Wearables Week in Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

TAG Heuer launches new smartwatch

TAG Heuer has launched the Connected Calibre E4, which runs on Wear OS 2 at launch, but will upgrade to Wear OS 3 when it arrives. The watch comes in two sizes with the usual 45mm version, as well as a sleeker 42mm edition. The company’s updated Sports app now offers guided workouts as well as sport-focused tracking for activities such as golf, swimming and running. Pricing starts at $1,800 for the 42mm version, and $2,050 for the larger model. Not that price is really the point once you get into the realm of TAG and similar luxury watches, of course.

The NPD Take:

  • It’s been a while since TAG Heuer launched a new connected watch, rather than a “special edition” of a previous version, so this is a much-needed move by the watch manufacturer as it keeps up with key smartwatch enhancements in OS and chipsets (this watch uses a Snapdragon Wear 4100+ chip with Bluetooth 5.0.
  • Battery life is improved, with TAG promising “all day” coverage, including 5 hours of golf tracking. It is a claimed 30% improvement in battery life.
  • There’s still no sign of a cellular-connected version, which is a disappointment as we continue to see that category grow in significance. However, cellular use obviously drains the battery quicker, and needs more room in the watch, which would be counter to TAG’s goals at this point I suspect.

No more charging?

Garmin has launched the Instinct 2 sports-focused smartwatch, which is a thinner version of the original Instinct. The new version has a range of additional fitness metrics, bringing the Instinct closer, in functionality at least, to the Fenix range. But the real news is that Garmin is claiming an infinite battery life for its solar version. Yes, you read that right: infinite. The company claims that the battery life should be unlimited as long as the watch gets three hours of sunlight each day (50,000 lux brightness which Garmin says is a normal, overcast day). That amount of sunlight should also allow you to use “some” GPS-enabled sports tracking as well, although there is less detail of exactly how much GPS “some” is. Only the Instinct 2 Solar 45mm model carries this claim: the smaller 40mm version can only manage unlimited battery in battery saver mode, which is far less useful

The NPD Take:

  • This could, as the saying goes, change everything. As smartwatches have added more and more health features, not to mention sleep tracking, there is less and less of an optimum window when you want to take the watch off to charge. And when you do take the watch off to charge, there’s a higher risk that you will forget to put it back on, lose some metrics and decide that you no longer want to wear the device.
Report Sections