Sony’s crowdfunded Wena smartwatch could be a hit — if it ever gets here
Sep02

Sony’s crowdfunded Wena smartwatch could be a hit — if it ever gets here

Considering the results of a study conducted earlier this year which found “many U.K. consumers would be unwilling to wear any [wearable] products currently on the market” due to their ugly design, it’s no surprise that more and more tech titans are finally beginning to focus on the overall aesthetic of their wearable devices. Increasing the adoption of wearable technology by way of fashionable design is the basis for Sony’s Wena Wrist smartwatch, an acronym which stands for “Wear Electronics Naturally.” Wena is the latest product to come out of Sony’s crowdfunding and e-commerce platform First Flight, a venture that finances experimental projects spearheaded by the company’s employees. The watch is set for release only in Japan and only for iOS, although developers will first have to raise enough funds to bankroll the project within 60 days. In this case, that’s just a cool ¥10 million (~$83,000). Wena’s watch face is that of a traditional timepiece, with three separate hands and dials for hours, minutes, and seconds. Just as a classic analog watch can never truly look outdated, the Wena is designed to remain current thanks to its tech-heavy wriststrap; upgrade the strap, and the entire device will follow suit.  So what are the hardware specs hidden in said strap? An NFC wallet, an activity tracker, and smartphone notifications via LED lights and strap vibration. Details are scarce, but we do know that users will have the ability to take phone calls, check emails, and play games — but at the expense of the device’s week-length battery life (per usual). If Wena is a success in Japan, it could come to the United States, marking another smartwatch hit for Sony alongside the Sony Smartwatch 3. We’ll have to see how the first wave of consumers takes to the watch, if the project is...

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The LG Watch Urbane Luxe is the gold Apple Watch of Androids
Sep01

The LG Watch Urbane Luxe is the gold Apple Watch of Androids

The LG Watch Urbane Luxe is the most luxurious Android smartwatch we’ve seen to date. Boasting an alligator leather strap, 23-karat gold plating, and a “deployment clasp,” each watch is “individually numbered and presented in a piano gloss lacquered case with a signed certificate of authenticity.”  Interestingly enough, though, these are the only differences between the Urbane Luxe and its predecessor, the Urbane. The body shape, style, and specs remain completely unchanged. Just as the Watch Urbane is LG’s answer to the Apple Watch, the Watch Urbane Luxe is the Gold Apple Watch equivalent. Because for those who can afford it, why not splurge for luxury, I guess? As LG VP Chris Yie says, “Wearable devices shouldn’t be thought of as an extension of one’s smartphone, but as an extension of oneself.” The result of a collaboration between LG and Reeds Jewelers, the Urbane Luxe is set to be featured at the IFA electronics show in Berlin this week. But don’t get too excited just yet. Only 500 limited edition watches will be manufactured, available for pre-order now and set to ship at the end of October. This seems about right, considering only about 500 people will find the $1,200 price tag...

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Wearables.com community review of Pebble Time: A simple smartwatch you’ll love to wear
Aug31

Wearables.com community review of Pebble Time: A simple smartwatch you’ll love to wear

Editor’s note: Each month, we put a device directly in our community members’ hands. In July, Erick Adame gave the Pebble Time a thorough and thoughtful review. Stay tuned to see what devices we’re giving away next, and read the user review below.  Well, after a week spent reviewing the device, I’ll say that the Pebble Time still leads in the smartwatch market. The design is a huge improvement from the original Pebble and now makes wearing a Pebble on your wrist look stylish. Though the watch doesn’t have the best screen or any time of cutting edge technology, but it’s still a damn good watch. And it’s just that — a watch. It tells the time all of the time. It may seem like a silly thing to say, but it’s a huge advantage to be able to look at your smartwatch in any situation and easily determine what time it is. Not to be forgotten, the Pebble Time now makes receiving notifications fun thanks to the new color animations and the color e-paper display. And, last but not least, the Timeline is a neat new feature with the potential to grow into something more robust. Overall, the design, the up-to-7 days of battery life, and the user experience make the Pebble Time a watch that I not only love but brag about to my family and friends. I gave it an average score of 4.2 of 5 — here’s why.  The good Battery Life is great (at least 3 to 4 days) Very lightweight and comfortable to Wear Fun user interface with cute animations Developers are constantly making this watch better The bad The screen can seem very dim at times The bezel becomes scratched easily The gap under the glass creates weird shadows on the screen Limited compatibility with iPhone Unboxing experience – 4 I received a Kickstarter edition Pebble Time. Very much like the watch, the unboxing was fun and cute-sy. There is a zipper-like tab to open the box, and everything was neatly placed inside. With this edition, you get the watch, a charging cable, some brief instructions, and a few stickers. The retail version of the Pebble Time, however, has a beautiful box with a clear plastic display window that shows off the Pebble Time inside. Battery life – 4 Battery life is one of the biggest draws of the Pebble Time. Pebble claims up to 7 days, but I seemed to get only get about 3 during the week-long review process. This is probably because my testing the many features the watch has to offer. I also did extend the length of time the screen stays illuminated...

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You can now pair an Android Wear smartwatch with an iPhone
Aug31

You can now pair an Android Wear smartwatch with an iPhone

Hell hath frozen over: Those with iPhones can now pair their Apple smartphones to an Android Wear smartwatch. For now, only a certain selection of Android Wear smartwatches will be compatible with an iPhone 5 or later running at least iOS 8.2. The first smartwatches on deck are the Huawei Watch, the Asus ZenWatch 2, and the LG Watch Urbane. However all future generations of Google’s smartwatches will be iOS compatible right out of the box. You might also like: The best Andoird Wear watches on the market Temper your expectations, because it’s widely reported that you cannot do nearly as much with an Android Watch and an iPhone as you could by pairing together a smartwatch and smartphone of the same brand. There are no third-party apps or Wi-Fi support. As Wired succinctly put, “Using Android Wear will be like using the Google app on your iPhone — it’s very good, but it’s siloed.” A limited experience it may be, but users can expect to receive notifications, integrate Google Now, use voice search, and track their fitness. Below are the specifics Google outlined in its official blog post. Get your info at a glance: Check important info like phone calls, messages, and notifications from your favorite apps. Android Wear features always-on displays, so you’ll never have to move your wrist to wake up your watch. Follow your fitness: Set fitness goals, and get daily and weekly views of your progress. Your watch automatically tracks walking and running, and even measures your heart rate. Save time with smart help: Receive timely tips like when to leave for appointments, current traffic info, and flight status. Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions like “Is it going to rain in London tomorrow?” or create to-dos with “Remind me to pack an umbrella.” If the user experience is strong — and this is a huge “if” — this is a largely positive move for Google and any other Apple Watch competitors. An entire new market of customers has just opened up for Android Wear. Also read: Android Wear 101: What it is, what it can do, and which device to...

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Six smartwatches to watch in the second half of 2015, from Samsung Gear S2 to Tag Heuer Carrera 01
Aug26

Six smartwatches to watch in the second half of 2015, from Samsung Gear S2 to Tag Heuer Carrera 01

With continuous improvements to sensory and PFOE technology (print, flexible, and organic electronics), the wearable tech market is expected to rise all the way through 2018. Now that the first half of 2015 has come and gone, we took a look at some of the most anticipated smartwatches being released before year’s end. From incredible second generation models to surprising first time players in the smartwatch game, we gathered six of the most discussed upcoming smartwatches on the web today. Some will be out by the end of summer, but all of them will be here by Christmas. Let’s hope you’ve been good this year. Samsung Gear S2 (Orbis) Samsung is expected to introduce a highly anticipated new edition to the Gear family. On August 12, the Samsung Gear S2 (code named Orbis) was announced as the first circular interfaced smartwatch that the company has created. It will feature 360×360 resolution, 4 GB of data storage, and use AMOLED technology. Rumors have suggested that the new watch will cost more than the Samsung Gear S, which would put it above $350. Asus ZenWatch 2 When the Asus ZenWatch was released last year, it seemed like another knock-off smartwatch at first glance but quickly became a top performing device. The second generation is expected to be released later in 2015 and focuses on customization. The Asus ZenWatch 2 will have two sizes, three colors, and 18 different straps to showcase your unique personality. It will maintain a digital crown, metal charger, and the standard water resistant feature. The watch will come equipped with curved Gorilla Glass and AMOLED technology. Moto 360 2 The Moto 360 may have been one of the most aesthetically desirable watches in 2014, but the hardware wasn’t. The Motorola second generation could move past that hiccup with the implementation of an upgraded Snapdragon Processor and a 360×360 resolution. The Moto 360 2 is expected to gyroscope, barometer, accelerometer, and a heart rate monitor. The new watch is expected to work along with the first generation Moto 360, rather than replace it. Motorola said it will hold a press conference at IFA on September 2nd. Tag Heuer Carrera 01 Swiss watch designer Tag Heuer is jumping into the wearable tech arena with its first-ever luxury smartwatch. The information on this product is a closely kept secret, but we can report that Tag Heuer is working with Intel and Google on the watch. It will be built to last a lifetime, which would be the first for any smartwatch, and the first to have upgradable parts. The smartwatch is expected to be priced at $1,400 and available this October. Breitling B55 Connected Breitling is...

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