Google Android Wear

75
Engadget
Score
75

A good product that falls short of greatness.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

Android Wear review: Taking smartwatches in the right direction

Summary

Android Wear is the strongest smartwatch platform we've seen so far, and it has enough support from manufacturers and developers to thrive. But it's a first-generation product, and limited battery life, notification anxiety and other issues make it tough to recommend Wear quite just yet.

Pros
  • Strong manufacturer and developer support
  • Hands-free voice control and Google Voice Search
  • Clean design
  • Google Now cards and Knowledge Graph integration
Cons
  • Short battery life on current hardware
  • Excessive notifications
  • Still requires plenty of screen touching
  • Gestures and UI come with learning curves
  • Only compatible with newer Android devices
Android Wear review: Taking smartwatches in the right direction

When I was a tiny tot, I watched Knight Rider and pretended I was Michael Knight, talking to KITT on my watch. Yet now that there are real-life watches that can do even more things, I don't find myself quite as excited as my 5-year-old self was. Smartwatches have been around for over a decade already (remember Microsoft SPOT?), but the category hasn't evolved at the same pace as smartphones. It's not because there's a shortage of digital wrist-worn timepieces. The problem is that there's no common platform for third-party apps, which means there's little potential for growth.

There also doesn't seem to be any vision. Some watches act as Android phones with SIM cards and tiny touchscreens, while others try to establish their own platform to entice developers. Still others have even tried to put fitness bands and smartwatches into one device, to limited success. Even worse, most of the watches on the market today are what you might call "fashionably challenged" -- they simply aren't attractive enough to entice the masses. Google's solution is to extend its Android platform -- which has very strong market share and developer support -- to the wearables genre with Android Wear.

Read Full Review

Scores

Engadget

75
 

Breakdown

Speed
8.7
Ecosystem (apps, drivers, etc.)
7.1
Configurability
6.5
Openness
6.0
Ease of use
7.6
View All Scores

Specs

Android Wear

Type
Mobile / embedded OS
Source model
Open
View Full Specs

Specs

Android Wear

Type
Mobile / embedded OS
Source model
Open
View Full Specs
Video

Related Video

First Look: Tag Heuer Connect Watch

First Look: Tag Heuer Connect Watch

Posted   11.10.15
View
Similar Products

How It Stacks Up

91

Android 6.0

Engadget

91
 

Critic

8.8
 

User

9
 
No price available
91

Windows 10

Engadget

91
 

Critic

8.2
 

User

7.9
 
Starting at
$109.99
Requires Contract
90

iOS 9

Engadget

90
 

Critic

8.7
 

User

7.7
 
No price available
87

OS X El Capitan

Engadget

87
 

Critic

8.7
 

User

9
 
No price available

Firefox OS

Engadget

Not yet scored
 

Critic

5
 

User

4.8
 
No price available

The Latest

02.07.16
Inhabitat's Week in Green: VW's microbus concept, and more!
02.07.16 in

Inhabitat's Week in Green: VW's microbus concept, and more!

Hyperloop actually makes the list twice.

By Inhabitat,   02.07.16
View
02.06.16
Hangouts gives you better call quality by skipping Google
02.06.16

Hangouts gives you better call quality by skipping Google

Direct audio and video chats come to Hangouts on Android.

By J. Fingas,   02.06.16
View