My wife thinks that even the smallest latest Apple Watch is way too large for a watch. I wonder if there's some matter of comfort in a relatively flat backed round form factor for a watch? A relatively thick rectangle with a rounder back is going to have a center of mass that is further away from the wrist. It comprises a very small cantilever, which is still quite large on the scales of the traditional watch. (By something like a factor of 3 or so.) The slightly taller rectangular shape will also tend to funnel the motion such a cantilever experiences in an arc parallel to the forearm. None of this was at all an issue for most traditional watches, simply because they were much flatter.
Something has always bothered me about Apple Watches when trying them out in the store, and I think it's this. They're not bulky, but there's something about them which seems to keep them from disappearing from my awareness. Even my dad's old Rolex, which isn't huge, but isn't small for a watch, seems to sit on my wrist more comfortably. Even the Tag Heuer, which I think is a bit too big, seems to sit more comfortably on my wrist. Even the big old school watches just didn't have this stick-out-y character.
Ex-Lead UI developer from the ex-Microsoft Band here.
UX wise, rectangular and square form factors make a lot more sense for the types of media consumption smartwatches are used for. Every time I see a text message clipped on the sides with only 3 lines showing on a huge circular display, I cry a little inside.
Apple went with square-ish for a lot of good reasons.
You can do some cool, innovative, and impressive looking things with circular form factors of course, especially when it comes to graphical displays of data. But humans are very bad at judging magnitudes in pie shape forms, and at the end of the day, a lot of information is textual. This limits you.
> My wife thinks that even the smallest latest Apple Watch is way too large for a watch.
Honestly the Microsoft Band being worn on the underside of the wrist was brilliant (I may be biased). It is much easier to hold up in a comfortable reading position, and the dual body design meant the mass was split across the top and bottoms of the wrist.
The problem of course was fitting all those electronics in a much narrower form factor. The entire device ended up being too wide for some people's wrists. At the end of the day, all those electronics and sensors, and of course the display, had to go somewhere.
In regards to the article, I'm guessing Google is buying a team for the factory contracts, supply chains, and perhaps the ME/EE talent. Having all of that come in one big package is nice, building up those supplier relationships especially can take years of painful miscommunication.
That the Band seemed geared towards wear on the inside of the wrist helped make it feel both more futuristic and more comfortable. And the tile UI was so well suited to the screen size.
I was so disappointed when MS gave up on the Band. You guys did a great job on it.
The whole UI was incredibly well designed for the form factor. The app design guide was a very good read.
I also liked how it wasn't trying to pretend to be a normal watch but with a screen.
I dabbled with Android smartwatches for a bit after, but they never were able to scratch the same itch.
Huh? Smartwatches aren't used for "media consumption". I primarily use my Series 4 Apple watch as a watch and heart/activity monitoring device.
I do think the rectangular form factor is better in a watch, but this comment may reveal why Apple is crushing everybody else: they understood the user and sold that user a _watch_ rather than a "media consumption" device.
>> Microsoft Band being worn on the underside of the wrist was brilliant
Another misunderstanding of what watches are about. They're on the upper side of one's wrist because they're also a fashion accessory. That's how you get to charge $450 per unit sold.
1. People who want a tech accessory. Apple does a good job at this, some of the other boutique smart watches do a good job at this.
2. Productivity users, people who want to be reminded of their meetings, have a useful voice control no matter where their phone is at, be able to triage messages as they come in, screen phone calls without taking their phone out, and everyone who has a Fear Of Missing Out. IMHO the Microsoft Band was best of class at this when it came out and kept in the running for quite awhile.
3. Fitness users, these users run a gamut from "how many steps did I take today" to "I train 5 days a week and I want all the data ready to analyze!". Band was originally envisioned to cater to people who had outgrown simple step counters and wanted something more. We weren't a $500 Garmin device, but Band was literally designed for users who wanted good heart rate measurements (chest strap will always be the best), GPS tracking on runs, and a companion for Crossfit classes.
> That's how you get to charge $450 per unit sold.
Garmin sells $500 units that you can take on a week long hike, get lost with, and they'll lead you back out on day 5.
The target audience for those vs the Apple Watch is of course much different! It is a completely different product, the commonality is in some overlap of functionality, and the fact that they are both worn on the wrist.
Or to put it another way, I and some friends, would wear our bands to boxing practice.
Not an Apple Watch use case. :)
This is, apparently, the category that Microsoft wasn't even aware of. :-)
>> Garmin sells $500 units
The question is, how does their volume (and revenues, and mindshare) compare to those of Apple Watch? I've recently seen a statistic that Watch is now a bigger business than iPod ever was.
The only watch that I can wear and go to a party full of Rolex guys and still feel more modern.
The Apple Watch certainly skimps on Battery life and can feel unwieldy to wear.
It in many ways, falls squarely into #1. It not being too shabby at #2 and #3 makes Apple Watch 4 the best smart watch on the market, but that is not why it sells.
Apple commands a SUPREME-esque brand value and the first couple of Apple Watch versions sold in millions despite being a clear #1 type of smart watch. ie. a fashion accessory.
Sure, but technology has its limits!
Battery tech is a huge one right now.
But, let's take the UV sensor as an example. The Microsoft Band was one of the first mass market consumer wearables to have a UV sensor on it (there were dedicated devices that beat it to market, barely).
Now UV is hard to work with in that a lot of transparent materials (lens) block it. UV sensors also aren't small, and they need to be positioned in a place that'll get a lot of exposure if the user is in the sun.
That is how the Band ended up with its UV sensors on its back. It isn't pretty, but if we wanted to make a useful sun exposure feature (and we did!), that sort of sensor placement becomes needed.
It took the mechanical engineering team a lot of work to get a precisely placed UV sensor, with a proper lens material on front of it, calibrated to measure UV in a way that is relevant for human exposure, at a cost that can go into a mass market consumer product.
Size is another issue. At launch, Band's main body was actually thinner than anything else in its feature class, but still every reviewer complained about how thick it was!
> This is, apparently, the category that Microsoft wasn't even aware of. :-)
We were aware, but leadership consciously made the choice to not go after that market.
To put it in perspective, Apple has reportedly sank well over a billion dollars into the Apple Watch, they are on generation 4, and yet it is still not a perfect device that does everything for everyone. (And being Apple, I imagine that isn't their goal.)
Honestly technology just isn't there yet. Batteries are too big, sensors are too power hungry, screens are too power hungry, and the electronics take up too much room. (And GPS antennas aren't shrinking much, laws of physics and all that!)
It is like those fold out smartphones everyone wants. Just unwrap it like a scroll.
I've actually seen, played with, screens that you can unwrap. They are super cool. All the technology that goes around those screens, well... CPUs are less flexible than OLEDs.
Along with "transparent" displays you see in Avengers movies, this is something nobody _actually_ wants. It looks cool as a render, but it's completely impractical, and if the product like this existed and someone bought it, they'd take it back to the store the same day and get a refund. "Design is how it works".
may I ask who the supplier of your sensor was in the end ?
To be clear, I don’t mean fitness tracking - I don’t care about that. I mean all the other variables that a device on my wrist could track that could be vital to preemptive diagnosis or explaining a new issue. The need to charge the watch nightly was a total dealbreaker - many of the variables I want to track are during my sleep.
All the other watch features are worthless to me - I have my phone for those. I want a “watch” to focus/differentiate on the things only a device attached to my skin 24/7 can do.
Apple watch is the ugliest possible watch to wear if you want to wear it as a fashion accessory, non-smart watches are fashion accessories. Apple Watch is just less ugly than most of the other smartwatches, but it's still ugly as a fashion accessory
But even if I were to agree, it also happens to be the best looking "smart" watch on the market by quite a wide margin, by far not the ugliest looking watch overall, and the only one that doesn't scream "I'm a computer" at you.
You don't have to run faster than the bear, you only have to run faster than the next slowest guy.
Because that's what it is.
A completely different world from a beautiful watch.
The "fashion accessory" factor is related to the iPhone popularity: it's a relatively expensive status symbol with the Apple boost.
On the flip side, if Apple isn't crushing everybody else, it's because they misunderstood typical users and thought they wanted a tiny phone on the wrist, rather than a watch.
Disclosure: Fitbit employee, but I don't speak for Fitbit. My opinion that Apple isn't crushing everybody else isn't based on any inside info, but on the article below that reported that less than half of Holiday 2017 Apple Watch sales were the then-current model. Most of their sales were discounted old inventory, so usually they didn't get to charge $450 per unit sold.
I think Apple didn't really have a strong focus in their original vision for Apple Watch, and threw stuff on the wall to see what would stick; the same was true for users who expected an iPhone on their wrist. However, it quickly became clear what Apple Watch was good for and what it didn't do well, so, recognizing that, Apple Watch has started selling quite well.
The only place where they do any such split is the graph and it shows total number of units sold in 2015-2017.
They understood their target demographic perfectly, and are making a product for them.
They "misunderstood typical users" so badly, apparently, that they sold more watches than the entire Swiss watch industry combined. I wish I could misunderstand my typical users as bad as Apple does.
I'm honestly confused as to why you didn't just buy a FitBit? The batteries last longer, they're lighter and more comfortable, and they're much cheaper.
> Another misunderstanding of what watches are about. They're on the upper side of one's wrist because they're also a fashion accessory.
Oh, I see...
You probably know the "drivers watches" from the seventies, which had the display at the side of the watch that faces towards you when holding a steering wheel (search for "Bulova driver's watch"). I think it would be great to get something similar again for smartwatches. A small display at the side of the watch, showing the time or some indicators. This display would be visible without rotating the wrist and make it much easier to get status information.
In addition there would still be the large display on top. Combined screen size would be even bigger without increasing the size of the watch.
Somehow though Pilots' Watches have survived as a lucrative luxury item. An actual navigator's watch is primarily a stopwatch. The pilot doesn't need much more than a Casio.
Having gone from MS Band 2 to Apple Watch to Samsung G3 to Fitbit Charge, MS Band has been my favorite.
My single complaint was the how invariably the band would begin to break away from the display over normal use. Also, battery life could have been better...
I'd still buy one if MS decided to produce a 3rd iteration. A Fitbit Charge with the under wrist style display would be great as well...
Battery life was provably as good as it could be!
There was one sensor that wasn't fully optimized, working on it could've added maybe 4 or so hours to the battery life (up to 8 if all the best case most optimistic estimates came through), but other than that OS architecture of the Band ensured optimal battery life.
Having that many sensors, and a screen that bright, on a device that small, just sucks up battery.
For what it is worth (nothing!), if the majority of health sensors were turned off, and the Band was only used as for productivity, the battery could easily last over 3 days. That is if memory serves me correct. :) (I'm wearing one right now, but I'm too lazy to turn everything off and come back in a few days to comment!)
Some Cambridge folks figured out how to convert ATP into (extremely small amounts of) electricity .
If you had a route from extracting lipids in the bloodstream, to feeding it to mitochondria in some kind of controlled culture, carry away the carbon dioxide, heat and water, then extract and feed the ATP to the aforementioned Cambridge process, then you might be able to power your wearable tech from your bad eating habits. That 5,000 calorie chocolate volcano cheesecake death-on-a-dish now gets a "hh:mm" advertised next to it. Militaries around the world will then be faced with adding more calories to their already-calorie-loaded rations. Corn farmers in the US will rejoice.
Thank goodness that route I described is not anywhere near feasibility in the next several decades. I'm dubious our ecosystem could sustain that kind of demand for more food calories.
All said slightly tongue in cheek...
So if your converter was anything but awful, it probably wouldn't be a big deal.
I just meant I value a longer battery life pretty highly. So, something like a MS Band "lite" with a less feature rich sensor package, a 2 tone oled display, and 6 to 7 day battery life would have hit that sweet spot for me, personally.
I really like being able to wear the Charge 3 around the clock for a full week (I typically charge it during my lazy Sunday morning routine) without really worrying about it.
I ended up picking up a Fitbit Ionic (though the newer Versa is now a clear improvement in almost every way) in part because it was one of the few truly cross-platform smartwatches that wouldn't tie me to a phone ecosystem. Windows Mobile support on it is still great, since they use a UWP app on desktop as well.
I actually flip my Ionic around my wrist when in the movie theater in particular (I see a lot of movies), so that it won't blind everyone if I move and my watch decides to light up.
Microsoft also seemed to be leading the foldable device trend both with the Courier several years ago, and more recently, the Surface Andromeda, but then inexplicably decided to kill them both and wait for their competitors to beat them to it. I have a Windows phone that runs Android apps as well as Android does but Microsoft decided to scrap the feature. Watching Microsoft both come up with the best solution to a problem and then brutally murder it before anyone can use it is probably the most painful thing to watch in tech.
Just when team X is about to score, they end up loosing management support, thus the product gets canned while others pick up the idea.
It's easy to see and say "this product is costing us money and isn't popular enough", and fail to realize "killing products over and over means people aren't going to try our next one". Long term stable support of a product line, even if it's not a top seller, is what's going to earn you consumer trust.
At least that is what I observe from the local dealers around my me.
So from that point of view Win32/UWP is also a giant app library.
I used to wear a watch every day to uni. It rested on the underside of my wrist, 'cause it made more sense to me. I also used to type a lot on my laptop, which rested on a flat table surface, when I was at the uni.
Every time I needed to type more than a few symbols, I had to take the watch off. Otherwise: KGHRRR GHRR GHRRR GHR-HR-HR, across the table surface, for everyone to hear. Let alone the pressing of damn-near-solid metal onto the backside of the wrist, where all of them good veins are.
Microsoft band looks about as thick as the watch I wore. Looks like it's lighter, its exterior being made of plastic. Must have had some weight and volume, still.
Was that ever in the process of discussion when making a smart watch?
It's a shame the bracelet was so poorly designed. The thing was damn near perfect.
How the entire project fell apart is one of those "If you're in my neck of the woods buy me a beer" stories.
Thanks for the complement on the software. :) Having a chance to help design and build an (RT)OS at that young age and then have Microsoft of all companies, ship it out was an incredible experience. The underlying RTOS has some really cool and innovative concepts in it, and it was the best environment I've ever programmed for.
I might be biased about the programming environment, since I was designed or helped design most of the foundational APIs. :-D
as a tl;dr, 256KB of RAM, complete async runtime, CPU was off most of the time as the DMA (direct memory access) engine did the majority of the work copying data around. The closest modern analog would be programming in nodeJS, which funny enough is exactly what I'm doing right now!
honestly? That's pretty badass. I really liked the band concept and how it tried to actually advance wearables instead of smush watch and phone together.
Other things Band did:
1. Real true type fonts.
2. East Asia Language support
3. Real Unicode (see 1 & 2)
4. Antialiased fonts
5. Real transparency/alpha blending
6. Particle effects engine
30 FPS on a 96Mhz CPU and a dumb framebuffer.
Writing a custom OS lets you do amazing things with minimal resources!
I think a lot of personal preference comes into this. I know some women who wear their (lighter) watches on the inside, I've never seen anyone with a bigger watch to this.
I just remember having a metal wristband that was just a little too loose and the watch body slipped to the inside of my wrist from time to time, and I hated that so much that I stopped wearing it until I got it shortened. It's not much but the weight distribution makes this horribly uncomfortable for me. Also it clanks against the desk while typing :P
The biggest downfall for me was the durability. I had my band 2 replaced so many times because the rubber kept coming away. If they could have fixed that, then it would hands down be the best smartwatch on the market.
Even if a S sized Band 2 was a bit too big (I wear size 6 gloves) I absolutely loved the Band, and yes I wore it on the underside of the wrist.
I only let it go when it got the tearing disease.
There should be round watches and square/rectangular watches the same way there should be both gold and silver, both sporty and fancy, both digital and analog.
People like to express themselves in what they wear. A big part of your watch isn't just when you look at it, but when others see it on your wrist. What is it saying about you?
If you're a guy, one interpretation is that round means you're more of a classic dude, while square means you're more modern. The same way gold means you're more show-offy while silver says understated. Sporty says you might need to go for a run after this, while fancy means you're more likely to have expensive dinner reservations. None of these need to be true, but they're what your watch is saying for you.
Obviously it's much more complex than this. And feel free to ignore it. But like it or not, your choice of accessories (for men, mainly watch, shoes and bag) wind up saying a lot about you, which is why they necessarily come in so many variations.
While iPhones are sleek and stylish, the only thing that they are replacing are convergent previous technology devices without much stylistic precedence (unless you count the late 90s early 2000s "slightly ergonomic plastic" as a style) so nobody puts up much of a fuss. The Apple Watch is clearly an Apple designed product and it serves its function, but its replacing what has long been a style accessory with its own traditions and norms (particularly roundness), something you wear on your body and is visible to others at all times. When I see an Apple Watch, I don't think "Cool, that person has a smart watch.", I think "That's an ugly watch.". Round watch faces at least return to the classic shape.
My ideal smart watch would be round with mechanical arms and a mechanical crown, but with a color eInk dial/face with a high refresh rate (I'm not sure if there is current eInk tech which meets these specs yet). I do not want to look like I'm wearing a compass on my arm, though.
(I got curious, this is similar to what I'm describing, but still way too large and not quite the same: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gligo-e-ink-smartwatch-ha...)
I think you're onto something there.
One of my coworkers has a rather large, round, positively can-like Android smart watch. I look at it, and think, That's way too thick for a watch. It has a flatter back, which I think is a plus.
Another thing I just realized: Traditional watches often attach to the wristband much closer to the wrist than many smart watches. This helps them "disappear" when being worn.
There are very attractive square watches; Glashutte Original Senator 70s, Cartier Tank, Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso. Apple watch utterly fails at looking as good. It looks like a Dick Tracey TV-watch stuck on someone's wrist.
Otherwise I have no idea what one of these things is for, other than letting large corporations know about your heart rate. I like my ordinary Swiss and German watches; the engineering is fun to appreciate, they look kewul, give me something to nerd out about with salesguys that doesn't involve knowledge of sports, plus they tell me what time it is.
"engineering fun to appreciate"? Are you telling me you're thrilled to see a $4000 device (looking at the Jaeger Lecoultre) that will tell you the time (within a few seconds) if you remember to wind it up regularly?
I mean, you do you, by all means, but I don't get it.
If you look at it and all you see is $4000 rather than the skill and artistry which went into designing and making it, well, have fun with your 'smart watch.' FWIIW I also like 80s era calculators and obscure slide rules. Knowing there is a technical improvement doesn't require you to use it.
Well, sure there was skill and artistry involved. But there is skill and artistry involved in designing and building smart watches as well.
> FWIIW I also like 80s era calculators
Hopefully not to the point that you're carrying a $10000 TI-57 everywhere and swear that today's calculators just don't measure up to it...
If there were individual skill and artistry or even individual design or flair which went into them, they would be more interesting objects. It's theoretically possible to do. Nobody's really done it yet. I doubt anyone will for decades to come; the mindset that goes into a 'smart watch' is all wrong.
Way to stick it to the Man by buying an overpriced set of gears from him!
You can see how much individual design is going on because each of these outfits puts their OWN name on the same basic product.
If you can't see any artistry and skill in the making of Apple Watch faces https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK7KPw9bLfI or their wrist straps https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/hodinkee-apple-watch-revie... then I don't know what "artistry" and "skill" are supposed to mean.
Re: your lack of understanding -at least you admit it! I mean why would anyone buy a sailboat or hand crafted knife? You can always buy some mass produced thing which is "better." Why buy a sports car when you can have a reliable honda? Why buy a pair of $600 Aldens when you can wear crocs? Heck, why buy a meal made by a human when you can drink soylent and live in your cube at work for more hours?
FWIIW I wouldn't buy any watches from those companies more or less because they're run by holding companies (maybe Jaeger), but they're a world cultural treasure for preserving this kind of artistry for middle class to upper middle class people to enjoy. Mostly subsidized by the Chinese trade, but whatever.
FWIIW, as I said above: I do not buy watches from the "big" conglomorates (which, all together, are smaller than the ipad market). But I am glad they exist.
BTW I have a pocket watch which has been in my family since 1882. Try that with an apple watch and let me know how it goes.
And coming back your question: watch for man is a kind of jewellery, symbol of prestige, how wealthy you (your wallet) are. In some circles, people show it by having golden chains on the necks. In other by having "small", discreet details like cufflinks, sigils (if your family has aristocratic roots) and... watches.
Also, more generally, because it competes on craftsmanship rather than having the latest features, it won't be outdated in a few years as will every modern smartwatch. This changes how I look at it, because unlike with my smartphones or laptops, in the back of my mind I don't have a plan to eventually replace or upgrade it. It feels less... disposable.
I hope this helps illustrate my decision process a little. Obviously you may feel differently, but to me the feeling of consistency that I get from something that will be functional and repairable decades from now makes it a reasonably logical decision.
I can see the appeal of visible gears. But most mechanical watch aficionados seem to satisfy with the thought that the gears EXIST.
> it competes on craftsmanship
Not entirely sure what that means. It's not like smartwatches don't feature ingenuous engineering and quite a bit of manual assembly labor.
> it won't be outdated in a few years as will every modern smartwatch
That always seemed an exceedingly silly argument to me. Mechanical watches have been outdated for DECADES. By the 1980s, they were thoroughly outclassed in accuracy, functionality, and price.
Sure, in a few years, today's smartwatches will have been surpassed by better models, while odds are that the mechanical watch maker will, at best, have slapped a new paint scheme on the same old model. But in a few years, today's smartwatches will still outclass mechanical watches. And I don't see what's superior about stagnant technology.
> something that will be functional and repairable decades from now
For sufficiently small values of "functional", as apparently being off by 15 seconds a day is considered "well within their quality standards".
The Gligo looks good too, and I hope more hybrid manufacturers start making decent eInk watches, but it would honestly bother me having it display the time digitally under the analog hands.
What I'm not happy is that the 40 mm version is kinda ugly since the rim is too wide and that there's no two way communication so I can't change a song on my phone or decline a call.
On the other hand, it monitors my step count, heart rate, and exercise sessions. It lets me set alarms that trigger during the lightest part of my sleep cycle, and it displays notifications from my phone.
It's certainly at least a smarter watch.
EDIT: And given how poorly optimised smart watches are for glancing at the time, and the constant need to charge them, I'd argue you can barely call those a "watch" :P
Lots of square watches sort of disappear into their bands. They are flatter, and far less cantilever-y than the current Apple watches.
EDIT: apparently the 40mm size is also just a lot closer to the 38 than 42, not right in between, due to how the numbers are rounded. Side by side photo here https://www.reddit.com/r/AppleWatch/comments/9iecba/38mm_vs_...
It's like a wedding ring or any other piece of jewelry — you get used to it in short order.
I didn't wear an Apple Watch for a very long time because I though they were too bulky looking. But I got was as a gift, and failed to even notice it was there after just a few hours.
I assume an Apple Watch gains most of its size and shape to maximize battery space.
FWIW, an Apple Watch is less than half the size (and 1/10th the price!) of some of the watches worn by a certain class of "celebrities" these days.
I use the silicon band when working out, otherwise I purchased a leather band for it.
I don’t notice the thickness or size at all, and I have the 44mm.
Rather I appreciate the size on my wrist. Thinner would be an improvement, but I don’t find anything aesthetically I pleasing about how it currently sits.
And regardless, the benefits that come with it are some that I use daily in tracking my excercise and performance progression, including my heart rate tracking and cool-down.
And like most Apple things when you’re just so completely tied into the ecosystem— it just works with my other devices.
And I relatively trust the privacy of my health data between the watch and my phone. So there’s that.
I can see how they wouldn’t be for everyone. And I still appreciate finer mechanical watches but they are much further out of my price range :)
It's thicker than my other (non-smart) watches, but not to an extent it's obtrusive in any way. I wear it most of the day and don't really notice it.
As far as the software part of the UX, a lot of it depends on what you do. I basically use my watch for a couple things:
* to tell the time, see my agenda and check the weather (all of which I can do from the watchface or 'home' screen)
* to get notifications of meetings and messages (and sometimes reply with a quick 'yes' or 'no' type message)
I can see why reading text on a circular screen is theoretically sub-optimal, but in practice it's not really noticeable as you scroll through. I don't really read long messages on it -- I'm mostly skimming it to see if I can respond quickly now, or if I need to get out my phone/laptop to read and/or respond now. The vast majority of messages I get can wait, and being able to tell that with a glance of my wrist (almost zero interruption) is quite handy.
There's a bunch of other apps available of course, but I found there's just not many good use cases for why using the app on a tiny screen is worth saving the 5 seconds it takes to retrieve my phone from my pocket and unlock it.
I don't think this is an issue at all of round vs square screen, at least not for what I personally thing a smart watch is useful for. Most of my interactions with my watch last for under 10 seconds. If you're doing more intensive things (using it minutes at a time) then maybe there's merit to why a larger rectangular screen is more useful -- but frankly, you probably have a much larger, better and significantly more usable rectangular display in your pocket, so it seems silly to argue about the watch display.
My wife would constantly get compliments on her rose gold edition from people in the street. The vast majority didn't even realize it was a smartwatch.
Yeah, I think you've nailed it. I was going to mention the thickness of the Series 4, but it's far thinner than, say, an Omega Speedmaster.
To your point, traditional watches with sapphire backs also have prominent wrist presence, since the caseback domes outward similar to (but not as much as) Apple Watches.
Also consider that traditional watchbands connect to lugs that protrude from the watch body and often curve downward to follow your wrist. This also lowers the cantilever towards the wrist. Watches that do not do this (like the Nomos Club) have a much larger wrist presence, and the Apple Watch completely lacks lugs so that the band connects mid-body.
The circular functional bezel on a Gear S3 is nice bit of physical interface. It's primarily how I interface with my smartwatch.
Honestly, you're never going to get much utility out of a smartwatch. So aesthetics is the primary function of the device and round watches do tend to look better.
That wouldn't work with a square face, smooth rotation requires a round face.
I've had the same impression. Could it be because of the symmetrically rounded edges that makes it look like it stands off your wrist, instead of an asymmetrical bevel to make it seem more like it "melts" into your wrist?
Plus, of course, that the screen winks on or off when it detects the "raise-to-wake" motion, so that 1) it's a much more deliberate gesture when you want to look at it and 2) it's a distraction in your peripheral vision when it's wrong.
Can't help wondering what the overlap is between round smart watch screen fanciers and people who slagged Apple for its past skeuomorphic excesses and dismiss their products as "fashion statements".
[I work for Apple, but not on the Watch or as a spokesperson].
Here are two smart watches from 4 years ago: https://m.imgur.com/V9YZ5Kz
The Moto 360 looks beautiful and classy while the Apple watch looks like a cheap casio from the 80s
The corners on square watches protrude on small wrists and are more likely to be caught on or hit things.
I had a calculator watch when I was a child, also rectangular.
Curiously, it sounds like Misfit's involved in whatever it was that Google's interested in:
> According to a [report](https://www.wareable.com/fossil/google-fossil-wear-os-smartw...) from Wareable, McKelvey stated the deal will bring about a "new product innovation that's not yet hit the market." This is reportedly based on technology that Fossil acquired from wearable company Misfit when it [bought the startup for $260 million](https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/11/fossil-acquires-misf...) back in 2015.
In the Wareable article, Google Wear VP Stacey Burr says they want to bring this unnamed technology to the wider Wear OS ecosystem.
All I really want out of a watch is that, plus long battery life (weeks at least, months preferably), self-charging, self-time setting, and, if I am lucky, some sort of "hey look at your phone" alert.
I get most of these with the Fossil Q. Others with my Citizens and Seiko non-smart watches, one of which has an e-ink display. Nothing has them all. Oh well.
I wonder if Google will make a Fossil Q which has it all. I do not need a display, health monitoring, etc.
Apple and Fossil and Samsung and all those others are trying to make varieties of watches, but perhaps by jamming every feature someone might want into most of their watches, they are falling short on other features (ahem battery life) that other customers prefer.
I own a Fossil watch and a Citizen, and they are very pretty (and do other things, too, I guess.) Like this parent comment, I want a smart watch that's mostly a watch, but not just a watch. I wouldn't mind getting email or text notifications. In my world, that's something that happens just a few times a day. So it wouldn't annoy me. But just because I don't want my heart-rate tracked or a built-in GPS does not automatically imply that I don't want any other feature smart watches have that mechanical watches do not.
There are E-Straps from Montblanc that can notify you among other things.
There are also the "HOROLOGICAL SMARTWATCH" and "HYBRID MANUFACTURE" from Frederique Constant that could be interesting to you.
Garmin do a very good job of displaying the time in high contrast, but I'm not sure if they give you the option of being able to have the display on all the time.
This was the main reason I loved my pebble watches as iirc all android wear watches couldn't do this.
I had one of the PalmOS watches. Very cool but battery life and inputting text were horrendous. I imagine Palm got most of the patents around that but maybe Fossil got some too.
Jamie Zawinski once suggested that I turn PalmOS DaliClock into a "watch face" app, but, once I researched how those worked, I realized it would kill the battery even faster, and wouldn't even work right as watch face apps only got periodic CPU, about once a minute to update their display.
Maybe because only one watch can have wrist time at a time (maybe except for Buzz Aldrin) and Apple catches a big portion of the market by default already (almost all of the iPhone userbase).
Totally unrelated but I have a fenix 5x (Garmin) and it is just amazing. Sure, the display quality leaves a little to be desired and it was really pricey, but the information density is just off the charts.
Acquire when you have the money but not the resources or the time. Probably part of a larger play.
Impressive to see Google's aggressive push into the hardware market. Here's to hoping that a Pixel watch is good enough to set a bench mark like what the Nexus/Pixel phones have done.
An appropriate name for Google’s smartwatch line would be “caprolite”, which means fossized excrement.