We’ve been hearing a lot of hype about the new Apple Watch. Now that it’s up online for pre-orders and sales are going through the roof, you would think it’s the first kind of technology of its type. That’s not true; there have been smartwatches around for a while now. The simple notion of packing desktop computer functions into a simpler, more compact form that’s ‘wearable,’ is not old school. Before you lose your head and throw at least A$350 on Apple’s first generation wrist buddy, check out these low-cost alternatives.
5. Moto 360
With its stylish good looks, comfortable feel and premium build, the Moto 360 is the Android Wear watch to beat. Aside from aesthetics, the 360 offers many of the same features as its rival, including a heart rate sensor and a pedometer. It’s a no-brainer when it comes to battery life. There’s no doubt this is the best Android Wear device available today.
4. LG G Watch R
With better battery life and a fully circular display, the G watch R has two distinct advantages over its nearest rival. This Android Wear model is soon going to be replaced by the better-looking LG Watch Urbane.
3. Pebble Steel
If functionality is the most critical factor for you when buying a smartwatch, Pebble is the way to go. Pebble Steel blends elegant with a durable design.
2. Asus ZenWatch
There’s no such thing as a perfect Android Wear watch, but Asus isn’t too far away. The ZenWatch’s design is the biggest reason to own one. It also has a solid grasp on the smartwatch basics . It’s quite affordable at just US $200.
1. Samsung Gear S
It’s the first Gear watch that lets you make and receive calls from your wrist, no phone required. It actually has a 3G modem inside it, along with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS radios. You can even respond to emails using a tiny onscreen keyboard. It’s only compatible with Samsung Galaxy smartphones though.
The Apple Watch might be the most ambitious, well-constructed smartwatch ever seen, but first-gen shortfalls might make it feel like a fashionable toy rather than a necessity. Let’s see if the Apple Watch washes over all these previous smartwatches. Until the Apple Watch is put under intense scrutiny, nothing can be said.