We said Android Wear isn’t dead and sure enough, there’s more signs of life with ZTE confirming it’s working on its first Android Wear smartwatch later in 2017.
The news follows fresh devices last week at CES from Casio and New Balance and could mean that the delay of Android Wear 2.0 and lack of new watches in the run up to the holidays last year was something of a blip.
Read this: The best wearable tech & smartwatches at CES 2017
As for this upcoming ZTE watch, it sounds like it will be a global release and work as a standalone device. ZTE says it already has a US network lined up and that the watch will come with LTE so you don’t need your phone with you.
Lixin Cheng, ZTE USA’s CEO, also hinted that we can expect a battery life that’s better than the current crop of Android Wear watches but still within a slim watch body.
To give you an idea of ZTE’s previous form, the Axon Watch (pictured) debuted in Europe at MWC 2016 but has been on sale in China since late 2015. It runs the Chinese Tencent TOS+ platform, has a round, 1.4-inch, 400 x 400 sapphire-coated display and a 300mAh battery.
As with Huawei’s upcoming VR headset, there’s a chance ZTE will release an Android Wear watch for the US and Europe and keep working with TOS+ in China. We’ll update this story when we hear more official details about what we can expect from the new ZTE smartwatch.