A “smart watch” (more often spelled “smartwatch”) is a category of watches with high-tech features. Depending on who makes the watch, a smart watch is capable of tracking your heart rate, sending you notifications from your favorite apps, playing music, or even messaging your friends. While some high-end smart watches can cost an arm and a leg, most are rather reasonably priced. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking for the perfect gift, these smart watches are top of the line. Read on to see which smart watch offerings made our list.
Can’t decide between a smart watch and a fitness tracker? Peruse our list of cool new wearables, which includes our top picks for new smartwatches and trendy wearables.
Check out the video review above, where one user shares his thoughts about the Pebble Steel after wearing it for two weeks.
Pebble was one of the most successful Kickstarter projects of all time, and one of the first “true” smart watches to hit the open market. Being a bit older actually gives the Pebble an advantage over some of the newer smart watch offerings out there. Pebble has had longer to work out bugs, and they have a definite edge over other smartwatches when it comes to mobile gaming (at least compared to the Apple Watch).
People who appreciate good design will love the Pebble’s elegant lines and customizable faces. Plus, the Pebble syncs with a ton of apps you probably already use. The battery life can last up to a week between charges. The Pebble makes a gift because it strides the line between fashion and functionality. The Pebble is the base model, with the Pebble Steel being the more premium Pebble offering.
2. Martian Passport SmartWatch
Check out the video above, which showcases a general review of this Martian watch, as well as a test of its speakerphone functionality.
Martian makes watches that straddle the line between traditional watches and smart watches. While they arguably work best with iOS devices and select Samsung devices with S-Voice capabilities, the watches from Martian blend an analog timepiece with Bluetooth functionality. There are ample voice command functions, a handy noise-cancelling microphone, and a neat LED light that sends you an alert so you don’t leave your smartphone behind at a meeting, restaurant, or at home.
You can trigger your phone’s camera shutter from your Martian Watch, and there’s something to be said from the professional air that this analog watch sends out. The people around you will be impressed with the quality timepiece on your wrist. You’ll be impressed with the features that keep you connected to you digital life, on the down low.
3. Moto 360
Watch the video above to learn more about the Moto 360.
The Moto 360 is arguably the most beautiful Android Wear smart watch out there. It looks the most like a traditional watch, but offers a smooth interface that is a joy to use. The Moto 360 can pair with any smartphone running Android 4.3 or higher.
The display is a a 1.56-inch LCD touchscreen made from Corning Gorilla Glass, so it’s very tough to scratch. The Moto 360 also comes with a choice of bands to suit your personal style. If you want a form factor that’s more like a “regular” watch, the smaller design of the Moto 360 is nice, compared to some of the oversized smart watches out there.
4. Sony SmartWatch 3
Check out a hands-on video featuring the Sony SmartWatch 3 above.
Sony’s SmartWatch 3 is an Android Wear smartwatch that has a display that is easy to read in bright sun, advanced motion sensors, and integration with Sony’s LifeLog platform. Sony’s SmartWatch 3 boasts a waterproof rating of IP68. That means it can withstand depths under one meter for a longer period of time than IP67 devices.
On its product page for the SmartWatch 3, Sony writes: “Even without your smartphone, SmartWatch 3 SWR50 is a fun and useful accessory. You can fill it with music to take with you if you’re going for a run. When you’re out, you can track your activity and movements as well as sync with your Lifelog when you come home.”
5. Samsung Gear Fit
In the video above, the Wall Street Journal reviews the Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit is the slimmest of this generation of Galaxy Gear offerings. Its slender look really stands out in a field where all the other smart watches seem to be either round or square. The Gear Fit allows you to quickly respond to notifications and track your heart rate.
You can easily customize the look of your Gear Fit, which makes the experience feel more personalized. It is also IP67 waterproof certified. Want a deeper look at this wristband? Check out CNET’s review of the Galaxy Gear Fit.