Are smart watches the next big thing? It’s a fair question to ask considering the number of contestants in the upcoming battle of smart watches. Unlike the iPod, Apple has unwanted company in the waters of cutting edge wearables and itís fair to question who will emerge victorious.
Samsung and Sony already produce their own smart watch, and Chinese Huawei as well as LG will soon be accompanying them. When you add the many various knockoff and smaller brands out there, the selection and choices can become dizzying.
But which smart watch is the one that’s the next “must have” item? Follow along as we examine some of the new smart watches that may fit your lifestyle.
LG G Watch
Android driven, the LG G Watch flexes Android Wear OS as well as Google Now, which allows you to speak commands to your watch on the go. You can also use informational widgets that flip throughout the face of the smart watch with pertinent information you may need.
For example you can have the navigation home as one of the widgets, automatically connecting you to directions and distance home. Available with a white or black strap, the LG G Watch is also water resistant for up to 30 seconds.
Because LG G Watch uses a standard 22mm (0.86 inch) strap, you can customize it in countless ways, from traditional to wild! The G Watch’s compact, 400 mAh battery, will keep you going all day on a single charge.
The new Android™ Wear operating system organizes your information, suggests what you might need and shows it to you before you even ask. Need the latest weather forecast in the morning or your flight time and gate information before leaving for the airport? It’s right there on your wrist.
Just say “Ok Google” to start searching for the information you need, like how many calories are in an avocado, which movies are playing, or the score of today’s football game. Speak into the G Watch to perform important tasks like sending a text, setting a reminder or taking notes.
The G Watch can be used with any phone or tablet running Android™ 4.3 or higher that supports Bluetooth®.
Samsung Gear Live
Also running the popular Android Wear OS, the Samsung Gear is a watch that has multiple features including a heart-rate monitor. Able to deliver real time information on the fly by using voice commands, the Gear is also slightly curved making it a much more comfortable device when compared against the LG G Watch.
The Gear comes with a strap thatís available in black or white, but not replaceable or upgradable. Price: Approximately $200
Advanced curved Super AMOLED touchscreen display and interchangeable band gives you a choice to match any activity with a variety of colorful bands.
Samsung Gear allows you to easily control basic functions, such as, reject calls with messages, quickly reply to messages and control alarms. Offers a variety of background colors, wallpapers and clock designs to set for your taste. Screen can be viewed horizontally or vertically and adjusts to your view.
Equips for instant notifications of emails, SMS, incoming calls & 3rd party apps to keep you connected. Also serves as a personalized fitness manager, providing information on progress of your workouts. Also dust and water resistant.
For the traditionalist who still wants the functionality and design of a smart watch, the Moto 360 also runs on Android Wear OS and has a ton of features in a small form factor. The traditional basic round-faced watch design has unique styling cues of a framework capable of so much more.
The Moto 360 voice control makes it easy to get things done. You can send text, set a reminder, check the weather and even ask for directions. Works with a growing number of apps and has a range of bands to mix and match. Comes with an all day battery, wireless charging capabilities, water resistant, built in pedometer and optimal heart rate monitor and sync with any smartphone running on Android 4.3 or higher.
There are a number of features built into the Moto 360, most of which are health features. Voice recognition is generally good, but as soon as you’re in a moderately noisy environment, the whole process falls apart. What’s more, if you’re replying to messages with your voice there’s no opportunity to verify the content.
Google Fit keeps track of your step goals and heart rates, Heart Activity sets you a target of 30 minutes moderate activity a day and tracks your progress and Google Keep enables you to make notes using your voice.
Available with black straps as well as a full aluminum, the Moto 360 has a true edge in style and comfort, while providing all the uses and functions of the modern smart watch.
Apple labels its Apple watch as its “most personal device” of Apple fleet of products. Its wealth of customization possibilities coupled with the excellent use of the Digital Crown and available Saffire crystal, no-scratch face, is arguably one of the best smart watch experiences currently available. There are thousands of apps for Apple Watch, with new apps arriving each day. When you purchase an Apple watch in-store or online, you will get a personalized setup to customize and pair it with your iPhone. You are however, required to have an iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.2 or later to pair with your Apple watch.
because it sits right on your wrist, it can add a physical dimension to alerts and notifications. For example, you’ll feel a gentle tap with each incoming message. Apple Watch also lets you connect with your favorite people in fun, spontaneous ways — like sending a tap, a sketch, or even your heartbeat.
Apple Watch gives you a complete picture of your all-day activity. The three rings of the Activity app show your daily progress and help motivate you to sit less, move more, and get some exercise. It’s also an advanced sports watch, giving you real-time stats for a variety of the most popular workouts. Over time, Apple Watch learns your activity and fitness levels. It uses that information to improve the accuracy of your measurements and suggest personalized all-day activity goals. It even provides custom reminders to encourage you to achieve them.
Available in three models: Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition.
The Asus Zenwatch smart watch is a bit different with a slim, curved design, a stainless steel case with a “rose-gold-colored” inset, and an Italian leather band in a choice of three colors. It’s not just a pretty face, it has all the smarts of an AndroidWear watch. It lets you view incoming calls and notifications and performs Google searches and sends messages using voice commands.
It has other talents including a pedometer, heart-rate monitor, and fitness app as well as the ability to serve as a remote for phone’s camera, complete with viewfinder, shutter button and self-timer. And the FindMyPhone feature will ring remotely to lead to its hiding place. Ladies particularly like this smart watch.
Written by John Huh, contributing writer for the 50 PLUS REPORT Online Magazine.