Smartwatches, the full-featured kind, are quite popular – nearly half of you have one, according to last week’s poll. The challenges for makers are laid out in the second poll, the most important feature of a smartwatch or band is long battery life.
The watches running watchOS, Wear OS, Tizen or HarmonyOS tend to last between one and four days depending on usage. Improving on that will take a lot of work as the form factor limits battery capacity while advanced features require more power.
For those wearing a smart device on their wrists, the basic smartwatch was the second most popular option, though a very distant one with only about a third of the popularity. That is surprisingly low, considering how well they perform in the key requirements set by the second poll – their battery life is measured in weeks, some of them have advanced health tracking (eg ECG) and there is a variety of cool and / or durable designs to choose from.
What they do not do so well at is app support and advanced connectivity features, but they are at the bottom of the second poll.
The requirement for a big display is in the lower half, which explains why some are happy with their smart bands. The bands are typically cheaper and often nearly as capable as basic smartwatches, but they proved to be the least popular option of the three.
By the way, the second poll allowed users to pick more than one option. On average, voters chose 3 options as to what matters to them. That means that smartwatches do not have to be great at everything, they just have to be great at a few important things.
Makers of full-powered smartwatches need to focus on improving battery life, but they probably know that already. Makers of basic smartwatches should focus on better marketing, perhaps, as their products feel underappreciated.