When we talk about wearable technology we immediately think of the smart watch. Smart watches have been around for a while now but have only really been brought into the main stream since technology giants Apple jumped on the band waggon this year. For a trend to take off it needs to have the backing of one of the major players in the market and you cannot get bigger than Apple. Since the rumours started of the Apple smart watch many other mobile manufacturers have come on board and now there is a whole range of alternatives. We are going to look at the top smart watches out in the wild today.
As with the original Iphone the Apple Watch set a new standard for its technology field but like the phone it looks great but only scratches the surface of what is possible with this type of device. The initial release allows you to use key features of your phone like making calls and texting and a series of applications are accessible from your wrist. As any smartphone user knows you receive hundreds of notifications per day to your device whether it be email, Facebook, Twitter, stocks and shares etc. What the Apple Watch does do well is it adds convenience to these alerts. You no longer need to scramble for your phone every time you feel a buzz and your information is always on hand.
Apple have got the size of the watch just right at 42mm. A smaller 38mm version is available but does make the use of your applications a little tricky. The battery life matches that of other smart watches but could be better. For general use of the device the battery will last you around 18 hours but if you start doing more adventurous tasks like listening to music you are looking at around 6 hours. The watch takes approximately 2.5 hours to fully charge.
The Apple Watch comes with some useful features like fitness applications and software to check-in at airports using your wrist but as stated earlier there is a whole lot more Apple could do with this technology. Good news for Apple Watch users is that Watch OS2 is just around the corner and will build upon the functionality of the device.
Motorola Moto 360
The Motorola Moto 360 without doubt wins the award for aesthetics. Unlike the other watches in this article it actually looks like a watch and not a piece of technology. It has a round face made from quality stainless steel and the choice of two straps available in leather or stainless steel. If you are someone who likes the tradition of a nice watch then this Smart Watch could be for you.
The Motorola Moto 360 comes with a 46mm diameter screen in full colour. The watch will receive all of the notifications sent to your phone and you will also receive information that Google deems useful to your location. The watch is pretty simple to use. The voice searching works well and the wrist flick waking function gives your device that high tech futuristic feel. The battery life on the Motorola Moto 360 will just about scrape a day for general use which matches the majority of its competitors. This smart watch is for you if the look is important and with great functionality the Motorola Moto 360 is a top product.
Compared to the other devices on the market the Pebble Steel is a simple device. It has no touch screen and does not have a colour display but don’t let this put you off. As a result of this it boasts a huge 5 – 7 day battery life which is far superior to its competitors. Although it doesn’t have a great deal of storage (1024kb flash) it can be used as a standalone device without a mobile phone if you would prefer and data can be stored on the watch. Another huge benefit of the Pebble Steel is the fact that it is not locked to a particular phone OS. The connection to a mobile is done solely with Bluetooth and is compatible with IOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows phone.
The list of applications available for the Pebble Steel is growing by the day and is now above the 1000 mark. Like with other smart watches the Pebble Steel is great for reading the notifications sent to your mobile device, using monitoring applications to aid your fitness and viewing your messages and being a more open Bluetooth device it works great as a remote control. The Pebble Steel can be used to control a number of other devices around your home. Finally the major selling point of the Pebble Steel is its cost. It is currently retailing at around half the price of its main competitors making it great value for your money.
Samsung Gear Live
Built on the Android Wear OS the Samsung Gear Live is a Smart Watch not just for Samsung phones and is compatible with most devices running Android. All your notifications are presented as cards on the screen that can be swiped off when they are read and no longer required. The voice activation on the Samsung Gear Live is excellent and is the best way to control your device.
The watch comes with a built in heart rate monitor that is fairly accurate and can be used with a range of fitness applications available on the Play Store. The only downside to the Samsung Gear Live is the charging cradle. It works fine but you have to take the cradle with you wherever you go. That aside the Samsung Gear Live is a decent Android Wear device.
Sony Smart Watch 3
Sony have gone for the sports look for their Smart Watch and bring us their third wearable offering. Like with the Apple Watch they have chosen the square face to remove the complexity of the navigation. A negative of this Smart Watch is the display. Compared to most other smart watches the display is rather dull and lacking in any real vibrancy. The flip side of this issue is that this watch has the longest battery life of all the colour display devices in this post lasting you a huge day and a half for general use.
The Sony Smart Watch 3 delivers great performance with its 1.2GHz Quad Core processor and navigating between your applications and functions is seamless. The watch also features GPS built into it where all other watches rely on the phones they are connected to. This is great for those fitness apps where you want to track your runs and routes. The Sony Smart Watch 3 is the right choice for you if you want a sports style watch great for fitness and that requires less frequent charging.
Wearable technology is still in its infancy but now with the big players of the mobile scene heavily involved it is heading in the right direction. Competition is a good thing and with more smart watch brands available the boundaries of what we can do with this technology are being pushed further and further back.
Lee is a writer for Home Media Portal and a gadget enthusiast. He is an expert on all the latest tech crazes and keeps up to date with the latest news from the technology giants. Lee writes regular product reviews and pushes new technologies to their limits.