Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live signaled the launch of Android Wear, Google’s operating system for smartwatches. They’ve since been followed by the Moto 360, and while it did not fully live up to the hype, it did manage to fulfill many of its promises. Now three more Wear devices are on the way.

On the inside, there’s a lot that these products have in common. To see what sets them apart and choose a favorite, let’s look at them one at a time.

LG G Watch

Android-Wear-LG-G-Watch

The LG G Watch was one of two smartwatches that simultaneously launched in the Play Store, signaling the debut of Android Wear. While this device looks and feels like a first generation product, there are still reasons to consider picking it up versus newer options that have appeared since.

With a relatively large battery, the G Watch can ink out roughly two days of continuous use. Though considered a drawback at the time, its battery life is considered a strength these days since the Moto 360 only manages a day, and the highly-anticipated Apple Watch Apple's Big Event: iPhone 6, Watch & New Wireless Payment System Apple's Big Event: iPhone 6, Watch & New Wireless Payment System Finally, the rumours are confirmed: two new larger iPhones and a smart timepiece known simply as the Apple Watch are on the way. Read More is expected to do the same when it launches in early 2015. The G Watch is also as powerful as any other Android Wear device, and it’s set to receive future updates, so you don’t have to worry about missing out just for leaning towards an older device.

On the design front, the G Watch is probably the plainest looking option on this list. While you can opt for the white and gold version to spice things up or swap out the watch band, there’s ultimately only so much you can do to mask the look of the thing. It just screams tech product.

Ads by Google

Specifications

  • Price: $229.99 from Google or LG; currently $174.99 on Amazon
  • Display: 1.65″ 280 x 280 IPS LCD (240 ppi)
  • Processor: 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
  • Dimensions: 37.9 x 46.5 x 9.95 mm
  • Weight: 63g
  • Battery: 400mAh
  • Memory: 4GB internal storage with 512MB RAM
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope
  • Charging: Proprietary dock
  • IP Rating: 67

Samsung Gear Live

Android-Wear-Samsung-Gear-Live

The Samsung Gear Live launched at a lower price point than the G Watch, yet it managed to come with a higher screen resolution. This makes its display easier on the eyes, something you might want to keep in mind considering what you will be doing with the watch.

While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the Gear Live is arguably a more stylish watch than the G Watch, which aspires to be nothing more than a buttonless slab of black or white plastic. That said, Samsung’s first Android Wear watch essentially recycles the materials used in one or two of its previously released Gear watches, really sapping this product of its uniqueness.

The Gear Live’s battery doesn’t last as long as the G Watch’s, and it has possibly the most aggravating charging mechanism of any Android Wear device that’s currently out — one that clasps onto the back and doesn’t allow the watch to lie flat in any position except for uncomfortably on its face or awkwardly on its side. Considering this is something you have to do daily, more or less, that’s a pretty big deal.

Specifications

  • Price: $199.99 from GoogleSamsung, or Amazon
  • Display: 1.63″ 320 x 320 SuperAMOLED (278 ppi)
  • Processor: 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
  • Dimensions: 37.9 x 56.4 x 8.9mm
  • Weight: 59g
  • Battery: 300mAh
  • Memory: 4GB internal storage with 512MB RAM
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor
  • Charging: Proprietary charger
  • IP Rating: 67

Moto 360

Android-Wear-Moto360

Motorola pushed the Moto 360 as a timepiece Motorola Moto 360 Android Wear Smartwatch Review and Giveaway Motorola Moto 360 Android Wear Smartwatch Review and Giveaway The $250 Motorola Moto 360 Android Wear smartwatch fuses beautiful and sleek design with functionality. Read More , something designed as a watch first and a gadget second. This distinction shows, as people who encounter this accessory in public are far more inclined to perceive it as a traditional watch than its plastic forerunners.

While the circular display and stainless steel design manage to turn heads, there are serious drawbacks to consider. The LCD screen isn’t actually a complete circle, as there’s a flat edge at the bottom where electronic components are tucked away. The Moto 360’s small battery and older processor also result in a watch that cannot manage the screen-on time of its competitors.

But if you can live with your display turning off whenever you lower your wrist, then the Moto 360 should easily get you through a day with plenty of battery life to spare, and its Qi wireless charging dock can get you back up to full speed in just an hour or two.

Specifications

  • Price: $249.99 from Google or Motorola
  • Display: 1.56″ 320 x 290 IPS LCD (205 ppi)
  • Processor: TI OMAP 3
  • Dimensions: 46 x 11.5 mm
  • Weight: 60g without strap
  • Battery: 320 mAh
  • Memory: 4GB internal storage with 512MB RAM
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Compass, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor
  • Charging: Qi Wireless charging dock
  • IP Rating: 67

Sony SmartWatch 3

Android-Wear-Sony-SmartWatch3

Sony has been producing Android-based smartwatches for years now, but it’s adopting Android Wear with its third model. Of the current batch of watches, the SmartWatch 3 looks to be the most rugged. It’s resistant to water, can handle a bit of dust, and wearers probably won’t have to worry too much about dropping the thing.

With a plastic band covering most of the watch’s body, the SmartWatch 3 doesn’t pretend to be something traditional. If anything, it looks like an activity tracker akin to the Fitbit Flex Fitbit Flex vs. Jawbone UP: A Comparative Review Fitbit Flex vs. Jawbone UP: A Comparative Review In today's world, nothing escapes the fact that we are moving in a direction where quantifying and recording stuff obsessively is sort of the norm. We use Foursquare to check into places, we annoyingly take... Read More . In a way, this is a strength. People may think of it as a cool-looking fitness band rather than a weird watch.

On the other hand, the SmartWatch 3 has an inherently casual look. Even with replaceable bands, it’s going to be difficult to dress it up. You may be better off leaving it at home when the occasion calls for high heels or a tie. Unfortunately, it’s not available quite yet, only marked as “coming soon”.

Specifications

  • Price: $249.99 from Google
  • Display: 1.6″ 320 x 320 Transflective TFT LCD (280 ppi)
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex A7
  • Dimensions: 36 x 51 x 10 mm
  • Weight: 38 g (watch), 36 g (armband)
  • Battery: 420mAh
  • Memory: 4GB internal storage with 512MB RAM
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Compass, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor
  • Charging: MicroUSB
  • IP Rating: 68

LG G Watch R

Android-Wear-LG-G-Watch-R

The G Watch R will be LG’s second attempt at an Android Wear device, making it the first manufacturer to get a follow-up to market so quickly. Unlike with the Moto 360, this watch has a fully circular LCD display. This is perhaps its biggest appeal.

The trade-off is that you have to deal with more of a frame around the screen to mask the components tucked away at the bottom of the Moto 360. The numbers that circle the G Watch R may make the watch look more traditional depending on the watchface you select, but it could just as easily look out of place when anything else is on the screen.

Aside from the round screen, the G Watch R is functionally similar to its predecessor, though it does benefit from the addition of a heart rate monitor. If you must have a circular watch and can’t live with the Moto 360’s shortcomings, this is your only other option for the time being. It is not currently available to purchase, and it isn’t even listed on Google Play, but it should be coming out sometime this Fall.

Specifications

  • Price: Unannounced
  • Display: 1.3″ 320 x 320 Full Circle P-OLED (245 ppi)
  • Processor: 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
  • Dimensions: 46.4 x 53.6 x 9.7 mm
  • Weight: 62 g
  • Battery: 410 mAh
  • Memory: 4 GB internal storage with 512 MB RAM
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor
  • Charging: Proprietary dock
  • IP Rating: 67

Asus ZenWatch

Android-Wear-Asus-ZenWatch

The first wave of square Android Wear devices look like gadgets, and Asus intends for the ZenWatch to look more like a watch. The product’s stylish metal body sports curved edges, and its straps are made of leather. With curved Gorilla Glass and a vibrant AMOLED display, the ZenWatch proves that you don’t need a circular screen to show a touch a class.

The design really is the ZenWatch’s greatest appeal. It doesn’t have an ambient light sensor, its IP55 rating is lower than all of its competitors, and its battery isn’t the largest out there. There’s no reason on the spec sheet to particularly favor this watch over any other.

If you balk at the near-toyish look of the other square options and don’t want something round, then this is it. Like the LG G Watch R, the Asus ZenWatch isn’t yet available for purchase or listed on Google Play.

Specifications

  • Price: Unannounced
  • Display: 1.63″ 320×320 AMOLED (278 ppi)
  • Processor: 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
  • Dimensions: 50.6 x 39.8 x 7.9-9.4 mm
  • Weight: 50 g (watch) 25 g (strap)
  • Battery: 370 mAh
  • Memory: 4GB of internal storage with 512MB RAM
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor
  • Charging: Proprietary dock
  • IP Rating: 55

Which Should You Buy?

The answer to this question depends on your needs.

If you want sleek minimalism or something that’s probably not going to look awkward on your wrist, the Moto 360 is your safest bet, followed by the Asus ZenWatch.

If you want a truly circular display and something that can last a little longer between charges, the LG G Watch R is the one to get.

Just want something to wear to the gym or on a jog? Consider the Sony SmartWatch 3.

And if you just want to save money, consider the LG G Watch or the Samsung Gear Live. These devices still maintain a high MSRP, but they’re old enough now where you may be able to snag one online at an enticing rate.

If nothing on this list appeals to you, but you still like the idea of a smartwatch, just keep waiting. This time next year, Apple will have released its watch, and several manufacturers will have likely announced another round of Android Wear devices. And we shouldn’t forget Pebble, the Kickstarter success Pebble Steel Smartwatch Review And Giveaway Pebble Steel Smartwatch Review And Giveaway If you have good memory, you might remember that we weren't too excited with the original Pebble. So will the Pebble Steel, retailing at $250, be any different? Read More with week-long battery life that puts newer options to shame.

Which Is Your Favorite?

It’s a good time to be in the market for an intelligent wristwatch, as the options will only grow from here.

Which device is your favorite and why? Let us know in the comments!

  1. becks
    December 28, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I don't have my own smartwatch, but a friend of mine has bought the Huawei Watch and he loves it. It's like the Asus Watch with a leather bracelet and this makes the design much better.

  2. effimote
    December 24, 2014 at 10:49 am

    i like moto 360 ,it is my type .but price is expensive for me .I must say I have a copie one of moto 360 from kingsbuying ,cheap but a little weight to wear on ,however i think it to be excellent value for that price range. when i have enough money ,i will get the original moto 360 .

  3. Pravin
    November 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I might be needing a Smartwatch when they develop batteries to last at least a month and incorporate Ambient Temperature, Barometer, etc. Versatile Design also important.. I can't imagine myself charging my watch(!?) every night, besides my phone and notebook. Not a pleasant glimpse :(
    Right now, I am happy with my Casio..

  4. Jim
    November 3, 2014 at 3:52 am

    GPS?

  5. Darl
    November 3, 2014 at 2:33 am

    The biggest thing I see missing from the reviews above: waterproof (as in totally submersible).
    I've killed numbers of watches over the years due to constant washing and occasional (forgetful) immersions (I'm an engineer by trade, specialising in pumping systems).
    Guess I'll be sticking with my Pebble for now :)
    (yes, a kickstarter version, still getting 6.5+ day's battery life with the watch on my wrist Sat morn to Fri eve).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *