By Umar Ansari
We’re still recovering from the plethora of watch goodness that was heaved upon us at Baselworld 2016, where attendees were greeted by a myriad of smartwatches. For example, Nixon introduced “the Mission,” while Casio wowed with the WSD-F10 smartwatch for the outdoors. So this time around at WristReview, we’ve decided to run you through the Top 5 smartwatches that you can run out and buy today.
5. Pebble Time Steel
If you’re looking to strike a balance between battery life, style, and features, look no further than the Pebble Time Steel. You get a ton of third-party digital watch faces that you can access via a dedicated app store, where you’ll also find dozens of games playable right on your wrist along with apps like Uber.
The colored e-paper display looks gorgeous when viewed from different angles and is perfectly readable even in direct sunlight. Fitness tracking and notifications are all part of the package and with a staggering 10-day battery life.
The “Steel” part of the name lives up to Pebble’s claim considering the make of the piece this time around. Polished steel and filleted corners give it a premium look and feel that goes with anything, rain or shine. pebble.com
4. Tag Heuer Connected
At $1,500 USD, the TAG Heuer Connected carries the premium aesthetics and construction we’ve come to expect from the Swiss luxury maker, this smartwatch is super light at just 52g and surprisingly slim at just 12.8mm. Around the circumference of the large, clear 1.5 inch 360×360 display is a carbide-coated titanium bezel.
Under the hood is a 1.6GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage. Plus, both 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE are supported so the Connected will certainly live up to the name when it comes to connectivity. Android Wear puts thousands of apps from Google’s Play Store on your wrist.
The 410mAh battery, however, gives you a minimum of 25 hours of battery life based on typical usage. TAG Heuer also gives owners a chance to trade in their Connected piece for a mechanical Carrera when it reaches the end of its life in two years. This future-proofs your $1,500 piece. Other makers need to take note of this unique business model. tagheuer.com
3. Moto 360 (2015)
In 2015, Motorola came out with a new edition of the Moto 360 with minor improvements under the hood, but major improvements in the customization bank. And that’s where the latest Moto shines.
Using its online customization tool, Moto Maker, you can select the 42mm or 46mm style, add details and color to the bezel and casing, and then choose from a selection of metal and leather bands.
With WiFi connectivity, you need not worry about staying within your phone’s bluetooth range and can listen podcasts and songs from Google Play Music without your phone. The 300mAh battery, based on typical usage, should last around 36 hours with its built-in ambient light sensor turned off. The Moto 360 is also compatible with the iPhone and while the integration is nowhere near as deep as it is on Android, it’s a start and it will only get better from here.
While it does not excel at any one particular thing and the battery life may not be optimum, you simply cannot look past the $299.99 base price. motorola.com
2. Apple Watch
Apple recently slashed the price of its first entry into the smartwatch market, the Apple Watch, by $50. At $349, the 42mm Apple Watch Sport is great but meets a few bumps along the way.
The 7000 series aluminum alloy construction makes the piece stronger and lighter than any smartwatch in its range on the market. With the watch, Apple introduced “Force Touch,” a completely new hand gesture dictated by the varying amounts of pressure applied by the user’s finger.
The Apple Watch is big on style and Apple is really pushing the watch as fashion accessory with a variety of bands such as nylon, leather, and metal. Fitness tracking, elevated by a heart-rate sensor, is great with the Apple Watch but it does not help with the nitty gritty functions like sleep tracking.
If you are an iPhone user, the Apple Watch is the best smartwatch for you. It provides the kind of control that Android Wear can’t on iOS. The fact that you have Siri on your wrist is great. And if you can look past the speed and battery life issues, the Apple Watch is a complete package. apple.com
1 . Samsung Gear S2
Samsung’s follow up to the Gear S is currently the king of smartwatches. Powered by a speedy Exynos 3250 chip and Tizen OS, the watch combines usability and style into a slick form factor.
Fitness is, as always, part of the deal with in-depth monitoring of daily activities as well as measuring your pulse. Tens of customizable watch-faces add to the stylization factor and a durable stainless steel body makes this piece as solid as any other. A rotating bezel allows you to easily switch between apps, view notifications, and change volume and brightness.
The 250mAh battery is fantastic, it should last about 2-3 days but with a handy power-saving mode you will not be returning home with a dead watch on your wrist any time soon.
The Gear S2 is stylish and boasts a fast operating system. It is held up by the best battery life we’ve seen on a smartwatch of this calibre and a reasonable price that will only work for and not against Samsung’s flagship wearable. samsung.com
So there you have it, WristReview’s Top 5 smartwatches available on the market today, ready to purchase. We’ve outlined the ins-and-outs of each piece to help you make the best decision possible so you can up your style game and at the same time, stay connected to what you love most.
Umar Ansari – Contributing Writer
Umar is an Industrial Designer based in Toronto, Canada, specializing in design strategy and innovation. Except for the mechanical wonders, he has been getting into smartwatches and finds himself critiquing them every now and again. He has amassed quite a collection of them with the latest addition being the Pebble Time Round. Umar has a penchant for traditional timepieces too. As a design himself, Daniel Will-Harris’ “Past, Present, Future” pieces have a special place in his heart. But as a contributing writer for WristReview, Umar’s goal is simple: to keep other horology lovers informed and engaged with the latest. Read his articles here