Whether you’re a fan of speaking to your cuff, James Bond style, or have always dreamed of leaving your smartphone at home each time you head out for a jog, your time has come. Google has officially announced support for cellular connectivity in the next version of Android Wear.
Until now, Android smartwatches necessarily required pairing with a smartphone via Bluetooth, or be connected to a WiFi network. But these methods are relatively restrictive in comparison to the freedom that the cellular network offers. With the ability to now recognize and utilize a SIM card, the next generation of watches will have data and voice capabilities without any dependency on a smartphone. First up in this wave of devices will be the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, with others expected to follow suit.
While having standalone wireless access is admittedly a killer feature for any smartwatch, powering 3G or 4G cellular capabilities a power-hungry affair, which is certain to take a toll on battery life. If commensurate advances are not made on the battery and power consumption front, it will in every likelihood result in further diminished battery life. And this in itself has been a bone of contention in the smartwatch world where devices need to be charged on a daily basis, sometimes even more.