From the Editor's Desk: Give me all the smartwatches!

By Adam Zeis on 20 Jan 2014 03:30 pm

This time last year I was settling into my 10-day adventure to Toronto leading up to the launch of BlackBerry 10 in NYC. Now I sit here writing this post as Editor-in-Chief of Mobile Nations' newest site, Smartwatch Fans. What a crazy year it's been.

We didn't let it loose at the time, but during our stay in Toronto we were hard at work on our BlackBerry 10 review, Z10 review, CrackBerry redesign and any number of other things we could fit in the schedule. It turned out to be an amazing trip and the kick off to an awesome year that included BlackBerry Live and CrackBerry Live in Orlando. 

It was on the ground here that I got my first real-life encounter with a Pebble smartwatch. I had originally jumped on the bandwagon and backed the project on Kickstarter, but after a few weeks I rescinded since I realized it wouldn't play nice with BlackBerry so I didn't need to drop the cash on it. Yet. As you most likely know, the Pebble project went through the roof and the rest was history. It was Pebble here, Pebble there, Pebble everywhere. Arguably that was the start of what continues to be a huge push for smartwatches and wearables. 

Being in the tech industry I'm already super connected for 98% of the hours in my day, so having a smartwatch would seem to push that number up towards 100%

So after returning from Orlando I was convinced I wanted a Pebble to call my very own. We had seen a demo of a very early beta app that connected the Pebble watch to a BlackBerry 10 phone, so I knew I'd at least have some functionality. I ordered one from Best Buy, got it a few days later and that was the beginning of it all. I dusted off my iPhone so I could setup my new watch and test things out. There weren't any BlackBerry 10 apps out at the time so I did have to wait a few weeks before my two favorite devices could play nice, but I found myself loving the Pebble regardless. I went back to using two devices so I could get a true feel of the Pebble notifications and it turned out to be something I didn't know I needed, but absolutely fell in love with. 

Being in the tech industry I'm already super connected for 98% of the hours in my day, so having a smartwatch would seem to push that number up towards 100%. Yet while I'm "hyper connected" now, I actually find it helps in my workflow as I don't need to run to various apps or phones to check my notifications. I have them on my wrist with a quick glance and that's that. I use my Pebble at home or when I'm out and now I can't imagine not having a smartwatch on my wrist.

Fast forward to a cold October weekend. My wife and kids were out of the house and while I should have been doing manly things, I was sitting on my computer WWILFing around, up to no good. I started to look around for some smartwatch sites to see what the latest happenings were, but to my dismay there were really no good sites to be found. Sad Adam.

So with that I took things into my own hands and sought out a solid domain name that was available, fired up a cheesy Wordpress blog and called it a day. I'd drop in some news posts here and there when anything big showed up, unsure of just what would end up happening with the site (if anything at all). It wasn't until weeks later that it came up in a conversation with Kevin and the birth of the new arrived. 

I've developed an amazing passion for smartwatches over the last few months ... I'm finding myself more and more intrigued by all of the smartwatch happenings going on

After countless tech calls, emails, late night chats and help from all of the awesome people behind the scenes, we launched Smartwatch Fans just before heading out to CES 2014 in Las Vegas. It was the plan all along to get it ready to go for the biggest tech show of the year, but believe me, there were points where we didn't think we'd be able to pull it off. Thankfully it all worked out and we were up and running in time to see the plethora of smartwatches at the show. We even got to kick off the site with an amazing feature on Pebble, my first love.

I've had my hand at managing the day-to-day on CrackBerry for a few years, so with plenty of Kevin's guidance under my belt, he agreed to let me have the official title of Editor-in-Chief for Smartwatch Fans (or as I like to call it, 'Chief Smartwatch Fan'). It's a big responsibility but I'm up to the challenge and excited to have some of the best in the business as my fellow EIC's. 


Time Will Tell

So what now? Well, we'll continue on our pursuit to be the biggest, baddest and most awesome smartwatch site on the planet (we're nearly there). I've developed an amazing passion for smartwatches over the last few months, and although I'll always love my BlackBerry (and all things mobile), I'm finding myself more and more intrigued by all of the smartwatch happenings going on. There is such a big movement and I'm glad we're here for the start of it. I honestly had no idea what I was getting into pre-CES but I'm glad we made it out alive :) 

For now I'm getting together a great team of writers that are also passionate about smartwatches, and I've been busy trying to build up my arsenal of devices so I can always know what I'm talking about when it comes to smartwatches. I've also pre-ordered some of the upcoming devices that I'm overly eager to get my hands on, so even if we haven't touched on your favorite device yet, rest assured that nothing is off our radar. We've already had two great Smartwatch Fans podcasts as well and I'm excited to have even more with plenty of guests and smartwatchy goodness.


Help Me Help You

So with all that being said — if there is anything that you would like to see covered here, by all means, please let us know. Reviews, tips, help articles, features, tools — whatever it may be. We're here to make an awesome experience for the readers and smartwatch fans all over the globe so we definitely want to know what you'd like to see. You can drop a comment here, on Twitter or to me personally @azeis or adam(at)

Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: Give me all the smartwatches!


Keep it fun and shoot for 50/50 video to written content. I'd like to see how far you can push the ethics with Smartwatches. Can you cheat on a driver written exam at the DMV, how bout a test at school. If you interviewed the people working there how blown would there mind be after you tell them you just cheated.

How sneaky does the picture taking become on a watch. Do people get upset when they find out you just snapped a pic of them from your watch? Videos like that would interesting to see.

I'd love to see head to head comparisons between the cross platform smartwatches and what they do differently on each platform they support. Seeing shootouts would be fun and helpful.

I'm enjoying the site so far I haven't visited AC since coming here (sorry!) as more watches are released/reviewed, side by side comparisons are good. Like this one for sporty types, this one for blackberry users etc etc. I'm always interested in getting my gadgets to do cool unexpected stuff so how to guides for basics through to getting your smartwAtch to make you breakfast that kind of thing.

maybe a smartwatch buyers guide? there's loads of smartwatche's out there and someone who doesn't closely follow the mobile/tech space may have no idea where to begin or what choice to make.

Definitely on the list! We're trying to get this done ASAP as we know that many people will need one. There will be too many to keep track of before long so we'll do the hard work :) 

I would really love to see a detailed review and comparison of the Omate TrueSmart versus the Neptune Pine in the future as I feel they have a similar aim and while you could justify a Pebble (for example) and just one of these, you wouldn't really need both all-singing, all-dancing smartwatches. So I would like to know if either is any good, strengths and weaknesses and which one might have an advantage over the other, etc.
Also comparison reviews of the upcoming Archos smartwatches with each other and the Pebble would be great when they are released.
Unfortunately, I spotted a few wild errors leading your article astray so hopefully you don't mind me pointing them out so that you can capture them successfully. In paragraph 3 I think "wouldn't nice" is intended to have the word play in the middle, also in paragraph 4 the words "could place nice" should be could play nice.

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App on my Motorola XT890 RAZR i

A write-up on Microsoft SPOT and what direction if any, Microsoft is headed in the Smartwatch department.

I actually think you screwed up with "smartwatch" fans. I think the site should have been geared to wearable technology in general. This segment is only going to get bigger. What's next... "", "", "", ect.?

I agree. I commented as such somewhere else in the Mobile Nations-verse when the site topic came up. It's a nice site but for long term viability the focus seems too narrow. Maybe when smart "wearables" starts to really grow beyond watches a new site will emerge and ingest all the watch content.

Review the Martian voice command watches with Google now and Siri.

Posted via the Android Smurfmarch Fans App!

An in depth look at the Razor Naboo, it's the only one out there that's really trying something different, imho. Especially with the public/private screen idea and the gasification side of it, with devices being able to communicate with each other directly. Very intriguing wearable indeed.

Keep doing what you're doing. This is one of the best ideas Mobile Nations has had. Thanks.

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans Tablet App!

I would love to see a post on how durable the watches are in the real world. I for one hammer watches while I am working. I would like to know if they hold up to shock, moisture,dirt dust,etc. Take one for a ride in the world of bartending! :)

I can at least help in terms of the regular Pebble. The screen is fairly easy to scratch if you're not careful, and I'm not sure just how well it would hold up in a rough environment. I'm guessing the Steel will help improve things, but we won't really know until it is released.

Good idea though, as durability is important when spending a fair bit of money on a watch.

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App!

Would be cool if you can get an interview with the creators of Agent and perhaps ask them why it's taking them so long too!

Firstly, keep up the great work! As someone who had just received a Pebble a couple of days before the initial emails were sent about the site, the timing for me was perfect! I also second the notion that once you start using a smartwatch it's hard to imagine not always having one (too many have told me it makes no sense for the watch to do what their phone already does; I, however, absolutely LOVE the convenience!) I'm definitely passionate about smartwatches and think we're only at the beginning in terms of what these devices will be capable of.

As far as suggestions for the site, I'd love to see reviews or features on apps for the various watches.

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App!