Why Samsung's rumoured Gear Solo watch-phone could be a bad idea


The rumours around Samsung's standalone smartwatch, the Gear Solo, went into overdrive over the weekend with more reports coming in about the device and its release date. Supposedly, the watch will be launched in the June-July period, but the question is does Samsung even need to do this? Where does a standalone smartwatch fit in, if at all? We try to figure out.

 

Roydon Cerejo

I believe adding a SIM slot in a watch is a stupid idea. I don't understand why you'd want a watch that can make calls when you have a phone with you at all times. Not to mention a watch will be terribly inconvenient to have a private conversation on. The Samsung Gear Solo isn't going to be what many people think. I highly doubt Samsung would make such a move. Even if they do do it, it would just be for the "world's first" title.

As far as innovation goes, i believe the Motorola Moto 360 should be the holy grail of smartwatches. Whether it takes off or not all depends on the execution and so far, given Motorola's current track record, I think we're in safe hands.

 

Nimish Sawant

Frankly speaking, I find the idea of a smartwatch being able to make and receive calls a bit odd. I mean how difficult is it to just take your smartphone out of your pocket or handbag and attend a call? It's faster just lifting your wrist to your face and talking you say, but then what ground-breaking thing are you doing with the seconds saved? Some of you may say that it helps in situations such as driving where you can talk without having to pull out your phone. Well, ideally while driving, you shouldn't be attending any calls. If you absolutely have to, then its best to pull over before talking or responding to that urgent mail.

 

A smartwatch should ideally just be an accessory to your smartphone. Smartwatches are great tools for notifications and with the sensors on-board, work great as a fitness trackers. I would ideally look at a longer battery life, compatibility with any smartphone irrespective of the brand of the smart watch and an economical price point when considering buying myself a smart watch. The rumoured news of Samsung Gear Solo which is expected to come with a SIM card slot seems like innovation for innovations sake to me.

 

Even if such a device were to come out, there are very slim chances of it replacing a proper smartphone. There are limitations such as the screen size, the form factor, the apparent discomfort while using such a device in noisy streets and so on. It will clearly have to be accompanied by accessories such as a Bluetooth headset if you intend to have long duration calls. Just think about it, an accessory for a device which itself is supposed to be an accessory to a smartphone? To me that seems like a very roundabout way of doing things, which comes with additional cost of course.

 

Battery life is another major concern. A smartphone with a SIM slot and calling facilities will most likely drain quicker than a smart watch that is just tethered to a smart phone over Bluetooth LE. Do you really want the headache of charging one more device?

 

I wouldn't be surprised if Gear Solo is indeed a reality, but it is one product I definitely would not buy.

 

Nikhil Subramaniam

Samsung does have a do-it-all approach when it comes to devices. One wonders whether they are just launching certain products in case that device category explodes. Presumably, Samsung wants to be ready to scale up. So this year we are hearing about Galaxy Eye, its take on Google Glass, and even a VR headset like Oculus Rift, which will reportedly work with Galaxy smartphones.

 

Among all this, I am least surprised about a possible Samsung smartwatch with a SIM slot. It’s rumoured to be called Gear Solo, and will supposedly sit alongside existing wearables.

 

I am not even sure why someone would want a watch as their primary phone. Is a phone too much to carry? We can safely assume the Gear Solo would be a great hit in the anti-pocket brigade, but surely Samsung is not catering to such a niche. It makes littler sense, when you consider that there are hardware startups trying to do the same already on various crowdfunding platforms and not with much success. So it’s not like everyone is dying to talk into their wrist. Samsung is covering its bases, in case the world decides it wants to.


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