Smartwatches 2.0

New models of our beloved smartwatches have been announced lately. In case you missed them here our overview on what’s new on the smartwatch market.

Motorola 360 2nd generation has finally been released to the limelight this month. Coming in a range of shapes, colors, and sizes; the Moto 360 comes in three different sized smartwatches. There are two versions of the 42mm model – one for men and one for women – as well as a male-only 46mm model. You will be able to choose from a variety of bands, including metal or leather, all using a quick release feature. The 2nd-generation Moto 360 is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. In terms of connectivity it is equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi – GPS is only part of the Sport range. The new Moto 360 is compatible with Android smartphones but following Wear’s move into the Apple App Store, it will also play nicely with iPhones. Motorola has a new Live Dial feature for Android Wear, which is unique to the new Moto 360 because it allows users to individually set dials on the home screen. Activity metrics are measured and recorded using the pre-installed Moto Body software. Moto Body keeps tabs of calorie burn, steps plus the basic activity metrics. The inclusion of an optical heart rate monitor allows users to track their bpm stats. The battery is strong with a full day of use even with the ambient sensor turned on. Motorola also unveiled another smartwatch, the Moto 360 Sport it will become the only second Android Wear device to pack GPS connectivity – alongside the Sony SmartWatch 3. The inclusion of a GPS radio means that wearers will be able to go jogging, using running apps without needing to carry their smartphones with them. Pace, distance and other metrics are measured and recorded using the built-in Moto Body software that also tracks lifestyle activities in the same way as the new Moto 360.

Huawei joined the wave of the smartwatches unveiling the Huawei Watch. It is an Android Wear smartwatch with a classic circular timepiece design inspired by Swiss watches. It’s made from stainless steel and sports a scratch-resistant, two-layer sapphire crystal display. The diameter of the entire watch casing is 42mm. The watch bands are interchangeable; Huawei offers several options, including stainless steel and genuine leather. The casing comes in the three colors: gold, silver, and black to accommodate differing tastes. The specs of the Huawei Watch are similar to other Android Wear watches except for the display. The 400 x 400 pixel resolution display is the highest we have seen on an Android Wear watch. The battery is rated for two days. The Huawei Watch runs Android Wear, supports notifications, and works with Google Now voice commands. There’s a six-axis motion sensor, a barometric sensor, and a heart rate monitor for measuring activities such as walking, cycling, or climbing. It also calculates steps, calories burned, and your sleep.

Lenovo is still developing its smartwatch, so we can only see a concept of what could be.  “Magic View” takes the round Moto 360 form factor and adds a second display to the band. The second display isn’t an LCD screen though. Instead, it’s a viewfinder that you have to hold up to your eye to see. The viewfinder works when light is projected into a prism that serves as the display surface. On the Magic View, the prism is encased in the watch, so there is a solid black background. Lenovo’s Android-based watch OS would allow you to send certain images or movies to the viewfinder by swiping down with two fingers. In other words, the viewfinder works like the Google Glass because the second screen allows you to watch short clips without people knowing what are you watching. Interesting? Yes. Useful? We will need to wait to see the final result, but Lenovo only proves that possibilities are endless!

Samsung comes up with a new rounded form with the new Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic models. They include a rotating bezel that’s used to navigate through menus and apps. Samsung’s built the Gear S2’s interface to take advantage of this wheel, with app selections and menu items often arranged in a circle around the edge of the display. You spin the dial to move through selections, or — when using software like the Maps app — to zoom in and out. The Gear S2 is available in two different styles, both 11.4mm thick. The Gear S2, the main model, has a modern bent; while the more traditional Gear S2 Classic boasts a black body and leather band. The third option is a 3G-enabled version of the Gear S2, which means it’ll be able to make calls without being tethered to a phone. The difference between the Classic and the standard Gear S2 are on the outside. The display uses the same AMOLED technology found in Samsung’s phone screens. Both Gear S2 styles will be packed full of sensors; including an accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, ambient light sensor and barometer. Those trackers will feed into S Health, Samsung’s own health software, or Nike+ Running, both of which will be available. Samsung says the Gear S2 will muster two to three days of battery life.

The LG Watch Urbane is another Android powered smart watches. It has that classic look that is very aesthetic and appealing. A simple sliding of the finger across the face of the watch will automatically change the projection on the face. Android Wear features the LG Watch Urbane, the Ask Google voice activation, the news and weather notifications. The LG Watch Urbane comes with a gold finish and a stainless steel finish. The LG Watch Urbane is BlueTooth 4.1 capable and has a 9-Axis and PPG sensor. Alerts and driving directions are very easy to find and receive with the LG Watch Urbane.

Asus is also going for its second generation of smartwatches, the Asus ZenWatch 2. It comes in two sizes, with three color options and 18 different straps to choose from. It’s one of the most customizable Android Wear smartwatches available, though its screen is somewhat large. Asus promises up to four days of battery life. A magnetic charger clips to the ZenWatch 2 that’s said to “dramatically improve battery recharge times.” The ZenWatch 2 has a digital crown, which can be used to control the Android Wear OS. ZenWatch 2 has all the fitness tracking features along with a new wellness app for the phone. I also has a comprehensive remote control for the camera, including the option to change from front to rear camera, and to adjust the zoom. Lastly, ZenWatch 2 has a new FaceDesigner app, 50 exclusive watch faces, and Wi-Fi support.

Chinese company ZTE is also looking into smartwatches and unveiled the Axon Smartwatch, The Axon Watch is one of the first to run Tencent’s TOS+ operating system. The Axon Watch also has a circular screen covered in Gorilla Glass with a sapphire coating.  It’s part of a joint project between ZTE and Tencent — a huge Chinese Internet company that owns everything from media services to the WeChat messaging app — and can be operated either with gestures on the touch-screen or by voice. Wearers will be able to review fitness and health data, and it runs a range of apps including ones for taking phone calls and sending messages. Tencent’s TOS+ is based on Android, but due to Google’s services not being widely available in China, neither it nor Android Wear are suitable for use there. So, it seems the Axon Watch, in its current form, will stay in China.

Another smartwatch that will soon seek funding via a crowdfunding campaign is Blocks. Blocks has the same concept as the Google project Ara for phones. Blocks is a modular smartwatch with the main watch face “module” that will include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. You’ll be able to snap different hardware bits into the band to enhance the watch’s functionality. The company said it would build modules for extended batteries, GPS, cellular connectivity, contactless payments, or a heart-rate monitoring link. The other unique bit about Blocks is that the watch will run Android Lollipop — but will be able to work with Android and iOS devices. It’s not running Android Wear.

Last but not least in this updated list of smartwatches is Omate, whose Founder and CEO will be speaking at our upcoming WT | Wearable Technologies Conference in Hong Kong on October 12! Omate has a wide range of smartwatches, from sleek and stylish for women to the adventurers out there including also smart jewelry like a ring. If you want to check all their watches live, save your spot now before the Late Registration starts on October 5th!

But this won’t be the only one! Kairos Watches will be also speaking at our upcoming conference in Hong Kong.  Kairos offers four types of hybrid watches. Each one of the watches have their own personalities and they also have between 40 to 60 percent transparency on the face of the watch. The Kairos watches both work with iOS and Android operating systems devices and is BlueTooth compatible. It has a microphone and also allows for the user to send out pre-set and typed text messages and also allows to receive notifications. The Kairos Hybrid Watches also have the patented T-Band accessory which has a GPS which helps with running and keeping running stats through a companion app.

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