I'll probably pass on a smartwatch until they're priced lowerAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Smartwatches are making a pretty big shift in this industry lately. What started as an idea long ago in books, movies and comics has now become a reality in our present day. Smartwatches do so much more than just tell time. More specifically, they tell time, accept and deny phone calls, display text messages and a whole lot more when connected with our smartphones. It's pretty cool stuff, and I'd be a liar if I said I wouldn't like to be wearing one on my wrist right now.
But I'm not, because as it stands right now I happen to find most smartwatches far too expensive a smartphone accessory.
Smartphone accessories are hot because smartphones are hot. It's easy for accessory makers to price phone accessories higher than what you would ever want to spend on something as simple as an accessory because let's face it: you need it. You need the case, you need the screen protector, you need the car charger. I could justify buying those things for inflated prices, mostly because it really does seem to be a game of you get what you pay for here. I've bought $2 cases that break when dropped once, I've bought $3 screen protectors that don't apply correctly, and I've bought the $8 car charger that stopped working after a couple of cord tugs.
But then there are the accessories I don't need that just seem to be way overpriced, like the $300 Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch that has recently been reported as a "flop" by only selling 50,000 units. However, in regards to the Galaxy Gear, I suppose more could be contributed to the flop of the device besides the price tag, such as awful battery life. Two things people don't like in this industry are bad battery life and high price tags, two things which Samsung included in their version of a smartwatch. But Samsung isn't the only manufacturer out there with a smartwatch.
Qualcomm also announced a smartwatch around the same time that Samsung announced their Galaxy Gear, and while the device has yet to be released it already has a thumbs down in my book because the price tag beats that of any other smartwatch in the industry at $349. That's a lot of dough for one small accessory that's supposed to make life with my smartphone more convenient in just a few areas at this point in time. I don't even care what the device does or that it lasts for more than one day; it's not worth that much money to me. The Galaxy Gear is not worth that much money to me. The only viable competitor that seems to get it right in regards to pricing is the Pebble smartwatch at $150, but even then the smartwatch is still missing some features that I would like to have a smartwatch to have.
Perhaps I'm being too picky, but I also know that as an early contender for what seems to be a game-changing product, the price of these accessories are going to be rather high for the time being. And for the time being, I don't happen to think that the accessories are worth the price. Yes, smartwatches are cool products and I think one day I would love to have one, especially if they're going in the direction that I think they're going in, but for right now I pretty much have no need for a smartwatch and I certainly don't feel like paying $300+ to own something I probably won't use that much. That's what I have a tablet for. I'm certain that in time the price of smartwatches will eventually go down.
Or perhaps they'll never take off at all. I guess only time will tell.
Readers, what are your thoughts on smartwatches? Do you think they're worth the price some companies are asking for, or do you find that you're not exactly rushing out the door to get one? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images via Business Insider, Qualcomm