This year at Mobile World Congress, the trade show held in Barcelona has been truly taken over by wearables. Smartwatches are becoming popular and as important as smartphones, and similarly it has become important to the manufacturers to build smartwatches alongwith smartphones to stay alive in the race. And what’s a better place to reveal them off than at the world’s second biggest tech trade show, MWC in Barcelona?
Android Wear still powering ahead with the Apple Watch due out fast, there were all the best smartwatches at MWC 2015. Now you can see who’s going to be dominant this year on your wrists. Here are some that attracted attention from the crowd and should be placed on your wrist in 2015.
Pebble is actually what kicked off smartwatches when its first generation launched. Now after the Pebble Steel we’ve got Pebble Time. This was the highly funded kickstarter campaign.
Pebble Time is unique as it’s the only Pebble that can not only still provide a low-power screen but colours too. Despite including a colour E Ink screen it is smaller sized, thinner and lighter than previous smartwatches. It is costly than the similar Apple Watch or LG Watch Urbane. But the reason for high price is its features, not looks, and it can keep itself alive for seven days on single charge.
The strap can be swapped out easily apparently and the back is more rounded now to sit conveniently on your wrist.
The user interface has actually changed too. Pebble has actually focused on a timeline strategy to the user interface that looks to work really well. A press of a button shows you what’s next, another for what’s just happened. Colour is used to good effect too adding a little bit of punch to the notification that appear on the wrist.
Pebble Time Steel
Pebble might have had great success on Kickstarter with the Pebble Time however it’s not the top of the company’s offerings. A week after announcing its first new design for 2015 it followed it up with the Pebble Time Steel; a version with the exact same screen and design, however with better materials and a couple of other surprises.
It can be found in silver, black or gold, the Steel variation of the watch has a larger battery than the regular edition. Pebble asserts that it can last up to 10 days on a single charge in preference to its stablemate’s seven.
It also features a few Smartstraps, in leather and stainless-steel, which can be customized through including a third-party sensor for various tasks.
LG Watch Urbane
The LG Watch Urbane is the 3rd smartwatch to come out of the Korean company and so far its the best comparatively. In fact this might be the best-looking smartwatch out there right now. That sewed leather strap and metal body sure are tough to discover a fault with.
The LG Watch Urbane runs Android Wear like its predecessor. It likewise plays friendly on another front, the strap is 22mm so can be swapped out easily.
On the specifications front there’s a 1.3-inch round P-OLED screen with 320 x 320 resolution, 245ppi. It’s powered by the 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset, with 512MB RAM and 4GB of internal storage. The battery is the same 410mAh as the G Watch R, and you also get the selection of sensors, including the PPG heart rate sensor. There’s still not GPS onboard, although this clearly isn’t really focused on the runners out there.
For a brand name that’s normally about affordability, the Huawei Watch definitely has a touch of premium. It’s not cheap on any level with sapphire glass, a metal unibody and powerful hardware.
Like some other high-end watches Huawei’s Watch has actually opted for the large heft with a very thick build that’s probably how everything is stuffed into that.
In Huawei Watch, Android Wear runs the show while the screen is an AMOLED 1.4-inch screen at 400 x 400 pixels resolution in 286 ppi at a 10,000:1 high contrast ratio, making it the most vibrant Android Wear smartwatch going.
Huawei has actually used a Qualcomm 1.2 GHz processor, 4GB of storage and 512MB of RAM – very similar to LG Watch Urbane and upto the standard.
Its price has not been revealed however the Huawei Watch should be available from June.
HTC has teamed up with Under Armour to create its first activity monitoring wearable with GPS, the HTC Grip. Unlike the majority of sports activity trackers the HTC Grip features built-in GPS, meaning accurate monitoring while running and cycling. A lot of other trackers depend on the accelerometer to measure steps which isn’t really as accurate as it is. It can even be paired with a heart rate monitor to give more information. And when you’re done it’ll track your rest or sleep time too.
There’s a 1.8-inch wide passive OLED touch display with 32 x 160 pixel resolution on the top that will certainly let you sweep through the various information and control screens.
HTC says the Grip will certainly offer 5 hours of GPS tracking and with that shut off it should keep opting for 2 and a half days. The HTC Grip will hopefully launch in spring for $200.
Acer Liquid Leap+
The Liquid Leap+ is the next generation of Acer’s activity tracking band. The Leap+ is based around a touchscreen core sitting in a rubber strap that can be popped in and out. It has a 1-inch OLED display and is all operated by touch.
The Acer Liquid Leap+ will certainly track your steps, running distance and calories burnt, which can all be monitored in the Leap manager app on your smartphone. One of the more unique offer is that Leap+ deals with Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
LG Watch Urbane LTE
LG revealed its most recent Watch Urbane LTE at MWC which shows what the future holds for wearables. As the name shows it is 4G LTE linked and runs its own LG Wearable Platform OS indicating it can work without a smartphone linked to it.
The watch appears to incorporate sports watch, smartphone and wearable all in one. The specifications resemble the Watch Urbane – with a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and 1.3-inch 245ppi display – however there’s a bump in RAM to 1GB, that bigger battery and all that connection, consisting of LTE, Wi-Fi and NFC.