2016 was a tough year for smartwatches with constant decline in sales as well as in adoption rate. While the concept of smart watches is still struggling to get along well with users especially in a country like India, the company’s are still banking on future demands for smartwatches which is why we saw a bunch of new players entering the smartwatch industry. On one side, where Apple continued to dominate the industry with its Apple Watch series 2, on the other side, players like Pebble and Fitbit brought in some interesting products this year in India. Yet, the year didn’t close in at a happy note after Lenovo recently announced its decision to put the Moto-360 lineup on hold. And how can we forget Fitbit buying Pebble for a deal tipped to be just less than $40 million. Nevertheless, if you are one of those who can’t wait to buy a smartwatch, here is our top five smartwatches you can buy right now.
Apple Watch series 2 – Rs 34,900
Apple Watch was one of the most successful wearables when it was launched back in 2015. While Apple continued to ponder on to the smartwatch lineup, the series 2 Apple Watch clearly had its focus on health and fitness. Running on WatchOS 3, Apple didn’t change much of the design on the new Apple Watch. The new model comes with 2x Brighter OLED Retina Display with Force Touch technology and is, even more, water resistant up to 50 meters. Hence, apart from normal physical activity tracking functionality, it can also track your pool activities as well recording laps, distance and stroke style while you dip in water. Digging deep, the new Apple Watch 2 is powered by the dual-core S2 processor with inbuilt GPS which was missing on the original Apple Watch. Apart from that, the new Apple Watch also comes with built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth, Call functionality etc. The new model comes in three variants, Space Grey Aluminium, Stainless Steel and Silver Aluminium. The dial on the Apple Watch 2 measures at 42.5 x 36.4 x 11.4 mm making it slightly thicker than the original Apple Watch. The slightly more thickness now packs in a larger battery which Apple claims can last you up to 18 hours.
Moto 360 2nd Generation and Sport Edition – Rs 17,999 (starting)
Though launched late last year, Lenovo launched the Moto 360 earlier this year, hence, the smartwatch made it to this list. Besides, Moto 360 is probably the best smartwatch running on Android Wear right now. However, the Moto 360 2nd Gen might be your last chance to grab a Moto watch as Lenovo recently announced about its plans to not launch any subsequent Moto 360 watch soon. Nevertheless, The Android Wear-powered Moto 360 Sport features a 1.37-inch LCD display at 360 x 325 pixels resolution offering a pixel density of 263ppi. Apart from Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, the screen on the Moto 360 2nd Gen can automatically adopt its brightness based on the surroundings. Going inside, the device is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with Adreno 305 with GPU coupled with 512MB of RAM. Further, there is 4GB of storage and the new Sport variant comes with features like Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and also packs barometric altimeter, accelerometer, ambient light, and gyroscope sensors while also houses a vibration/ haptics engine. These bunch of sensors on this smartwatch along with built-in GPS helps it track various physical activities along with parameters like distance, speed, heart rate etc. Lastly, the Moto 360 2nd Gen is built out of waterproof silicon material which also prevents it from fading.
Pebble Time- Rs 9,999
Pebble entered India back in May 2016 with the launch of four smartwatches. While the Pebble Time is not the standard LCD smartwatch, it has its own take on smartwatch industry. Pebble though now sold to Fitbit, made some extremely well-designed smartwatches in our opinion. The Pebble Time, for example, comes in with a polycarbonate design but in no way it feels cheap on the wrist. Further, you also get a bunch of customization options with swappable straps. Moving on to the specification front, Pebble Time, unlike other smartwatches comes with 1.25-inch coloured e-Paper display which is an ultra-low-powered Sharp LCD display with a resolution of 144 x 168 pixels. While the e-Paper display is in no way better than the normal LCD display but its energy efficient capabilities help this smartwatch last more than 7 days in a single charge. For the software, we get the new Pebble OS which brings in the Timeline feature through which one can easily navigate the notifications as well as all the updates available through apps downloaded on the smartwatch. No touchscreen here as the users have to navigate by pressing the up, middle and down buttons placed on the right side of the device. Compatible with both iOS and Android, the new voice replies feature can come in really handy especially while replying to messages on WhatsApp or Facebook. Apart from this, Pebble Time can also track your steps, sleep, workout and other physical activities, thanks to the dedicated Health app on the Pebble App store. Sadly, post-Fitbit acquisition, Pebble smartwatches are rarely available.
Fitbit Blaze -Rs 15,992
Coming to the company who acquired Pebble, Fitbit launched its Blaze fitness smartwatch earlier this year in March 2016. The company is into making fitness bands and watches for quite some time now and Blaze is strictly for those who are into fitness. The Fitbit Blaze comes in two sizes- Small (5.4″-6.2″) and Large (6.2″-7.6″) and comes in Blue/Silver, Black/Silver and Plum/Silver colour variants. The Fitbit Blaze is divided into three parts, the strap or the band, the frame and then the actual device i.e. the smartwatch itself. We get a 1.25-inch touch-screen display with a resolution of 240 x 180 pixels. Apart from that, through FitStar feature, the smartwatch can also deliver guided instructions and animated images from one of the most popular personal trainer workout apps. Connected GPS feature helps deliver real-time exercise stats like distance, pace and minute-mile split times when connected to a smartphone. Further, the PurePulse tracking app helps tracking parameters like calories and heart rate (via heart rate monitor) while the SmartTrack feature automatically recognizes random physical activities like biking, hiking running etc. For the customization, one can choose from various watch faces available along with different accessory bands and frames. The smartwatch can easily last for up to five days on a single charge, however charging it is a real troublesome as we have to take out the main device from the frame and put in it the given charging case. Lastly, the Fitbit Blaze measures at 21.9 x 4.2 x 1.1 cm and weighs at 41 grams. Though launched at Rs 19,999, the Fitbit Blaze is available for Rs 15,992 on Amazon India.
Samsung Gear S2 – Rs 19,300
Just at the beginning of this year, Samsung launched its Gear S2 in India which despite facing tough competition has made it to our top five list. The Gear S2 comes in two variants the normal variant coming in dark grey and silver colours with sporty band and a classic variant which comes in with black case and leather band. While the classic variant comes with a rotating bezel, Both the variants come with the Home and Back buttons for quicker, more precise method to comfortably access notifications and applications. For the display, it features a 1.2-inch circular Super AMOLED screen with 360 x 360 pixels resolution.On the inside, the device is powered by 1 GHz dual core processor with 4GB storage and 512MB RAM. The Gear S2 runs on Tizen operating system and also comes with built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.1 and NFC. Powering the smartwatch is a 250 mAh Li-ion battery with sensors such as accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, ambient light and barometer sensors. Further, the smartwatch also comes with IP68 water and dust resistant certification and measures at 42.3 x 49.8 x 11.4mm with the Classic variant measuring it at 39.9 x 43.6 x 11.4 mm. While the regular Gear S2 is available for Rs 19,300 via Flipkart, the Classic variant is selling at Rs 24,500.
Asus ZenWatch 2
Launched in the first week of 2016, Asus launched the ZenWatch 2 at a price starting from Rs 11,999, however, one can easily grab it for under 10K right now. Another Android Wear running smartwatch, the ZenWatch 2 comes in 2 sizes – 1.63-inches and 1.45-inches. Interestingly, the company also launched the Asus ZenWatch 3 in India which is up for pre-orders on Flipkart.
Samsung Gear Fit 2
If fitness bands are what you want to stick too and you don’t want to go for Pebble or Fitbit, Samsung’s Gear Fit 2 can be the choice for you. Essentially a fitness band, The Gear Fit 2 has a 1.5 inch Curved Super AMOLED display, 4GB internal storage, GPS, accelerometer, Gyro sensor, barometer, and a built-in music player. Apart from tracking fitness activities, the fitness band from Samsung can also track sleeping patterns.