Your phone rings; instead of rooting around your pants pockets and three jacket pockets looking for the phone while people around you get tired of hearing the Walking Dead theme song, you simply push a button on your wrist and you're free to talk. The recent trend among device makers has been to take the technology you love from your phone and transfer to a device that can be worn out and even have it be stylish.
We first experienced the introduction of wearables with the Kickstarter funded Pebble Smartwatch. The little $150 gadget did nothing more than allow you to check your notifications, change your music and yes, check the time from your iPhone or Android phone. This year makers launched a new barrage of wearables from Samsung to Sony to help you channel your inner spy.
Samsung Galaxy Gear: $299
The massive success of Pebble’s little watch attracted the attention of South Korean technology giant Samsung. However, Samsung being Samsung, they only made a simple watch into something out of a spy thriller. The Samsung Galaxy Gear, a watch, allows you to sync your wearable device to your Samsung Note 3 or S4 phone and expand on its functionality. This colorful 1.6 inch display grants the user the ability to make phone calls, take low resolution pictures and even short 720p videos. Along with the new tweaks on a familiar design, the watch allows you to check notifications and the time. The device, released in October 2013, was popular enough Samsung is already looking to improve it with the new, not yet released, Samsung Galaxy Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit.
Sony SmartWatch 2: $199
Much like other wearables in its field, this is nothing more than a companion device. Sony’s SmartWatch 2 is both sleek and something that will help you achieve that zero count on the inbox folder. The watch allows you to check with Twitter, Facebook and Gmail, and with the addition of other third party apps will assist with other platforms. However, the device lacks information and iOS functionality. When you finally check the notification, there is only a little bit of info; from there you will decide if reaching into your pocket and pulling your android-only phone is worth it. And the device does not work with Apple iOS.
Pebble Steel: $250
From the same company that brought us that original Kickstarter-funded Pebble Smartwatch, the new Pebble Steel uses a new marine-grade steel case and choice of leather or metal bands. The watch aims to keep it clean and sleek, however, this new version uses a new power connector and you can't easily swap the band it comes with for one that's more stylish. Along with the the new upgrades, the 1.97 ounce device improved on the software, making it much more clean and easily to use. It now has more third party-apps complimenting the hardware. While both the software and hardware have been improved, the watch still has its downsides; the user interface when using third party apps can sometimes be tricky to navigate around in. Finally, the device is a bit unbalanced when dealing with different operating systems. In Android the watch works back and forth easily where in iOS it falters.