We might be only halfway into 2015 (if that much even), but the smart-watch market is definitely not sleeping. With so many choices available already it would be a crime not to pick a few favorites for our Top 5 smartwatch 2015 list and present it to you.
Of course, if any new wearable technology comes out later, we’ll be happy to introduce it whether it comes from a start-up such as Pebble, or a big kahuna company like Samsung.
And now for some sad news. Since this is a top 5 list, quite a lot of excellent watches didn’t make the cut. Trust us; it was not easy to omit wearables like the stylish Asus Zenwatch, the featherweight Sony SmartBrand Talk or the futuristic-looking Samsung Gear S. These are all great smart-watches, but the top 5 wearable technology we have here have just managed to beat them.
Of course like we said, the smart-watch season has just begun and we are bound to see many more great devices as the year goes on. Right now, Android has at least eight smart-watches ready to storm the market with more in the final stages of R&D, while the release date for Apple Watch is announced for April 24th.
Okay, enough of what could be and what would be. Here are the best 5 smart-watches to put on your wrist in 2015:
4-day battery life
Doesn’t suffer from sun glare issues
It has a restricted functionality
It’s not a touchscreen
You can only have 8 apps installed at one time
Okay, so let’s start with what is probably the best non-Android smart-watch around. If you think that it is something that came out of a multi-billion dollar company’s lab, you are way off.
Pebble’s first go at the smart-watch market would have been a great success for a larger company, let alone a start-up, but the folks at this company didn’t spend too much time patting each other’s backs. Instead, they introduced the Pebble Steel.
Unlike its predecessor, the 1.26-inch e-paper LCD is enclosed in a silver or matte black stainless steel frame. The basic wrist band is made of leather, but those that want the full metal experience can have it for a little extra cash.
What sets Pebble Steel apart from the design and the material is its battery. This thing can run for four days without charging. Compare that to Moto 360’s battery, for example, and you’ll see that you are in for hours and hours of fun with this smart-watch.
The problem with Pebble Steel (which is by the way compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones) is the fact that you’ll be limited to only eight apps and that its color display is somewhat lacking compared to Android smart-watches.
All in all, for a wearable financed on Kickstarter, a $199 price tag is a pretty good one in our opinion.
Samsung Gear Live
Has a heart rate monitor
Low battery life
Clasp is difficult to fasten
Software requires a bit of tinkering
With the Samsung Gear Live, the South Korean technology giant has returned to its boxy design. Some make like it some may not, but few can argue that it is one of the best fitting watches around. When it comes to comfort, Gear Live beats most smart-watches around.
Samsung Gear Live is not just a one trick pony though. It sports a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display and an excellent 320 by 320 display resolution. A very solid heart rate monitor makes this device a good choice for anyone who is physically active and the Intelligent Google Now notifications put it in a completely different category over most non-Android Wear smart-watches.
The boxy design of Samsung Gear Live might be a blessing and a curse for this watch. You either like it or you don’t, which is why it didn’t get any higher on our list. Some just might like the round design of LG G Watch R and Moto 360 a little better. Cough ** I don’t **
Sony Smartwatch 3
Stand-alone GPS support
microUSB hatch is a bit tricky to open when trying to fit in the charging cable
Band attracts lint and other particles with amazing ease.
It seems that the Smart-watch 2 was a lesson well learned for Sony. For Smart-watch 3, the Japanese company has turned to Android Wear, instead of its own Micrum uC/OS, which was behind the scenes in both Smart-watch 1 and 2.
Apart from the change in the OS, Sony Smart-watch 3 also comes packed with 1.2 GHz quad-core processor and 512 MB of RAM memory, as well as a built-in GPS.
And, for those who don’t care much for the strap design, the company has uncovered the Sony Smart-watch 3 Stainless Steel version at this year’s CES, which is the same on the inside.
It took two failed attempts for Sony to get it right with their smart-watch, but it looks like Smart-watch 3 has almost everything we have learned to expect from the tech giant. We’re not even that mad about the $249 retail price.
The Moto 360
Sophisticated round design
Not too expensive
Comes with a wireless charger
Solid build quality
Very low battery life (just about a day between charging)
Moto 360 is in our opinion the best designed Android Wear smart-watch you can find today, but that still doesn’t make it the best of the best.
Everything about this smart-watch says “premium”. If they had smart-watches in the 50s, I’m sure that Don Draper would wear this baby on his wrist.
With a 1.65-inch round display, the Moto 360 is bit bigger than its competition, but that only means that it’s a lot easier to read from it. The 320 by 290 pixel resolution certainly won’t hurt your eyes when looking at this smart-watch.
The battery could be a little better as it only lasts for about a day between charging, but the neat Qi wireless charger solves this problem quite nicely.
The only real problem that the Moto 360 has is the processor that is a bit on the slow side.
LG G Watch R
Clear and bright display
Looks like a watch and not something from a kid’s show
Pretty good performance overall
The $300 retail price is a bit steep
You can only charge it with a dock
Battery last just two days
The LG G Watch R’s predecessor LG G Watch was a very good device on its own, with a battery lasting for about a day, but the square design, rubber strap and a complete lack of buttons have turned us away from it slightly.
The LG G Watch R did not make the same mistakes. Gone is the overall plastic feel that the older watch gave us and a new, much more stylish round shape was introduced along with actual buttons. All of this actually makes the G Watch R look like a proper watch.
But the nice design is not the only thing that this wearable has to offer. What really matters is what is on the inside, as they say.
The LG G Watch R is powered by a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, has 4 GB of internal storage, 512 MB of RAM memory and this all works thanks to a large 410 mAH battery.
The screen display was what really made us jump of joy. While it is not as large as Moto 360’s the LG G Watch R’s display probably has the best resolution around and with the P-OLED screen giving strong colors, it is just a blessing for the eyes.
LG has done almost everything right with its G Watch R. It may not be the most elegant smart-watch on the market, though it is a close second behind Moto 360, the R is well worth buying even if it costs a bit more. Still, the $300 retail price is a lot better than $millions that the Apple’s Watch is priced at.
Whichever smart-watch out of these five you choose to adorn your wrist with, you won’t make a mistake. Whether you’ll be using it when going out for a hike, jogging or whatever your life style is, a good smart-watch will fit into it just perfectly.
In addition, you won’t have to pull out your smartphone every five minutes or so in order to check incoming email or social media notifications, as you’ll have them available “at-hand”.
There’s probably a few folks here and there who would rather put a regular watch on their wrist instead of a smart-watch and to be honest, I myself would be torn between a good Breitling and most smart-watches around, but it’s not like I can do a lot with a wrist watch except tell time. Simply put, when it comes to features and functionality, smart-watches have almost everything that one would need and then some more.