I am a big fan of gadgets that make work easier, life simpler, and my attire more fashionable. Smart watches don’t just keep you on time; they keep you connected to your social media, your email, and make sure you never miss that important call. I for one find myself constantly missing emails or texts until hours after they are sent, simply because my phone was on silent and I couldn’t feel the vibration. Alerts aren’t the only useful tool; smart watches are just a stone’s throw away from functional smartphones. Allowing you to view your contacts and the weather, go on Facebook or Twitter, check your email and texts, manage your incoming calls or make outgoing calls, or controlling your media player, these watches are an extension of your device, almost to point of replacing it – almost.
The first watch I have played with is the Sony SmartWatch. This watch connects via Bluetooth to your Android phone, and can display full text messages, emails, Facebook posts, and Twitter feeds. It has tons of features, and is light, weighing in at just .55 ounces. It sports a 1.4 inch OLED screen, which some may feel is small, but allows it to keep its low weight. This watch has been my favorite, simply because of all the features it offered and its low price of $150.00 ($129.00 on Amazon). It does have some negatives however. It has to be connected via an Android smartphone to work, and Sony says it is only compatible with a select few. The screen is also near impossible to see in the sunlight. Thinking of it as a smartphone accessory is safer than thinking of it as a watch.
I also took a look at the “I’m Watch.” This Italian watch runs a modified version of Android 2.1, and looks fabulous doing it. It offers most of the same features as the SmartWatch by Sony, but this one actually has a speaker and microphone built in so you can make calls from the watch itself. Their base model starts out at $300.00, but can go as high as $20,000 if you decide to deck it out with gold and diamonds. The I’m Watch has a larger screen than the Sony Smart watch, 1.5 inches, and is curved. It is easy to see in the sunlight and has vibrant colors. The cons are its short battery life, its overly sized wrist band, and its higher price.
The Pebble watch was my last experiment. It was originally funded on Kickstarter, and you can pre-order it on their site. It comes in at $150.00, has a black and white screen, and boasts tons of features. They claim it is waterproof, can control your music, can be used as a rangefinder, or to see how far you have run or cycled. This is in addition to standard smart watch features like checking email or call management. The only hiccup is that it isn’t fully released yet, and so far is showing some lack of app support, but you can’t hold that against a product that hasn’t officially released.
Smart Watches may seem like gimmicks, but may be that gadget that gives you the edge you need to stay on top. If you are iffy about these products, there are more like them on the market, and rumors circulating about an “iWatch” that Apple may announce sometime this year.