With more and more people seeking mobility and functionality in their devices, it's not surprising that smartwatches continue to amaze consumers with their unique design, features and innovative appeal.
The industry has somehow discovered a goldmine and taken advantage of the consumers' thirst for something new—and also familiar—rolled into a single wearable device.
Compared to other devices, a smartwatch has a certain level of uniqueness that influences how a consumer chooses one model over the other. LG, Motorola and Pebble are just some of those companies that have already gained considerable success in terms of making a smartwatch.
With Apple Watch being added to the scene, it would be interesting to know just how much it would affect the smartwatch market status quo.
The smartwatch ecosystem is not entirely huge. LG Watch Urbane and Motorola Moto 360 are both under the Android Wear platform. Pebble Time Steel represents a different kind of smartwatch platform on its own. The same goes for the Apple Watch, injecting new energy with its ecosystem.
In order to shed a little light on what could be the best choice, there are certain things that should be considered: design, functionality, battery life and price.
Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is designed to exude the look and feel of a luxury premium watch that should capture lasting global media attention. There are three models to choose from: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. It also has a customizable watch face in order to achieve a more meaningful and personal timekeeping experience. Apple has made sure that customers would love wearing it as much as using it.
Apple has placed a huge emphasis on the health and fitness features that are supported by the Apple Watch. The wearable can keep track of one's daily workouts and heart rate, and it even sends out reminders if the user has been inactive for a long period during the day. When paired with the Activity app on the iPhone, it can help sync fitness data once a connection is made.
The Apple Watch has a screen that is often turned off while the wearable is worn. This can help the Watch last through a normal day of usage although users are still urged to charge the Watch nightly.
The Apple Watch's price ranges from $349 to $17,000.
LG Watch Urbane. The Urbane is touted as a clean, metallic watch that has the ability to change its straps with generic versions. It's also designed with a shiny metal build that adds to its premium look and feel. Unlike its Urbane LTE cousin, it doesn't feel massive or chunky on the wrist.
The Urbane is equipped with a heart rate monitor on the rear and comes with a barometer, gyroscope and accelerometer nestled inside. However, it still doesn't come with GPS as LG suspects that it will kill battery life.
The Urbane has a 410 mAh battery and promises to continue the long battery life that has made the LG G Watch R such a big hit.
There's no information yet on the price, but LG will be announcing the details soon. However, one retailer from the UK announced that it is selling the watch at $390 and will make it available beginning on April 30.
Motorola Moto 360. The Moto 360 is admired for its stylish circular design and great build. It proves that smartwatches can also be fashionable and is now touted as the first Android Wear watch that is really worth wearing on one's wrist. Other features include the stainless steel housing, genuine leather default wristband and analog-based watch face that somehow sets it apart from the computer-age look offered by the smartwatches from Pebble and LG.
In general, navigating around the watch can lag at times. One example is the slow processing that occurs when executing voice search queries. However, Motorola has equipped the watch with dual microphones in order for it to understand voice commands more clearly. Some of the recognizable commands include "Okay Google" and "Show me my heart rate."
As for health-tracking, the Moto 360 has a pedometer and heart rate monitor.
The Moto 360 needs around two hours of charging to make the battery last for at least a full day of usage. It comes with a Qi charging dock that can instantly turn the watch into a small bedside clock.
The Moto 360 costs a reasonable $250, which makes it cheaper than the entry-level Apple Watch by at least $100.
Pebble Time Steel. The Pebble Time Steel sports the same curved case design of the original Pebble. It also looks more like the plastic Pebble Time wrapped in a high-end stainless steel case. The watch comes in new color finishes such as gold, black and silver with bands that come in leather and metal. The four built-in buttons are made of stainless steel, giving the watch a more adult look and solid feel.
The watch has a color e-paper display that can push 30 frames per second. While it still provides enough support to games, the Pebble Time Steel has an impressive readability level when used under direct sunlight. It's equipped with a built-in microphone that can be useful for making quick voice replies and notes.
Perhaps the most surprising feature about the new Pebble Time Steel is its battery life, which lasts 10 days on a single charge. This is a remarkable improvement compared to the seven-day battery life offered by its predecessors.
Pebble Time Steel will retail at $299 when it launches in July. Its normal Time sibling sells at $199.
Conclusion. One of the most reliable ways to help one decide on a smartwatch is by trying it on and wearing it on the wrist for a couple of minutes or hours or even days. The experience may be compared to the experience of buying clothes. The person should feel good when he's wearing the smartwatch, even if it will cost him as much as $17,000.