Hands on with the Archos Smartwatch Family ($49, $99, $129)
Smartwatches were a dime a dozen at CES 2014 I saw a dozen different models, literally) and even Archos had 3 models on display. Charbax sat down with Archos at CES a couple weeks ago, but only got a chance to post the video today.
Archos is planning to release 3 different models before the end of the summer. All will be designed to be companion devices for the iPhone and Android smartphones. None will have sound, but they will all share the same basic functionality, which is to display notifications.
The cheapest will cost $49 and feature a Memory LCD screen (from Sharp). It’s grayscale, not color, and boasts a 1 to 2 week battery life. Next is a $99 model with an LCD screen capacitive touchscreen, and a battery life of only a few days. If that bothers you then you can upgrade to the $129 model, which will feature an E-ink screen. This model is also expected to have a couple weeks battery life, and no your eyes aren’t fooling you; that is a curved E-ink screen.
Archos is intent on making a very limited smartwatch, so they’re not going to give the watches any of the features found on your smartphone. That’s why these watches don’t have a speaker, camera, or pretty much anything beyond a screen and a buzzer. Such a limited smartwatch might not interest very many consumers, but one upside to the limitations is that Archos should be able to minimize the number of bugs and offer a more stable watch than some of their competitors.
And anyway, I saw smartwatches at CES that were even less capable than the Archos models, which suggests that Archos isn’t the only company that thinks a limited device would appeal to consumers.