The Mobile Spoon - Gil Bouhnick's Mobility Blog
Home My Favorites iOS Apps Talk To Me About

Aug 13, 2014

10 Reasons Why You Probably Shouldn’t Buy an LG G Watch

LG G Watch MobileSpoon

Battery life, design, apps, crashes, Casio digital watch, SCRUM and Apple. Here’s 10 reasons why you probably shouldn’t buy an LG G Watch (unless you really want to):

LG G Watch MobileSpoon

10 Reasons why you probably shouldn’t buy LG G Watch right now (unless you really want to):

  1. Design
    Personally I don’t think it’s that bad, and of course, design is a subjective thing.
    But realize this: the current smartwatch models belong to the pre iWatch era, which means things will look different once Apple and other players (Moto 360?) will get into the smartwatch field. That is expected to happen in the coming months and then the LG G Watch will look like a big, goofy alpha model with bezels that are too wide and thickness that doesn’t make any sense at all.
  2. The software is still in beta phase.
    Yes. Sorry Android fans, but someone has to say it. Google likes it this way; release a product that is almost polished and improve it on the move. Learning from those unhappy customers.
    That’s not my idea of a great product. 10-20 crashes a day are more than enough for me. It’s 2014, I expect software to run smoothly.
    And by the way: using “Something went wrong…” as an error message may sound nicer than “fatal error” or “null exception” but in the 10th time you see this message you will feel like doing something “wrong” to the damn thing.
  3. Battery life is simply unacceptable.
    I read a few positive reviews praising the battery life of the LG G Watch, and I just couldn’t believe it.
    A watch that needs to be charged 2 times a day? A watch that must be removed from your wrist once a day and then once again during the night if you want to have some battery left in the morning? How can that be an acceptable thing?
    My Fitbit activity tracker needs to be charged once every 10 days and it still feels a lot, so 1-2 time per day is simply not something we, as consumers, should accept, especially given the charging method (see next bullet). Smartwatch makers: find a way to solve this.
  4. Charging method is done through a proprietary cradle.
    Having iPhone/iPad cradles and Micro USB cradles in my office, car, and home, made me think I’m covered for any kind of future gadget I am likely to use. I was wrong.
    For some reason the LG engineers felt it would be a great idea to invent a new magnetic charging device instead of simply using Micro USB. The cradle itself is nice (saw some complains about it but I admit I didn’t feel it was that bad), but you just cannot carry it everywhere you go! That’s insane.
    To my opinion proprietary cradles can only work if you have few of them (like most people do with Apple cables) or if your gadget requires charging rarely (once every few days) so you can plan it ahead.
    The LG G Watch falls short in both cases and I think that the combination of the poor battery life with the lack of a direct Micro USP port will eventually kill this product regardless to its’ other flaws.

    LG G Watch
  5. The watch falls short as an activity tracker.
    When I bought my FitBit tracker I wanted it to count not only the number of steps I make but also number of stairs and floors I’m climbing every day. For a while the tracker made me challenge myself on a daily basis reaching 30 floors per day. Other activity trackers also count calories, measure sleeping quality, and some can even measure your pulse, blood pressure and more. The LG G Watch falls short in most of the above and can mostly track steps and running distances. That’s not enough to replace previous and upcoming activity trackers and it means you cannot replace your tracker with a smartwatch. Well, at least not at the moment.
  6. Home screen. Actually, the lack of it.
    Here’s an interesting user story to all of you SCRUM fanatics out there:
    As a user (this is how every user story should begin) I want to touch and slide my watch 5-6 times (at least) in order to get to the list of my installed apps, so that it can take me really long time to activate the desired app.
    As weird as it may sound, this is how Android Wear standard UI behaves, focusing on voice commands neglecting some visual UI elements. BTW, the first thing you can do (in case you accidently already bought a watch) is to install Wear Mini Launcher which looks really good and operates very well for me so far as a main screen substitute.
  7. Notifications, notifications, notifications… is that all you’ve got?
    In the future, we will carry a few wearable devices on our bodies and we will be able to activate them using synergetic body gestures, voice communication and brain commands. Touchscreens will be gone.
    OK, wake up, that’s the future.
    We are in the present, and in the present, Android Wear does a nice job in showing notifications coming from the phone, but that’s about it. There isn’t much you can do with the notifications.
    For some notifications there are 1-2 additional actions that can be done directly from the watch, but in most cases the action will simply take you back to your smartphone opening something. That’s kind of lame if you ask me, and I think that in the upcoming months will see more and more apps providing meaningful capabilities done directly from the watch, but for now – the most popular action is to open the relevant app on the smartphone.


    Android Wear MobileSpoon
  8. Apps.
    It is fun to see how quickly Android Wear apps are added to Google Play.
    Many developers are trying to achieve their moment of glory by being the first to develop a useful Android Wear app that will make the watch be more productive. I think there’s a huge potential there, most of it is not yet developed, or even explored, but it’s there.
    For now, however, there are tons of alternative faces to the watch (kind of like clock wallpapers), and too many funny (useless) apps like flashlights, calculators, and Tic-tac-toe.
    After searching for 2 days I don’t think I have found a killer app for Android Wear, but I’m sure there will eventually be some.
  9. Lack of significant hand gestures
    The LG G Watch wakes up every time you move your hand in a certain way which is far too common.
    This gesture wakes up the watch too often and it’s a bit annoying.
    Apple, Google, Microsoft, here’s an idea for you: similar to scrolling, pinch to zoom, and other elements that evolved though mobility – how about you start working on a new gestures language: specific movements that can be used to navigate through any wearable UI. Something that is unique and that we can get used to.
  10. iWatch
    Let’s admit it. In a few months time, Apple will reveal its’ iWatch gadget. It will look amazing, feel amazing, and above all, Apple will “sell” it to us as the most incredible (and required) device ever created. “humanity reinvented!” (or something like that…).
    It is most likely going to be slightly limited in some areas, while amazingly promising on other areas (health and fitness maybe?), and it will most likely redefine (I’m beginning to sound like them!) some wearable categories like smartwatches.
    If you are not in a hurry to buy a new gadget, I would wait a few more months…


    android-wear-1

 

Summary:

LG G Watch is a product for early adopters, not for mass market. 
As such, the watch is an interesting product, showcasing the integration between the Android phone and the Android watch using Android Wear. The notifications mechanism works well but that’s about most of it.

I admit having this gadget on your wrist is nice, not to mention it takes me back to those Casio digital watches from the 80’s.

I’m not against inventing the technology first and building the use cases later, but I think the LG G Watch suffers from a technology which is simply not good enough at the moment; Android Wear is not there yet, and the combination of the software with the hardware is more time consuming than helpful in most cases.

Add to it the combination of poor battery life and the problematic charger and you end up with a product that has serious issues. .



0 comments:

Post a Comment