Tag Heuer trying to create a market for premium smartwatch and fails
Tag Heuer, a premium watch known worldwide with their exclusive and premium classic watches has decided to up their smartwatch game and released Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45, however there is one, small issue. The smartwatch market is not ready to pay so much for a watch, especially when you realize that a smartwatch is not something you buy for life and more like classic premium watches from brands like Rolex and well, Tag Heuer.
This is not to say that this is a bad watch, it is not. It is a decent Android Wear 2.0 watch with great functionality, that looks and feels pretty good on your hand. It is just not comparable to the competition where you can get the same features and nice look for 10 times less. That will depend on yourself – because in overall this is by far one of the best looking smartwaches and definitely feels extremely fashionable and good-looking. But whats the value of a great design. This is extremely subjective.
Let’s get over with the huge issue in this smartwatch from the beginning. The starting price for the model start from $1,500 and can go up to $3,500 depending on your desired specs and design. They let you customize it on their web site, which is the reason why the price varies so much. However in their UK store for example, you can add diamond-embedded bezel.
As of the writing of this review there are literally 56 different styles for this watch in their UK version of the site. This provides you with huge amount of choices and lets you fit the watch best to yourself. Some of the available options are picking the material that the bezel is made of : the available choices are titanium, diamonds, aluminium and ceramic. Picking some of the premium materials will result in drastic increase of watch’s price.
The 45 in the name of the watch refers to the diameter of the watch, which means it is kinda big and might not fit someone who has smaller hands. The Tag Heuer Modular Connected 45 is also heavy : it weights 62 grams, however it is important to note that the weight is part of the reasons why it feels premium. Another one is obviously the design, where Tag Heuer learned from their previous attempt where the so-called premium watch had full metal case. Another advantage is that the watch is fully water-resistant so you can go swimming with it, however remember that is is kinda heavy and you will notice it during longer sessions. This is kinda weird, because the weight feels weird when exercising and it gets annoying quite quickly.
In other news there is a 1.39 with a nice resolution of 400×400, which is significantly better than what most of the competition offer. It is big, bright and makes navigating through the device settings and menus very easy. A huge missed opportunity is the lack of a heart rate monitor, especially when you consider the price of the watch.
Under the hood the watch is powered up by a Intel Atom Z34XX chipset and has 512MB RAM, more than enough to handle most apps that you would be using on a watch. A huge advantage is the availability of Android NFC which lets you use Android Pay directly from your watch and pay in shops that have NFC readers.
Obviously for this price range the watch comes with integrated GPS, as well as its own WIFi chip in case you want to connect to the internet without your phone.
There is a Google Fit app on the watch and the smartwatch supports all the exercises Android Wear 2.0 supports, which is almost all of them. You can pair it with any modern smartphone, as long as its higher than Android 4.3 or in case you are Apple user you have to have at least iPhone 5 or higher. The watch works with some of your favorite apps, like Strava, Runmaster or even Uber, Whatsapp and many, many more.
The watch comes with a proprietary software, named Tag Heuer Studio, where you can download, pay or create your own facewatch with thousands available options. There are specific and unique options which are unlike any other smartwatch, including playing with things like the luminescence. You can also change the background to any picture you want.
Sadly, the Tag Heuer Connected 45 has pretty disappointing battery life. The basic benchmark TheSmartestGear is looking for a watch is to last least 40ish hours, which would be enough for 2 days with 1 night of charging. However this watch uses a bit too much power and the 410mAh battery(which itself is kinda impressive) manages to deplete in just 12-15 hours of usage, forcing you to charge it every night.
There is also no mode where the watch will just show you the time and lose Android Wear functions to save battery when the watch is on standby.
I doubt it will be surprising for anyone when at the end of this article we recommend you to not purchase this watch, even in case you can afford the steep price of it. Especially when you consider that this watch will probably stop working in 5 years, which is drastic change from any other premium classic watch, that will almost certainly be a thing you can give to your kids.
In case you have the budget and you are looking at something to splash, we’d definitely recommend the Apple Watch 3 or Samsung Gear S3.