Articles Tagged:

smartwatch

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[Weekend Poll] Smartwatches: Round Or Square/Rectangular Display?

This weekend's poll asks a simple question, but it's an interesting one nonetheless, I think: do you prefer your smartwatch round or square?

The Moto 360 and G Watch R remain the only announced Wear devices with round displays. And, despite their coolness, circles have their downsides - they're unabashedly less efficient when displaying text, especially in a computing world that has been designed around quadrilaterals since the earliest monitors; there are so many interfaces that simply aren't optimized for a circle. Counterpoint: circular displays look awesome.

So, which camp are you in?

Do you prefer a round or square/rectangular smartwatch display?

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Garmin Shows Off The Fēnix 3 And Epix Smartwatches, For Those Who Want A Sportier Alternative To Wear And Gear

You might not know it if you don't regularly peruse the less-traveled sections of your local electronics store, but Garmin and its competitors have been making impressively sophisticated GPS watches for years. They only escaped the "smartwatch" label because the buzzword hadn't been invented yet. Now Garmin, like Timex, is approaching the smartwatch from the other end, adding more and more features onto a design that's been present for quite a while.

The new fēnix 3 and epix smartwatches (pronounce that long e and use lowercase, or Garmin's brand managers will give you dirty looks) are, first and foremost, fitness devices.

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Alcatel OneTouch Has Cool Things Up Its Sleeve For CES: OS-Agnostic PIXI Phones (Android, Firefox, And Windows) And An Affordable Smartwatch

This year's Consumer Electronics Show will kick off next week, and many tech companies are ready to show off their gadgets. Alcatel OneTouch plans to attract attention on the show floor with its line of affordable phones and watches. But this time the price isn't the biggest draw.

The Alcatel OneTouch PIXI 3 series of handsets offer screens ranging from 3.5 to 5 inches. The smallest will only support 3G, while the 4", 4.5", and 5" options should handle 4G LTE as well. All will apparently be able to run Android, Firefox OS, or Windows. Alcatel describes the devices as OS agnostic but doesn't specify if the same hardware will run each platform or if there will be different models to choose from. 

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[Weekend Poll] Do You Own A Smartwatch?

This weekend's poll is another throwback, but this one's just a couple months out of its one-year anniversary, having been asked back in October of 2013. This year's poll options will be a little different, as the number of new crowdfunded smartwatches seems to be slowing a bit (especially in terms of media coverage), and smartwatches themselves are much more widely available than they were a year ago.

Last year, we saw just over 20% of you answer that you owned a smartwatch. A little over 5% said they had backed a smartwatch crowdfunding campaign or had a smartwatch on pre-order, but the lion's share of votes went to "no," at 71% of the total.

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Asus ZenWatch Coming To The US November 9th, Starting With Best Buy Priced At $199.99

Word has hit the street that the Asus ZenWatch will launch in the US on November 9th. Two days from now shoppers reportedly will be able to pick one up from Best Buy for $199.99, with Play Store availability coming at some point after.

The ZenWatch is a peculiar Wear device. It's square, but unlike the LG G Watch or the Samsung Gear Live, it tries to look more like a traditional accessory than a tech gadget. At two hundred bucks, it's arguably the most premium-looking smartwatch you can get for the price.

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A Google executive has also said that the Asus ZenWatch will offer a taste of what customized software can look like on Android Wear.

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[Weekend Poll] What's The Maximum You Would You Be Willing To Pay For A Smartwatch?

Android Wear is here, and with it, the second wave of major smartwatches from OEMs are arriving. The G Watch R is the first such device likely to be released, though Sony's Smartwatch 3 will likely be arriving soon as well, as well as ASUS' ZenWatch.

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The general consensus on smartwatch pricing to date from OEMs seems to be around $250 - but how much would you really be willing to pay for a smartwatch that was stylish, functional, and practical?

At the low end of the Wear spectrum, we have the Samsung Gear Live, at just $199. It seems likely ASUS' ZenWatch will probably end up in this area, too.

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WebOS Rises From The Grave, May Power Future LG Smartwatch Models

WebOS, the last and sadly failed initiative from the venerable Palm Inc., seems to have more lives than Mumm-Ra the Everliving. After getting a second chance when HP acquired the Palm company, then a third when LG tried it out on connected televisions, it looks like the Korean manufacturer is going to give it a shot at powering future smartwatches. The Verge spotted a WebOS smartwatch page on LG's development portal, which was then swiftly taken down.

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The screenshots taken before the site was canned don't say much, but they say just enough. LG is an enormous company, much bigger than many in the west realize.

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Pebble 2.5 Firmware Update Brings Emoji Support, Enables Compass Functionality, And More

The Pebble team is continuing to pump life into their monochromatic smartwatch, and it's now rolling out an update that toggles on a few new features. Version 2.5 of the Pebble firmware brings support for emoji, enables compass functionality, and introduces iOS 8 compatibility (one of the items on this change log impacts us less than the others). Just like the previous updates, you get the goods by firing up the Android app and making sure it's paired with your watch.

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Once everything's up to date, emoji that arrive in message alerts will actually display properly. A smiley will show up as an image of an actual face, not a set of symbols.

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Rumor: HTC's On Again, Off Again Android Wear Watch Is On Again And Scheduled For 2015

The last we heard of an HTC smartwatch, it was a replica of a rumor, a render of a render posted by the now-retired Evleaks. Then Pocket-Lint reported that HTC had scrapped plans for a Qualcomm Toq-based watch, according to "sources familiar with the matter." If all that wasn't nebulous enough for you, now Cnet says that HTC's watch is coming back, scheduled for a release sometime next year. Try to keep up here.

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Mockup of an HTC Android Wear watch. Totally not a real one. Duh.

With the entrance of both Google on the software side and Apple, it's safe to say that the somewhat niche smartwatch segment is heating up.

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iFixit's Teardown Of The Moto 360 Shows Packed Internals And A 20mAh Battery Discrepancy [Updated]

Update: Motorola responded to Ars Technica's post on the same iFixit story to explain the battery discrepancy. According to the statement, 300mAh is a "minumum rating" for the battery manufactured by Pro-Power, while 320mAh is a more typical rating. (Batteries are much less precise in terms of capacity than, say, a RAM DIMM.) The mix-up reportedly stems from the fact that they simply didn't have room for both a minimum and maximum rating on the tiny label, and erred on the side of caution - after all, end users aren't really supposed to see it. You can read Motorola's full statement at Ars Technica.

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