This week, TAG Heuer revealed its Connected Watch, the $1,500 smart watch running on Android and created in collaboration with Intel and Google. It is the first real smart watch produced by a high-class watch manufacturer, and we will see if can beat the ever-growing competition in the tech wearable industry.
The watch is made after TAG’s Heuer Carrera design, the auto racing watch first introduced in the 1960s. If you can get over its extremely vague name, the device’s shape is recognizable by those who are acquainted with TAG’s timepieces. The strap and solid case are designed and produced in Switzerland by a team of experts that develops all the other company’s watches, even if this smart watch is not officially a genuine Swiss product, since the digital components are manufactured by Intel.
TAG’s Connected Watch is large at 46mm in width and a thickness of almost 13mm, but it has a titanium case, so it is amazingly light. The frame is marked in 5-minute intervals and has a dark carbide covering that offers a stylish contrast against the watch’s applied and sandblasted areas. We cannot expect less from one of the most famous and luxurious producers with a long tradition and top pedigree in watch creation.
Combined with the vulcanized rubberized bands in various colors and an assorted titanium strap, it feels and looks like some of TAG Heuer’s famous timepieces. Still, it could have been more compact and since other manufacturers, such as Samsung, are shrinking their devices, this dictates the future of smart watches.
Importantly, the Swiss producer designed its Connected Watch in collaboration with Intel and Google, so digital elements, appearance and software options were all created together for a better user experience. The venture was first launched at the beginning of this year, with officials and professionals from all three organizations all present at its presentation. The watch operates on Android Wear OS, Google’s operating system for wearable gadgets, and works with all Android devices, including Jelly Bean 4.3 and iPhones on iOS 8.2 or more recent.
It needs Bluetooth connection to get paired with a smart phone, has an Wi-Fi option and 4 GB of data storage for applications and media content. Gyroscopic indicators are useful for regular fitness monitoring, but like its opponents, it has no GPS sensor under the case, so users are still required to have their phone close by. The smart watch is also missing a pulse rate option and an audio speaker, so all notifications arrive through vibrating alerts.
Image source: Wheelsandchips