5 Reasons Having a Watchphone Would Not Be as Cool as it Looks

by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck on October 18, 2013

in Nerd Culture

The Galaxy Gear smartwatch burst onto the scene with an impressive marketing campaign (anyone with Get Smart, Knight Rider, Power Rangers and Star Trek footage in their ad campaign gets my attention), and I’ll admit, I was enamored at first.

The ads totally worked on me, and my wife was even on board with the idea of me getting a watchphone, and she’s usually the voice of reason. It was settled, I’m getting a watchphone. Except I’m not. And here’s why:

5. Speakerphone sucks

All of your calls will be on speaker phone, so when your significant other calls to scream at you for erasing Cousins Undercover from the DVR, everyone within earshot will know. Also- some users have reported having to bring the unit close to their mouth and ear during calls which, contrary to what Hollywood has told you, does not look awesome.


4. The screen is tiny

We’ve grown spoiled by the screen size on our smartphones. It’s hard to go backwards.


3. You can’t occupy your bored kids with it

If you have kids and a smartphone, you’ve likely used the latter at some point to occupy the former. Perhaps it was in a time of need, or maybe your kid is just accustomed to playing with or watching something on your phone every time you ride the car together. (Giving your phone to your kid is actually a great way to resist the urge to look at and reply to texts while driving.)


2. But wait, it grants me freedom from carrying a phone in my pocket (or purse)! NOPE

What the shiny ad campaign fails to shed light on is the fact that with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch you have to carry a companion mobile device as well. From IGN:

The Galaxy Gear gently vibrates to let you know when something comes in through [Facebook, Twitter, etc], but upon checking the notification, the smartwatch displays a message that tells you to look at the contents through your mobile device. The experience is akin to a waiter telling you that your food is ready, but that you have to go get it from the kitchen if you want to eat it.


1. It’s not the 80s anymore

Trust me, I want the Galaxy Gear smartwatch (and for that matter, the upcoming iWatch) to succeed as much as anyone. In the mid 80s I had my red transformer watch confiscated by a teacher at school, not because she realized it was a toy disguised as a timepiece, but because I was pretending to talk on it as if it were Michael Knight’s wrist communicator. (Something about it being a “distraction”, whatevs.)

image via imaginexyz.com

As much as it pains me to be reminded of this fact daily, it’s not the 80s anymore. The watchphone missed its market by about 30 years.


@eclectik October 21, 2013 at 2:24 am

No kick ass calculator watch reference?

Since most people use their phones to tell time (regardless if they have a watch on or not), I dont see this or the iWatch going crazy … it doesnt replace anything or fill a need.

It would have to look really really cool, have 3D holograms, and control like my Car ignition, Garage, living room lights, flesh li — errr… control a lot of things for me to care

It’s NOT the 80s?
…. so these jelly bracelets I should, oh.

Derek October 25, 2013 at 1:09 am

This watch is just a stepping stone to the real masterpiece of technology and innovation .. and that’s the shoe phone. Could you imagine how awesome the world would be if everyone could have a working phone in their shoe!!!!
But until then,
Instead of using the speaker on the watch just connect the watch to you blue tooth ear thing, and use google glasses to look at your messages, and then you won’t ever have to worry about dropping your phone again because it can stay in your pocket and no more fighting the pocket monsters.

Howard Decker October 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm

now a SHOE PHONE I would invest in.

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