An update on the smartwatch world
2015 will probably be seen as the year of the smartwatch, and it’s certainly true that we’re seeing more and more of them on the public’s wrists these days. Thankfully, the swift-paced movement doesn’t look to be slowing any time soon with a flurry of new models coming later this year.
Before we get to them, let’s recap on what’s on offer right now.
Alcatel OneTouch Watch
Alcatel’s OneTouch features a circular face, which is quickly becoming the norm in design terms. It’s capable of recording your heart rate, steps, burned calories and hours slept, meaning it’s perfect for those wanting to track their fitness.
One of the watch’s best features, however, is the fact it’s compatible with both Android and iOS.
There’s no getting away from Asus’ eye-catching design with the ZenWatch. The tan leather strap is elegant and when married with the rectangular display we can’t help but feel there’s a bit of a swinging sixties influence.
The ZenWatch runs on Google’s Android Wear OS, and therefore has support from Google Now - able to answer all your questions and search the web with a quick “OK, Google” command.
LG Watch Urbane
The LG Watch Urbane is one good-looking bit of kit. The stainless steel finish surrounding the 1.3-inch circular face is polished silver, while the genuine leather strap, fringed by cream stitching, brings it all together.
The Urbane runs on Android Wear, is waterproof, and can track all your fitness activity. It also has GPS built in, meaning you won’t need to take your phone with you when you work out.
The Moto 360 is where it all started in term of design. A few feeble attempts at smart-looking wrist wear came before it, but this is the smartwatch that really made all other manufacturers sit up and smell the coffee.
The large circular display is bright and clear, and offers a great array of watch faces to help personalise your experience.
The Pebble Steel is another smartwatch that can work in harmony with both Android and iOS, and provides instant access to messages, emails and weather updates directly from the wrist.
And, because the display isn’t in full colour like its competitors, the battery has much more longevity – boasting up to seven days between charges.
Sony SmartWatch 3
Last, but certainly not least, is the Sony SmartWatch 3, which is one of our favourites. We took the hardy smartwatch through Tough Mudder (check out the full story here) and it came away unscathed.
The SW3 is waterproof, has inbuilt GPS and gives you immediate access to all your social media notifications, phone calls, tweets… you get the idea.
Coming later this year…
Asus ZenWatch 2
The new ZenWatch from Asus doesn’t seem to have the same physical flair as its predecessor we mentioned above, but it’s still a good-looking timepiece, having just been announced in Taiwan.
There will be a choice of 18 different straps in two different sizes from Asus, and it will now have the inclusion of magnetic charging.
Breitling B55 Connected
It’s been a long time coming, but the big boys in the watch game are finally getting involved with the smartwatch revolution, starting with Breitling. And, when the B55 gets here it will work with Android and iOS.
Unlike competitors, the B55 will have physical hour, minute and second hands, and won’t track steps or display your messages. So what makes it smart, we hear you ask? Well, it’s mainly targeted towards pilots – those being the company’s main customer base, and it will be able to track flight data, feeding back to a smartphone app.
Moto 360 2
It looks like it’s finally time for a Moto 360 update. It doesn’t, however, look like the company has really pushed the boat out with the naming of its new timepiece, but it’s set to be equally as exciting.
Motorola, now owned by Lenovo, seem to be sticking to a fairly similar design, but this time without the ‘flat tire’ surround. That might be a little confusing if you’ve never seen the original 360, but basically it will be a full circle, and not have a little slice of screen missing along the bottom, as it used to.
The second generation of the 360 was rumoured to be on shelves this summer, so hopefully it won’t be far off.
Samsung Gear A (or maybe ‘Orbis’)
Samsung is fairly established in the smartwatch arena, and is rumoured to be rolling out a new wearable around September.
Images that have appeared online prove it to look very different from previous models (more like the Moto 360), but all this should be taken with a pinch of salt right now.
Tag Heuer Carrera Wearable 01
Finally, Tag Heuer has announced that it will be manufacturing a smartwatch (with a little help from Silicon Valley).
Jean-Claude Biver, Tag Heuer CEO, said in a Bloomberg interview: "We can't produce the engine, the chips, the applications, the hardware - nobody can produce it in Switzerland. The hardware and the software will come from Silicon Valley. But the watch case, the dial, the design, the idea, the crown, that part of the watch will, of course, be Swiss."
So, there’s no doubt it will be a premium product, but it’s likely to come with an even more premium price tag than usual Heuer gear. A release date is yet to be confirmed, but it’s thought to be toward the end of this year – just in time for Christmas.
Anything to add to this story? Drop us a comment below.