Smartwatches are doing even worse than expected



We already mentioned the current state of smartwatches as a big, fat miss in our recent year-ender compilation, but now, things are looking even bleaker for 2017.

Based on a report done by eMarketer, the research firm expected a smartwatch usage growth of more than 60 percent among adults in the US this year. Instead, the forecast has changed to only 24.7 percent, which is clearly a huge drop.

This translates to 39.5 million American adults using an internet-connected watch this year, as opposed to the original estimate of 63.7 million users. Making the situation worse is a penetration rate of just 21.1 percent by the year 2020 — not good at all.

Reasons for the slump are obvious, but still worth noting. There just isn’t enough reason to use a smartwatch on top of a smartphone, and while phones are improving in the cost-friendly segments, smartwatches are still maintaining exuberant prices.

eMarketer analyst Cathy Boyle had this to say:

They [consumer surveys] also reported high price-sensitivity. Without a clear use case for smartwatches — which have more features than fitness trackers, but significant overlap with smartphone functionality — the more sophisticated, expensive devices have not caught on as quickly as expected.


With news of the next generation of Android Wear being delayed until early 2017 — and the likes of Moto pulling out of the platform completely — we don’t see high-tech watches taking off, either. It doesn’t help that Samsung, who’s one of the leading brands in this category, relies on its own operating system, and not Android Wear.

Adding to the flames is Apple suspiciously hiding its latest sales numbers for both generations of the Apple Watch, as well as the well-loved Pebble brand being bought out by fitness tracker giant Fitbit for less than $40 million.

Still, there’s hope in hybrid smartwatches. With smart functionality in traditional watch designs, they last for months on battery power while retaining fitness tracking and handset connectivity features. We went as far as listing the Fossil Q Hybrid Smartwatch in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Sources: eMarketer, Business Insider


Vivo X21 now official with under-display fingerprint reader version

Vivo is keen with under-display fingerprint readers



Following the announcement of OPPO for their R15 duo, Vivo made their new top-tier smartphone official — the Vivo X21. Unsurprisingly, the X21 shares a few characteristics with OPPO’s newest release but has its own improvements.

The Vivo X21 is equipped with a 6.28-inch border-less AMOLED display with a notch on top. Its resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels is on par with other models in its range, but the notch houses more than just an earpiece and front camera. The X21 has an infrared fill light which enables 3D mapping of facial features for its Face Wake 2.0.

Vivo X21

A Snapdragon 660 processor powers the phone along with a dedicated AI core. The chipset has Adreno 512 for graphics and is paired with 6GB of memory. As for storage, two options are available: 64GB and 128GB. A non-removable 3200mAh battery (with fast-charging through micro-USB) makes sure the phone will last the whole day while it runs Android 8.1 Oreo with Funtouch OS 4.0.

The cameras on board the X21 are enough to make the phone ideal for mobile photography. There’s a dual-camera setup on the back with a 12-megapixel f/1.8 main shooter and a 5-megapixel f/2.4 secondary to enable background effects like bokeh and portrait mode.

Vivo X21 UD

A fingerprint reader is located at the back of the X21, but it’ll have a special version with an under-display fingerprint scanner just like its predecessor. This version is only available with 128GB of storage.

Orders for the regular variant will begin on March 24 at midnight with the 64GB model priced at CNY 2,898 (US$ 460) while the 128GB is at CNY 3,198 (US$ 505). Both will come in Aurora White, Ruby Red, and Black.

If you wish to get the version with an under-display fingerprint reader, it’ll be available in Ruby Red and Black starting March 28 for CNY 3,598 or roughly US$ 570.

SEE ALSO: Vivo announces AI-powered Super HDR

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Battle of the dating apps: Tinder is suing Bumble

More dating app drama!



Our favorite dating apps are going head to head.

Match Group, Inc., parent company to famous dating app Tinder and various other dating services like Match, OkCupid, and Plenty of Fish, is suing Bumble. The suit, which alleges patent infringement, claims that Bumble has copied “Tinder’s unique card-based swipe design.” Match also claims that Bumble has released certain features that “its co-founders learned of and developed confidentially while at Tinder, in violation of confidentiality agreements.”

The history between the two companies is long and complicated. Bumble co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd was also a co-founder at Tinder until she filed a lawsuit for sexual harassment in 2014. She claimed that Tinder CMO Justin Mateen removed her “co-founder” title because according to him, having a young female co-founder “makes the company seem like a joke.” It has been reported that there was an out-of-court settlement with Tinder that earned her approximately US$ 1 million. Herd has, since then, co-founded Bumble, a similar dating app that allows women to make the first move.

This lawsuit also comes after Match offered to buy Bumble for a reported US$ 450 million. Bumble has declined said offer, but this lawsuit might just change things. We’ll have to wait and see.

SEE ALSO: Tinder pro tips for men by women

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Garmin launches the affordable Vivofit 4 fitness tracker in India

It has an always-on display along with year-long battery life



The Garmin Vivofit 4 fitness band has now been launched in India. The low-cost fitness tracker is designed to track steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep. It can be purchased on Amazon India in black, white, or black speckle at a price of INR 4,999 (US$ 77).

The highlight of the Garmin Vivofit 4 is its battery life. The activity tracker promises to last a year on a single charge because of its replaceable coin cell battery. It also features a sunlight-visible, transflective 11×11mm display with an 88×88-pixel resolution. The display panel offers access to basic features such as time, date, timer, stopwatch, and a step counter. Also, there is a widget to view the weather.

The activity tracking unit has an accelerometer to help users track activities, including walking, running, biking, and swimming. Similarly, there is an option to find a misplaced phone with the press of a button. The Vivofit 4 also tracks the periods of the users’ inactivity, with a colored move bar filling up to alert the user that they have been stationary for too long.

The tracker is compatible with both iOS and Android. You can sync it with the Garmin Connect app where you can save, plan, and share your activities. With the app, users can customize the tracker with various watch faces, custom faces, and personalized texts. The Garmin Move IQ allows the app to automatically detect the activity and classify activate type on Garmin Connect. It can also start an activity timer automatically.

The Vivofit 4, apart from a long-lasting battery life, has water resistance and is lightweight at a mere 25g. The new design also looks sportier and better built than the Vivofit 3.

“We are sure that Vivofit 4 would revolutionize the fitness industry in India. Although there are several activity trackers in the market, what makes this particular product unique is that under typical use, its battery can last up to a year,” Ali Rizvi, National Sales Manager of Garmin India, said in a statement.

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