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December 10

Smartwatch Comparison: The Ultimate Gift for the Gadget Geek in Your Life

Posted by on December 10, 2015 at 8:34 AM

In China, 2015 has been considered the year of the ‘sheep’, but in our ever-expanding digital world, we’ll always remember 2015 as the year of the smartwatch. If you want to save money on one of these wearable devices this Christmas, then make sure you know your stuff. Below is a brief review of the top watches in each class from the likes of Apple, LG, Pebble, Samsung and Sony.

Smartwatch Comparison: The Ultimate Gift for the Gadget Geek in Your Life

There’s some irony in the fact that 2015 is the Chinese year of the sheep, as it would appear as if every major tech manufacturer in the world have followed each other like one in their quest to meet the growing consumer demand for smartwatches. The downside though is that the sheer choice available can make it difficult to distinguish a really good device out of the hundreds of types available, let alone finding a bargain on one. So whether you’re looking for top tech, style, functionality or something more sports orientated, we’ve got you covered in this smartwatch comparison.

 

The Best All-Rounder – Samsung Gear S2

Smartwatch Comparison: The Ultimate Gift for the Gadget Geek in Your Life

Samsung’s Gear S2 is the easiest smartwatch on the market to live with. It’s got great functionality, it’s stylish and it even has a rotating bezel. The Gear S2 is a massive leap forward from the original model and the change in design makes it one of the most futuristic and desirable. The cellular version makes the most of the GPS apps and features within the watch, but this version costs slightly more. Battery life has been drastically extended and now beats most of its competitors. On a day-to-day basis, it would appear as if the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch is the clear winner in the eyes of numerous critics.

 

Pros

Cons

Easy and streamlined OS

Software extras are buggy

Rotating bezel

Not as customisable as rivals

Reasonable price

 

Best Feature: Battery life

Worst Feature: GPS apps limited if don’t own cellular version

Battery: 3 days

Price: $350 – $400

 

 

Best for iOS – Apple Watch

Smartwatch Comparison: The Ultimate Gift for the Gadget Geek in Your Life

The Apple Watch could be considered the ‘just right’ blend between tech and fashion, and it certainly is up there with the Samsung Gear S2 regarding style. Apple produced 40 possible combinations of its watch, consisting of 4 different watches (2 different sizes) and a variety of different straps, both plastic and metal. This is probably the most unisex watch on the market due to its versatility and colour choices.

Build quality is excellent, which we’ve come to expect with every Apple product, and it’s generally a good looking watch to wear for all occasions.

 

Pros

Cons

Great strap choice

Useless fitness features

Good selection of apps in app store

Terrible third party apps

Taptic engine very useful

Poor battery life

 

Best Feature: Choice of designs

Worst Feature: No GPS

Battery: 1 day

Price: $450 – $10,000 (for the gold plated versions)

 

 

Best Budget SmartWatch – Omate Racer

Smartwatch Comparison: The Ultimate Gift for the Gadget Geek in Your Life

The Omate Racer, unlike the other watches mentioned here, isn’t a full-featured smartwatch powered by either Apple or Google. It brings the smartwatch functionality down to its basics, telling the time, keeping you up to date with notifications along with other basic features you probably had on your Nokia 3310 back in the day. However, the Omate Racer is certainly a great budget buy for someone wanting to enter the wearable tech world without having to spend too much.

It’s definitely an entry-level smartwatch and as long as you don’t expect too much from it, it can be a great companion to have on your wrist.

 

Pros

Cons

Sporty looking

Poor build quality

Affordable

Dull display

OK battery life

No apps

 

Best Feature: Cost effective

Worst Feature: Limited features

Battery: 2 days

Price: $110

 

 

Money is No Object – Tag Heuer Connected

Smartwatch Comparison: The Ultimate Gift for the Gadget Geek in Your Life

This Intel powered smartwatch sold under the Tag Heuer brand is certainly the best built Android Wear option available on the market today. As expected with any Tag Heuer watch, the build quality is sublime and from a distance you would struggle to tell if it wasn’t simply a regular Tag Heuer. Unless you have buckets of money to spend on a smartwatch that will no doubt have out of date hardware in a year or so, the justification of spending this much for many will probably be difficult.

If you have just won the lottery, or wouldn’t dream of having anything else on your wrist besides a Tag Heuer, then entering the smartwatch market in style can certainly be achieved with this stylish gizmo.

 

Pros

Cons

Excellent build quality

Very expensive

True fashion item

LG Urbane has higher ppi display

Made from titanium

Plastic back plate

 

Best Feature: Built quality

Worst Feature: Expensive

Battery: 1 day

Price: $2,000

 

 

Techie’s Choice – Pebble Time

Smartwatch Comparison: The Ultimate Gift for the Gadget Geek in Your Life

When the first Pebble smartwatch was released sales soared and 2 years later the first edition is still selling incredibly well. However, for those of you techies that want the next fix, the Pebble Time is a fantastic upgrade. Keeping true to its original Pebble cousin, the company has kept the Pebble Time affordable, given it the same impressive 7-day battery life and made it compatible with both Android and Apple operating systems.

If you love the features of the Pebble Time, but want something a bit more stylish, less geeky and with a metal strap, it’s worth considering the Pebble Time Steel. The slightly larger size means a bigger battery sits within, powering the watch for up to 10 days.

 

Pros

Cons

Long battery life

Screen readability slightly difficult

Reliable notifications

Limited choice of features

Compatible with Android and iOS

Needs more good quality apps

 

Best Feature: Compatible with both Android and iOS

Worst Feature: Slightly nerdy

Battery: 7 days

Price: $200 – $250

 

 

Top Sports Option – Garmin Vivoactive

Smartwatch Comparison: The Ultimate Gift for the Gadget Geek in Your Life

Considered the everyday sports watch, Garmin have taken the Vivoactive to new smartwatch heights. Incorporated within this device are a vast variety of sports tracking parameters. Whether it’s cycling, running, golf, swimming or even just walking, this Garmin edition has you covered with the most fitness features available within any smartwatch on the market.

The only thing that lets this watch down, however, is the terrible design. It looks like something out of ‘Back to the future’, which unfortunately won’t make it everyone’s cup of tea for an everyday watch.

 

Pros

Cons

Great battery life

Boring design

Useful sports tracking

Useless sleep tracking feature

Plenty of sports features

Low resolution screen

 

Best Feature: Variety of fitness features

Worst Feature: Design

Battery: 7 days

Price: $250 – $300

 

 

Stylish and Affordable – LG Watch Urbane

Smartwatch Comparison: The Ultimate Gift for the Gadget Geek in Your Life

Released in both a silver and gold edition, the LG Urbane is a stunningly beautiful smartwatch that looks great on the wrist in either casual clothes or a suit. LG have focused on creating a fully rounded bezel that makes it look like a traditional timepiece. It’s designed to look great on both a man and a woman’s wrist. Build quality is strong and durable, plus the addition of a traditional time changing knob makes it difficult to point out that it’s not a regular watch from a distance.

 

Pros

Cons

Stylish and unisex

Expensive

Brilliant display

Cheap leather strap

Great battery life

Chuncky on smaller wrists

 

Best Feature: Stylish and affordable

Worst Feature: No GPS for sports

Battery: 2 days

Price: $300 – $350

 

 

Best Android Wear Watch – Sony Smart Watch 3

Smartwatch Comparison: The Ultimate Gift for the Gadget Geek in Your Life

The best feature about the Sony smart watch 3 is that it has built-in GPS which means you don’t have to take your smartphone with you when you run for example. Additionally the Sony smartwatch can also connect to wireless headphones so you can listen to your favourite beats on the go. The screen isn’t as bright as most of its rivals, which can makes it more difficult to see on bright days. At CES, the company announced a steel version of the watch, which in many critics’ eyes made the steel model one of the best value smartwatches on the market.

 

Pros

Cons

Decent battery life

Average display

Great waterproof rating

Cheap rubber strap

GPS freedom

No heart rate monitor

 

Best Feature: Steel version is great value for money

Worst Feature: Screen isn’t as bright as competitors

Battery: 2 days

Price: $200 – $250

 

 

Best Display – Samsung Gear S

Smartwatch Comparison: The Ultimate Gift for the Gadget Geek in Your Life

The 2-inch AMOLED display puts this smartwatch ahead of its competitors when it comes down to the best display. The Samsung Gear S has also thrown a curve ball by ditching Android and using its own Tizen operating system, which already has over 1,000 apps available within its app store. GPS connectivity also makes this watch usable in a variety of sports situations. The downside using Samsung’s operating system is that the watch doesn’t focus 100% on being an individual. Instead Samsung created a watch with a fiddly user experience that requires at least a mid-level Samsung smartphone to make it worthwhile.

 

Pros

Cons

Charges via battery cradle

Very expensive for what it is

Notifications work well

Poor Samsung health features

Over 1,000 Tizen app store apps

Difficult to use with an ugly clasp

 

Best Feature: Vibrant curved super AMOLED display

Worst Feature: Can only be used by Samsung smartphones

Battery: 2 days

Price: $325 – $375

 


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