Tag Heuer announced last year that they were going to bring a smartwatch to market, and rumor had it they were partnering with Intel to make it happen. Those rumors have now come good, with the Swiss watch-maker launching the Tag Heuer Connected, the first smartwatch to be powered by an Intel Atom Processor running Android Wear.
In an interview with the BBC, Tag Heuer’s chief executive Jean-Claude Biver said the decision to expand their mechanical watch range came from the belief of “a new customer base” in the latest generation of consumers, adding “if we didn’t have the Connected watch people would buy from another brand, and we cannot lose the wrist”.
Design and Features
Offering customers a Plan B then is the aim of the game with the Connected watch and it’s fair to say that it won’t be collecting dust at the back of any display shelf – it follows Tag’s traditional watchmaker philosophy modeled on the company’s Carrera family, with a rounded dial, all-titanium case, sapphire crystal glass and a 360 x 360, 240ppi 1.5-inch LTPS LCD display. It measures 12.8mm deep on the wrist, weighs 52g, and has a case diameter of 46mm. It looks like a normal watch in every way, except as we know, it’s not. The Tag Heuer Connected is built on the latest release of Android Wear, which at the time of writing has over 4,000 apps available within the Google Play Store.
Uniquely, the watch can be synced with a phone running either on Android 4.3+ or iOS 8.2+, so iPhone users need not feel left out by Tag. The software has seen an extensive overhaul, and owners will be offered a range of exclusive apps, and unlike many smartwatches that switch off the display when you are not looking at it to conserve power, the Connected always shows its digital hands when in Time Mode to maintain its slick design.
Innards and Battery Life
Powering the watch is an Intel Atom Z34XX processor – the same processor that can be found in the Edison developer board. It’s a low-voltage processor that’s designed to sip power, rather than down it. However, battery life is still no better than the likes of the Apple Watch, with Tag Heuer quoting a battery life of “around a day” with normal use. That’s going to be a deal-breaker for many people. Furthermore, the display only has a 240ppi count, and that’s already behind the competition, including the Huawei Watch with its 286ppi display and the soon-to-be launched LG Watch Urbane Second Edition with 348ppi.
Overall, then, the Tag Heuer Connected smartwatch is a significant leap forward in terms of smartwatch design. It’s a premium watch with a premium price to match, and if anything else, it’s going to give the wearables market significant media coverage. This is going to fuel sales – let’s just hope those sales go Tag’s way. The Tag Heuer Connected is on sale from today, with a retail price of about $1,600.