Wyze, a purveyor of affordable smart home products, is releasing... a smartwatch. The Wyze Watch will come in two sizes, 44m and 47mm, and ship in February 2021 at a price of just $20. Yes, $20 for a smartwatch.
In terms of functionality, the Wyze Watch is mostly focused on health tracking and smart home control. The watch will include blood oxygen monitoring, heart rate tracking, IP68 water and dust resistance, activity and sleep tracking, and integration with Google Fit and Apple Health. The watch will also be able to display notifications from a smartphone, though it's unclear if this will work with both iOS and Android.
Worth a try — We're not expecting much in terms of hardware from a $20 smartwatch but Wyze says it has a lightweight aluminum body, with the smaller 44mm variant sporting a 1.4-inch display with a resolution of 320 x 320 and the larger 47mm one coming in at 1.75-inches with a resolution of 320 x 385. Battery life is quoted at nine days on a full charge. Honestly from the look of the press pictures, it seems like a decent product.
To be sure, the Wyze Watch doesn't have dedicated apps, cannot send or receive calls and text messages, and it doesn't support voice assistants. But a lot of people use their smartwatch for just a few common functions — receiving notifications, controlling playback of audio from their phone, and maybe tracking some fitness statistics. If that's all you need, you don't stand to lose much giving the Wyze Watch a try. It seems like a competitor to the Fitbit moreso than the Apple Watch.
Gateway product — Wyze says the watch is supposed to integrate with its smart home products so you could, for instance, use a shortcut to toggle your lights on and off. For a relatively unknown smart home brand like Wyze, this seems like the real purpose of selling a smartwatch — it's a gateway to Wyze's greater ecosystem of products. People who want basic smartwatch functionality might buy the Wyze Watch and be introduced to its smart lightbulbs and cameras for the first time.
Because it doesn't charge much for its hardware, Wyze's business model relies on upselling customers on premium subscription services that offer features like unlimited video capture from its cameras. Its free tier of service is so pitiful that you pretty much have to buy a subscription to take advantage of its smart home gadgets.
The Wyze Watch is available for pre-order on its website today.