Smartwatches are not so smart after all -- the top problems users consistently face

Smartwatches

Love them or hate them, wearables are the future. Although right now the technology seems mostly limited to smartwatches. Take a look at Amazon’s new wearable tech store, and it’s clear watches (and fitness bands) are by far the most popular type of wearable being developed and sold at the moment.

However, just because a growing number of smartwatches are available to buy now, doesn’t mean they’re ready for the big time. In fact, a new report from Fixya suggests quite the opposite, with the popular product Q&A service highlighting consistent problems across all of the smartwatch brands.

The lack of uniformity in design and functionality in particular was seen as a major frustration: "Despite some overlap, there isn’t a consistent set of features across smartwatches; unlike the others, the Pebble doesn’t have a speaker, touchscreen or voice control; the Sony SW2 has a NFC chip and the I’m Watch tethers through Bluetooth, instead of using Wi-Fi, making connecting your device tricky and less intuitive".

The small screen sizes found on watches was also singled out as a problem, with the devices essentially just being used to remind users to check their phone to read emails and text messages.

Finally, speakers and voice control over phones were universally found to leave much to be desired, with experiences ranging anywhere from "relatively good to consistently horrible".

Fixya used information from over six thousand troubleshooting requests posted through its product Q&A site and iOS mobile app to discover the top five recurring issues across the smartwatch category. The top complaints were:

  • Speaker degradation -- 15 percent
  • Screen notification errors -- 15 percent
  • Waterproofing -- 15 percent
  • Bluetooth -- 10 percent
  • Other -- 45 percent

"The idea of smartwatches has long predated their actual existence. Pop culture has had a romance with them for decades" says Fixya CEO and founder Yaniv Bensadon. "Our newest Fixya report looks at the biggest smartwatch models, to get a sense of how we’re faring on delivering a 'Jetsons' style smartwatch. The results show that we’re still figuring out a lot the basic concepts, and that a truly fully functional smartwatch has yet to come".

The company took a look at the Samsung Galaxy Gear, Martian Passport, I’m Watch Smartwatch, Sony SW2 and the Pebble, and the top five problems for each are as follows:

galaxyTop 5 Samsung Galaxy Gear Issues:

  1. Voice Control -- 35 percent
  2. Screen Notifications -- 25 percent
  3. Music Listening -- 10 percent
  4. Battery Life -- 10 percent
  5. Other -- 20 percent

 
martianTop 5 Martian Passport Issues:

  1. Speaker -- 25 percent
  2. Screen Notifications -- 25 percent
  3. Waterproofing -- 20 percent
  4. Bluetooth -- 15 percent
  5. Other -- 15 percent

 
imwatchTop 5 I’m Watch Smartwatch Issues:

  1. Bluetooth -- 30 percent
  2. Battery Life -- 30 percent
  3. Speaker -- 15 percent
  4. Software -- 15 percent
  5. Other -- 10 percent

 
sw2Top 5 Sony SW2 Smartwatch Issues:

  1. Battery Life -- 25 percent
  2. Compatibility -- 20 percent
  3. Screen Lag -- 20 percent
  4. Display -- 20 percent
  5. Other -- 15 percent

 
pebbleTop 5 Pebble Smartwatch Issues:

  1. No Speaker/Voice Control -- 30 percent
  2. Control buttons -- 25 percent
  3. App Implementation -- 20 percent
  4. Battery Life -- 10 percent
  5. Other -- 15 percent

 
The full report can be found at http://blog.fixya.com/fixyareport/apr2014/smartwatch-report.html

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