July 3rd 2014 5:26 pm

75

Taking smartwatches in the right direction

75

Android Wear has us more excited about the future of smartwatches than any other platform or device. It's more solid than we expected in a first-gen product, and of the options on the market, it has the most opportunity for growth. Wear enjoys a universal user experience; it's backed by a robust operating system with tons of user and developer support; and there's buy-in from manufacturers.

Still, there are plenty of issues that need to be fixed. Few users will be content charging their watch on a daily basis or wasting time scrolling through endless cards and unwanted notifications. A smartwatch should make life simpler, more productive and more efficient, and at the present time, it's just as easy -- if not more so -- to do most things on a phone. The platform will blossom as more apps come out, but it still has a long way to go before shoppers will be willing to spend hundreds of dollars on accessories.

For now, Wear is the best OS for Android users who are in the market for a smartwatch, but since these devices aren't necessities, they'll need to be more stylish and add more convenience to your life if they're going to attract the average consumer. Unfortunately, the Gear Live and G Watch just don't have what it takes for Wear to go mainstream, although we're holding out hope for the Moto 360.

Critic reviews

7.1
10 reviews
  • Ease of use
    7.7
  • Speed
    8.8
  • Configurability
    6.5
  • Ecosystem (apps, drivers, etc.)
    7.0
  • Openness
    6.0

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User reviews

7.0
1 review
  • Ease of use
    8.0
  • Speed
    4.0
  • Configurability
    2.0
  • Ecosystem (apps, drivers, etc.)
    10
  • Openness
    10
7.0
Engadget Jul 3, 2014

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.

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8.0
Ars Technica Jun 30, 2014

Google has turned the smartwatch OS from a clunky half-baked gadget to a useful tool. The core stuff works extremely well, but Google clearly has some work to do around apps, both third party and its own.

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7.0
The Wall Street Journal Jul 1, 2014

The first smartwatches from Google's platform are the smartest yet but buying one right now would be stupid. Not only are there more stylish Android Wear watches and improved software coming soon, but Apple is expected to release its own watch before the year's end.

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7.0
Computerworld Jul 9, 2014

For an initial release, though, Wear gets a lot of things right -- and gives us plenty of reason to be excited for the future. So all considered, is an Android Wear smartwatch something most of us need? Not at all. It's very much an accessory -- and a luxury one, at that.

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7.0
SlashGear Jul 1, 2014

It's the first smartwatch platform I've wanted to keep on my wrist for more than just a honeymoon period, and assuming developers embrace it in the same way that they have Android on smartphones, this is to my mind the strongest play for the wearable space so far.

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7.0
Time Jul 8, 2014

What we have now is a classic Google work-in-progress. The software needs more ways to surpass the abilities of users’ smartphones, and the hardware needs to get thinner, lighter and less clunky.

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7.0
The Verge Jun 30, 2014

Wear won’t save you from the Everything Inbox, it just makes it a little easier to keep tabs on your notifications. Beyond that, there’s no substitute for pulling your phone out and getting down to business.

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7.0
Fortune Jul 7, 2014

There’s a lot of work yet to be done on the smart watch, and though the companies that make them aren’t quite facing the same stakes as their analog counterparts in the 16th century, there is no question that they will change the way we live our lives.

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7.0
Gizmag Jul 3, 2014

Whether it's a few weeks, months or years from now, I think, at some point, smartwatches will blow up. And when that happens, Android Wear will be ready and waiting – if not leading the charge.

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