“A roundup of the latest wearables showcased at IFA 2015”
The wearables segment has been advancing at a fast clip recently, not just globally, but in India too. And leading the wearables brigade are smartwatches. While the tiny watch on your wrist may not hold as much information as the smartphone in your pocket, you just can't deny the fact that it provide useful features on the go. A notification on the wrist is always more accessible than a notification in the pocket. IFA 2015 saw some interesting smartwatch launches. We were there to witness it all and have summed them up for you. Here’s a roundup of the top wearables which were presented at the event.
Samsung announced the smartwatch in three variants - the Gear S2, Gear S2 3G and Gear S2 Classic. While the Classic variant sports a leather strap, the Gear S2 and S2 3G come with a more conventional silicone band. The smartwatches run the brand’s very own Tizen OS customised for wearables and rock an IP67 rating. The bezels on the round dial of the watch rotate and also hide navigation buttons on the side. While the screen responds to touch as well, this rotating bezel can be used to navigate and access all the functions. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE and NFC which work with compatible devices, which would be any Android smartphone running Android 4.4 KitKat and above and featuring at least 1.5GB of RAM. The 3G variant also supports GPS.
The dial spans 1.2-inch in diameter and features a Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels. Under the little hood of the watch, there’s a dual-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz mated to 512MB of RAM. Inbuilt memory is rated at 4GB. The Samsung Gear S2 houses a gyroscope, accelerometer, heart rate monitor, barometer and ambient light sensor. Apart from keeping track of the heart rate, the watch can track both activity and inactivity along with activity type.
The Samsung Gear S2 3G rocks e-SIM support. The features lets the user operate the watch independently and make calls without needing it to pair with a smartphone. The S2 3G comes with a 300mAh battery while the Gear S2 and S2 Classic sport a 250mAh battery.
Keeping in mind the fact that wearables need to be just as trendy as they are tech forward, ASUS has launched the ZenWatch 2 which comes with a plethora of customisation options when it comes to design. While there are two different sizes of dials available, you can also choose from three different colour options for the body (Silver, Gun-metal and Rose Gold) and as many as 18 different kinds of wristbands. The face of the watch remains square, though.
The ASUS ZenWatch 2 is IP67-certified, implying it’s dust and water resistant. Both the screen-size variants feature AMOLED displays. While the 1.63-inch variant comes with a screen resolution of 320 x 320 pixels, the 1.45-inch variant features a resolution of 280 x 280 pixels. A 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3 sits atop the display. The latest version of Android Wear runs on the smartwatch, which is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Features such as Smart Assistant, ZenWatch message and Wellness Manager come as exclusive services from the brand. There’s a Snapdragon 400 processor which works with 512MB of RAM. The ASUS ZenWatch 2 comes with 4GB of built-in memory and packs in a 400mAh battery.
While the smaller variant of the ZenWatch 2 will cost approximately Rs 11,000, the bigger one will cost you around Rs 12,500.
The Moto 360 2nd-gen is a definite upgrade from the original Moto 360. The smartwatch comes in two sizes – 42mm and 46mm and features a round dial with detachable wristbands. The power button on the watch lies on the bezel at the 2 o’ clock position and the back hides a heart rate monitor. The smaller of the two variants features a resolution of 360 x 325 pixels while the other sports 360 x 330. Both the variants come with LCD display panels. Running the latest version of Android Wear, the Moto 360 2nd-gen comes powered by Snapdragon 400 dual-core engines working with 512MB of RAM. There’s 4GB of internal storage. The smartwatch also sports features like dual-microphone input and is water resistant. Connectivity options on the Moto 360 2nd-gen include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and wireless charging. A 275mAh battery backs the watch.
There’s a special edition of the Moto 360 2nd-gen, named the Moto 360 Sport Edition, targeted at fitness freaks. AnyLight Hybrid display on this edition improves screen legibility in sunlight. The variant also sports a heart rate sensor and GPS, while being waterproof.
The Moto 360 2nd gen is priced at $299.99 (approximately Rs 19,800) for the basic variant while the price range varies up to $429.99 (around Rs 28,500).
The latest smartwatch from Alcatel sports a 1.22-inch IPS display with sturdy bezels around the dial. To add to the ruggedness, the smartwatch comes with IP67 rating making it dust and water resistant. A shock-resistant body rounds up the package. The OneTouch Go watch is powered by a Cortex M4 processor clocked at 180MHz and is backed by a 225mAh battery. Equipped with standard sensors like heart rate monitor, gyroscope, and accelerometer, the Alcatel OneTouch Go also features a vibration motor which is meant to alert the user of notifications coming in on the paired device.
The smartwatch runs Alcatel’s very own software based on Android and is compatible with all smartphones running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or iOS 7 or higher. For users inclined towards social networking, the Alcatel OneTouch Go Watch features Emotion Sharing, which lets one share whatever they’re doing instantly.
Other intriguing wearable that caught our eye was Sony’s Wena which is a crowdfunded project by the brand. The watch featured a more conventional analog dial with a smart metallic strap hiding the “smart” aspect of the watch.