The Rise Of The Smartwatch
From the Samsung Gear S2 to the new Apple Watch, here are the best smartwatches you can buy right now.
As the internet of things grows, the watch will not just talk to your phone but also to the gadgets in your home, at work, in your car, in shops and in restaurants. It will be the thing that triggers sensors and devices around you. In the future ecosystem of interconnected devices, the watch will be key, since it will be central to how we interact with both the digital and physical worlds around us. So, from the Samsung Gear S2 to the new Apple Watch, here are the best smartwatches you can buy right now.
Garmin Vivoactive HR
Garmin’s range of GPS sports watches has long been popular with long-distance runners, so it’s not a surprise that one of the best fitnessfocused smartwatches on the market today is a Garmin. The Vivoactive HR packs in a GPS, a heart-rate monitor, built-in sports apps include GPS-enabled running, biking, swimming and more, all-day activity tracking, phone notifications, third-party apps and a battery that will last up to eight days.
Apple Watch 2
The most desirable smartwatch on the market, the new Apple Watch 2 is one of the most elegantly made pieces of technology in the market. It comes in two sizes and three models — a base model with a stainless steel alloy body; the Sports, made from a custom, anodised aluminum alloy; and the Edition, which comes with an 18-karat gold case. The Series 2 is waterproof up to 50m, and is equipped with a dual-core chip that is 50 per cent faster and provides twice the graphics performance compared to the first Apple Watch. It comes with a built-in GPS for more accurate walk and run tracking.
Pebble Time Steel
Rejected by VCs and funded through Kickstarter to the tune of $10 million when it only needed $10,000, Pebble has come a long way. This one sports a Gorilla Glass covered always-on, colour e-paper screen display that allows it up to ten days of battery life. In addition to offering wristbased notifications; the ability to control music; run internet-connected apps for running, biking and golfing; and a range of customisable watchfaces for telling time, Pebble has also added a built-in microphone for voice-totext replies.
Moto 360 (2nd gen)
Motorola’s Moto 360 may be over a year old, but it’s still a very compelling option, with its classy, circular design and comfortable fit. Available in 46mm, 42mm and the all-new Sport version, the Moto 360 comes with a heart-rate monitor for fitness tracking andan ambient light sensor. It also provides at-a-glance notifications for your messages, news, weather and much more.
Sony Smartwatch 3
This basic smartwatch from Sony sports a 1.3-inch OLED touchscreen display and is probably the first Android Wear watch to include GPS tracking, making it a smart choice for runners and other athletes. It also offers IP68 waterproofing, ambient light sensors, Wi-Fi, NFC, battery life of up to two days and supports Micro USB charging. There is no heart-rate monitor, though.
LG Watch Urbane W150
Designed to look like a classic timepiece, the Watch Urbane is the most stylish Android Wear device yet. Featuring a stainless steel body in silver and gold finishes, with stitched leather straps that can be changed out for something more personal, the watch features a 1.3-inch, 320-by-320 round P-OLED display and sensors like a heart-rate monitor for accurate fitness tracking.
Asus Zenwatch 2
The most affordable smartwatch on our list, the Asus Zenwatch 2 is a great way to get the Android smartwatch experience without burning a hole in your pocket. Available in stainless steel cases of two sizes — the 1.45-inch Wren and 1.63-inch Sparrow — the Zenwatch offers all the features you expect from an Android Wear watch and is also IP67 water-resistant. It does, however, lack a heartrate monitor.
The flagship smartwatch from FitBit is in the game to fight off Apple’s Watch. Essentially a lot like the Surge and Charge in functionality, the Blaze looks more like a watch than a fitness band, with its touchscreen LCD display, stainless steel case and an assortment of accessory straps. It can track your daily steps, sleep, calories burned and heart rate; auto-track activities like basketball, tennis, running, or soccer; and has FitStar integrated for on-screen workouts. Also built in is the ability to get notifications for text messages, calendar entries and phone calls from your smartphone.
Tag Heuer Connected
If you fancy a smartwatch but wouldn’t like to be seen wearing one, the Tag Heuer Connected — the Swiss watchmakers first-ever smartwatch — is for you. Modelled after its classic Carrera model, an auto-racing timepiece from 1963, the Connected is powered by an Intel processor and works exactly like an Android Wear watch — but it’s a Tag Heuer, and to some of you that is important.
Samsung Gear S2
With Gear 2, Samsung finally has one of the best smartwatches available. Featuring an eye-catching design and a beautiful Super AMOLED display, what makes it truly stand out is its revolutionary circular user interface. From checking the current weather in Mumbai to replying to texts to checking your heart rate, it’s all done with a turn of the rotating bezel. The battery life is better than most rival Android Wear watches, though the app ecosystem severely lags behind its competitors.