Although some tech analysts fully expect Apple’s just announced Apple Watch to dominate the smartwatch market once it’s released, not every consumer is an Apple fan. Android-based smartwatches are here to stay and some of them are quite outstanding at what they do. At this year’s Mobile World Congress 2015 (MWC 2015), Samsung actually had no new smartwatches on display, which was surprising given the company has, up to this point, produced the most models to date. Its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge phones were the two main trump cards, leaving a few other companies to pick up the slack with some nice upcoming wearables.
The Huawei Watch surprised many, thanks to its simple, yet stylish premium design carefully crafted to please female or male consumers. A metal unibody with super-strong sapphire glass shows this watch means business and is built to last. Packing in powerful Android functionality, it’s a sure bet that its MWC showing has many wanting to snap up this yet to be priced smartwatch. Huawei isn’t yet a household name in North America, but if their watch takes off here, expect to see a lot of people showing it off.
The soon to be released LG Urbane is another premium-priced smartwatch, but it’s one that’s looking as if it’s worth whatever it costs. A slimmed down and more fashionable update to last year’s LG G Watch R, the Urbane packs in some of the R’s popular features while adding new ones. The Android-powered watch features a P-OLED touch display, and users will be able to swap out the silver or gold-colored band with any off-the-shelf 22mm band. Yes, it’s also a fitness tracker and Bluetooth enabled so you can get your exercise in and listen to your favorite tunes.
I’d bet a penny the folks behind the Pebble and Pebble Steel had zero idea their Kickstarter project that had a target of $500,000 would get over 67,000 backers and raise some $17 million (and counting). However, when you offer up a simple, yet highly customizable pair of smarthwatches for $99 and $199 respectively, you end up surprising a lot of people. With thousands of custom watch faces available, seven day battery life, 50 meters of water resistance, fitness tracking and more, Pebble’s premium featured smartwatches don’t come at a premium price point.
There were a few more companies showing off smartwatches, but these three stood out as the most interesting. Of course, how they’ll stack up to the soon to be released Apple Watch is tough to say. For sheer popularity and mass appeal, Apple is a monster of marketing that can push anything they do as “never before seen” and its loyal base will believe it and buy. On the other hand, strip away the hype and you’ll see that exploring other options is a great way to expand some different and just as interesting timekeeping options.
Edited by: Avery Osborn
Don’t Just Be Fit. Be Gamer Fit.