Apple Watch - What makes this $400 watch better then $40 android counterparts?

Apple Watch - What makes this $400 watch better then the dozens of new really awesome sub $100 android watches?

Anyone planning on buying one? If so can you share your reasons?

This question came to me after surfing a ton of android watched that have been released in the last few months, many of which have very similar features to the iOS watch. I’ve always loved all things apple, but it struck me how HUGE (and huge is an understatement) that the price gap is between these devices and apple watches. Many really amazing entries in the $60 USD range in china right now. I just don’t see how a $400 wrist device that needs to be upgraded every few years can be sustainable let alone gain any market traction when its competitors are so much more affordable. The $12k gold version is mind boggling. Maybe when I see an apple watch in person I’ll understand the magic and why this is so different then all the other devices in the same market space, then again maybe not. Thoughts? Am I mad?

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The only reason Apple can get away with coming late to the smartwatch game, then sell an inferior piece of hardware for 5x the going price of comparable alternatives that already exist, is because they’re a status symbol.

The Apple watch is no more useful than many, much cheaper alternatives. The difference in price is 100% accounted for by the stylized logo emblazoned on the back of the device.


With cell phones (iPhones vs Android) cellular carrier contract subsidies in the USA made the price gap consumers paid much smaller the the actual device price gap. This allows a lot of people to own iPhones then would be able to if people had to pay full price for their phones.

Plus a phone is a justifiable expense, it can make calls, do video calling and record videos, take pictures, and a ton of truly useful things that allow for a certain justification of expense.

The iWatch, as far as I can tell isn’t going to have either benefit to help in marketplace success.

And is it just me or does the dial seem pretty stupid? No android watch needs a dial to work, seems like if apple got the touch interface or touchless gesture interfaces right they wouldn’t need the design kludge of a dial. (as far as i can tell apple watches don’t even support touchless gestures) because they have no camera or similar sensors…

Who knows, maybe some killer app will come along and change my mind or win my heart.

I would assume:

a) the ecosystem
b) the build quality
c) the invisible hand of the market - lots of people will pay that much, so that’s what it costs.

The $12k gold versions would seem to be aimed towards Vertu customers though. Whilst there are lots of watches I’d spend that much money on (if I had that much money), this isn’t it.

Still, I’m willing to bet that smartwatches are something like smartphones and ultrabooks, where early versions are dismissed as limited, overpriced toys, and in a few years we all (for certain values of all) end up with them.

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What android watch can be had for $50? or $80? or $60?

There’s a $7000 spread amongst Apple Watch Edition Models. The “base model” is 10k, not 12k. Get it right!

well, that’s an interesting design problem. A touch screen’s resolution depends on what stylus is used to interact with it. If it’s a fingertip, the resolution is less than with, say, an S-pen, or a Wacom stylus. You can design with a specific stylus in mind and optimize the hell out of it, but there’s only so much you can do with a human fingertip.

Now, Apple’s goal is to design something that works with a screen small enough to fit on a lady’s wrist. Don’t look at me that way! The most expensive watch in the Apple Watch Edition Lineup is this one. 38mm, Not 42mm.

Given a 38mm watch face, can you design a crownless touch screen interface that works as well as what Apple has designed?

Remember, the interface has to work well enough to be desirable, not just well enough to be practical.

Went by the Apple store today. Apparently, the crown replaces some of the multifingered gestures commonly used in iOS. Instead of pinching to zoom, for instance, you can zoom in a map by turning the crown. It’s also very good at scrolling through lists-- another instance where multiple fingers would be used in iOS.

That just completed a memory circuit in my brain.

I used to have a blackberry 7300 back in the day, and it had a scroll wheel on the side. So no touch screen, or D-pad, but a full querty keyboard and a scroll wheel that works like a sideways watch crown.

Man that scroll wheel was fast. I think I might be slightly faster using the touchscreen on my Galaxy S5, but not by much.

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There are quite a large number of them and they are easily found. The U10 can be purchased for $40USD free shipping to north America, and is quite nice looking for 1/10th the price of the base model apple watch.

The U8, GV10, M26, MKV10, and at least 20 others are all under the $60 mark.

Could I? Probably not… but there are plenty of android watches, and they all work Crownless, so apparently someone has figured out how to make it work. The crown doesn’t fix the problem of finger stylus resolution, it simply adds an external interface up down sensor, something that can be accommodated dozes of different ways with more elegance and class.

yeah, i get what they use it for, i question why they had to resort to that though. very cludgy.

Yeah, I remember those. Apple mice used to have scroll wheels as well, until they figured out the touch mouse. It certainly is a design answer from yesteryear.

I agree and am certain the build quality will be much better then most of the competition. But 10X the price better? Will the build quality justify the price in a device that only has a few years before obsolescence? perhaps…

the iWatch doesn’t even have a camera.

i’m open to the idea that my mind will change down the road and some killer app makes these the must have device…but until then i guess i’m skeptical.

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looks a bit junky

yeah, maybe that wasn’t the best example…but for 1/10th the price i wouldn’t expect miracles. it is just one of many, most of which have cameras, some of which are standalone phones.

For $45USD you can get an iWatch Rose Gold clone, the AW08…

The ZGPAX S8 can be purchased for $100 USD and it can work as a standalone phone compatible with any bluetooth headset.

I’m not trying to convince anyone to buy any of these watches… just wondering why anyone would pay so much more for a device, when the estimated obsolescence for these devices is such a short time period. I suppose if you have enough money, then money isn’t a factor and the apple watch makes more sense in those cases, but for the general market…$400 bucks for 2 years of a slightly better watch seems a bit mad to me. but that is exactly why i’m asking for other opinions…to try and better understand other peoples reasons.

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Shitty ones.

@redesigned If you’re going to get one, get one that actually runs Android Wear. These cheap, Chinese-made android watches run the AOSP version of android and don’t follow integration guidelines, so they’ll work more like a second phone with a bluetooth headset-style connection to the phone. The UX will also be shockingly poor at that price point.

All the reviewers say that the Moto360 is the best at the moment and it was temporarily reduced to $160 on the play store last week (but has gone back up) so there is obviously a price drop on the horizon.

I think it means there’s a Moto 360 2 (a 720?) on the horizon…

I actually kinda like the idea of Wear. I don’t care about fitness tracking, but I can see (just about) the use of a nice looking watch (acceptable male jewellery!) that gives you notifications. But my phone is always sitting right there anyway…

That too but I imagine that, like phones, there will be a range of them from spec’d out to lightweight. I think the $160 price is a good sign of how much these things cost to make and hence how much we’ll eventually have to spend.

In terms of being a thing with an actual use case: probably not for me. I’m never in any meeting that I can’t just look at my phone, plus everything on my phone is bigger/better anyway. If I could buy one for $160 i’d impulse buy that, but at anything over that I probably wont bite.

Touchscreens are awful, there isn’t much to “figure out” about them. But I am sure they can be great fun if you want to pretend that your gear is an early 90s ATM, information kiosk, or industrial control panel…

He’s taking about the current Apple mouse.

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@teapot you have some good points. The $100 ZGPAX S8 is a full phone and runs Android Wear, has the Google Play store and can run any chicklets (the smaller apps). I also agree about the pricepoint, I’d buy an apple watch at $150.00 that is a reasonable price point for a smart watch that relies on being paired with a phone for much of its functionality.

@popobawa4u I’m not really sure what point you are trying to make here, could you clarify?

By “figure out” what I was referring to was that apple couldn’t figure out how to make the iOS touch interface on the watch the only necessary interface, like they have on all other iOS devices, they had to add a wheel style control on the side. Other similar devices running android haven’t had to resort to that, they are fully functional with the primary interface. none of the other apple touch devices have a wheel obviously.

To be fair many android devices can detect motions in the air in front of the device or when your finger is hovering over the device, etc. so they do have more options to work with, but even the watches that don’t support hover and in air gestures still have a fully functioning touch interface without having to resort to introducing a secondary device specific thing like a wheel.

So what i was saying is if they figured out how to make the touch interface for the watch fully functional the wheel is unnecessary, and they could have kept the functionality the same as all their other devices…pinch zoom, flick scroll, etc. but hey this is apple, they really could care less if they make everyone have learn new unique interface and have a totally separate different way of interacting with this device then their other devices.

Edit: For clarification, I do think the apple watch will be better built then most the option on the market, the two things I question is the huge price point gap and the decision to ditch pinch zoom for a “digital crown”. I am an apple fan, i have an iMac, iPad, iPhone, etc. I’m even going to get one of the new Macbooks. I love the new Macbooks, but I think the decision to NOT have a regular usb port on the other side and forcing users to carry a 1990’s style dongle was a mistake. I’m not an all or nothing kind of guy. I can like and dislike things at the same time. I can want something like the new Macbook and also curse the fact that they ditched the usb port and require a dongle for any external device.

That was my point. Touchscreens are such a pervasive retro-fad. Yet it’s the “current” Apple mouse…

I am merely commiserating about how much I dislike touchscreens, and resenting many devices only being available with this sort of interface.

Maybe your fingers just aren’t capacitive enough.