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Surveying the contenders of smart watches – What are your options?

smart watches

Wanna tie a computer on your wrist? Surveying the contenders of smart watches

Smart Watches – Earlier

Back in the 1980s, Casio started marketing a line of “computer watches” called Databank. The devices allowed users to store telephone numbers and email addresses, and they even incorporated a calculator. But that product could not stay long enough – much like the pager. Now a new breed of smart watch is on the rise—one that’s firmly situated in the smartphone-centric present.

Smart Watches – Today

The main job of today’s smart watches is to push notifications from your smartphone to your wrist. A great smart watch provides convenience through efficient alerts and offers options for personalization. Pack it with too many features, though, and it can feel like an unfocused product, or just a duplicate of the computer that’s in your pocket.

smart watch
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Smart Watches – The Contenders

Currently, there are four big companies—Samsung, Sony, Qualcomm, and Pebble—in the smart-watch space, with more coming on. Both HTC and Motorola have announced that they will be coming out with smart watches in 2014. Google may introduce its own soon as well, likely to be manufactured by LG, which also makes its Nexus 4 and 5 smartphones. And Apple is still widely believed to be working on an iWatch.

Smart Watches – The decision making points

Mainly the following:

  1. platform compatibility,
  2. battery life,
  3. price, and
  4. personal taste.

The original Galaxy Gear is the most feature-rich of smart watches on the market:

Pros: You can take pictures with it and even make phone calls.

Cons: A high price ($300), short battery life (a little over 24 hours), and a limited list of compatible phones (just four).

New models released in April—which include the Gear 2, the budget-conscious Gear 2 Neo, and the fitness-focused Gear Fit—work with dozens more devices and extend battery life to two to three days.

Sony’s SmartWatch 2 is a similar product, but, at $200, it’s less expensive and has fewer features—

Cons: It lacks a camera and a microphone for making phone calls—as well as a reputation for sluggishness.

Pros: It does have solid support for social media alerts, and it boasts a longer battery life (two to three days) than other alternatives.

Smart watches that created a lot of buzz in tech circles

Some of the watches with a lot of buzz in tech circles have E ink–like displays, which make electronics look great in sunlight. In that arena, there’s the Toq from Qualcomm, and two timepieces from tech startup Pebble. Battery life is exceptional on these watches: three to five days for the Toq, which uses colored Mirasol display technology, and five to seven days for the black-and-white Pebble. But the Toq, at $250, is a bit pricey—and it doesn’t even link up with an iPhone.

The tech community’s consensus on Smart Watches:
Of all the options, the tech community’s consensus seems to be that Pebble smart watches are the most accessible and generally useful option on the market right now. They play nice with both iOS and Android, boast an ever-growing ecosystem of third-party apps, and are highly customizable. The original Pebble has a more informal, candy-colored look, but it is cheaper ($150) than its successor, the Pebble Steel ($250), which has a classic wristwatch look.


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John Atkins
John Atkins is a web designer by profession with a voracious appetite for Tech books & gadgets. A positive thinker, he is particularly fond of computer games & watching 'The Big Bang Theory'!