The Apple Watch isn’t due to hit stores until April so what are you supposed to do if you want something smart on your wrist in the meantime? As luck would have it, Apple isn’t first on this – there are already plenty of smartwatches out there. Here’s our pick of some of the best.
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Pebble and Pebble Steel
Pebble is essentially the original smartwatch. Back when the Apple Watch was but a mere thought in the Apple executive’s office, Pebble was earning money via Kickstarter – providing an early success for the platform.
Pebble is pretty simple: It has a Kindle-style e-ink display and is controlled with three buttons on the side. It’ll display your notifications and can even run apps installed from the Pebble app store. The latest firmware updates have also added the ability to run apps in the background on the device – so it can also, say, track your steps like a Fitbit, if you have the right app installed. Brilliantly, it also supports Android Wear, so will integrate tightly with your Android phone.
Samsung Gear 2
Who needs Android Wear? The Samsung Gear 2 runs Samsung’s own proprietary Tizen operating system, and can do everything Android Wear can do… and maybe a little more. The Gear 2 has the ability to make and receive calls from your wrist for the full Dick Tracy experience.
You’ll need a Samsung phone to make the watch do its stuff – but it is worth the effort as the two have some tight integration. For example, if you receive a notification on your watch and pick up your Galaxy Note phone, your phone will know to display the notification in full on the larger screen.
Samsung Gear Fit
The Gear Fit is a sportier version of the Gear 2. It also runs Tizen, but as the screen is smaller, notifications aren’t as central – it’ll tell you that you’ve got mail, but that’s not what it is for.
The Gear Fit has a built in heart rate monitor, pedometer, sleep monitor and stop watch. Perfect for going for a run and tracking all of the relevant metrics.
The Gear Fit has an RRP of £220, but Amazon is currently selling it for £107. Not bad at all.
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Samsung Gear S
Who needs a phone? Samsung’s intension with the Gear S is to do away with it entirely (the “S” stands for Solo). The watch runs Tizen, and takes a SIM card – so on your wrist you can do (almost) everything you’d need a phone for but without the need to carry one around.
The Gear S sports a 2″ curved screen, 1ghz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB of storage and plenty of connectivity options.
Okay, to be honest we’re not convinced either.
LG G Watch R
LG was (along with Samsung) first out of the stable when Android Wear was announced – and now only a few months on this month it is releasing its follow-up, the LG G Watch R. The difference? This one boasts a 1.5″ circular display and by all accounts, looks pretty slick.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next”]
The Moto 360 is very similar to the G Watch R – but pipped it to the post in being the first round-screened Android Ware device available.
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Sony Smartwatch 3
The Sony Smartwatch 3 is Sony’s first attempt at an Android Wear device, and a replacement for its awful previous two Smartwatches, which ran a proprietary system.
The SW3 has a 1.6″ touchscreen display that can run in 320×320, and under the hood packs 1.2ghz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB of storage, Bluetooth LE, GPS and even NFC.
It will cost around £180 – with a metal version coming in at £215.