Successes of 2022: Android smartwatches are finally becoming interesting

When reviewing Android smartwatches, I let out a sigh.

Android users wanted a smartwatch that could compete with the Apple Watch, but it just wasn’t happening. There was always something Poor battery life, slow OS, outdated or inaccurate health features, more tumbleweed than third-party apps – all of the above can happen in some cases. I don’t want to be an overly cynical reviewer, but I was hopeless.

But 2022 wasn’t the case.Unlike usual, the Wear OS watch was the review I was most looking forward to.

There were many reasons to be excited. After years of speculation, the Pixel Watch is no longer the mythical gadget whispered by rumor blogs. A real smartwatch you can buy now. The first time he wore a Pixel Watch, I wasn’t really expecting much. All it had to do was suck. But I was surprised how hopeful I felt writing the review, especially since I gave it a 6 (which on our rating scale shows that there are some issues and some redeeming qualityMore It had the typical 1st gen kinks for smartwatches, but the hardware was excellent and the design was more impressive than the leaks led me to believe. , and more importantly, viableI didn’t have one, but 2 A full-featured smartwatch recommended for Android users. And just once, they weren’t both from Samsung.

I don’t want to sound like a wearable Pollyanna. To be clear, the Wear OS 3 watch still has a long way to go. But this year’s success means something to me after years of disappointment.

I was blown away by the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.
Photo by Victoria Song/The Verge

This year’s Android Watch surprised me in another way. On paper, I thought the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro stinks. No. I missed the Watch 5’s physical rotating bezel, but Samsung’s approach with the Pro’s raised rim and capacitive bezel was clever. It’s nice to see turn-by-turn navigation and route importing added to his flagship Android smartwatch. This, along with body composition analysis, is not yet something that can be done natively on any Apple Watch. In the past, the Apple Watch beat all other smartwatches in every way. That’s less true today.

Even watches that underwhelmed me, like the aforementioned Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, had their merits. there is. The Galaxy Watch 4 and 5, for example, offer Android users more choices than his Tizen predecessor. If you want to use your Google Assistant or her Samsung Pay when you want to use Google Wallet, you don’t have to put up with Bixby anymore. Samsung watches always work best with Samsung phones, all Android users are much better than they used to be.

iPhone and Samsung smartphones are shown behind the Montblanc Summit 3

Not surprisingly, the Montblanc Summit 3 wasn’t a boring watch.
Photo by Victoria Song/The Verge

The Montblanc Summit 3 wasn’t my favourite, interestingIt ran a barebones version of Wear OS 3, many features felt unfinished, and the $1,290 price tag was ridiculous. But it’s also his first Wear OS 3 watch to run on iOS, giving us a glimpse of what next-gen smartwatches beyond Samsung and Google might look like. The watch itself wasn’t great, but it was fun to think about the contradictions in all its parts. I may not have liked it, but it wasn’t boring.

My last Android smartwatch was the Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition. In the past, I was sometimes overwhelmed by the sheer number of fossil watches that differed only in design.But as soon as this review unit arrived, I actually ripped open the package and took a peek.How does Wear OS 3 work with this watch and the Summit 3? What about the new health features that weren’t there until now? The Fossil Gen 6 did a little better than the Summit 3, but the wellness features fell short of expectations. of Fossil watch as expected, but not boring. There were some clear signs of progress where things went wrong.

Gone are the days when Android smartwatches had any momentum. Admittedly, some updates aren’t flashy or exciting. But I see all these small, incremental updates as a sign that the tide is changing. I’m really hoping for the time being.

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