A whole bunch of new Android-connected smartwatches are on the market right now, but it's a bit difficult to tell them apart. Some, like the MOTOACTV focus on helping you get fit by monitoring your heart rate, tracking your GPS coordinates and providing you with music recommendations. Others, like the i'm Watch, have a whole bunch of features, including the ability to initiate calls on the device. All of these watches, with the exception of the G-Shock, drain their batteries quite quickly, so you'll probably need to charge 'em daily. That said, nothing looks more futuristic than calling someone via your wrist. Let's take a look at how these smart watches compare.
- Initiate calling
- Texting (pre-saved messages like "I'm busy")
- View missed calls, Text Messages, Twitter, Facebook status updates.
- Training app synchronizes countdown clock with your phone, can also monitor heart rate
- Listen to music
- All phones running Android 2.1 or higher
- 24 to 48 hours, depending on usage.
Verdict: The Sony Smart Watch offers a wide range of features for a comparatively low price. The ability to send text messages like "I'm busy' when you can't pick up the phone is a convenient innovation we can imagine using a lot. The fact that the watch can track your heart rate makes it an easy combination of i'm watch functionality with MOTOACTV's fitness features. The only downside is a short-ish battery life.
- Monitors heart rate, calories, lap time and pace
- GPS tracks your distance
- Smart music player stores hours of music and "learns" which tracks motivate you the most by tracking your heart rate during songs.
- Receive calls
- Any Android with Bluetooth
- 325 hours stand-by, 20 hours playback, 20 hours workout tme.
Verdict: The MOTOACTV watch is for fitness-oriented Android owners who need a high-tech watch to stay motivated during their exercise routines. The feature that remembers which songs get your heart-rate going is especially helpful. You can also receive calls, although you can't place them like with the i'm watch. A decent battery life round-out the features of this stylish device. The only thing off-putting is the relatively steep price.
- Check e-mail, Facebook,
- Dial numbers, call people and talk directly from the watch
- Set up appointments
- Read news, check weather
- Look at photos, listen to music
- Download apps compatible with i'm Watch
- All Androids, as well as Blackberry, iOS, Symbian and Windows devices
- 24 hours standby time, 3 hours talk time, up to 5 hours for other uses.
- $249 - $1699 (luxury edition)
Verdict: The i'm Watch is the most feature-laden of all the smartwatches listed here – and the most expensive. I think the $249 version of the watch is worth the money but paying $1699 is obviously absurd, even if the watch is made out of pure platinum. i'm Watch is very ambitious, but I'm not sure it succeeds on all counts. Battery life, especially, seems to be miserable.
Casio G-Shock GB-6900
- Calls, SMS and e-mail notifications.
- Phone finder
- All Androids with Bluetooth
- 2 years
Verdict: Unlike the other watches listed here, the Casio G-Shock GB-690 doesn't feature a color touch-screen display. But what it lacks in features it makes up for in stylishnes, usability, price and battery life. The watch displays calls, SMS and e-mails discretely, and can be used to set your phone to vibrate. Another function allows you to find your smartphone using an alarm. The battery life is amazing: at 2 years, you'll get the same life out of this watch as you would one with far fewer features.
Conclusion: While we're impressed by the Casio G Zone's battery life, the i'm Watche's calling capabilities and MOTOACTV's fitness function, the Sony SmartWatch seems to offer the best features for a low price.