Please, please Samsung: don't screw up the Galaxy Gear!
23rd Aug 2013 | 16:21
Just take my money now!
I'm excited. Really excited. I'm looking at my watch constantly – not because I'm counting down to something, but because I'm trying to get my money's worth before it gets chucked.
Because I just know that in the next few months I'm going to be waving my left arm around like a newly engaged bride waves her finger about, showing off my Samsung Gear smart watch and inviting (if not subtly, then with a smack in the face) people to say 'Ooooh, what's that?'
Yes, I'm traveling ahead in time and jumping the gun, I know, I know. But we're all aware it's coming and, along with the rumoured Apple iWatch, it's going to be a great time for wearable tech, and as a mad runner, I can't wait to replace my Jawbone UP with something that not only keeps a track of every pace but also gives me discreet alerts and adds extra functionality to my tablet and smartphone experience.
Don't look back in anger
I shouldn't need to be excited though - we should have loads of smart watches on the market already, with the market littered with concepts that petered out into abject failure.
The obvious one: the Pebble. Pebble fans are a diehard lot, and you won't find many that will admit they may as well have changed their Kickstarter funding into coins and thrown them into wishing wells, although that probably would have yielded the same result.
I'm talking from experience here. I bought a Pebble earlier this year. It was one of those moments when I sat on eBay with a glass of wine (times three) and days later a plain cardboard box turned up.
Not only did it look clunky and horrible, but the integration with apps was awful. You'd get numerous notifications, but only the top one would work and the screen was pretty crap. It went back on eBay the next day.
Clock up the miles
But why has it taken even this long? The idea of a smart watch on a wrist has been around for decades. So why has it never really taken off. Does it mean even the technology behemoths of Apple and Samsung are doomed to fail?
The biggest chance came from LG about three years ago. Never known for being too conservative, the LG GD910 (and what a slick name) was when the firm was arguably going through its wackiest phase.
See through keypads, widescreen slabs and then a watch phone. But it was totally screwed up by two things: firstly, the fact that you could get yourself to Disneyland for the same price and secondly, you couldn't actually use the damned thing without fingers as small as pins.
It wasn't a smart watch (i.e. a device that complements the phone) but a watch phone. A watch. And a phone. In one. Independent of anything else.
It meant that texts, calls and some of the other tasks you need a larger screen with were just useless. And it ran LG's proprietary OS. Pointless. Yuk.
So now it's all change. It's the chance to make things that look sleek, fit as neatly on the wrist as a standard digital timepiece, but one imbued with the best bits of our favourite gadgets.
Like most boys, I have a dream of looking like Dick Tracy with a cool little timepiece that secretly lets me do more than tell what o'clock it is. Trouble is, the current crop leaves the user looking less Tracy and more just Dick.
Don't screw it up, eh?
I've reviewed dozens of phones and tablets for TechRadar over the years – each time putting them through their paces in the most unbiased, rigorous way possible.
But as well as being a professional, I have a love/hate relationship with tech, and that's what these columns are all about: the passionate howlings of a true fanboy. Tell me why I'm right, wrong or a hopeless idiot in the comments below or by tweeting @techradar or @phillavelle.