The latest trend in technology features a wearable device that wirelessly connects to your mobile device to utilize features like incoming calls, texts, social media updates and more. The best part about it? It also tells the time. The smart watch is the newest gadget for tech-connected consumers on the go.
There are a variety of companies offering smart watches, and as the technology advances, developers are creating new apps that make the device even more functional. In addition to connecting to your mobile phone, smart watches can run health and fitness apps, music or camera functions, and navigational apps.
With startup companies like Pebble and MegaWatch making headway in the smart watch market, the big companies have decided to jump on board as well. Samsung, LG, Qualcomm and Sony all manufacture smartwatches. Apple has been the most recent company to announce plans for the development of a smart watch, which will become available in early 2015.
Consumer Reports ranked the Samsung Gear 2 as one of the most versatile smart watches on the market. With a price tag of around $300, this watch is compatible with most Samsung devices that operate on Android 4.3 or higher. Despite being compatible with these devices, all of Samsung’s line of smart watches run Tizen OS, not Android.
The Gear 2 has a bright color touch screen, and a built in microphone and speaker, perfect for making phone calls, James Bond style. The watch even has a 2 megapixel camera, which unlike other watches is built into the face of the watch as opposed to the band. This watch can control a TV, play music, or keep track of your heart rate. If the price is a bit hefty, Samsung offers two other second generation smart watches: The Gear 2 Neo, a scaled down version of the Gear 2, and the Gear Fit, which focuses on activity tracking.
If you’re more of a traditionalist, the Martian Passport smart watch incorporates the look of an analog watch with the functionality of a smart watch. The Passport is available for around $300 and boasts a battery life of one week on standby (2 hours of talk time). With three different styles to choose from, you can find the watch that fits your fashion choices. While the passport is versatile in working with both Android and Apple devices, the analog display is not touch screen, requiring buttons for navigation. However, because of the analog display, you can see the time whether you are indoors or out, or in bright sunlight.
The Pebble Watch has been on the market for a little while, and the company has recently updated the style with the new Pebble Steel. This watch is comprised of stainless steel and features a steel or black finish on a leather or metal band. While the device is a very basic smart watch, with a monochrome display that using button navigation, Consumer Reports found the display to be the most readable in bright sunlight.
The future of smartwatches? This is only the beginning folks, so as a “Smart Watchdog” group will be brining you more info for years to come.
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