back to article Samsung keeps the smartwatch alive. Just

Samsung has put its smartwatch on a diet in a bid to maintain dwindling market interest in the once-hot device category. Activity trackers don't have the stigma that smartwatches do – so Samsung has disguised the watch as a Fitness Thing™. Its new Tizen-powered Gear Sport will go head to head with Fitbit's new watch, and ( …

  1. thomas k


    Round and square (kind of)?! One or the other, please.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ugly

      Looks like square with rounded corners.

      1. Michael Habel

        Re: Ugly

        Quick someone contact Apples crack team of attack lawyers to shut it down now!

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Ugly

      Have you seen Patek Philippe's Nautilus range? Same mix of square vs round. Not saying it's good or bad, just that some people are paying upwards of 30k for this...

    3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Ugly

      It's a cushion case. Good examples being Panerai and JeanRichard.

      (The PP Nautilus is quite different; it has a non-circular bezel and integral lugs.)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A heady combination for sure...

    Samsung - the 'firebrand' of electronics companies. Consumer trust 'off the scale'.


    Tizen - more holes that a Swiss Cheese. Uglier than 70s architecture. Flakier than a leper in a hurricane.


    Samsung pay - certainly not rushed to market in blind panic after Apple did it first.


    Fitness stuff - even the lyrcra wearing middle aged office bore is getting a little disenchanted with these gadgets.


    Utterly compelling purchase. Not.

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    But... Who buys this stuff?

    Haven't we been told that wearables are deader than the deadest duck time and time again?

    And then there is the matter of Tizen. Weren't there a whole slew of reports a few months ago about how insecure and buggy it was?

    At least Samsung keep us on our toes unlike boring old Apple.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: But... Who buys this stuff?

      They have sold in their millions so people are buying them. But the numbers pale in comparison to mobile phones and Apple is getting the vast majority of the profits.

      But it's worth thinking of some of these devices as R&D for more Star Trekky stuff down the road. Personally, I battery life is a key issue for these devices but obviously others don't mind. The WithThings range seems to tackle that straight on, though I'd like to see something that use an automatic mechanism to charge.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: But... Who buys this stuff?

        Indeed. When mobile phones were the size of bricks, only people who could really justify the cost and inconvenience would have one. A decade or so later, with advancements in batteries, silicon and infrastructure, most people would have one.

        1. PassingStrange

          Re: But... Who buys this stuff?

          Yeah, but at the time they also carried cameras, Walkmans, GPS units and more. Who does that any more? They're all subsumed into a single device now. Plenty of us don't even wear a watch any more, other than as a style statement. Bear in mind that, realistically, people don't actually have phones; that was just the evolutionary route. What they have are portable computers with more processing power than the supercomputers of a generation ago, that have replaced a whole raft of devices, phones among them. So I'm still waiting for even the hint of that "killer app" that will make everyone really want to buy an extra device and strap it to their wrists again - and, seriously, right now I don't think it exists. There's almost nothing that a smart watch can do, that a smart phone can't do as well, and often with better usability. Market penetration is laughable; there are, literally, more mobile devices out there right now than there are people alive - over 7.2bn at the last count. And smart watches have managed to sell a few million? Absolute chickenfeed; as close to zero as makes no difference. They have their uses, but basically these things are likely to remain niche.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They all try to do so much

    I love my Pebble but it is now unsupported and if I ever reset my phone or buy another I'm probably buggered. Also after nearly 3 years use the battery is on the way out.

    I was looking at a Fitbit surge to replace it at Xmas, but even that is a compromise - all I want is at-a-glance read of texts or notifications and an easy control for the music features of my phone / iPod.

    Even Pebble tried to do too much to compete with the late-comers, if they had stuck with simple, they might still be here now......

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: They all try to do so much

      Even Pebble tried to do too much to compete with the late-comers, if they had stuck with simple, they might still be here now......

      Pebble demonstrated the failure of the crowdsource model for the purposes of building a company.

      Crowdsourcing allows you to build a SINGLE product. You show people what you are going to build and build it. Pebble did that brilliantly. What it tried after that was to become a company to sell MORE products which did not get the implicit approval of crowdsourcing and whose products were decided by a newly formed board + marketing. If they put the financing of the new products to the crowdsourcing test they would have known they are a dud before they tried. They could have even still be around making what the people liked - the original pebble (with minimal incremental improvements).

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: They all try to do so much

        Pebble demonstrated the failure of the crowdsource model for the purposes of building a company.

        I'm not so sure that's true. Pebble certainly struggled with what happens next but the I think it was the decision to get into bed with the VCs rather than continue doing market-focused development that really led to the downfall.

    2. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Re: They all try to do so much

      all I want is at-a-glance read of texts or notifications and an easy control for the music features of my phone / iPod.

      All I want is the exact opposite! I am over middle-age so I need reading glasses. I really want to be able to control my watch from my phone. Have it get accurate time periodically from the phone, be able to set complex alarm patterns from the phone, be able to choose which time zone(s) to display from the phone, etc. I want the phone to replace the horrible tiny display and fiddly buttons for the control stuff, leaving the watch (with an analogue display, preferably with real hands) just looking nice, showing me the time, sounding an alarm and having a really long battery life (over a year without charging/replacement).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They all try to do so much

      Buy a proper grownups' watch (see and use your phone for all the millennial distractions.

      1. 0laf Silver badge

        Re: They all try to do so much

        Hmm a grown-up watch would be be more like a Seiko Monster. 5% the price of your Rolex. does the same job and if you ever attacked you can beat your assailant to death with it safe in the knowledge the watch will be fine.

        After WW3 the cockroaches will be wearing Seiko Monsters.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          5% the price of your Rolex. does the same job...

          Right. A Seat Mii does the same job as a Bentley Continental GT. But, because as far as I know, I have but a single life on this planet, and I have some taste, I decided not to go for the Mii.

          Just buy the Rolex. You owe it to yourself to have the odd nice thing.

    4. billdehaan

      Re: They all try to do so much

      I'm right there with you. Once my Pebble Time dies, it's either try to scare one up on Amazon or eBay, or I have to switch.

      Even the Fitbit Ionic, using cannibalized Pebble tech, doesn't do (yet) what Pebble did.

      One possible replacement is the Nokia/Withings watch, but even that doesn't have music controls, and it only tells you that you have an email, it doesn't show you what it is.

  5. K

    Fitbit claims four days...

    I get 7-10 days out of my Garmin HR.. An I use it all the time, help keep fresh and alert (I use it as a sleep monitor)

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Fitbit claims four days...

      Yes, but your Garmin will break every time your phone gets updated or your watch gets updated and every so often Garmin Connect will kill your phone's battery for no good reason.

      I will grant you that it's the best of the smartwatches. The "just look on the watch for a grid reference" trick never stops being amazing. Needed it Monday when the main Garmin satnav decided to crash miles from the nearest road.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My Moto 360 sport just got an update to Android Wear 2 last week.

    I really like it and I'm not into gadgets or watches. It is great when paired with Viewranger for navigation, full display of OS maps with current location and routes marked also.

    It's also great for calendar appointments and notifications when you're in a meeting, getting out a phone looks quite rude.

    I'd be sad to not be able to replace it if everyone abandoned the idea.

  7. Chris Gray 1

    CHRIStmas present

    I might have to buy myself a Gear Sport as a Christmas present. My Gear 2 Neo still works fine, but I do worry about the battery eventually dying on it. Also, the new one is rounder and slimmer, so should fit underneath shirt and coat sleeves better. (I'm in Canada!)

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge


    That's where I stopped reading about this thing.

    I think the word Tizen is to me what garlic is supposed to be to vampires. I have an acute allergic reaction to anything that is so badly mucked up.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: "Tizen-powered"

      Then I do hope you don't own a car! Have you seen the state of the software used in embedded devices? It makes Tizen look like something that has come out of a well-resourced research project.

      The bigger problem is: these are typical solutionists products that tout a solution in search of a problem. Though I do think continued work on them will lead to ubiquity in a few years.

  9. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Does this watch

    also offer hand-warming as one of its functions?

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: hand-warming

      That was the Intel smart watch.

  10. Barry Rueger

    Bright Ideas

    Somehow whenever I read about "smart" watches I immediately also think about "smart" lightbulbs, "smart" doorbells, and other "smart" soon to arriving at yard sales, Craigslist, and the landfill devices.

    I'm well and truly connected, but most of this stuff sounds nearly pointless except for some edge uses, appears to be half thought-out solutions to problems that don't exist, seems likely to break down in months if not weeks, and is probably entirely not repairable or recyclable.

    Maybe in five years I'll be convinced, but most of this stuff looks like junk to me.

  11. billdehaan

    Activity trackers don't have the stigma that smartwatches do

    I see this a lot in the Pebble forums. There's one group of people who want the thing on their wrist to play videos, monitor their heart, track their movements with a GPS, and buy things with NFC. Then there's another group that just wants a watch, dammit.

    The intersection set between these two is minimal. This is why the Pebble expats are unhappy with the Fitbit Ionic, because it's overpriced and overkill for a simple watch; and the fitness types aren't impressed that all they really got out of the Pebble IP that Fitbit bought was better battery life and the possibility of an app store.

    The problem is that vendors need to choose with group they want to appeal to, and most are trying to satisfy both. Compromises have to be made, and each compromise will please only one group.

    As attributed to Abe Lincoln, he didn't know what the secret of success is, but the key to failure is trying to please all of the people all of the time.

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