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These Are The Biggest Smartwatch Fails And Flops Of 2022

These Are The Biggest Smartwatch Fails And Flops Of 2022
fitbit sense 2 vs google pixel watch held below

Ryan Haynes/Android Authority

The past few years have been a blur and 2022 is no exception. For most smartwatch gamers, this has been a year of evolution rather than revolution, with iterative tweaks and iterative changes dominating. But while many companies are approaching 2022 with caution, it is not without its flaws. Below we've summarized the most important points, products and news about the unusual smartwatch.

Fitbit updates are a download

A Fitbit Versa 4 Alexa displays Amazon Alexa on screen.

Caitlin Cimino / Android Authority

Remember when we said that 2022 was the year of recurring change? Usually during this casting period, the spells already power up good devices like stars After the Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3, both rated as some of the best affordable smartwatches you can buy, we expected the Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4 to follow suit. Boy, did we make a mistake.

While the Sense 2 has a sleeker design, new user interface, and continuous stress tracker, it misses out on Google Assistant intelligence, third-party app support, and useful features that were a part of the Fitbit smartwatch. Do you want to change the clock face? You should now be using the Fitbit app. Do you want to close the screen with your palm? You will have to wait for this update. These issues are even more apparent on the Versa 4, which doesn't get the Sense 2's new fitness-tracking intelligence.

We expected Fitbit to do the same with the Sense 2 and Versa 4. Boy, are we wrong?

So why did Fitbit drop the ball? In October 2022 we welcome a new smartwatch maker to the segment. Fitbit owner Google has launched the Pixel Watch, heralding Fitbit's promise of health tracking. It makes sense that the Sense 2 and Versa 4 were nervous about making the Pixel Watch more attractive and turning the once-powerful line of smartwatches into glorified fitness trackers.

What can Fitbit do in 2023? Well, there are teams. The Sense 2 feels smoother than any previous Fitbit smartwatch. But you need a series of software updates to get started. It's not beyond Fitbit's capabilities, but was that part of the plan?

Google's first smartwatch failed

Google Pixel Watch battery percentage remaining

Rita L Khoury / Android Authority

Google's first smartwatch is one of the most controversial devices to launch in 2022 It has a lot of fans, and for good reason: it promises a lot for a first-generation product However, the Pixel Watch is far from the hype Google created before its release.

As detailed in our tests, battery life was significantly below average in the first few days. Once installed, it lasts for a day on a single charge. Choosing when to spawn your watch becomes a regular calendar event. Surprisingly, Google has also chosen to use the 2019 Samsung chipset to power its 2022 smartwatches. You wouldn't know it when you turn it on: The watch offers our smoothest Wear OS experience yet But for $349, you'd expect more than three-year-old silicon in its flagship device.

Google's first smartwatch is one of the most controversial devices due to launch in 2022.

Despite its strong performance, Wear OS still lacks some advantages on the Pixel Watch. Features first introduced by fitness trackers nearly a decade ago don't include sleep timers or automatic workout tracking. Unlike Wear OS 2 watches, there's no way to sync notifications from your Android phone to your watch. The Pixel Watch app disappoints compared to Samsung's strict companion app, while the Fitbit experience still lacks some features.

How can Google solve this problem in 2023? While the Pixel Watch's battery life can't be improved through software, the company now has something to do with the sequel. The fact that both Samsung and Apple are aiming for better battery life in their wearables gives us hope that Google will follow suit. Google also fixes many missing software features through regular updates, so it's coming.

The Pixel Watch is by no means the biggest smartwatch of 2022, but it's not a new industry milestone either.

Samsung skipped a step

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic on a wrist showing the watch face.

Jimmy Westenberg/Android Authority

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

Samsung is not excluded from this list. With our long list of reliable smartwatches, we value wearables. The Galaxy Watch 5 series is another hit. Repeated changes have been made to the base model for a better fit, a stronger body and a more comfortable fit The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a step in the right direction for those who want a more durable outdoor device. However, we still think Samsung missed a trick with the lineup.

Unlike the Galaxy Watch 4 series, there is no classic model this time around. More importantly, there is no physical model with a rotating bezel. We're fans of the rotating bezel, and it makes navigating the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic's interface a joy. The touch frame is uneven. Navigating through the menus is a laborious endeavor and a steep learning curve.

You can still buy a Samsung smartwatch with a rotating bezel, but that means opting for an older model.

How can Samsung fix this in 2023? We'd like to see a rotating bezel on future Galaxy Watch Pro models The value it adds to UI navigation can cause any number of problems Even when titanium is recycled, it can add extra protection to the Galaxy Watch Pro.

If you want a Wear OS watch with a rotating bezel, you can still buy the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, but that means you'll have to make do with older hardware and features.

Fossil's Wear OS update is a disappointment

fossil gen 6 fossil app wear os 3

C. Scott Brown/Android Authority

Fossil Gen 6 owners have spent most of 2022 waiting for a major update to Wear OS 3. After months without an announcement, Fossil finally released the latest version of the operating system to user devices in October 2022. However, the firmware update was not an amazing experience. That many expected.

Wear OS 3 running on Gen 6 hardware had and still has many issues. First, the Gen 6 doesn't run the latest version of Wear OS used by Samsung and Google, instead accepting older versions. This is believed to be due to the Qualcomm chipset. As a result, the update lacks Google Assistant support and Google Wallet does not work for iPhone users. Also, the update effectively resets the device to factory settings, making the update risky for inexperienced users.

Wear OS 3 running on Gen 6 hardware had and still has many issues

In fairness to Fossil, most of these issues are beyond the company's control. It provides owners with an unqualified, detailed explanation of missing features and upgrade process prior to release. But it's good for those who expect most (if not all) Wear OS 3 features to be available when the update arrives, especially after a long wait.

How can Fossil fix it? Well, it's starting to improve the software experience on the Gen 6 platform Users have found that the OS runs smoothly on handheld devices and battery life is not affected much Let's hope wearables get better from here, we're very excited to see the Fossil Gen 7 finally debut.

Xiaomi's app identity crisis continues

xiaomi mi fitness app menu 1

Andy Walker / Android Authority

My Fitness (formerly Xiaomi Wear)

We love wearables from Xiaomi, with the Mi Band line consistently on our list of best budget fitness bands. Xiaomi has the formula, but the software is another story. Earlier this year, Xiaomi rebranded two apps that power its Mi Band lineup and other smartwatches. Mi Fit becomes Zepp Life (Play Store) and Xiaomi Wear becomes Mi Fitness (Play Store). However, the rebranding application is not what the situation demands.

No matter how you look at it, the status of the app is more confusing than it should be for Xiaomi users

Of course, the redesign makes both apps easier to use. But the app's ease of use was never the biggest issue; The correct application must be selected. The two make compromises that are not easy to see. Zepp Life is the only one of the two that syncs with Google Fit, while My Fitness syncs with Strava and is currently the only app you can use with the Smart Band 7 Pro. Transferring data between the two platforms is also not easy No matter how you look at it, the status of the app is more confusing than it should be for Xiaomi users.

So what is the solution? Ideally, Xiaomi needs an app for wearables that brings it in line with Garmin and Fitbit, but developing new apps without addressing existing fragmentation issues could lead to additional problems. We want to hear your solutions and we think Xiaomi will too.

dear note

Several more smartwatch failure stories are coming in 2022. Check out our quick (disrespectful) tips below.

  • Fitbit recalls its first true smartwatch: Fitbit has launched a voluntary global recall of the Ionic in March 2022. The company has received more than 100 reports of fever in the United States, including 78 injuries.
  • Meta Halts Smartwatch Development: In November 2022, Meta announced massive layoffs of around 11,000 employees and shut down its Portal and smartwatch projects. And yes, Meta is working on wearables.
  • €1200 for what? The Montblanc Summit 3 is the first wearable since the Galaxy Watch to launch with Wear OS 3. You should at least welcome it. However, its meager capabilities and features don't match its very, very high price.

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