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5 Next Generation Smartwatches

September 4, 2014

As the next generation of Smartwatches come to market, the designs are looking less ugly, and the features are becoming more relevant — yet the landscape is still highly fragmented. There is no clear leader.

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The LG G Watch R will feature the world’s first Plastic OLED display. It comes in a round stainless steel case and looks very similar to a traditional analog watch. Inside is a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 processor from Qualcomm, 4GB of local storage and 512MB of RAM. More at TheVerge.

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The Sony Smartwatch 3 is the first Sony watch to operate on Android Wear. It has a 320 x 320 1.6-inch display, 4GB of storage, a GPS sensor, accelerometer, compass and gyroscope. More at TheVerge.

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The Samsung Gear S runs on Tizen OS, not Android Wear. Samsung says its Gear Store has 1000 apps in it. It boasts a 2-inch curved AMOLED display (260×480) that provides a similar look to that of a smartphone. Most importantly — thanks to 3G connectivity — it can do almost everything without a phone. Inside, is a GPS sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, UV detector, barometer and heart rate monitor; along with 4GB or storage, 512 of RAM and a dual-core 1.0 GHZ processor. More at Techcrunch.

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The Moto 360 features a 1.5-inch backlit LCD screen (320x290) in a round case. It is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and has a 4GB of storage, 512 MB of RAM and 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It features a pedometer, heart-rate monitor, vibration alert and voice activation. More at CNET.

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This is the Michael Bastian Smartwatch engineered by Hewlett-Packard, possibly to be called “MBXHP.” It features a 44 mm stainless steel case with a multi-layered finish, inlaid button controls and three interchangeable watchbands, including sleek black rubber, perforated brown leather and olive green nylon. Most importantly, it can work with both Android and iOS operating systems. More at PW.

Commentary

You have “Android Wear” as the preeminent operating system right now. But Samsung’s new Gear S watch will run on another operating system called “Tizen.” And with the upcoming HP Smartwatch (designed by Michael Bastian), you will be able to use either “Android Wear” or “iOS.” Arguably, though, the most important of all, is the native iOS device that Apple is rumored to be making. The so-called “iWatch.”

According to Macrumors.com, they spoke with an Apple designer familiar with the situation and he said, “Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, is bragging about how cool he thought the iWatch was shaping up to be, gleefully said Switzerland is in trouble — though he chose a much bolder term for “trouble” to express how he thought the watchmaking nation might be in a tough predicament when Apple’s watch comes out.”

After initially dismissing the threat of Smartwatches, according to the WSJ, the Swatch Group has now said they will incorporate “smart” features in its touch line of watches (presumably Tissot T-Touch) beginning in 2015.

The Smartwatch market does not appear to be going away anytime soon, yet the product category is muddled and needs a company to lead the way. Is Apple’s rumored Smartwatch the answer? It’s too soon to say, but with Apple’s September 9th event — which will see the launch of the iPhone 6, and possibly a wearable device — just days away, we may have a better idea very soon.

Smartwatches


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