Samsung’s ready for prime time - but has the smartwatch already been perfected?

As a lover of Storm Trooper white devices – I was one of the last to receive the Pebble smartwatch that I’d excitedly backed on Kickstarter in June last year. Not long after, I was ready to cancel my order thinking one of the giants would’ve stormed the market. Well they still haven’t, yet.

Sony is soon to release their updated SmartWatch 2 with seemingly very little fanfare. Although we are yet to see any solid sales figures, I’m going to predict it won’t be a raving success.

The fact is most people looking for a premium device will be waiting for Apple, Google, Microsoft, or... Samsung.

The Korean giant – by far the biggest Android manufacturer - is said to be revealing their foray into the market on September 4th. Samsung has a mighty fanbase and with their unstoppable marketing prowess is likely to find the most success yet, but will it actually be the best?

Living with Pebble now for the last few weeks it’s never left my wrist (in the day!) and that’s something which I don’t think any manufacturer will capture – the daily usability.

Some people - probably those who haven’t used a Pebble - will be put off by its e-Ink display and lack of colour; yet it’s probably its best feature. It’s astoundingly perfect when reading outside; so much I can almost guarantee you’ll stop and admire it for a while.

Plus, it’s rugged. This smartwatch was built to last, and is completely waterproof. Alongside this, it simply feels sturdy enough to willingly take some daily knocks – which on mine has already taken more than a few with no damage whatsoever.

The “iWatch” or whatever Apple decides to name it, will probably be a premium fashionable thing that everyone will desire. We’re talking a likely expensive device - which looks fantastic - but feels like it should be wrapped in wool.

Think of it like the difference between using an Nexus 7 and an iPad Mini. I'd feel more comfortable with the Nexus on my wrist, personally.

Of course Apple, Google, and Microsoft all have huge development communities waiting primed behind them. Generally-speaking I’d say wherever these communities are lays the success (in terms of usability and functionality) but really here, I’m not so sure.

Developers have ways to shock us with innovative, cool new uses for just about anything. But let’s be honest, there’s only so much you want to do with a watch? You want it to read notifications, receive calls, be customisable, and maybe direct you to your destination via GPS.

The Pebble has solutions for all these, and also has a decently-sized community behind it. Already I’ve installed applications for reading Twitter / Facebook, and checking into Foursquare (yes, I’m a bit of a social junkie.)

Going back to the functionality and usability, for me, it’s been perfected - I’m in love with Pebble.

Alas, it pains me to admit, it will not get the commercial success found by Apple’s, Samsung’s, Google’s, or Microsoft’s – but I think it will remain the best, really.

What do you think about Smartwatches? Are you excited by any of the rumoured upcoming releases?

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florian.c.schwab
22 Aug 2013, 10:33 p.m.

Why do they not use their flexible displays for this. I think this would be very nice to have a bigger display around the arm.

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