With so many smartwatches on the market, it can be hard to find to answer that burning question: What’s the best smartwatch on the market? While there are many different needs and opinions on wearable tech, these smartwatches have caused buzz for what’s available on the market now.
One of the best-looking smartwatches on the market, the Pebble Steel still reigns as the best smartwatch on the market. In appearance, it doesn’t scream “smartwatch!” with a techie look, but rather has a more traditional, upgraded look that comes with both a metal and a leather band. Available in two finishes, Pebble Steel has a battery that will last about 5-7 days between charges and is waterproof up to 5 ATM (metal band only), which is resistant enough to swim with it on.
As far as functionality goes, the Pebble Steel works pretty much like the Pebble with some improvements. You can still view notifications on the watch and access apps, but Pebble has announced its own app store, the first of its kind with apps optimized for wearable tech. With partners like Yelp, ESPN, and Pandora, Pebble and its app store are working to make getting and using apps for the smartwatch faster and more convenient. Pebble Steel Smartwatch is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
One con of the Pebble Steel Smartwatch is that it isn’t a touchscreen. Like the original Pebble, the watch has three navigational buttons on the side to operate it. A touchscreen would have been so chic, but Pebble fans will just have to cross their fingers and wait for that feature.
Sony SmartWatch 2
The Sony Smartwatch 2 SW2 is the first Android-compatible smartwatch with one-touch NFC: Straight from the box, easily pair the smartwatch with an NFC Android phone by touching one device to the other. If the devices get out of Bluetooth range from each other, one touch will also easily restore the connection.
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Besides the NFC feature, the Sony SmartWatch 2 can also act as a phone remote. For example, if you’re listening to music on a Bluetooth headset when a call comes in, you can check your watch to see who’s calling and press once to answer for hands-free calling. You can also view your call log and initiate a call with the watch.
Like other smartwatches, the SmartWatch 2 puts text messages, email, social media, and more right onto your wrist. The Sony SmartWatch 2 has a multi-layer color touchscreen, so you can do a lot with one touch. There are also dedicated SmartWatch 2 apps for health and fitness, entertainment, and productivity, among others.
For durability, the Sony SmartWatch 2 is water, dust, and scratch-resistant, so you don’t have to worry if you get stuck in the rain or lead an active lifestyle outdoors. Its battery lasts up to 4 days, and there are a variety of watchband colors available to customize the look of your smartwatch. The Sony SmartWatch 2 is compatible with Android smartphones and tablets running Android 4.0 or later, but there’s no iOS support.
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COOKOO Connected Watch
The simple interface of the COOKOO Watch makes it a choice that just about anyone can use. More of a notification device than a smartwatch in itself, COOKOO connects to your smartphone to help you keep up with what’s happening without constantly checking your device.
By setting which notifications you want to receive and whether you want to be notified by an icon, beep, or vibration, COOKOO makes it easy to receive notifications for incoming and missed calls, Facebook messages and posts, Twitter mentions, calendar reminders, and email notifications. It will also let you know if your device is out of range (a helpful feature if you accidentally leave your phone somewhere) and if your battery is low on your iPhone or iPad. The COOKOO Watch has subtle, individualized icons in the watch face designed to give you quick info at a glance for new notifications on your device.
By pressing a button on your watch, you can also use COOKOO as a remote for taking a photo, commanding music, or finding your phone. Basically, COOKOO isn’t designed to replace your smartphone but to support its functions to better manage what’s happening on your devices.
COOKOO uses a standard CR2032 button-cell battery, so you don’t have to worry about charging the watch, but you will have to replace the battery eventually, just as you would with a standard watch. It’s compatible with iOS 7 and Android 4.3 devices and is about $80-100 cheaper than smartwatch competitors, so it can be a good choice for getting your feet wet in the world of wearable tech. The price, long battery life, and easy-to-use interface makes the COOKOO Watch a strong choice even though it lacks some of the functionality of other smartwatches.
The wearable tech world is still buzzing about upcoming and rumored smartwatches from top companies like Apple and Google, leaving tech watchers in their usual state… waiting to see what will come next to set the new market standard. For now, these watches offer a variety of functions, looks, features, and prices to satisfy tech cravings, even those on a tighter budget.