We've seen a handful of smartwatches that have been launched last year, and none of them went on to become a money spinner. That being said, wearable computing devices market is still in its early stages. The ongoing massification of wearable tech will take some time to mature in the next few months.
Few days back, Google unveiled its much publicized new version of Android operating system, dubbed the Android Wear. The OS is designed for use in wearable devices, as the firm seeks to provide developers with tools to build apps for new hardware form factors.
However, an OS isn't going to win the wearable race. So, Google has teamed with a number of tier-1 hardware manufacturers to create breathtaking hardware. So far, LG and Motorola have come with first generation of smartwatches running on Android Wear. Motorola has announced the Moto 360, while LG seems upbeat about its G Watch. Both devices are scheduled for summer release.
Besides LG and Motorola, Sony would like to continue making intelligent watch that runs custom user interface. At the same time, Samsung may end up promoting its Tizen OS to promote its latest Gear 2 range. There's the Pebble Steel, a strong contender for the best smart watch of the year award.
Which is the best smartwatch of 2014? Here are the top picks. Take a look!
The Moto 360 is Motorola's first ever Android Wear device. Expected to be launched in summers, the Moto 360 could become one of the biggest change makers of 2014. Not much is known about the device, as the details have been guarded closely. Going by the series of images and teasers, the Moto 360 isn't a typical square watch. It has a round square shaped screen and uses Google Now and other services to transform this tiny piece of tech into real computer. The device is expected to work with any Android 4.3 phone. Rumor has it that it won't come up Micro-USB for charging, instead have some sort of wireless charging mechanism.
Availability - TBA
With the G Watch, LG is all set to capture wearable tech market. LG has designed its first ever smartwatch in partnership with Google. The G Watch runs Android Wear, a modified version of Android designed for latest wearable devices. Although LG didn't provide concrete details about its G Watch but expect the device to land in the second quarter of 2014. The device will work with voice commands.
Availability - TBA
The much improved Pebble Steel will cost users $100 (Rs. 6000) more when compared to the original Pebble. Although the hardware is pretty much the same but what's great about the Pebble Steel is definitely superb construction and build quality. The device is compatible with both iOS and Android, making it the must have intelligent watch around. The company has also introduced a new app store exclusively for Pebble watch owners.
Asking price- $249 ( Rs. 14,940)
What if the Galaxy Gear failed to entice users? South Korea's Samsung is back with a bang, and this time the company introduced Tizen-powered Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. The watch still sports a 1.6-inch square shaped Super AMOLED display with a 320 x 320-pixel resolution. The Gear 2 looks a lot more improved. There's a 2MP camera fitted on the body of smartwatch. Samsung has also added an infrared sensor and WatchOn TV remote app. Moreover, the device now works as a standalone music player. Other incremental improvements include a 315mAh battery, a heart rate monitor and finally compatibility with 17 Galaxy devices (including tablets and smartphones). Samsung says the Gear 2 will launch with over 100 apps. The Gear 2 Neo, a cheaper variant of the Gear 2, does not feature a camera and is made out of plastic.
Samsung Gear 2 - Rs. 21,900
Samsung Gear 2 Neo - Rs. 15,900
Sony SmartWatch 2, as the name suggests, is an improved version of the original intelligent watch. The new watch has an impressive overall look and feel. It has chrome bezels and works with every Android device. Sony claims that the SmartWatch 2 can run up to 3-4 days. The device has a 1.6-inch color display having a resolution of 220 x 176 display and NFC compatibility, to name a few.