Top 5 Smartwatches of 2014
Years ago, we had phones to call people, and watches to look at time. Things changed quite a lot, when the iPhones and the Androids brought about the Smartphone revolution, placing one in virtually everybody’s hand, and completely changing mobile phones as we knew them. Lives were never the same; something that didn’t even exist a couple of years ago has now become such a necessity for all of us, that it’s hard to even imagine life with us. Smartwatches, we think might do just the same. These smartwatches have transformed wrist-pieces from simple devices that told time to highly-versatile devices that connect with your phones, snap pics, see notifications, use apps, and what not! Stay with us, as we take a look at the early risers of this revolution in the making, and walk you through the Top 5 smartwatches of 2014.
Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Neo
As if Samsung’s dominance in the smartphone market wasn’t enough, the South Korean giant is trying to replicate the same success in this up and coming market. Samsung, currently, has the most elaborate lineup of smart watches, which include the Samsung Galaxy Gear, the Galaxy Gear 2, Galaxy Gear 2 Neo, Galaxy Gear Fit, Gear Live, and Gear S; a total of 6 smart watches from the Samsung stable. The only ones we’ll be talking about, however, are the most capable of the lot, the Galaxy Gear 2 and the the Gear 2 Neo.
With a 1GHz Dual-core processor and 512MB RAM, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo sport hardware better than most flagship smartphones did, 4 years ago.
The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo come running on the Tizen OS, which is meant to support a wide range of devices from wearables and smartphones to even washing machines and refrigerators! Tizen was co-developed by Samsung with others, including the Linux foundation and Intel.
In addition to the amazing CPU and plentiful RAM, both the smartwatches sport 4GB of internal storage and come with a 1.63” square Super AMOLED display that comes with a 320X320-pixel resolution.
The Gear 2 also comes packed with a 2MP camera in a steel frame, while the Gear 2 Neo comes without a camera in a plastic case.
With its Heart Rate Sensor, Pedometer, and fitness activities-related optimization, the Galaxy Gear Fit is another good piece of wearable to look out for, if you’re a health freak.
Retail Price: $299 (Galaxy Gear 2), $199 (Galaxy Gear 2 Neo)
LG G Watch
There aren’t a lot of good things to say about the LG G Watch; which seeming pretty “meh”, when compared to rivals such as the Galaxy Gear 2. The design isn’t unique or elegant, there isn’t anything innovative, and the price isn’t cheap. However, the G Watch may not have a lot going for it, but it certainly isn’t missing much either. The display is a 1.65-inch LCD with a 280X280-pixel resolution, and the hardware is decent with a 1.2Ghz CPU and 512MB of RAM.
For better utilisation of these nominal resources, we have the Android Wear being used, an OS built specifically for wearable devices, and thus not as resource intensive as the Android found on smartphones and tablets. The dimmed-mode display and the comfortable band of this smartwatch are other of its well appreciated features.
Retail Price: $229
Sony SmartWatch 2
The Sony SmartWatch 2, like the LG G Watch, doesn’t really have anything exciting going on for it, but unlike the G Watch, the Smartwatch 2, has a decent design. Sporting an almost squarish design of 1.65X1.61 inches, with rounded edges, encompassing a 1.3” display, the SmartWatch 2 looks pretty good. With its silicon band, however, it restricts by its looks to a audience not conscious of style and elegance. Unlike the Pebble Steel, this isn’t something you would want to dawn with that expensive suit of yours.
The good thing, however, is that this is backward compatible with devices running the Android 2.1 and up, and is not restricted to be compatible with only a few devices, like most of the watches of the Samsung Galaxy Gear lineup.
Retail Price: $149.97
Successor to the original Pebble, which was funded via crowdfunding site ‘Kickstarter’ and was one of the true pioneers of this Smartwatch revolution, the Pebble Steel, unlike several others in the market doesn’t try to be a smartphone extnesion, but rather acts as a complimentary device.
With a vibrating motor, magnetometer, and an accelerometer, the Pebble Steel effectively functions as an ‘Activity trackers’, while also connecting to any Android or iOS devices and helping alert users of calls, messages, and notifications from their Social Media Accounts, among other things. The 1,000+ apps available for the watch further increases the functionality that can be drawn from the given hardware, like by allowing the watch to function as remote controls for Phones, Dash cams like GoPro, and what not!
A 144X168-pixel Sharp Memory LCD “e-paper” display does the trick for this Smartphone complimentary, and the Steel and Leather straps give it the much-needed elegance and subtlety of a proper watch, something lacking from most of the geeky looking stuff on the market. Corning Gorilla Glass, a sleeker frame, and tactile metal buttons are some of the things that increase the wearability of the Pebble Steel over the older Pebble, and other smartwatches on the market.
Retail Price: $249
Motorola Moto 360
The most recent, and the most decent of these Top 5 Smartwatches, the Moto 360 from the house of Motorola. It’s the only one of these smartwatches that has a circular face, and alongside Pebble, that doesn’t look like a kid’s toy. The Moto 360 makes use of a circular capacitive touchscreen.
The 1.56-inch display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and the watch is housed in a steel casing with removable wrist bands. Apart from the almost standard Ambient Light sensor and vibration motor, the Moto 360 also comes with a Heart Rate Sensor and a 9-axis Pedometer. The watch is also touted to have over double the battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Gear Live and the LG G Watch.
The Motorola offering also comes with an IP67 certification and Qi wireless charging. Running on the Android Wear, it is compatible with devices running the Android 4.3 or higher.
Retail Price: $249
Note that this list is not an order of the Top 5 smartwatches, but simply our short list of stuff to check out, before you go shopping. Also, we haven’t covered any of the devices not launched yet. Had they been launched, the Apple Watch and the Asus Zen Watch, would definitely have had been parts of this list. All of the devices we talked about have their own little USPs and quirks, and which’s the best depends on what you want!