The big wearable windup: smartwatches shouldn't cost more than smartphones

How much? Smartwatches shouldn't cost more than smartphones
Well of course he can afford a smartwatch

Perhaps the sharply dressed man pictured in LG's promo shots for its latest wearable, the Watch Urbane, can afford a smartwatch.

Heck, the Urbane's £299.99 price tag is probably just the small change he finds down the back of his leather-clad couch - but here in the real world I'm not quite so flush.

I can lay down £150 and get a stonking little smartphone like the Moto G these days, but the likes of Motorola, Samsung, LG and Apple want us to part with more than that again for what is essentially a glorified notification screen.

I really like smartwatches. Sure, they're not yet a necessity but the geek in me loves a bit of gadgetry I can slap on my wrist and court attention if I decide to flash it (the watch that is).

Trouble is, when I gaze down at the glowing dial on my forearm and ask myself whether I'd part with £150, £200 or even £300 to own the watch, the answer is always: no.

These aren't finely tuned pieces of mechanical engineering made from precious metals and steeped in history like a Rolex or Omega, these are digital devices sporting the specs of sub-£100 smartphones.

And their prices need to reflect that.

Just insulting

I know it's not easy to squeeze the technology into such a small form factor, and I applaud the hard work that's made this possible, but they're not replacing our smartphones, they're merely a fancy accessory.

Apple Watch

Don't remind me of the price tag, please

If someone has put down a few hundred pounds for a new mobile, or signed up to a pricey two-year contract, the thought of sinking a decent chunk more into a device they don't need is just insulting.

We'll see a great deal of advancements in the wearable space over the coming years, and I'm sure smartwatches will justify their price tags eventually. But for 2015 at least they're firmly stuck in the "overpriced novelty" department.

Oh, and it looks like come April the Apple Watch will start at upwards of £300. I feel sick.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.