Naina KhedekarApr 09, 2015 14:40:18 IST
The highly anticipated Apple watch will be available for pre-order starting April 10, and start shipping from April 24. The first reviews are already out and here's what tech experts are saying.
Finally, it looks like the battle of the smartwatches will begin soon. It was way back in 2013 that rumours about Apple working on a smartwatch had taken the industry by storm. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, and the market already has a lot of competition brewing for the Apple Watch even before its release. While smartwatches from Sony and the popular Pebble were already launched, bigwigs like Google, Samsung, Motorola and several others soon followed suit.
Let's quickly take a look at some of the existing competition to the Apple Watch.
The Pebble looks like a worthy competitor to the Apple Watch. According to Canalys, a total of 1 million units of the popular Pebble smartwatch were shipped from the 2013 launch through to the end of 2014. The timely software updates, more apps and price cuts are believed to have helped with its sales in the second half of the year, placing it on the top of the charts of the watches sold in 2014. The Pebble Steel comes with an e-paper display and promises 5 to 7 days of battery life. With a waterproof design, the display also gets Gorilla Glass protection along with an anti-fingerprint coating. Recently, the company announced Pebble Time, its third generation of the smartwatch. Slated to launch in May, the Pebble Time will feature an all new design and color e-paper display. It is 20 percent slimmer and will come with a completely different software platform.
The biggest surprise and the head-turner at the MWC this year - Huawei Watch - looks like a worthy competitor. Powered by Android Wear, it is a circular watch with a 1.4-inch touch-sensitive AMOLED display. The screen resolution is 400 x 400 pixels, with 286 ppi pixel density. The Huawei Watch has Qualcomm 1.2GHz processor, 4GB of storage, 512MB of RAM and Bluetooth 4.1. It also has a heart rate monitor sensor, 6-Axis motion sensor and barometer that automatically detects and tracks in real-time if a user is walking, running, biking, hiking or sleeping. Here's all you need to know.
LG Urbane LTE
Another competitor to Apple's upcoming smartwatch is the LG Urbane with support for LTE. Just like its non-LTE version, it sports a 1.3-inch plastic-organic-light-emitting diode circular display with an always-on “ambient mode.” It also comes powered by the same 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and 4GB of storage. Talking about some key differences, LTE connection enables the device to make and receive calls as well as text messages independently. It gets a larger 700mAh battery, sprucing up the time in standby mode. It also includes support for NFC. Besides, LG has fitted in three physical buttons on the right side of the smartphone. The top button can be used to access settings, center button to switch between the watch and apps, the lower button serves as a ‘back’ button to return to the previous screen.
The popular Moto 360 smartwatch that entered the Indian market for Rs 17,999, is yet another Android competitor to the Apple Watch. It comes with an elegant circular backlit display with a diameter of 1.56 inches and comes with a 320 x 290 resolution that uses a pixel density of 205ppi. It also gets a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to protect it from minor scratches and bumps. The smartwatch is powered by the TI OMAP 3 processor coupled with 512MB RAM. It also gets 4GB internal memory for saving music and photos. For tracking activities, it is fitted with a pedometer and optical heart rate monitor (PPG). The IP67-certified Moto 360 is water-resistant and also supports wireless charging.
Samsung Gear S
Just like most smartwatches, Gear S notifies users about new messages, Facebook updates and weather. It also comes with an alarm clock, music playback and apps for tracking steps and exercise. However, what makes this watch stand out is the support for cellular connectivity. Other smartwatches use a Bluetooth wireless connection linked to your phone to receive calls, send texts and perform other tasks. The Gear S can do all that on its own.
Sony Smartwatch 3
For SmartWatch 3, Sony has collaborated with Google’s Android Wear platform. Apart from Android Wear goodies, it comes with its own standalone applications. The device has a built-in microphone, accelerometer, compass, gyrometer and GPS sensor which assists with accurate lifelogging. It sports a 1.6-inch 320×320 TFT LCD transreflective display to help in easy viewability in sunlight. The SmartWatch 3 is also water proof and charges via a microUSB port. It comes with 4GB onboard storage, allowing you to add music and sync playlists.
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