Watchful thinking: here's our wish for the ultimate smartwatch

Battery life

A problem that's been difficult to solve for many manufacturers thus far and a pain point for consumers is the lack of a decent battery life on smartwatches. It can really spoil the experience of any device, but especially something you have to - and want to - wear and use all day long.

Engineering a battery to be baked in to a small device is no easy feat, but that doesn't mean we should settle for something less. And there are watches on the market that do offer exceptional battery life.


Case in point: Activité by Withings prides itself with a staggering eight month battery life. Not only that, they throw in an extra battery when the eight months are up. No charging docks here.

The next best battery life belongs to the Pebble Steel, which can last up to a week. It's hard to beat eight months though, so the Activité takes this crown.


When choosing a smartwatch, your decision ultimately comes down to what smartphone you own.

Obviously, the Apple Watch will only work with iPhone and Android Wear watches only with Android. The battle for ecosystem supremacy between Apple and Google means your choice could be limited.

Only if there was a smartwatch that work with both … wait, the Pebble does!

Pebble smartwatch is compatible with iOS and Android and will be launching its own App store very soon.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch and Android Wear smartwatches are fairly strong when it comes apps, be it the pre-installed apps or third party. Apple Watch and Android Wear both have over 3,000, while the Pebble has over 1,000.

What's more, the developer community will give both ecosystems the app advantage compared to, say, Pebble or Windows.

But because the Pebble is compatible with iOS and Android, it lets more users in, no matter what smartphone is in their pockets.

Pebble Steel

However it does come a caveat. Apple Watch runs Watch OS alongside iOS and apps require data to be pulled of a connected iPhone, not the watch itself, which means there's a visible lag when loading apps, but as a whole the class of apps currently available are impressive and more than meet our needs.

Android Wear's watch faces are great fun and the Pebble Watch has a lead on the two with its iOS and Android compatibility.

A difficult one to call but we think the the Apple Watch just shades with its impressive class of pre-installed apps.


Its difficult to establish what would be considered a reasonable price for a smartwatch.

Hovering around the $230 (about £152, AU$293) mark seems like a good bet and great value for money.

Apple charging a luxury product for $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000) seems great business sense from the companies point of view but for consumers, purchasing the Sports version for $349 (£299, AU$499) containing the same features makes much more business sense.

The prices for Android Wear watches range around $250 (about £165, AU$319). The popular Moto 360 is priced at $249 (£200, AU$328) and have are now cheaper in the States for the basic straps, while the Samsung Gear Live is $260.

Final thoughts

Let's recap: our ultimate smartwatch would have the design of the Moto 360, the apps of the Apple Watch and the compatibility of Pebble.

Battery life will always be an issue for the perfect smartwatch but it seems Withings and once again, Pebble have a good handle on it - however neither watch have that lovely display we'd all like.

Features are also a department where one watch brand will have it and another is sorely lacking. Google, Pebble, Samsung and Apple have a nice array of fitness and notification systems, but none have the killer feature to make their smartwatches truly stand out.

Like we said before, this watch will never be made, but who knows? Perhaps smartwatch makers will be inspired to improve the parts of their smartwacthes that are lacking and celebrate the parts we found exemplary. It's still a new area and we're seeing better and better wearables every year.