Not a fan of the Apple Watch? Check out these five notable Apple Watch competitors


The Apple Watch officially launched yesterday, although most of those who pre-ordered the device won't be able to get one in their hands for quite some time. With the Apple Watch not expected to be available for purchase from Apple Stores until June, and pre-order shipping dates for most models being pushed back to a June estimate, many potential customers are already starting to scan the market for competing products. If that's you, here is a list of the top five Apple Watch competitors.

One thing to bear in mind before moving on to the good stuff is that, out of these five Apple Watch competitors, just the Pebble Time Steel can work with iPhones. The rest are based on Android Wear, and you'll need an Android smartphone to use them.

LG Watch Urbane


Price: Unknown
Release date: April 2015

Unveiled back in February 2015, the LG Watch Urbane is one of the most interesting Android Wear smartwatches ever announced. The LG Watch Urbane comes with a circular 1.3-inch P-OLED display running a resolution of 320 by 320 pixels, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor paired with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of integrated storage space, and a 410 mAh battery. The Watch Urbane features a heart rate monitor, but lacks wireless charging capabilities.

Although the LG Watch Urbane has some of the best hardware specs around, it's the outside that makes it a very powerful Apple Watch competitor. Coming with a stainless steel build and a design that resembles that of a traditional watch, the LG Watch Urbane is one of the classiest smarwatches around. The Watch Urbane comes with a stitched leather strap, but the smartwatch is also compatible with standard 22mm watch straps. For more details about LG's upcoming smartwatch, check out our LG Watch Urbane hands-on.

LG has yet to announce the price of its upcoming smartwatch, but with the device scheduled to reach the Play Store later this month, it won't be long before this final detail is uncovered. 


Pebble Time Steel


Price: $300
Release date: July 2015

Pebble, the company behind what many think of as the original smartwatch, recently updated its line-up by introducing two new models. The flagship model is the Pebble Time Steel, a smartwatch that, as the name suggests, comes with a stainless steel build. The 1.25-inch color e-ink display might not be as sharp or as vivid as that of other Apple Watch competitors mentioned here, but its low power consumption ratio is touted by the manufacturer to translate into a seven-day battery life. Furthermore, the e-ink display remains active all the time, unlike the Apple Watch display. On the downside, the Time Steel lacks both wireless charging and an heart rate monitoring capabilities, although the latter can be accomplished by purchasing a special wristband.

The Pebble Time Steel runs Pebble OS 3.0, and the smartwatch can communicate with both iOS and Android devices. The Pebble Time Steel comes with either a genuine leather or a stainless steel strap, but is also compatible with any 22mm watch strap. The smartwatch will be priced at $300, when it becomes available for purchase this July. 


Motorola Moto 360


Price: starting at $165
Release date: September 2014

The Motorola Moto 360 was probably the hottest Android Wear smartwatch of 2014, but the device still holds its own to this day. The Moto 360 comes with a semi-circular 1.56-inch LCD display running a resolution of 320 by 290 pixels, a Texas Instruments OMAP 3 processor paired with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of integrated storage space. The Moto 360 supports wireless charging, and it also comes with a heart rate monitor. 

The battery inside lasts for about a day of mixed usage, which is roughly the same type of battery life Apple says to expect from the iWatch. You can order the Moto 360 with either a leather or a stainless steel band (this one costs $50 extra), but the device is also compatible with standard 22mm watch straps. For more details on Motorola's first wearable device, check out our full Motorola Moto 360 review.


Sony Smartwatch 3


Price: starting at $250
Release date: November 2014

Featuring a 1.6-inch display with a resolution of 320 by 320 pixels, the Sony Smartwatch 3 is one of the larger Apple Watch competitors included in this list. On the inside, the Smarwatch 3 comes with specs such as a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU paired with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of integrated storage, and a battery that is said to last for two days on a single charge. The Smartwatch 3 uses Android Wear as the operating system.

The Sony Smartwatch 3 comes with a stainless steel build, and while the original model came with an unimpressive silicone strap, Sony has more recently released a version with a stainless steel strap for $50 extra. The wearable lacks both wireless charging and a heart rate monitor, but it's important to mention that the Smartwatch 3 also comes with a built-in GPS sensor. The Sony Smartwatch 3 also comes with IP67-certified protection against water and dust. 

The Sony Smartwatch 3 was released back in late 2014, and is available for purchase starting at $250 for the silicone-band version. For more details, check out our Sony Smartwatch 3 hands-on.


Samsung Gear S


Price: $299
Release date: November 2014

Looking for a smartwatch that can place voice calls? If so, then the Samsung Gear S is probably your best choice. Unfortunately, although you can place calls directly from the wrist piece, you'll still need to pair it with a smartphone before using this function. The Samsung Gear S is based on Tizen, but while the limited app selection isn't necessarily a huge problem, the major downside is that the Gear S is compatible only with Samsung's Galaxy smartphones running Android 4.3 or higher.

With its 2-inch display running a resolution of 360 by 480 pixels, the Gear S is the largest smartwatch included in this list, and although Samsung tried to make up for this by coming up with a design that curves along your wrist, chances are that the Gear S is a bit large for most people. The hardware specs include a dual-core Exynos processor, 512MB of RAM, as well as 4GB of integrated storage space. The battery lasts for about two days with moderate usage. As far as the build is concerned, the Gear S comes with a metal build and a rubbery-plastic strap. Unfortunately, the straps are a proprietary design.

The Gear S also integrates a GPS radio and a heart rate monitor, and although it lacks wireless charging, its docking cradle can be used as a portable charger. For more details on the wrist piece, make sure to check out our Samsung Gear S hands-on.

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26 Comments

1. Kruze

Posts: 1285; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

I'm not interested in any smartwatches.

11. dimas

Posts: 3382; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Not also a fan of smartwatches but I think Cogito's design can take Apple Watch anytime.

20. seven7dust unregistered

what not even the sony samrtwatch with GPS and waterproofing ? -:) guess sony failed ! not even fans want one.

24. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

then why'd you visit the article i wonder?

2. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

You CAN make calls on the samsung gear s WITHOUT it being in range of a phone. I have one so I know this to be true. It has its own sim card and I often leave my phone at home and call, text, email etc straight from the watch. It even had a standalone browser which works surprisingly well. It doesn't look as bad on the wrist as you might think. I have nothing but compliments for mine. The only thing I would improve is the storage so I can put more music on it.

3. mjwiseman

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

You incorrectly stated that the gear s needs the smartphone nearby to make a voicecall. It can make and recieve calls without a smartphone. As far as I know, it is the only watch in this group that can. It also has its own built it gps.

6. mihai.a

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 15, 2015

Thanks for your observation. We've updated the article to fix the error.

4. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

I still think that owning smartwatch is pointless, but if I had to choose it would be something from LG and definitely with Android Wear. Seeing how slow Apple is with implementing new features I would be more confident with Wear, where Google is sending many updates without waiting for developer conferences which only makes customers mad.

25. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

While I agree that smartwatches are more or less pointless at this point, mainly do to technology, I do have to point out people said the same thing about tablets. Sure they are on the decline, but they did help spur innovation in the PC/laptop market. Hopefully the smartwatch will do the same for another product.

5. Nebice

Posts: 68; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

what the actuall f**k pa... even doe its not released yet the huawei watch is proably the likeliest to be called a rival not just because of the specs but also because of the premium design

9. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

if you wanna talk premuim design look at the LG watch that's premium watch that looks nice and has a great looking watch functionality not a square design with circular analogue watch inside leaving black corners (iwatch or whatever you call it) based on design in these only the LG pebble and maybe lg moto although that black sector is eugh based on functionality samsung gear seems to be the most functioning the huawei watch isn't out yet clearly they haven't looked much into or even tested it so i don't see why it should be on this list !

14. Nebice

Posts: 68; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

still from what is currently known it deserves to be a competitor.. or its even fine by me if they would´ve said competitors to come in the future

7. gaming64 unregistered

Though they look good, I will never buy one. But if I would, Sony all the way.

8. DonShock

Posts: 19; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

You are incorrect regarding the most unique feature of the Gear S: the ability to make calls from the watch. Although it will route calls through your phone if it is in Bluetooth range, the phone has it's own SIM card and cellular radios so it can still handle calls, texts, and the like if you leave your phone at home. The Gear S can operate in three different modes: 1. Connected via Bluetooth: call,text, and data handling done by the phone and able to respond via the watch if desired. 2. Connected Remotely: calls and texts still go to the phone but are forwarded to the watch via the cellular network. The cell network is also used to maintain the link between the watch and phone for other notifications, etc. 3. Gear Only: if unable to link to the phone via BT or Remotely, the watch acts like a mini smartphone with it's own cell, wifi, and GPS abilities. You can still do calls, texts, and even browsing and navigation with the right apps.

12. DonShock

Posts: 19; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

UPDATE: I notice the article has now been changed to state the need to keep the Gear S paired to your phone to make calls. Also incorrect. Pairing is only needed for initial setup and loading new apps to the watch. Although you'll get more functionality by being able to access your phone's apps and hardware, like the ability to remotely view and control the camera, it is not needed for many of the functions. Since the Gear S has hardware like BT-WiFi-Cell radios, SIM card, GPS and other sensors it can do a lot all by it's lonesome. Specifically, making and receiving both calls and text are no problem. The only difference in these features that being paired with your phone makes is that the watch gets these using your phone's cell number. When in stand alone mode, the watch uses it's own phone number. But the update is correct that the restrictions of the Tizen OS and Galaxy phones can be limiting for some users.

13. mihai.a

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 15, 2015

Thanks for your comment. "Although you can place calls directly from the wrist piece, you'll still need to pair it with a smartphone before using this function" The article doesn't state that you need to keep the Gear S paired to a smartphone, just that the step is required before using the voice call function. If you don't own a Samsung smartphone, you won't be able to place voice calls or even install apps.

26. kevin91202

Posts: 642; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

"'Unfortunately, although you can place calls directly from the wrist piece, you'll still need to pair it with a smartphone before using this function.' The article doesn't state that you need to keep the Gear S paired to a smartphone, just that the step is required before using the voice call function." -PA Mihai A. Although you are not specifically stating that, you are implying it. By using the words "unfortunately," "although," and "pairing," you are fooling the reader into believing that the watch must be in range of the phone. Why else would you use the word "unfortunately"? What is so unfortunate about an initial setup with the primary phone? Obviously, you have to pair the watch to the phone, but that's a given. Why would you state the obvious? It's akin to stating," Unfortunately, although the watch can be used without being plugged in to an outlet, it needs to be charged before using it." Additionally, you failed to mention that the watch has a cellular radio, which the Apple watch does not have. In conclusion, you are surely misleading the readers about Samsung's watch capabilities.

10. dimas

Posts: 3382; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Tudor for special occasions. Ordinary bracelet on casual and working days. Smartwatch? What's that?

15. duartix

Posts: 311; Member since: Apr 01, 2014

If we have to wait until April 2105 to get a LG Urbane, I hope that by that time they sell it in implant form...

16. Metalspy8

Posts: 148; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Yes because apple was late to the game once again.

19. seven7dust unregistered

not in sales and implementation/apps , digital crown is a huge winner.

17. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

I think ill wait for the samsung "Orbis"....

18. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

How are they going to recommend watches that are not even compatible with the iPhone with the exception of the pebble? Sometimes I wonder about these people.

21. rshanberg unregistered

The Moto 360 does have a heart rate monitor.

23. mihai.a

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 15, 2015

Thanks for your correction!

22. joeyhalls

Posts: 11; Member since: Jun 25, 2013

"The Moto 360 supports wireless charging, but it lacks a heart rate monitor." Really?? I must have gotten the only two Moto 360's in existance that included a heart rate monitor then. Great investigational journalism once again. Blind leading those who can see for themselves.

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