by Zuriñe Dopacio González

March 12, 2015

A look at new smartwatches for 2015

With the recent Consumer Electronics Show 2015 having been passed for almost two months now and the recent Mobile World Congress having ended in Barcelona, Spain, consumers should certainly be excited about the new electronic and digital products that will be coming on to the market in 2015.  Smart technology will be a big hit in 2015 and one part of that market will be smartwatches. The new generation of Smartwatches have been around for almost two years now but 2015 will certainly be a breakout year for them. The following is a look at some of the top smartwatches to look out for during the course of the year in 2015.

Apple Watch

apple-watch

When Apple CEO Tim Cook announced back in September of 2014 that Apple would be coming out with a smartwatch, it took the consumer electronics world by storm.  Fast forward a couple months and now the time has come.  The Apple Watch will be coming on to the market on April 24th with pre-orders beginning on April 10th. Most analysts say that it will be the benchmark for smartwatches in 2015 and for years to come. The Apple Watch will have all the innovative apps that consumers are used to with the iPhone and iPad and it will also have other features as well. The Apple Watch will also have fitness tracking capabilities as well. The Apple Watch will also be compatible with any iPhone from iPhone 5 and up. It will come in three versions and will have all kinds of band color combinations as well.  There will be one version of the Apple Watch that will be of 18K gold and will have bank type security and protection at Apple retail outlets. Production of this watch is in full swing and the company will have an event in San Francisco on March 9th that is said to give the exact date in April when the watch will be shipped and the exact cost of the different versions of the watch. The Apple Watch will be for sale at all Apple outlets across the world with the Apple Watch Sport starting at $349, the all steel version at $549 and the Edition Gold version starting off at $10,000. The only drawback to the Apple Watch is that you have to have the iPhone in order for the Apple Watch mobile features to work. Without the iPhone you are going to have an expensive watch that is just going to tell time with some exceptions like listening to music.

Manufacturer MSRP: $350 – $5,000

Where to Buy: Apple outlets across the world

Product Page: Apple

Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel

Pebble_Time

Pebble is a company that has been getting a lot of notoriety for their Kickstarter crowd funding campaign to help with their product. The company has been around since 2011 and over the past four years has seen its product jump leaps and bounds. The Pebble Time and now its new companion in the Pebble Time Steel is a simplistic smartwatch but its simplicity is what is making it so well received. It is also noted for using E-ink technology, the same that Sony is using for their new smartwatch. Some of the features that comes with these watches are quick access to notifications, water resistant up to 50 meters, and a battery life up to seven days. Both the Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel will have fitness tracking capabilities as well. The Pebble Watch will have a 1.26 inch, e-ink display and will also have BlueTooth 4.0 access. The price of these watches are good and reasonable but at the same time not sacrificing any of its high quality.

Manufacturer MSRP: $199

Where to Buy: Pebble

Product Page: Pebble

Montblanc Timewalker with E-Strap

Montblanc_Timewalker_with_E-Strap[1]

Montblanc and its Montblanc Timewalker watch has been known throughout the world for its elegance and style. The company has now gotten in to the smartwatch business and have introduced their new Montblanc Timewalker with E-Strap. Some of the features that come with this device and smart strap is that it has notification access, fitness and activity tracker, and Find-Me functions. This new Montblanc offering will have BlueTooth Low Energy ability and it will also be compatible with certain iOS and Android smartphones.The functionality of this smartwatch is certainly going to be of huge benefit of those who are on the go. This watch is a little higher than some of the other watches in its market but overall is a very appealing product. The e-strap should be available sometime during the summer. 

Manufacturer MSRP: $425 and $3,750

Where to Buy: Will be available in June 2015

Product Page: Mont Blanc

Alcatel One Touch

Alcatel_One_Touch

A first glance at the Alactel OneTouch smartwatch and it looks like a regular watch but like its campaign drive says it is far from that. The OneTouch will have everything from emails, notifications, a camera, and music storage ability. The smartwatch will also have fitness track capabilities that will tell you right down to how many calories you are burning during your workouts. Another cool thing with the Alactel OneTouch smartwatch is there are no charging cables with it. Simply put it into a computer USB port and the watch will charge. Without a doubt, the Alcatel OneTouch smartwatch is able to superbly combine functionality and simplicity very well. This watch will have a 1.22 inch display and weigh about 60 grams. It also has an oleophobic coating and is water and dust resistant. The positives certainly outweigh the negatives with the Alactel OneTouch.

Manufacturer MSRP: $150

Where to Buy: Alcatel

Product Page: Alcatel

Sony SmartWatch 3 SWR50

Sony_SmartWatch_3_SWR50[1]

Sony has been known for its innovative technologies for years and years. It would be no surprise that the company would be getting into the smartwatch market. They have actually been in the market for a while now and have been producing high quality devices that meet right up and exceed the market standard. For 2015, the SmartWatch 3 SWR50 looks to be the product that will help spur the worldwide smartwatch market. This Android powered device will have voice activation ability, will be water resistant, GPS and compass, and another great thing is that it will be able to work with or without a smartphone. Most other smartwatches on the market require compatibility with a smartphone but the SmartWatch 3 will not. The watch will also go the market trend as a fitness tracker as well.  This watch is stylish just like every other Sony product. The Sony SmartWatch 3 SWR50 will carry on the Sony quality torch. The Sony SmartWatch 3 is 512 MB RAM and is IP68 waterproof rated.

Manufacturer MSRP: $250

Where to Buy: Sony

Product Page: Sony

Motorola Moto 360 Second Generation

Motorola_Moto_360_Second_Generation[1]

Motorola is another of those digital communication companies who have been able to carve themselves out a worldwide name. They are in the smartwatch business with their Moto 360 and word is now that the company will be coming out with the Second Generation of the watch by the end of 2015 just in time for the Christmas holidays. The Second Generation is certainly to carry on the Moto 360 abilities with notifications, voice control, innovative apps, reminders, and most importantly the craftsmanship that Motorola has been known for. Moto Body is the Motorola fitness tracking element. The Second Generation should also come with customized color and band combinations as well. This watch is certainly for the active person and is bound to be a durable product because it has that iconic Motorola name associated with it. The only bad thing is that the Second Generation is said to not come out until the end of year at the earliest. The good thing is that they have Moto Maker, an online version of customizing your smartwatch.

Manufacturer MSRP: $250 – $300

Where to Buy: Will be coming early in 2015

Product Page: Motorola

Kronoz ZeWatch2

Kronoz_ZeWatch2[1]

The Kronoz ZeWatch2 is a BlueTooth connected smartwatch that is certainly looking as one of the top smartwatches for 2015. When somebody calls you, this smartwatch will vibrate and alert you. The screen of the watch will act as sort of a caller ID. There are simple buttons on the side of the watch that will allow to manipulate them if you want to answer that call or just ignore it. The Kronoz ZeWatch2 has fitness tracking capabilities and can track calories burned and can even keep track of how many hours you have slept. There are several innovative apps that are available for this device as well. Critics have hailed this product as very compact and functional and should be able to compete with most second level smartwatches. The Kronoz ZeWatch2 is compatible with iOS 7 and higher and withAndroid 2.3 and higher. The only drawback with this smartwatch is that it is not waterproof.  It does have a short battery recharge time and the battery has a life of three days. It is still a good buy though.

Manufacturer MSRP: $179

Where to Buy: Kronoz

Product Page: Kronoz

MOTA SmartWatch G2

MOTA_SmartWatch_G2[1]

The MOTA SmartWatch G2 is certainly a product that when first seen, it looks just like a digital bracelet. The thing is that it is more sophisticated than that. The big thing about the MOTA SmartWatch G2 is that it is certainly a fashion item and certainly makes a fashion statement in today’s world.  When hooked up to a smartphone, the consumer can check incoming calls and not have to worry about fumbling around and looking for your phone. The speakers with this watch are beyond belief and produce a very nice and astute sound. This watch comes with advanced voice control and is BlueTooth compatible.  Siri and Google Now will also help you with this device.  Full charging time with the MOTA SmartWatch G2 is two to three hours and it has a very good and strong battery life. Functionality and simplicity, a familiar phrase with smartwatches, is certainly the best way to describe the MOTA SmartWatch G2.There is really not much that you can say wrong about it.

Manufacturer MSRP: $79.99

Where to Buy: MOTA

Product Page: MOTA

LG Watch Urbane

LG_Watch_Urbane[1]

LG is another one of those iconic worldwide brands. At the recent Mobile World Congress, the company was able to display their newest offering in the smartwatch world and that is the all metal, LG Watch Urbane. The LG Watch Urbane is an Android powered device and is all about the sophisticated one at heart. The LG Watch R was the first smartwatch offering from LG but the Urbane is looking to do one better. The watch has that classic look but it actually is a mobile device for the wanting. Some of the features that come with this smartwatch are a heartbeat and heart rate monitor, Android Wear operating system, a 9 Axis Sensor, dust and water resistant, and is compatible with all Android smartphones that run on Android 4.3 or higher. This smartwatch is for the active businessman and whoever else leads an active lifestyle. Again, its exudes elegance but inside it has the heart of a complicated digital computer. Excellent price for an excellent quality product.

Manufacturer MSRP: $299

Product Page: LG Watch Urbane

Where to Buy: LG

Michael Bastian Chronowing

Michael_Bastian_Chronowing[1]

Michael Bastian is known all throughout the world for designing men’s clothes. He has now took his design expertise to the smartwatch world with help from Hewlett Packard. The Michael Bastian Chronowing is the first ever smartwatch from Bastian and it’s certainly a beauty.  Some of the features that will come with this new smartwatch is dual iOS and Android compatibility, up to the minute time notifications and email access, music player control, up to date calendering, and an automatic time zone adjustment. The watch looks very good and the functionality is certain there. The Chronowing is certainly for those sophisticated types out there. People will certainly want to know what you are wearing when you don a Michael Bastian Chronowing. It has a stainless steel case and a custom USB charger. This watch is for the fashionable and elegant crowd but still should get its fair share of consumer purchasing.

Manufacturer MSRP: $349 – $649

Where to Buy: HP

Product Page: HP

Garmin VivoActive

Garmin_VivoActive[1]

Garmin has been known for years for the development of sports watches and stopwatches. The fitness community will certainly love this new device as well. It is ultra-thin which means that it will certainly not interfere with any workouts. There are built-in sports apps, fitness tracking, GPS, and has a battery life that can last for up to three weeks. There are also the email, notification, and social media access abilities with this watch as well. There is no other way that you can put it for the Garmin VivoActive. This watch is for the sports person in mind and it will certainly not disappoint. The Garmin VivoActive will most certainly carry on the banner of Garmin that health and exercise buffs have been seeing for years and years. If you are not of the active and fitness variety, this watch probable wouldn’t be for you.

Manufacturer MSRP: $249

Where to Buy: Garmin

Product Page: Garmin

Asus ZenWatch

Asus_ZenWatch[1]

With a leather wrist band and the added superior technology that are in smartwatches these days, the Asus ZenWatch will meld fashion and functionality very, very well. A curved case with a crystal face, this smartwatch is certainly breathtaking. The Asus ZenWatch lets you take incoming calls with the utmost of ease. This device has an excellent resolution camera which allows for those memorable selfies with just the touch of a button. Some of the other features that come with the Asus ZenWatch are a Find My Phone feature, phone unlocking, and fitness tracking. Everything that comes with Android Wear will be on the Asus ZenWatch. The Asus ZenWatch is another smartwatch that will have everything that you are looking for in a smart device. With just a simple glance of the picturesque screen, you can see anything and everything that you want and expect from a smartwatch. 2015 is the year of the smartwatch and the Asus ZenWatch will most certainly be one of the products that will give it that much more notoriety. The watch will have a 1.63 inch display screen and built-in microphone.

Manufacturer MSRP: $199

Where to Buy: Google Play

Product Page: ASUS

Guess Connect

Guess_Connect[1]

At the Consumer Electronics Show 2015 back in January in Las Vegas, the Guess Connect by Martian Watches was one of its award honorees. The fashion of Guess jeans combined with Martian Watches make this smartwatch one that will bring fashion to the forefront. Guess is very excited about entering the smartwatch market and they plan on giving the same effort to their smartwatches that they do the fashion items in their fashion houses. The Guess Connect has BlueTooth connectivity and also has the BlueTooth Low Power mode to help conserve the battery. The watch will be able use both iOS and Android apps and it will allow for the user to be able to customize what notifications and other alerts that they may or may not want to see. The Guess Connect is water proof. There are voice commands, Siri, custom vibrations, and with just the tap of the face a person can recall the last notification that they received.  Music controls are with this device as well. The Guess Connect is certainly going to turn some consumer heads during the course of 2015. This watch is more the fashion crowd and not the very active ones.

Manufacturer MSRP: $349

Where to Buy: Martianwatches

Product Page: Martianwatches

Puls by will.i.am

Puls_by_will.i.am[1]

The Puls Smartwatch is a ventrue that was started by the lead singer of the popular hip and hop, pop, and dance group The Black Eyed Peas in will.i.am. One good thing about this smartwatch is that they have former Sony President Phil Molyneaux heading up the operations. This is another one of those smartwatches that is very simplistic but has all the functionality that smartwatch users and consumers will be looking for. One thing that makes it standout is its Siri type control which they have called Aneeda, a play on ‘I need a something’. So the voice controls are there. All of the fitness tracking is there, the notifications, emails, and everything else that is associated with smartwatches in today’s market. It has 16 GB of storage, has BlueTooth capability, and the battery is incorporated in the wristband as is the speaker. will.i.am himself likes to call his new device a cuff but we will most certainy be referring to it as a smartwatch. Either way, the Puls will get its fair share of sales and should be a big seller come holiday time in 2015. You can expect to pay for the name on the watch and the engineering behind it.

Manufacturer MSRP: $399

Where to Buy: Ebay

Product Page: Puls

Withings Activite

Withings_Activite[1]

The Withings Activite has been getting some huge fanfare from consumers and through various blogs on the internet. There are various models of the smartwatch but each and everyone of them are able to offer all the things that smartwatch users are looking for. Again, this is one of those watches that will have all of the industry norms that one would expect. It has the BlueTooth capability, it is waterproof, and is compatible with the iPhone. This watch does not have a heart rate monitor but this watch will certainly be one that people on the go will be able to embrace. It has all of the fashionable look that anyone and everyone is looking for. It still does have the sleep counter and step counter so fitness buffs should still be able to use this watch. The Activite has a leather band and a crystal face to add to its elegance. Again, the Activite has high end and low end models but each and everyone of them have quality and that is what smartwatch makers are aiming for to satisfy the consumer. This watch is certainly for the high end crowd.

Manufacturer MSRP: $450

Where to Buy: Withings

Product Page: Withings

Kairos

Kairos[1]

The Kairos is noted as the World’s first mechanical smartwatch hybrid. It was the recipient of an honorable mention award from the Red Dot Design Awards in 2014. Again, as with how the smartwatch industry is going, it is able to do a very fine job of combining fashion and functionality.  Notifications, remote control ability, push button access and manipulations, and fitness tracking are all a part of the Kairos. This watch has a battery life of five to seven days which certainly means that it will be able to last for a while before you have to recharge it. There are several versions of the Kairos and each and everyone of them come in distinct colors but still have the same technology. The face of the watch is 46 mm across and is 16.5 mm thick. The pre-order status ends very soon.

Manufacturer MSRP: $549-$1,249

Where to Buy: Manufacturer
Pre-Order Only

Product Page: Karios

Sony FES with E-Ink

Sony_FES_with_E-Ink[1]

The Sony FES with E-Ink will certainly be the more simple of the smartwatches that will be on the market during the course of 2015. You will not have all of the internet style capabilities and the fitness tracking that you are going to get from most of the other smartwatches. The biggest draw of the Sony FES will be the e-ink and with that you are going to have a longer battery life. You will be able to transform the face of the phone in to various color combinations. They were a crowdfunded concept that was started by Sony and the first numbers of funds that they received were actually low for a company such as Sony. The price for this watch will certainly be a lot lower than other smartwatches but the one exciting that is that Sony is working on trying to implement the e-ink concept to most of their other mobile devices. This watch is certainly fashionable but for those who are in the search of a mainstream smartwatch, this watch probably would not be for you. It is modestly priced though for a watch with this technology with prices ranging between $75 and $125 depending where you look.

Manufacturer MSRP: $75-$125

Where to Buy: Makuake

Product Page: Sony

One cannot stress enough how much fashion and innovative technology will come together with the smartwatch industry. The big thing is that convenience of being able to get emails, notifications, listen to music, and get alerts right on a person’s wrist. There are very few negative things if any that you can say about each and everyone of these new smartwatches. One thing for certain is that 2015 will go down in history as the year of the smartwatch, an industry and market that some analysts are predicting could be reaching nearly $20 billion within the next three years.