Earlier this week we put out the call to you the reader to help us build the Ultimate Android Wear 2.0 watch. With Google and LG releasing a pair of devices that didn’t feel quite right, we decided that we needed to ask the people what they wanted, and hope we didn’t end up with a balding lemon at the end of it.
We waited for the responses to slow and now we’re bringing you the results of the 2017 Ultimate Ausdroid Watch.
It’s clear that you all want AMOLED displays with the highest resolution you can get, with the maximum choice of 480 x 480 smashing all of the other options out of the park. It was interesting that a not insignificant number of people voted for e-paper, showing that Pebbles (RIP) low res but long life approach still holds a place in many of your hearts.
When it came to screen size again we had a majority winner of between 1.4 – 1.6″. For context the Asus ZenWatch 3 measures in at 1.39″, the Huawei Watch at 1.4″, the Fossil’s at 1.5″ and the OG Moto 360 along with the Gen 2 at 1.56″.
It’s a hard call here so we’re going middle of the road, the Ausdroid 2017 Watch will have a 1.5″ AMOLED display with 480 x 480 resolution.
Unsurprisingly the majority of people wanted the top processor, something like the Snapdragon Wear 2100, at least 1GB of RAM and multiple calls for “more storage”. So that’s what we’re giving you. A Snapdragon Wear 2100, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.
Just make it premium was the resounding call from 46% of you, with metal being the preferred choice of 32% of voters. This along with some of the comments for strong sturdy builds leads us to a premium stainless steel construction. Stainless steel offers premium design options and feel along with sturdy metal construction. We forgot to ask about colour choice so let’s say the standard Silver and Black option, perhaps a Blue as well, that seems inexplicably popular these days.
Unequivocally the majority voted for swappable watchbands using a standard 22 mm pin, no proprietary straps (this was clear in the comments). Material wise Leather and Metal were the most popular with Silicon edging in at 3rd place. Of course, the bonus of a 22 mm band is that it doesn’t matter what ships with the device, you can choose your own from thousands of watchbands.
It seems Google’s new digital crown is a hit with the Android Wear crowd, the majority of voters asked for the new UI element with only 5.8% saying they didn’t want it, we’re giving you a Crown, the digital UI style not the golden type. The number of buttons was close to a 3-way split, we were unsure on what to do here, having more buttons you don’t want is less of an issue than having less buttons then you do want.
Mathematically you could say that 2 buttons was the winner being the middle ground, however, I’ve made the decision that the Ultimate Android Wear device should have the most current user interactions available. We didn’t want the watch not fully supporting any future platform features so feel free to crucify me on the comments for this.
A microphone is a must with an Android Wear device, however, what about a speaker? Survey says …. yes, 60.8% yes to be precise with only 14.5% not wanting one at all, as such speaker incoming. Having used the speaker for media and it completely ruining my Bluetooth experience (on other devices) we’re going to have to come up with some great settings and customisation for this one, the speaker/ Bluetooth experience on Wear leaves something to be desired!
One thing that shone through from the comments is the desirability of water resistance, a full 30 – 50M water resistance such as what we see with traditional watches. We’re more than happy to have a watch we can swim with and let get wet without fear of an OG Moto 360 style complete death.
Another popular comment was for Saphire Crystal watch face, this offers enhanced scratch resistance and durability even over top of the line glass products like Gorilla Glass 4.
Part of the appeal of the wearable space is the addition of new sensors to your quantified-self dataset. We asked about a range of typical sensors as well as giving you the opportunity to suggest more, so what made it?
- Heart rate sensors are in 64.8% in favor
- GPS 64.4% in favor
- Barometer, Fail only 30.9% wanted it
We also asked you for your own sensor / hardware suggestions and here are the popular suggestions.
- Ambient light sensor (we thought this was a given but thanks for the nudge)
- IR blaster (seriously?)
- Digital Compass
The best suggestion by far, however, was the inclusion of a Laser and a Grapple hook, I’ll have Q work on that one!
We had many comments about the type of Hear Rate sensor. It seems that those who use their watch to measure their heart rate would like it to be remotely accurate. While we’ll specify a 6 LED HR sensor, what we’re really saying is an accurate device, whatever technology it uses.
We started with the basics as a given, Bluetooth and WiFi, interestingly LTE didn’t make the cut. With only 26.2% of people saying the want it and 39% saying they don’t (the rest didn’t care) LTE does not make the cut.
NFC on the other had received overwhelming support, with 77.9% of voters wanting the option on their hardware. While Android Pay may still be rolling out slower than some would like it’s clear people want that option built into their wearables.
A wearable that runs flat before you go to bed is about as useless as it gets, and it seems most of you agree with only 4.3% wanting thinness over reliable battery life. It’s clear the winner is somewhere between more than enough to last one day and two full days use. However, as we all know battery life is majorly affected by usage.
We’ve decided that thanks to the lack of LTE one power suck is gone, however, extra features such as heart rate monitoring and GPS are known battery sucks. With this in mind, we’re shooting for 2 days battery life with minimal usage of the heart rate sensor and GPS. Higher use of these extra features just has to come with a battery life trade- off (or have the watch 1/2 and inch think), that said we’d still hope that will moderate usage of both we deliver more than enough to get through a full days use.
While battery life was definitely foremost in people’s minds if we want Android Wear to succeed we can’t be making 20mm thick watches!
Charging was another area of almost unanimous support, pogo pins and proprietary cables are out and wireless charging is in, hazar. Having used both wireless and wired charging watches I can attest to the superiority of the wireless option, simply place the watch in a dock and be done. That said the style of dock is also important and we’re going for a display dock similar to what ships with Moto watches or the new LG Watch Sport, they got something right!
With all of that in mind here are the specs of 2017 Ausdroid Watch:
|2017 Ausdroid Watch|
|Display||1.5″ AMOLED Fully found display @ 480 x 480 resolution with Sapphire Crystal face|
|Processor||Snapdragon Wear 2100|
|Battery||2 days with standard use|
|Charging Method||Wireless Charging Dock|
6 LED Heart Rate
|Build Materials||Stainless Steel|
|Ingress Protection||IP68 with 50m water resistance|
|Swappable Watchbands||Yes, 22mm|
That’s it, that is your Ultimate Android Wear device. How close was the final device to something you would want? Was it better than the LG devices? Would you release two models once with and one without LTE? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.