Budget smartphone makers ZTE have said that they will release a smartwatch next year. It will be aimed at the mainstream market, costing less than but offering similar features to the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
ZTE has become the new HTC. They produce good quality, budget smartphones that offer a lot of features and specifications for their money and, according to Lu Qianhao, head of the company’s handset division, they are to produce a smartwatch in order to enter the wearable tech market too. The device will launch next year, offer similar features to the Galaxy Gear, and will be priced for the mainstream market.
Priced for the mainstream market is marketing talk for being a budget device, but Qianhao has said that the watch will offer similar features to those of the Samsung Galaxy Gear. The Samsung device costs around £300, and this hefty price tag, along with the company’s own admission that it lacks something special to appeal to the market as a whole, has seen the Gear receive mixed reviews.
The Galaxy Gear is more of an extension to a smartwatch than it is a standalone device. Samsung has extended the range of device that the Gear is compatible with, but you still need to fork out hundreds of pounds on a phone, as well as £300 on the watch. However, you will be able to view call and message details, and perform a few basic functions in exchange for this princely sum. It also offers the step counting, calorie burning features that come as standard with this type of device.
ZTE has said that its own device, which will initially launch in the home market of China, will be tied to ZTE handsets, but Qianhao also said that they would consider releasing a line of smartwatches that can be used with any Android device later on.
Wearable technology has its lovers and its haters. The prospect of being able to make and receive calls on your watch, like you can with the Galaxy Gear, is an interesting prospect. However, there’s no escaping the fact that you look a total fool doing so, and there’s also no escaping the fact that the Gear, at least, is an expensive smartphone accessory. There just aren’t enough features, in our opinion, to justify the £300 that you will have to spend. With ZTE’s record for releasing low cost, decent quality phones, this may change, but you will have to wait at least a year to see the results.