The smartwatches you need to know about
We have shared our doubts and our dreams for the future of smartwatches
, and now we want to tell you about what you can get RIGHT now (well, in the next few months). This has been a big week for smartwatches, as they were a hot topic this week at IFA, the Berlin technology conference.
Google shared that web searches for “smartwatch” are up 900% from last year
and the areas of the U.S. that were most interested were California, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia, and Maryland.
Here are the smartwatches that you need to know about - everything from the Samsung Galaxy Gear to Qualcomm's Toq.
Samsung Galaxy Gear
So the big fuss at the moment is about the Samsung Galaxy Gear, Samsung’s big dip into the smartwatch race. So, what do you need to know about it? Spec-wise, it uses a single core processor, has a 1.63 inch Super Amoled display (so it’s very shiny and crisp) and has a 1.9 megapixel camera. Its 4GB of storage lets you save photos and videos, and battery life is set at 25 hours. It connects via Bluetooth to your cell and can alert you to messages and emails.
It uses an Android interface and will work with a bunch of apps - Evernote for example has been confirmed. For now it will only work with the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 but future compatibility with the S3 and S4 have been suggested.
Oh yeah, and there are six colorways.
Price: $299 from October 2013 in the U.S.
We have no details AT ALL about the purported iWatch, but enough reputable blogs
have written about it for us to believe that this is coming.
The proof? Well, Apple filed a patent application
that gave a fair amount of details about what the iWatch might look like. Think slap bracelet- yes, like when you were a kid, with full iTunes and a flexible display.
So what do we think it would be? Based on Apple’s love for design we’re thinking slick and sleek. They’d have to offer us something new, as a rebranded Nano and a wristwatch strap just won’t cut it. So, Apple store integration, a camera, a hi-res screen for playing and tapping, and maybe Siri just to make it a delicious option?
The likelihood this will be announced anytime soon is low, as we already have huge speculation over the purported new iPhone, but fingers crossed we’ll hear more soon.
Sony SmartWatch 2
Sequels are often disappointing (American Pie 2 anyone?) but sometimes they excel (Home Alone 2, right?.) Sony is upping their game with their new Sony Smartwatch 2. What they offer is a rather lovely looking piece of wrist candy that’s compatible with Android 4.0 or later cellphones (unlike the Samsung Galaxy Gear which limits you to certain models). It offers email and call notifications on its 1.6 inch screen, and features apps to let you check Facebook et al on the go. It connects over Bluetooth and also offers NFC to allow you to seamlessly do NFC type things (that’s near field communication, if you needed that translated, and enabled devices let you do things like pay for coffee on Starbucks buy flashing your watch). It’s less of a “wow” and more of an upgrade from version 1, but these little tweaks make it more attractive.
Price : approx. $260, available late September 2013.
Qualcomm is known for being the behind the scenes giant, so its announcement that it’s creating a smartwatch- the Qualcomm Toq, came as a bit of a surprise. It’s less of a surprise when you learn that it will have a limited run, due to it showcasing “all” that Qualcomm can do, and the most exciting part of the Toq is the screen, which uses a Qualcomm Mirasol transflective display, which means that it will ALWAYS be on.
It connects via Bluetooth to Android phones (Android 4.03 and up). I like that they’ve kept this smartwatch stripped down, as it tells the time, lets you manage calls and messages and that’s about it. No camera, no speaker. OK then.
It also has an awesome inductive charging system, so no wires needed, as you just place the watch onto the shelf and it wirelessly charges it.
Price: Approx $300, late October 2013.
The Wimm.. a possible GoogleWatch?
Wimm is a company that might sound familiar and that’s because it’s not that new. In 2012, Engadget described it as “only been available to registered developers” and told us about its Android OS. It featured WiFi and Bluetooth and could pair with phones that were compatible with its app.
This is all well and good, but that was then and this was now, so how is this relevant? Well, it’s all about who OWNS Wimm now and that would be Google who bought the company last year. GigaOm reported
that Google also owns the domain smartwatch.com. We have no idea what will happen with this, but with the upcoming public launch of Glasses and their continued drive to push the boundaries of tech (not to mention the 900% rise in “smartwatch” googling they told us about) this will be interesting to see.
Price: No idea. Launch date, No idea.