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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tech Time: SmartWatches the best to date.

There are a myriad of fitness devices on the market. They range from simple bands to full on watches with gps and mp3 players. What is the best role for a smartwatch? It is not feasible for it to be an all-in-one phone. It can supplement your phone. But how can you incorporate that while making it useful as a standalone product as well?
It seems that semi smartwatches are very popular at incorporating GPS and being used by runners. There is usually a significant following among runners. Today there are few smartwatches that do anything well and are at a reasonable price point.

Sony has a smartwatch, but I would not really call it that because it basically just allows you to read text messages and see who is calling. Effectively, making it a phone companion. It also had a very limited compatibility with Sony phones which made it unattractive for most. Sony is releasing a 2nd version Sony Smartwatch 2(SW2) that will work with just about any phone.

Samsung has just released one(Galaxy Gear) that can run apps and has a pedometer. I didnt see a size rating or headphone out. So this is just a watch that allows you to do limited actions swiping your finger on its tiny screen. Its app selection is limited to 10 on the watch at once. The screen on the watch has me wondering about its battery life.

ImWatch has a viable contender in the smartwatch arena. It can do everything your phone does to include answering the phone. In doing so much I can only wonder how long the battery lasts. The big problem with ImWatch is the price. They can easily be more than the phone itself!

Pebble finally arrived not too long ago, but when it did was still missing apps and functionality. It was a grand idea with the e-ink display, but the button navigation left much to be desired. On release Pebble has been having some battery issues. It was supposed to last 5-7 days, but people are barely getting 1 out of it. This should be able to be fixed in updates or new models. Slightly better than a phone companion, but lacking in apps to make it more than that.

After much research about a year ago I picked up the Motoactv. I was going to wait for the Pebble, but I still had to wait for the ship date and then I had to wait for them to be in stock. THe ImWatch Tech was over $1200! And the Sony may or may not have worked with my phone and was just a phone companion. The Motoactv could do everything the phone companion could do plus it was a standalone mp3 player, GPS for running, had the ability to interface with bluetooth heart rate monitors and be used with bluetooth headphones. The motoactv goes a few days before needing to be recharged even if I take it on a run while listening to music and with the GPS on. The best part about it was they were selling for under $200. The Motoactv had been discontinued. Nevertheless, it fulfilled all the needs and filled multiple roles thus increasing its value. It is an amazing watch and I hope Google uses its design to make an additional watch with all the other watches coming out now.

You can still get Motoactv for under $200. The SW2 will be around $200 as well. If SW2 can keep battery life it will give you plenty of options. If you are not into running, the next best thing would be the new SW2 when it decides to come out.


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