Not a fan of the Apple Watch? Check out these five notable Apple Watch competitors
By Mihai A.
Apr 27, 2015, 5:12 AM
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
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, 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.
The Pebble Time Steel
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.
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.
Sony Smartwatch 3 Photos
Samsung Gear S
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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