Despite the name, smartwatches can be kind of dumb. Sure, they can do cool things, like control your music and put notifications on your wrist. But battery life woes and underwhelming platforms leave you questioning the real IQ of these supposedly "smart" devices. However, there is a road less travelled: an area unexplored by big tech giants, where people can revel in functioning wristputers without being stuck in a technological mire.
Smartwatch and Fitness Tracker Reviews
"For gamers, by gamers" is the kind of motto that sells liquid-cooled spec-obsessed towers, headsets, rumbling lounge chairs, and ergonomic mice with more buttons than a double-breasted suit. Razer, however, has these words stamped into the back of its wearable Nabu, which it'd like to remind us is not a smartwatch, but a watch with smart features.
Smartwatches are subjected to many metaphors: "Smartphones on your wrist." Mmm, not quite. Maybe in a few more years. "A wearable computer." Depends on your definition of "computer." Better keep looking. "An extension of your smartphone." Now, that's an idea -- one that Pebble has perfected with the Pebble Time Round
Keeping track of your steps or your heart rate might seem like a small thing, but it can contribute a lot to your overall health. One of the simplest ways to track your fitness -- whether it's just by measuring the number of steps you take in a day, or whether it's monitoring your heart rate regularly, or whether it's tracking the distance and time and even the route of your runs or exercise bike journeys -- is to buy a smart fitness tracker, one that syncs with your smartphone or tablet. These are the five best wireless trackers we've tested as of November 6, 2015.
Android Wear has evolved in leaps and bounds over the last couple of years. Now, your smartwatch can do a lot more than just show your phone's notifications; it can give you turn by turn navigation with a map, it can hook in to local Wi-Fi when your phone is out of Bluetooth range. But at the end of the day, the thing living on your wrist also has to function as a watch well -- it has to tell the time, and not run out of power in the middle of the day. Huawei's stainless steel Watch doesn't just want to take the crown of best Android Wear smartwatch -- it wants to be the best smartwatch period.
Smartwatches are great, when you can charge them at the end of the day. If you want to track something more intensive than your afternoon walk around the local park, then you'll need a more hardcore device. Suunto's new Traverse GPS sports watch is made for hikers, and has a big enough battery to guide you through a three-day trek -- the kind that would leave any other smartwatch flat in the dust. It'll pick up worldwide satellites, too, to give you a more accurate location and trekking guide.
When smartwatches became a real thing you could buy, and not just a 80s fantasy dreamed up by Casio and Seiko, they looked unmistakably like technology on your wrist. Tech companies were mired in making a wristputer, rather than a wristputer you actually want to wear. But this year, that's all changed.
The Moto 360 was one of the first wearables that got us thinking, "Yeah, this whole smartwatch thing just might work". It had some flaws, sure, but it was a functioning computer on your wrist and it wasn't completely terrible. Now, Motorola is taking another stab at with the new Moto 360 -- cleaning up the design but leaving behind a few problems.
The original Pebble Steel was a great smartwatch in a surprisingly fashionable costume. Its successor, the Time Steel, keeps the sex appeal but crams more brains inside.