Apple Watch's arrival signals that the 'Smartwatch Battle Royale 2014/15' has begun.
Whether used as a timepiece, or as a symbol of fashion excellence, the wristwatch has been with us since its inception in 1968 by Patek Philippe.
A useful fashion staple – for men and women alike – adding to and personalising formal attire, or breaking up more casual assembles. That is, until recently.
Ironically, since the emergence of the mobile phone, the wristwatch has not stood the proverbial ‘test of time’.
The popularity of such pocket-sized devices capable of making more than just phone calls and telling the time had signalled the end of the watch.
However, today watches have been re-imagined. Symbolically rising from their grave as some form of cyborg, hybrid of technology: the echoes of the past still clear to see, even beneath that shiny, new exterior.
They are wristwatches built with the intention of harmoniously synchronising with our pocket-dwelling smartphones, not to replace them; a dynamic duo.
The present landscape of smartwatches is still relatively small. Although new players are emerging in an attempt to offer new services and price-points.
Currently, the undisputed top dog is Samsung’s Gear Watch according to Amazon. But now, companies such as Motorola, Sony, Pebble, and now Apple are making enough noise to begin to worry the South Korean giants.
DESIblitz presents our top five smartwatches that you should keep your eyes on.
- Motorola ~ Moto 360
Release: Q4, 2014
According to various sources, the Moto 360 will utilise the Android Wear technology and be compatible with devices running Android 4.3 or higher.
Motorola take influence from the existing aesthetic of conventional timepieces, setting it apart from futuristic and potentially off-putting designs of its competitors.
Perhaps, with positive sales, the Moto 360 will determine which direction the consumer wants smartwatch design to take.
- Sony ~ SmartWatch 3
Release: Q4, 2014
Aesthetically, Sony have taken a different route to the Moto 360. The design for the SmartWatch 3 is closer to modern, digital watch faces than the classic analogue predecessor.
According to PC Advisor, the SmartWatch 3 will sport a 1.6 inch display and a 1.2 Ghz quad-core processor, as well as 512mb of dedicated RAM and 4GB of internal storage.
The SmartWatch 3 is clearly at the bleeding-edge of smartwatch technology in terms of raw specification; we will see how it fairs within the real world, however.
- Pebble ~ Pebble Steel
Price: £125 (dependent on retailer)
Release: Available now
Crowd-funded on Kickstarter, Pebble have already proven to have consumers ready to buy. Championing substance-over-style, the Pebble Steel can communicate with both iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth, to allow the viewing of SMS messages, emails, and the like without the necessity of taking out your phone.
The Pebble 2 epitomises functionality – boasting waterproofing, scratch-resistance (optional), and a seven-day battery life. With crowd-funded origins and over 400,000 sold, the Pebble is already a hit with the consumer.
- Samsung ~ Gear S
Release: Q4, 2014
Featuring a 2 inch Super AMOLED screen, 3G network functionality, and a 1Ghz dual-core processor, Samsung are pulling out all of the stops in order to remain the market leader.
Aesthetically, it is very pleasing; however, some have expressed concern that it may be a little too bulky to wear for extended periods of time. That said, the Gear S is sure to have plenty of admirers – much like its predecessor.
- Apple ~ Apple Watch
Finally, the much fabled iWatch has arrived– officially as the Apple Watch. Apple’s first foray into wearables has been speculated far and wide.
Apple’s most recent keynote may have left a lot to be desired, particularly in regards to the Watch. However, what we do know is that the Watch features Apple’s now familiar Retina-Display technology, a heart-rate monitor, and is encased within a sheet of sapphire glass – all whilst being irrefutably, and quintessentially Apple in design.
The hardware giant have also incorporated the desire of customisation within the design – implementing a removable strap – thus increasing universal appeal. Unfortunately, the Watch is only able to partner with iDevices starting with the iPhone 5 and above.
Apple Watch’s arrival signals that the ‘Smartwatch Battle Royale 2014/15’ has begun. The first truly mainstream clash of smartwatch technology will be crucial in deciding which path the industry will follow for the foreseeable future, and whether the tech will fully catch on at all.
The power really is in the wrists of the consumer!
Would you purchase any of the watches listed? Will Apple change the game, as expected?
Or are smartwatches not the future of mobile technology, and rather an unnecessary, expensive fad?