Welcome to And finally, our weekly round-up of goings on in the world of wearables in the past week. And it’s been a busy one for new wearables to get excited about.
Samsung officially unveiled the Galaxy Watch Active 2 and days later revealed there was going to be a Galaxy Watch Active 2 Under Armour Edition joining it too. Fossil introduced its Gen 5 Wear OS smartwatches and also promised new hybrid smartwatches before the end of the year. Huawei unveiled HarmonyOS, a new operating system alternative to Android that will first roll out on smartwatches.
We’ve pulled together a few more stories to cast your eye over and remember, you can check out our dedicated news section to find out what else has been going on.
Oppo is working on a smartwatch
Chinese tech giant Oppo confirmed it’s working on wearable projects and one of those projects is a smartwatch.
The company’s vice president, Shen Yiren, announced via social media site Weibo that Oppo is hard at work on a smartwatch. We heard a few weeks ago that the company was granted a really interesting-looking patent for a foldable smartwatch, but there’s no indication as to whether this is what Yiren was referring to.
Yiren did offer some hints though, indicating that Oppo is debating whether to go with a circular or rectangular display, based on the best use of space. Regardless of design, he said that the watch is unlikely to launch in 2019, but said he hoped it’s in shape for 2020.
Oppo has been making bigger moves outside of its native China in the past year selling its slick, high-powered smartphones. So, we wouldn’t be all that surprised if it decides to add smartwatches to its tech armoury.
Check out our latest rundown of the best smartwatches to buy.
Sony is leading VR market at a canter
It looks like low-priced VR headsets may be a relic of the past. A report from Strategy Analytics has made it clear that demand for lower-cost headsets has dried up, leaving more premium devices from the likes of Sony and Oculus as the main players.
Between them, Oculus, HTC and Sony earned fully 77% of all VR headset sales last year, a huge market share that is no less dominant when split up. Sony accounted for 30% of the sales itself, through its Playstation VR system, compared to 25% for Oculus and 22% for HTC.
Google was languishing on an 11% market share as demand for its Daydream headsets shrank, and Samsung’s 5% painted a similar picture for its Gear VR hardware. With Sony aiming to keep support for VR going on its next console, the Playstation 5, you can expect it to continue to dominate the market.
Low-cost options for VR are certainly a useful tool for showcasing the potential of the platform, and encouraging people to engage with the technology, but it looks like higher-quality hardware and experiences is what’s needed to keep people using them. The market for headsets as a whole also shrank by 50% in terms of shipments, though this was largely driven by falling demand for low-quality headsets.
If you’re looking to get into VR yourself, check out our VR headset buying guide to help pick the perfect one.
Mobvoi finally brings 4G to the TicWatch Pro
When Mobvoi launched the TicWatch Pro LTE earlier this year, it was up front about the fact that mobile connectivity wasn’t going to be functional at launch.
Now that the feature is enabled, the TicWatch Pro should now make a more interesting proposition for those who want to live that untethered life. If you have the Wear watch already, you can activate LTE directly in your My Verizon app or by heading to a Big Red store.
Xiaomi disbands its Mi VR team
Anthony Vitillo, a noted VR expert, reported that the entire development team was laid off, although Xiaomi has not yet confirmed the (for-now) rumour. If true, it’s another indication that lower-cost headsets aren’t in a good place.
This could have ramifications for Facebook. The Oculus Go was very much a collaboration with Xiaomi, and Facebook’s ambitions for Oculus have always been big. It makes sense, then, that Facebook has reiterated its commitment to the Oculus Go, confirming that it will still be producing and selling the headset.