When a whole new category of technology arrives, you can usually rely on tech-heads to get excited about them even if the mass-market doesn’t. So far, though, smartwatches don’t seem to have made as much headway as many expected. When a confirmed gadget addict like me is left wondering why I’d want one, something somewhere is wrong.
But where functionality hasn’t persuaded many of us, perhaps price will. Archos is planning to launch a basic smartwatch in the summer for just $50, a price it may be hoping will lead people to stop asking ‘Why?’ and instead ask ‘Why not?’.
Don’t expect too much tech for your fifty bucks: what it will buy you is more of a dumbwatch than a smart one. All it will do is relay notifications from your phone and allow you to control music playback. Oh yes, and tell the time. The display, too, is low-tech: a 1.55-inch non-capacitive e-ink screen.
The styling also looks pretty crude. But for $50, it’s almost cheap enough to try one out just to see whether the idea of a smartwatch grabs you.
Archos also plans a color model with 1.8-inch capacitive screen for $100 and an aluminum-cased version for $130, but these won’t be available until later in the year.