Smartwatches Don’t Need To Be Budget To Succeed, But We Do Need More Budget Models
2015 has proved to be a great year for smartwatches. We’ve seen numerous models hit the market and even more are on the way, but with all these releases we’ve been seeing a trend develop, more and more smartwatches aren’t afraid to go after that $300+ price tag. Apple kicked things off, and LG, Huawei, and now even Motorola jumped on board. Even Samsung’s latest offering is rumored to be priced well over $300. While I’m glad to see so much competition out there, lets take a step back and think, is this really how the smartwatch should be seen? Well I’m sure your immediate thought is, “No, of course not”. Well, you’re right, mostly.
Budget smartwatches have their place, but they aren’t the only thing that needs to exist. Too many times I’ve seen people say “Oh well no one is going to buy a $300 smartwatch, that’s ridiculous!” That’s simply not true. For many, $300 isn’t too much as long as the watch lives up to the price. So no, not every smartwatch needs to be budget in order for the whole collection to succeed, but we definitely need budget offerings out there, and more of them.
So what defines a budget smartwatch? With prices already going from as little as $100 all the way up to $17,000, its obvious that OEMs are going to charge what they want to for these devices. A budget smartwatch, at least in my mind, should be anything prices under $150. So far, that’s been a very limited collection.
Looking right now, your main options for a brand new smartwatch under $150 comes down to the original Moto 360 (something that won’t be around much longer), the ASUS ZenWatch 2, and the original Pebble smartwatch. All three of these are solid options, but when I can name 4 smartwatches over double their price, there’s something not right there.
OEMs, if any of you are listening, we don’t need more premium options. There are plenty to choose from. So focus on giving us less expensive options. Not everyone can afford a $300 watch and even fewer actually want to do so. The market as a whole doesn’t need to be budget, there do need to be options.