ZTE is giving wearables another go, but this time, it’s building its smartwatch around Android Wear 2.0 and is partnering with T-Mobile to support 3G and GPS. The company announced the Quartz today, which leaked last month. It’ll be released online on April 14th and in stores on April 21st for $192.
Some quick specs:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor
- 768MB RAM and 4GB ROM
- Built-in speaker and mic
- Android Wear 2.0
- 500mAh battery
- GPS / 3G connectivity
- Water resistant
The watch includes three different watchfaces — I wasn’t a fan of any, really — and a 22mm band that can be swapped out. You’ll need to be a T-Mobile subscriber to fully take advantage of this watch. It’s got one button on the side that’ll activate Google Assistant or access your list of applications, and relies on a custom charging cradle.
So why wearables again now? ZTE thinks users are more willing to wear a smartwatch if they have access to Google’s Assistant, which is included with Android Wear 2.0. The company also believes people will be interested in trying a smartwatch if it’s cheap enough. And sure, ZTE’s watch is affordable compared to the LG Watch Sport or LG Watch Style, which cost $349 and $249, respectively.
While maybe ZTE is right to think that users want that assistant feature, as well as more connectivity, it’s odd that the company didn’t include a heart rate monitor or NFC chip. That means you won’t be able to use Android Pay or really get deep on fitness tracking. ZTE doesn’t think its users care about these features, but we’ve seen fitness-oriented companies like Fitbit gobble up the smartwatch market (ehm, Pebble), so I think people likely want health stats.
Regardless, this is what ZTE is bringing to T-Mobile subscribers in the hopes that they’ll give smartwatches a try. Maybe it’ll work.
Correction: A previous version of this article listed LTE connectivity among the watch’s specs. The watch does not have LTE, just 3G. We regret the error.