So as we get more and more into all of the smartwatches that will soon be trickling out to the public, I think we have to pay attention to the separation between the smartwatch and the "phone on your wrist" watch. Already we know that there are quite a few watches due out soon that aren't simply just watches, yet they are full-feature phones slimmed down to fit in a watch-sized package on your wrist. I haven't gone head-first into any of these phone watches yet and while they do intrigue me, it's hard for me to say that they'll find a good home in the mainstream smartwatch space.
I'm not sure that consumers will be actively seeking a device that is packing a huge processor, an SD card slot, SIM card slot, camera or other hardware that they can get in a phone
Today when I think smartwatch, I think accessory for your phone — not an actual phone (albeit a smaller phone). I think Pebble, Galaxy Gear, MetaWatch, Sony Smartwatch ... you get the idea. Of course because of what I do, I know that watches like the Omate TrueSmart and Neptune Pine exist, but for the average consumer they are scary. Why? Because the specs lists are a mile long and people won't know what to do with them. Nor will they need a watch with such specs. Anyone that is going to buy a smartwatch most likely just wants an extension of their phone and some sort of notifications on their wrist — maybe voice calling or some other added goodies. They'll buy one because they want to own a smartwatch or because they've seen and heard things about a certain device. I'm not sure that consumers will be actively seeking a device that is packing a huge processor, an SD card slot, SIM card slot, camera or other hardware that they can get in a phone. Not to mention shelling out hundreds of dollars more for a smartwatch with these specs when they can buy a phone for the same price — or even less in some cases. Some people will I'm sure, but for the most part they'll be left to the tech-savy crowd.
I think it's too early to tell just how well any of these "phone watches" will do
I think it's too early to tell just how well any of these "phone watches" will do when the hit the market. We can see already from the likes of the Galaxy Gear and Pebble that smartwatches in general do have a place in the tech space, but whether or not bigger, more action-packed devices will be able to compete is hard to say.
I'm still not sure that I'm ready for a phone watch myself either. Of course I'll pick up the devices and give them a good workout, but I don't see them replacing any of my more simpler watches — or more importantly — my phone. I already have two active phones and umpteen spares, so seeing the immediate need for another phone just isn't in my forecast for now. I do like what the devices can do however, but the need for sending an email or text from a 1.5" screen on my wrist escapes me.
I hope that devices like the TrueSmart, Neptune Pine, A.I Watch and others do find their place in the smartwatch community, but I'm not so sure that they'll venture too far outside those lines. I don't see any of these being sold at retailers like Best Buy or other electronics stores and as I said earlier, your average Joe who is looking for a simple smartwatch isn't going to buy one of these devices. There is just too much to them for the average person to dive into. Just like people flock to what they know with phones — iPhone 5s, 5c, Samsung Galaxy S4 or Note 3 — they'll move in much the same manner to smartwatches. Names they know for devices they've heard of that just plain work. No fuss, no mess. Not to mention having a phone watch would mean having another phone line hence spending more money on a monthly basis.
So what say you? Do you think that "phone watches" will hold their own in the consumer smartwatch space? Or are they merely for the geeks among us? Sound off in the comments!