Smartwatches took the stage at the IFA Berlin and it seems like this will be the next arena for the fight in the mobile and digital industry today.
Admittedly, the devices are more a luxury than a necessity, but they do add a dimension in the way that you go about with your daily routine.
If there is anything going on to tame the bulkiness the device (as what most fashion-forward individuals would be first to note), it would have to be the trend of oversized watches, one which may be amplified if more people get into the trend of smartwatches.
Sony SmartWatch 2
Sony's main advantage with the SmartWatch 2 is probably the fact that it was the first to announced its wearable technology and showcase it to the world, at least for this year.
As a predecessor to last year's original, the Sony SmartWatch 2 has a few improvements which are notable at best, starting with the improved display that no longer becomes a washed out screen in bright lighting. But the design is anything but natural, it feels like a square tablet that has been shrunken down to the size of your wrist.
Sony SmartWatch 2 smartwatches are pictured at the Sony booth during a media preview day at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin
Usage-wise, reports state that you can enjoy the Sony SmartWatch 2 with normal usage (pretty much flipping through the apps that you need) for a good three to four days.
But that's all you will be doing, as the Sony SmartWatch 2 is pretty much a second screen to your smartphone. Think of it as an easier way to check on your notifications without the inconvenience of whipping out your mobile device
What is notable with the watch is that it can be used underwater. According to Laptop Mag, the Sony SmartWatch 2 has an IP57 resistance rating so you can go up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes.
It also has an edge with the 300+ apps in its library, pretty imposing compared to the ones I the market today.
The all-black finish does the thinner bezel better justice than Sony's own device, but as for the overall use of the technology, the Qualcomm Toq sticks with the basics. It is currently in sync with the Android but the company is considering possible connectivity to iOS.
Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm, talks about the new "Toq" smartwatch at the Uplinq 2013 conference in San Diego
What is defining about Qualcomm Toq is that it has a mirasol screen technology, which the brand prides the product for more than anything else.
According to CNet, it is a better version to use than the OLED, which becomes difficult to operate when in bright conditions. The mirasol screen can be more powerful in full sunlight without having to leech out all the battery.
Another unique feature that the Qualcomm Toq touts is that the battery of the device is located in the strap clasp instead of the actual watch, giving it a flatter finish to lessen the overall bulky look.
The only device that is already available, Pebble already has a head start against the others, which will be released sometime in October. However, Pebble is also what can be seen as the barest smartwatch in town, with smaller storage space and RAM and fewer additional functions.
According to Digital Trends, despite the unimpressive specs sheet, the Pebble smartwatch does have the benefit of being more flexible in terms of the OS that it can accommodate. It can be connected to both iOS and Android, plus a longer battery life of seven days, presumably due to the limited capabilities as well.
One other advantage of the Pebble is its price point. Compared to the big wigs that sell their devices for $300, Pebble only sells for half at $150, which most people may also see as the fitting price for what is merely a companion device as a whole.
Samsung Galaxy Gear
Potentially one of the better smartwatches in town, and undoubtedly one with the most complete features installed in its 1.63-inch (more or less) body is the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
It packs an 800MHz Exynos single-core processor, 4GB of storage, and a snap-on USB 3.0 charger. But what separates it from the rest is that the Samsung Galaxy Gear has most of the features that a midrange smartphone possesses. These include a 1.9-megapixel camera with 720p video recording capabilities, 2 microphones and a speaker, and Bluetooth 4.0 LE, reports The Verge.
Though Samsung does not market it as a standalone device--it syncs with other Galaxy devices--the Samsung Galaxy Gear has more functions that the previously mentioned devices. For instance, the camera can let you take photos and transfer them to your other devices for storage.
A Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch is pictured after its launch during an event at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin
And the fact that it has a microphone means that you can make calls using the device. If that's not enough, you can even shoot short, relatively high quality videos using just the watch.
A big downside of the Samsung Galaxy Gear, you are only looking at a day's worth of use. This is pretty understandable for those who will be using all of the features present in the device.
In terms of price, it is also pegged at $300, but compared to other smartwatches that bear the same price tag, Samsung would be the best bet, if only for the convenience of the added features, which may prove handy someday.
Of the four smartwatches that will be competing in the market before the year ends, which do you think you will spend money on?
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