Puma goes after Nike and Adidas with a self-branded smartwatch powered by Wear OS

Puma goes after Nike and Adidas with a self-branded smartwatch powered by Wear OS
It's no longer a big secret that Wear OS smartwatches aren't exactly selling like hotcakes, as proven by the latest global vendor chart, dominated by Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit, neither of which is using Google's software platform for your wrist. But the search giant still has quite a few active hardware-making partners, the most important and prolific of which sells its smartwatches under many different brands, including Michael Kors, Diesel, Emporio Armani, Kate Spade, and of course, Fossil.

The US-based Fossil Group is behind Puma's first-ever smartwatch as well, which naturally goes after the same target audience as those special Nike+ variants of the Apple Watch or the sporty Adidas Edition of the Fitbit Ionic. The aptly titled Puma Smartwatch comes with a slightly simpler and more straightforward design than its direct rivals, bearing somewhat of a resemblance to the Fossil Sport.

Instead of three side-mounted buttons, you only get a large and stylish crown imprinted with the Puma logo, while the 44mm cut-out case is made of an interesting combination of aluminum and nylon to stay relatively light but also decently robust. A textured silicone strap completes a decidedly sporty look that aims to "easily transition from the gym to the street" without turning a lot of heads.

The list of features seems pretty straightforward as well, with no major omissions or surprising advantages over the fitness-centric smartwatch competition. You have your built-in heart rate monitor, standalone GPS functionality, NFC support for wrist payments, swim-proof design, all the activity tracking basics, as well as everything that makes Wear OS great... on paper, including Google Assistant integration and Play Store access.

The Puma Smartwatch is not particularly affordable, at $275, but with a sharp 1.19-inch AMOLED display, Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, and up to 24-hour battery life also in tow, the value for money seems fair. Not impressive but certainly not bad either. Hardcore fans of the world's third largest sportswear brand should look forward to a November release.

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