Top 5 Smart Watches of 2014

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In the next year, smart watches are going to be the next biggest things. They will keep us informed, connected, and make it feel as if were living in the future. Basically, near enough every mobile phone maker has had a dive into the smartwatch waters, including Apple. There are also numerous companies whose sole job is to make smart watches. Today, the market is still in the beginning and there is no one smart watch that stands out from the rest.

Some watches, like the Pebble Steel, feature full-fledged app stores, bringing you everything from ESPN and Yelp to a calculator. However, others like the Samsung Gear Fit, are more fitness based. Putting all the details aside, all these smart devices have one thing in common: That they all sync with your smartphone to some degree.

There are simply dozens of smart watches that are currently in development, which are scheduled to be released by the end of the year. With the Apple Watch set to launch early next year, and with the new Android Wear devices on the way, campaign for wrist realty is quickly firing up. This is all good news for the regular shopper, as it means that its most likely to result in even better looking devices.

Here are our top 5 smart watches of 2014 so far..

1. Pebble Steel

PebbleWatch

Altogether, the Pebble Smartwatch is a crowd favourite. The Pebble’s designers had vision, experience and most of all, they marketed this smartwatch like the world depended on it before the first unit had been shipped. The Pebble Steel has a solid steel design, glass screen and a tight build quality. You could say that the Pebble had single-handedly had put the match to the smartwatch market frenzy that is beginning to surge. It is one of the top smart watches out there right now.

However, some people say that this is still an incomplete product, as there is a lack of useful software, and whilst there could be such software that would be forthcoming, it is not yet available. Yet the strength of this watch is within its technical specs, for it has the ability to be upgraded through firmware and completed through software. Also, the fact that its popularity ensures that there will be useful and productive apps that will be available shortly.

2. Motorola Moto 360

Motorola360

With its classy good looks, comfortable feel and all over premium build, the Moto 360 is the Android watch to beat. When it comes to the design, it outperforms everything else on the market. Aside from the aesthetics, the 360 offers many of the same features as it rivals, which are heart rate sensor and a pedometer, including some other goodies such as wireless charging and an ambient light sensor.

Nonetheless, even with the design the Motorola did not get all of it right. The 360’s large design is a concern for narrow-wristed people and the experience can be discouraged by various weaknesses that include cut off notifications. Some say that the battery life is also the worst in its call, and saying that can be a lot as Android watches need to be charged once a day.

The 360 is a little large, and may have its flaws, especially with battery life and some UI issues. However, it is a very good start that can only be improved as each model is released, and especially as Google further develops the Android Wear.

3. Sony Smartwatch 3

SonySmart3

For hikers, runner, cyclist or just sport lovers in general, who are looking for the perfect watch, stop looking. Here is the Android watch that you need. Sony had used its own OS for the previous generations of the smart watches, but they welcomed Android for the Smartwatch 3. The Sony Smartwatch 3 attracted a lot of attention through its onboard GPS module, which allows you to track your activities without having a smartphone. Conveniently, you can connect a pair of Bluetooth headphones to enjoy your music from the watch.

The Sony Smartwatch is available in white, black, lime and pink, where the Smartwatch 3 is looking as sporty as it performs. The rubber watch is non-standard, but you can change the strap within a few seconds without any tools or assistance. The screen is a transflective LCD, which means you can read it more clearly and easily in the sun and it is IP68 water resistant.

4. Samsung Gear Live

SamsungGearLive

Samsung have brought out the Samsung Gear Live which Samsung has converted its boxy smartwatch design, but this was enough to make it some peoples favourite Android Wear watch. This is because it went with the flow of the wrist with the curve legs.

The Gear Live has a heart-rate monitor, a smaller travel charger and a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display that has a admirable 320 x 320 resolution. The watch is black, with a silver design around the face and has a single physical button on the right that brings about the display screen. Yet, the screen does make it harder to read in direct sunlight.

However, the Samsung Gear Live does not have a fantastic battery life and would need to be charged every night. The watch is only compatible with new Android devices, but the Android Wear was not designed to replace your smartphone, but only meant to reduce the amount of times that you take out your phone.

5. Samsung Gear S

SamsungGearS

The smartwatch thats also a smartphone. The Samsung Gear S is Samsungs sixth smartwatch, that has one big difference compared to the rest: it has its own cell service and data. It has its own SIM-card slot, so here you have it. A watch that’s also a phone.

The Samsung Gear S has a big, bright curved display. It has a decent battery life and comes with its own battery pack to keep it charged. It can stay connected away from a phone with its own 3G data or Wi-Fi. It is a complete on the wrist phone! However, the watch still needs a recent Samsung phone for it to pair with and to install the apps, and as its a standalone the features don’t work with all the apps and notifications. The Gear app library is still a bit weak compared to the Android Wear. All in all, the wildly determined Samsung Gear S smart watches portrays a full standalone smartphone, however the software and apps that are available do not let you do as much as you would expect.

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Mobile tech: Is bigger really better?

  2. Giles Peach on

    I bought the regular plastic Pebble as I like to use it as a fitness companion (the metal version is twice the weight and bounces around on the wrist more). The 5+ day battery life, readability in bright sunlight, full waterproofing, and push buttons that work when my hands are wet or sweaty (unlike touch screens) made it the only choice worth considering.