AboutTime - Page 76

T Tech Time By Nick Lundin Tag Heuer Connected F or the past decade, Asian products from manufacturers like Samsung and Seiko have ruled the smartwatch industry, but now a Swiss veteran is trying to change the tide with the release of the very first true luxury smartwatch- the Tag Heuer Connected. Let’s take a look under the hood of this bad boy and see what makes him tick, err, hum. Coming in at a whopping 46mm by 12.8mm, the Connected is bulky: it’s thick, has some interesting sculpted ornamentation, and will definitely fray the edges of your sleeve. The body construction is primarily titanium, with the exception of the plastic case back. The watch face is graced by a 360X360 resolution scratch resistant sapphire crystal screen, which provides enough resolution to “appear” as a traditional Swiss watch, if a user so chooses. It’s secured to your wrist with a rubber strap, in one of seven colors, with a deployment clasp. Under the face is a pure brute of a machine-an Intel Atom dual 76 FUNCTION | AboutTime Magazine core processor clocked at 1.6GHz, with 4 gigabytes of storage and 1GB of RAM. Coupled together, these make the watch’s common Android experience flawless. Even the toughest of apps could not get the watch to crack under pressure. To protect against the elements, Tag Heuer has engineered the watch to be IP67 certified. There’s not much else to say about the functionality of the watch, Tag Heuer only made slight changes to the Android theme and added a few of their own faces (GMT and chronograph). Honestly, for $1,500 I’d like to see more customizability. The only other user customizable option is a small selection of watch bands, and Apple has already proven that unlimited is not enough. And speaking of other options, there are several downmarket. The Huawei watch, for example, coming in at less than half of the price, offers multiple watch bands, ranging from metal to alligator and several color schemes, including the stunning rose gold. Tag Heuer has also opted for a lackluster screen with visible pixels at the normal viewing range. Maybe this helps to increase battery life, rated for and delivering 25 hours, on par with the Apple. Charging is also a hassle, with the cumbersome dock. The dock is connected to the Connected by a rather weak magnet that would not stay attached to the watch, unless the face was flat down. Unfortunately, this exposes the user/wearer to another of the watch’s flaws: an extremely flimsy plastic case back. Did the engineers at Tag think that no one would bother to look? Overall I’d give this watch a seven. At the end of the day it’s a Tag, like the Porsche 914 was a Porsche (look it up). Therefore, a wearer will get props for sporting a Swiss smartwatch, with a built in exit strategy. And that’s how it might make sense for some people. Wait two years, spend another $1500, and Tag will provide you with a mechanical counterpart, which means you’ll have a $3000 Carrera. In this equation it’s a price fixed hedge against inflation, and that’s smart no matter how you look at it.