If you are looking for a smartwatch, this shoppers guide lists some of the most popular smartwatches on the market and goes over major features and smartphone compatibility for each.
One of the gadgets that is growing quickly in popularity this year is the smartwatch. There are a number of smartwatches on the market, or about to be on the market, that will work with most of the smartphones out there. If you or someone you know is in the market for a smartwatch, but you aren’t sure what’s out there this is the shopping guide for you.
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I am going to run down several of the most popular smartwatches. If you want to know what watch will work with what smartphone, this is the place for you. Read on for details on smartwatches and what features they offer.
The Pebble smartwatch is one of the devices that helped kick off the smartwatch craze. This device originally turned up on Kickstarter seeking the funding it needed to come to market. The watch hit its funding goal and then went on to be a successful product that you can buy online and in some retail stores today.
One of the distinctions of the Pebble smartwatch is that it is one of the only devices on the market that will work with the popular Apple iPhone. Most of the smartwatches that are out there now will only work with Android devices. The Pebble will work with iOS and Android smartphone.
The Pebble will put all sorts of notifications and apps at your fingertips. Notifications include things like email and text alerts. You can read the full message of texts from your wrist with no need to pull your phone out. The Pebble also lets you control music, choose your watch face, and get details from some fitness apps. The watch also has alarms and can run for 5-7 days per charge. The screen is a 1.26-inch 144 x 168 e-paper unit. While it's not color, it does help the watch achieve its impressive run time. The watch connects to your phone via Bluetooth. The Pebble is available now at a normal price of $150, but can be found for less than that online often.
The next smartwatch isn't quite as svelte as the Pebble, but it has some nice functions that the Pebble lacks. The watch is called the Kreyos and it will work with Android, iOS, and Windows 8 smartphones via Bluetooth. One of the key features that this watch has that isn’t included on some of the others on the market is the ability to answer and make voice calls from the watch. The watch does have to be paired to your smartphone for that feature to work.
The watch can also send and receive text messages and has its own activity tracker. The Kreyos also supports real-time notifications. The watch is also waterproof so you can shower with it on without worrying you will kill the watch. You can also use gestures and voice commands for controlling music and other smartphone functions.
The watch hardware itself is a small rectangular unit that slips into a special band. The band is available in multiple colors including black, white, pink, blue, and green. You can swap the bands without special tools whenever you want. One of the only downsides to this watch at the time of writing is that it is up for pre-order only. The watch can be pre-ordered for $169.95 with shipments expected to happen by March.
Another of the smartwatches that will work for both Android and iOS users is the MetaWatch. The watch is waterproof to 3ATM so you don’t have to worry about getting it wet each time you wash your hands. Connectivity between the watch and your smartphone is via Bluetooth.
Once connected the watch will show you text messages, called ID info, weather reports, and lets you control music. The watch face can be customized to show different information. The screen of the watch is a 96 x 96 pixel sunlight readable unit. The watch promises to last 5-7 days per charge. This wathc is a bit bulkier looking than some of the others on the list and is available now for $229.99.
Martian makes several smartwatch models that only very in how they look. The main feature of these watches is that the watch has a traditional face with an analog watch and a small ticker underneath for phone messages and notifications. The Martian line will work with iOS and Android devices. The company makes three models including the Passport, Victory, and G2G watch. The one pictured here is the Passport.
The Martian watches have a built in microphone allowing you to answer calls from your wrist. The watches also support hands free text messaging as well. The mic also allows you to use voice commands and makes it easy to find your smartphone if the device is lost. The watches also have a camera mode to let you trigger the smartphone shutter from a distance.
All three models of the Martian smartwatch sell for the same $299 price. The watch display for notifications is 96 x 16 and messages scroll by. The device promises around two hours of talk time per charge and seven hours of standby time.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear is probably the best known of the smartwatches on the market right now. The watch will only work with certain Android smartphones. You'll need to be sure your Android device is compatible before buying. The Galaxy Gear provides quick glance notifications, S Voice assistant communication, and hands free calling capability. The Gear can also help you find your lost smartphone.
The display measures 1.63-inches and the watch has 4GB of integrated storage. The watch also has 512MB of RAM. The biggest downside that many users have complained of is short battery life. The watch does have a 1.9MP camera integrated and the 1.63-inch screen has a resolution of 320 x 320. The watch is available for $299.
One of the better looking smartwatches, and one of the only ones with a color screen comes from Sony. The watch is called the SmartWatch 2 and is available for $199.99. One of the downsides is that the watch is available for Android users only. If you use an iPhone, you are out of luck.
The SmartWatch 2 has a 1.6-inch trasnflective LCD screen with a resolution of 220 x 176. The screen is color and supports 262k colors. The watch is water and dust resistant with an IP57 rating. The smartwatch connects to the Android device via Bluetooth 3.0 and has NFC tech. The battery inside the watch is good for 3-4 days of use per charge and up to 7 days of standby.
The last of the major smart watches that is available now is the Qualcomm Toq. This is another smartwatch that is good for Android only. It uses a slick Qualcomm Mirasol color touchscreen. The screen is 1.55-inches and has a pixel density of 222 ppi. Connectivity with the smartphone is via Bluetooth 3.0.
The watch has some other cool accessories too including wireless charger and wireless headsets. Like most other smartwatches, the Toq is designed to show you notifications from your smartphone and has customizable watch faces and more. The Toq works in conjunction with an app that runs on your smartphone that is on Google Play at no cost. The black Toq is shipping now for $349.99.