Top 5 Best New Wearables

samsung gear live

(Getty)

A lot of great wearable tech came out in 2014. From luxury smartwatches to fitness trackers for active lifestyles to “smart jewelry”, there are lots of amazing new wearables out there to choose from. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or buying a gift for a loved one, these new wearables are the best of the best. Plus, not all of them have to be worn on your wrist. Read on to see which wearables made our list, and what makes these items stand out from the competition.


1. Samsung Gear Live

Go hands-on with the Samsung Gear Live in the video above.

Sure, the Samsung Gear S smartwatch has some cool “solo features,” but it runs on Tizen. There’s nothing wrong with Tizen as an operating system, but the Android Wear-powered Gear Live might be the more robust OS in the long term. This new smartwatch may be Samsung’s best in 2014, and that’s saying something considering how many wearables they’ve put out this year. Plus, this wearable is compatible with a huge number of Android smartphones.

Can’t decide between the Gear Live and the new LG G Watch? Check out this post that compares the two.

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Attractive design
  • Robust notifications with Android Wear
  • 1.63″ Super AMOLED display
  • IP67 waterproof rating
  • Compatible with any smartphone with Android 4.3 or higher installed

  • Cons:
  • Limited color options
  • Can’t do Internet-based activities without phone nearby
  • No built-in sleep tracking
  • Generally requires charging daily
  • Hard to see screen in direct sun

  • 2. Misfit Bloom Necklace

    One satisfied customer shares her experiences with the Misfit Shine in the video above. The Shine is designed to fit into the “Bloom” necklace.

    Not all wearables have to be strapped around your wrist. If you hate the bulky look of most fitness tracker wristbands, this beautiful necklace is a great alternative. Simply clip your Misfit Shine into the necklace, and you’re good to go. The Bloom necklace is made from hand-polished stainless steel pendant, and has a magnetic feature that lets you securely mount the Shine. Who says wearables can’t be fashionable?

    Buy it here.


    Pros:
  • Long chain comes with extender
  • Easy to pop the Shine into place
  • Beautiful design that works for day or night
  • Sync Shine with the Misfit Shine App on iOS or Android
  • Durable

  • Cons:
  • Shine sold separately from necklace
  • Somewhat expensive
  • Your Shine’s color may not coordinate with all outfits
  • Poses a choking hazard for small kids
  • Does not appear to fit the Misfit Flash

  • 3. Ringly

    A few other companies have tried to blend the world of fashion and wearables, but few have done it with the skill of Ringly. The Ringly device is a beautiful ring that syncs with your smartphone. The ring buzzes with a subtle vibration to alert you to texts, calls, tweets, or push notifications from select apps. The ring is customizable, and lets you choose from four programmable vibration patterns.

    Buy it here.


    Pros:
  • Great way to stay connected without obsessing over your phone
  • Great for screening calls
  • Fashionable
  • Uses ethically mined semi-precious stones
  • Works with a number of popular apps

  • Cons:
  • New orders won’t ship until early next year
  • You could buy a smartwatch for the same amount of money
  • Limited color/style options
  • Limited ring sizes available at launch
  • Men’s styles not yet available

  • 4. Moov

    Check out Moov’s cardio boxing experience in the video above.

    We’ve already talked about how awesome Moov is in our extended review, but here’s a quick recap of what make this wearable so unique. Unlike most other wearables, Moov gives you real-time coaching and feedback during your workout. For example, when you take it out for a run, the voice interface might give you tips to soften your stride and speed up your pace, which can help reduce your risk of injury while also improving your run time. Moov has apps for walking and running, as well as an app for cardio boxing. Apps for tracking your weight, swimming, and cycling are coming soon.

    Buy it here.


    Pros:
  • Real-time coaching
  • Comfortable
  • Great battery life
  • Top-rated by critics and users
  • Suitable for exercise newbies or intermediate fitness fans

  • Cons:
  • Limited app selection at present
  • Android support not coming until November 2014
  • Sometimes falls off during exercise
  • Sometimes has issues with Bluetooth connectivity
  • Requires you to have smartphone nearby

  • 5. Misfit Flash

    Learn how to use the Misfit Flash in the video above.

    The Misfit Flash debuted about a month ago, and retails for about half the price of the Misfit Shine. If you’re looking for a low-cost wearable, this is one of your best options. The design is classic, but it’s the handy LED indicators that make this device so easy to use. A halo of 12 LED lights show you how active you’ve been throughout the day, making it easy to track your progress to your fitness goals.

    Buy it here.


    Pros:
  • Handy LED lights
  • Waterproof to 30 meters
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Replaceable battery lasts up to 6 months
  • Measures daily activity and sleep

  • Cons:
  • Feels less premium than the Shine
  • Lacks features of more expensive trackers
  • Larger than the shine
  • No vibration
  • No display

  • Considering getting someone an electronics gift? Check out our Gifts section for tons of great gift recommendations, or visit our ultimate guides to the best gifts for women and best gifts for men.


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