How serious are smart watch makers ?
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  1. #1
    Member leograye's Avatar
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    How serious are smart watch makers ?

    I often wonder why smart watch makers market a watch (which isn't cheap), then continually and quickly keep updating.
    The reason I ask is that I wanted to buy the LG Sport or Gear S3 or even the 42mm Apple2.
    What turned me off was the waterproofing and battery life.
    It can't be hard for these companies to look at what Garmin/Suunto have done with battery life, and in particular WR 10ATM to see what I mean.
    Why would you buy a smartwatch that only is water resistant, having to take it off if you went to the pool or to the beach?
    Yes, I know the Apple 2 is 5ATM, but really, that's not good enough and the battery life is poor.
    When you pay $400-500 for these today, then in September or October, a new model is released (not a firmware update).
    Don't you feel burnt by the fact you were never aware of the new model coming, it's only a modest update and still doesn't compete with the likes of Garmin's/Suunto's for battery life and 10ATM WR.
    There are currently some 44 manufacturers of Smart watches (a lot I call Dumb watches). So why is the public's money being taken, for not a lot of shelf life and sub standard features.
    Comments are going to be interesting from all owners, which is going to be helpful to all future buyers.......................................
    There's never enough time!

  2. #2
    Member Lokifish's Avatar
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    Re: How serious are smart watch makers ?

    Let's set perimeters before I continue. A smartwatch is a wrist worn device with phone connectivity that, at a minimum, conveys basic information from the phone to the watch (think basic notifications).

    1- Not all smartwatches are expensive. Only luxury, more well known brands, and specialized smartwatches hit and exceed that 200-300 price tag.

    2- Those nano-tablets on your wrist smartwatches (Wear, Tizen, Apple, Android) use the same release cycle model as phones and tablets. So about every 9-12 months.

    3- There is a general misconception with consumers in the mobile world that just because a device is newer it's better. This carries over to much of the smartwatch buyers. (item 2 is both fueled and dictated by this)

    4- For about +90% of the world, 5ATM is more than they will ever need. I mean when was the last time you, or anybody that you know, went diving around 50m?

    5- Proper water resistance creates a device with a long life cycle due to it's increased durability. This is in direct conflict with the nano-tablet business model. However, you may also notice that makers that do release higher water resistance smartwatches have a long release cycle. So more watch and less nano-tablet.

    6- Garmin is a smartwatch maker, however the difference is their customers choose battery life of pretty displays. The bulk of those nano-tablet users will choose to opposite.

    7- Those that watch the market or do their research know months in advance that a new model is coming. And if they find nothing, they know that a new model is released about every 9-12 months anyway.

    8- The bulk of users, websites, and reviews have western retail market blinders on. So anything not sold in a retail chain store goes almost completely ignored. So that " some 44 manufacturers" is actually a lot higher as there are about that many in China alone.

    9- The bulk of short cycle makers don't care about you. They are in it for the money and the money only. If this were not true then the devices would realize their full potential in both capability and battery life. For example, an LG Urbane LTE 2nd Ed. uses almost as much or more battery as a smartphone with the same SOC/RAM/radios.

    All the above comes from years of working as a technical consultant/designer for multiple smartwatch makers. This has included suggesting changes (that makers have ignored) that would have resulted in ATM rated color display smartwatches, with Pebble like battery life, that would be readable in complete darkness without a backlight. Much of the negatives above is why I left the industry. It's also why my goto smartwatch is a Chinese interpretation of a Frederique Constant Notify, which cost a whopping $30.
    Last edited by Lokifish; April 27th, 2017 at 17:04.

  3. #3
    Member sefrcoko's Avatar
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    Re: How serious are smart watch makers ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lokifish View Post
    For about +90% of the world, 5ATM is more than they will ever need. I mean when was the last time you, or anybody that you know, went diving around 50m?
    I agree with much of your post but your fourth point about water resistance is off... 5atm does not mean you can go 50m under water without risk. If you want to go that deep you'll need higher resistance. Normally 10atm is safe for swimming, and higher water resistance is required for actual diving. To illustrate another way, 100atm watches don't mean you can dive 1000m...logical really, considering humans can't even survive that depth lol.

    Google water resistance charts that show the actual real-world applicability of watch water resistance levels...something low like 3atm is basically just enough to wash your hands or get caught in the rain :)
    Last edited by sefrcoko; April 28th, 2017 at 18:25.

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  5. #4
    Member Lokifish's Avatar
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    Re: How serious are smart watch makers ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sefrcoko View Post
    I agree with much of your post but your fourth point about water resistance is off... 5atm does not mean you can go 50m under water without risk.

    Your info is about seven years out of date. Under the ISO standard that been in place since 2010, if a watch is said to be “water resistant” to X meters, this means that for all aquatic activities down to that depth of X meters the watch should not leak. And that any watch on the market sold (after 2010) as water-resistant must satisfy said requirement, regardless of the brand.

    EDIT
    If the bulk of sites, posts and blogs put out incorrect info, then that incorrect info is what you will see on a search.

    EDIT 2
    BTW, that 2010 standard was reviewed and listed as still in effect as recently as this year.
    Last edited by Lokifish; April 28th, 2017 at 19:45.

  6. #5
    Member sefrcoko's Avatar
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    Re: How serious are smart watch makers ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lokifish View Post
    Your info is about seven years out of date. Under the ISO standard that been in place since 2010, if a watch is said to be “water resistant” to X meters, this means that for all aquatic activities down to that depth of X meters the watch should not leak. And that any watch on the market sold (after 2010) as water-resistant must satisfy said requirement, regardless of the brand.

    EDIT
    If the bulk of sites, posts and blogs put out incorrect info, then that incorrect info is what you will see on a search.

    EDIT 2
    BTW, that 2010 standard was reviewed and listed as still in effect as recently as this year.
    Actually that's very misleading... Many watches are not ISO certified which renders what you wrote moot for most cases. You're right about ISO standards (for the most part), but you misunderstand its real-world importance. A watch can say 1000m but that doesn't mean much. If it were actually true (and enforced on all watches -- which it isn't) , then we wouldn't see watches rated at 100atm (because humans can't even survive those depths, lol). If you want to dive 30m under water for a few hours with a 3atm Patek, please be my guest and post pictures when you're done ;)

    In the end, the whole water resistance issue is far less black and white than a simple focus on ISO standards would indicate. See some of these links for further explanation (all within the last few years or more recent, so not out of date as you suggest either).

    http://www.ablogtowatch.com/ask-watc...-ratings-mean/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Resistant_mark
    Last edited by sefrcoko; April 28th, 2017 at 20:16.

  7. #6
    Member Lokifish's Avatar
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    Re: How serious are smart watch makers ?

    My previous comment was almost verbatim the ISO's own words on ISO WR standards. So if my comment on ISO standards is incorrect, then so is the ISO.

    Humans not being able to survive at 100ATM is irrelevant, it's called marketing. But working off your reasoning, any watch with a rating beyond 30ATM shouldn't exist or is bogus.

    The ABTW article erroneously cites the 1990 ISO 2281 which hasn't existed since 2010. The wiki entry covers the defunct 1990 ISO 2281 standard then goes on to say that ISO 2281 "has since be replaced by the ISO 22810:2010 standard". So in both instances the information regarding the actual current standard are incorrect.

    With regards to compliance, most cheap Chinese watches have no standard at all. Some will even tell you that their 100m rated watch cannot get wet when you press them on it. This then falls under intentional misleading and misrepresentation of the product. There's standards (AKA laws) regarding that too, but you don't see them complying with those either. However if you dig deep enough, you will find brands like Casio, Timex and other major brands reference ISO 22810 compliance directly. You will then also find their "wear it and forget it" suggestions as they know most will never have their watch serviced. The suggestion still does not negate their public statement of ISO compliance.

    Now I will give you this. The bulk of watches sold worldwide are cheap Chinese watches made makers that will slap anything on a watch to sell it. But buying a POS watch and expecting it to comply with any standards (ISO, quality, etc) is ignorance on the part of the buyer. Something such makers knowingly exploit.

    From direct experience with various smartwatch makers, the same applies to bogus IP ratings as well. And IPXX is not open to any interpretation.

  8. #7
    Member Lokifish's Avatar
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    Re: How serious are smart watch makers ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sefrcoko View Post
    If you want to dive 30m under water for a few hours with a 3atm Patek, please be my guest and post pictures when you're done ;)
    About that;

    "All Patek Philippe watches are tested to around 20% more than the guaranteed value. For example, a watch that is water-resistant to a depth of 25 metres has been tested at a pressure of 3 bars, meaning 30 meters (1 bar = 10 meters)."
    - Patek Philippe

  9. #8
    Member mharris660's Avatar
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    Re: How serious are smart watch makers ?

    I've owned 3 Smart Watches, none were Apple products. Got rid of all of them and said I would never buy another. I just bought another. The Casio Pathfinder WSD-F20. I know it's huge, I know the battery sucks, and I know it will a very limited success. Thing is, it's the first Smart Watch to get the functions right. Battery life while hiking is an issue but it's not unsolvable. I have a portable battery with a solar panel which will charge the watch 4 times. During the day the unit clips to my backpack and continuously charges. I had the Garmin and with GPS on or off the battery life was pretty bad. At least with the Casio you get a month with GPS off, with the Garmin I got a week. If Smart Watches have a future I believe it will be in the adventure sports arena, not the Hipster arena where you need coffee reminders.
    dirkpitt73 likes this.

  10. #9
    Member leograye's Avatar
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    Re: How serious are smart watch makers ?

    This is great feedback, certainly what is needed to discuss why most people are being misled on the functions and durability.
    10ATM is important if you want to use the watch to marathon swim in the ocean, knowing the case is protected enough.
    Battery power use is important to withstand the average day/week also.
    But having a phone capable smart watch is a joke indeed (see the CEO's reply from Huawei).
    Lokifish's reply is from a very disillusioned technical consultant/designer for multiple smartwatch makers, beating his head against the wall knowing the public is being ripped off? by certain manufacturers for the sake of market share and fashion!!
    Lokifish likes this.
    There's never enough time!

  11. #10
    Member leograye's Avatar
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    Re: How serious are smart watch makers ?

    I should have added that Garmin, Suunto, Casio can market a watch with rave reviews from owners generally.
    So why can't others (Apple et al), give out a product that matches 10ATM, Battery power, functions etc, without having to be 1st, 2nd, 3rd issue before they get it right.
    Then have that version on the market for a year or two before a major change.
    Garmin, Suunto, Casio always do. Or have I really missed something?
    There's never enough time!

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