Last week I took my yearly beach vacation, and I was a bit bummed out when I realized that I forgot to pack my Pebble charger. Luckily it only fell a day short, but I was still a bit upset that I had every charger I needed except my special, proprietary Pebble juicer. After picking up an G Watch I also realized that I've now amassed more smartwatch chargers than I ever thought possible. Nearly every watch I have — even those from the same manufacturer — all have different charging adapters, save for some watches like the Sony Smartwatch 2. Yes, most of the watches charge via microUSB, but not without a not-so-handy adapter in between. I get why these chargers exist, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
I have a decent collection of over a dozen smartwatches, and no less than a dozen individual chargers
I have a decent collection of over a dozen smartwatches, and no less than a dozen individual chargers — each good for charging just one device. Many of them work over microUSB, but still require some sort of adapter in the process. Both the Pebble and Pebble Steel require two similar proprietary chargers that aren't quite the same and need a USB connection. The new Gear 2 and Gear Fit both have a small clip-style adapter that fits snuggly on the back and work over microUSB — neither one interchangeable between devices. The G Watch has a fancy cradle that cuddles the watch while charging. The Gear Live has the same style clip-on charger of the Gear 2. My MetaWatch has a funky chip-clip adapter that I can't seem to keep track of. Then there's the biggest, bulkiest charger of them all — for the Qualcomm Toq. This one is just beyond me — a big, bulky, case-like cradle in which the Toq rests when charging (or when you simply need to turn it on, but don't get me started on that).
I understand that these chargers keep the insides of many of these watches safe and dry, allowing them to be waterproof and otherwise un-susceptible to the elements, but that also means that I'm stuck carrying around even more chargers than in the past. I have numerous devices that I can directly charge off one single microUSB charger — my Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Galaxy S5, numerous BlackBerry devices and Google Glass for starters — but I have no way of charging any of the watches I currently use without also tucking a charging adapter in between. This probably isn't a huge issue for the average consumer as they'll most likely just have one watch to deal with, but it poses a problem to tech geeks like myself who already have loads of gadgets to charge every day.
What's my point? I'd love for smartwatch makers to come to a consensus at some point in the near future and pick a single charging option that works across the board. Much like old dumb phones each had their own proprietary charger and morphed into (mostly) standard connections (thanks Apple!), I'm crossing my fingers that as we go forward, most (if not all) will get on the same page when it comes to charging. It's probably not going to happen anytime in the foreseeable future, in which case I'll get another drawer ready for the influx of new charging adapters that is sure to come my way.
What's your take? Do the "special" chargers for smartwatches bug you? Or are you okay with having a fancy doohickey for your favorite watch?