Garmin gets tough
Garmin is on a roll. Having just launched the Epix 2 Porsche variant a few weeks ago, the company has now turned back to its core focus of rugged outdoor use, launching the Instinct Crossover. It’s a hybrid watch, so comes with analog clock hands and underlying smartwatch features such as activity tracking and notifications. Notably for a hybrid, the smartwatch screen is the full watch face rather than a partial screen. But the real focus is on battery life and ruggedness: it apparently meets US military standards for dust, shock, temperature and water resistance (10 ATM) and there’s a Tactical version that supports night vision compatibility and a kill switch. Battery life is an estimated 110 hours with GPS use and a cool month if just used as a watch/smartwatch without GPS.
The NPD Take:
- Hybrid watches have struggled to make a significant impact in the US market and Garmin’s latest version is, in many ways, a niche in a niche with its focus on the ultra rugged market. Of course, it does help the company highlight its strengths in comparison to the Apple Ultra if you really want rugged, or plan to head into the woods for a month or so.
Meta watch no more
Meta appears to have killed any last hope that it may complete development of its smartwatch. That’s a sentence that evokes déjà vu as the company pretty much announced the same thing months ago. But still, according to multiple news sources, the company announced that it would be killing both the watch development and future development of its Portal product. As we mentioned, the smartwatch news is not particularly shocking as the company had previously put the brakes on the project and it looked fairly doubtful that development would continue. But now it is official. The silver lining on this cloud is that the team will pivot to work on building augmented reality glasses.
The NPD Take:
- The death of Meta’s smartwatch is disappointing. We were intrigued to see if a social media-first company could bring a new angle to the smartwatch market, taking it beyond the current notification and health/fitness into a more “every social day” focus. Perhaps another company will pick up this mantle.