decline in smartwatch launches across the world, Apple Watch did not receive a great response owing to the exorbitant pricing and lack of features to justify it. Moto 360 did decently well, but only because it was feature packed and not expensive.
When smartphone have become cheaper, smartwatches have been stuck at the same level of pricing. There has been almost zero innovation in this market and not many seem to be interested in developing one. For example, Chinese manufacturers are in no hurry to introduce one, and might not ever considering the lack of demand.
So why does Google feel the need to launch two smartwatches? The answer might lie in the fact that the watches will receive regular upgrades and will cost a lot cheaper than the watches out there in the market right now. Also, a neat Nexus integration might actually pave way for third party developers to create more apps for smartwatches.
Let us see how Google amazes us with their smartwatches this year, and hopefully we’ll be the first ones to get our hands on it.