Smartwatches – Smartphones for Your Wrist (Updated with News on the new Swatch Smartwatch)

Sony SmartWatches

After smartphones come the smartwatches: IT companies — and, perhaps, even some traditional watch companies — are bringing intelligent watches onto the market, and the demand for them is growing. Scroll down for a primer on these groundbreaking devices, including the latest news on the long-rumored Apple smartwatch which was finally launched on September 09, 2014.

What can smartwatches do?
The smartwatch, which is worn on the wrist like a normal watch, connects with the smartphone in your pocket using Bluetooth and sometimes NFC. From there, the watch receives both important and less important data: On the display, the buyer can check the time, of course, as well as data such as the current weather situation. However, notifications regarding incoming emails can be much more important, for example. The smartwatch can also be used as an additional control unit for some mobile phone functions: Music can be controlled using the watch without the smartphone having to be removed from the pocket, and calls can be received just by raising the arm to the ear.

Small problems that muddy the overall picture
Of course, smartwatches can’t do everything, and the products from the various manufacturers are subject to many limitations. For example, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, introduced in 2013, can only be paired with a few available devices, including the Note 3 and Note 10.1. The very small size is also troublesome for the company: An integrated camera can, for example, take 720p videos, but due to the limited storage space, these cannot exceed a maximum length of ten seconds. The watch also loses all of its “smartness” if there is no compatible device nearby; the Galaxy Gear then only displays the time – an expensive affair given the recommended retail price of $299. Samsung has since introduced newer models such as the Gear2 and Gear2 Neo, which offer standalone music players.

Samsung Galaxy Gear watches

Samsung Galaxy Gear

Time to charge my watch…
There’s obviously a big problem in terms of the battery life. People who have only had to charge their cell phone in the evenings will have to do the same with their smartwatch in future. The Galaxy Gear battery only lasts for one day, after which the device, which has a 1.6-inch touchscreen, must be recharged. This fact did not go down too well with the South Korean company’s customers. It doesn’t have to be like this though: A smartwatch called Toq from chip manufacturer Qualcomm can last for several days thanks to energy-saving display technology and can also be recharged wirelessly. When compared with the Samsung watch, the slightly smaller display (1.55 inches) must be taken into consideration.


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About Manfred Streit


  1. Frank Gilbert says:

    Why do traditional watch enthusiasts feel so threatened by smartwatches? Both types of watch have their place and both will still be around in the future. By the way, although this article has supposedly been updated, the information on Pebble availability is woefully inaccurate.

  2. Francois says:

    The smart watch will more than likely replace the smartphone than tradisional watches, think about it our lifes is more and more focused on convenience, what can be more convienent that a watch with voice control and a blue tooth device on your ear doing every thing your phone does? It can notify u through your ear piece of calls , email, texts, social feeds and u can respond with voice comands to every thing, as for battery life? Well if they put a man on the moon I am dead sure they can make the watch solar powered or even perpetual, relegating the need to charge the watch at all, but thats all in the distant future. For now I will stick with my Rolex

  3. christopher says:

    These new smart watches will last 5 minutes if they are lucky, the research and innovation by the serious watch makers of this world such as the Germans and the Swiss will relegate this new fad to the bin where they belong.

    • Frank Gilbert says:

      Christopher, how would you like a small wager on that?

  4. patek says:

    Sometimes i also used to wear my Smart watch but this is not suitable for our day to day need because we often do work in that circumstances where we are afraid of having the damage on the Watch. This results to great loss.
    Sell Patek Philippe Nautilus

  5. sandeep says:

    Very useful and interesting information

  6. Robert Redinger says:

    Yes, my Rolex on my left wrist and my smart watch/phone on my right. I am wearing a Jawbone now that tracks my movements and my sleep. This is logged on my IPhone and tracked. Love it and so does my Doctor. He checks out the sleep pattern and my excerise. It will get better yet to come. I hope in my lifetime.

  7. Will Ambrose says:

    I\'m tired of reading all the arm chair pundit putdowns of smart watches. There is a good reason to have a phone on my wrist, I\'m old, I forget my 5\" cellphone but the watch will be with me no matter where I am.

    At first it looked strange when people first started using a bluetooth headset, as if they were a crazy person talking to the ethers. However, it caught on and is hardly noticed now. I think the same thing will happen with a person talking while their wrist is up to their ear; strange at first, then after a time not even perceived.

    Stand alone stylish voice-controlled smart watches with cameras, gps, ir remote control ability, web browsers, push email and news, fm radio, fall down alert, nfc, are coming. Over time just as the pda transformed into the multi-use smartphones we take for granted now, the smart watch will just be there on your wrist to serve you no matter where you are.

  8. Debashish says:

    These are smartwatches are nothing but gimmicks! Maybe some kids will buy some of these and when they get bored after sometime, they will just throw these out!

    These gimmicks will neither replace our Rolexes nor our Omegas! As the classical watches will last forever!

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