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.
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.
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.
For its first foray into the nascent Android Wear platform, ASUS created the ZenWatch. It aims to be the more fashionable and appealing alternative to the other square watches from LG and Samsung, and I think it largely accomplishes that.
Whether you prefer a square smart watch to a round one is a matter of personal opinion, but there's little denying that ASUS has made probably the most compelling square smart watch of the current Android Wear generation.
Update: A Fleksy representative contacted us to say that the keyboard will be available as a free download to all Gear S owners, but will not be pre-installed. The title of this post has been changed to reflect this.
The Gear S is an interesting device, not so much for its hardware as for its approach: Samsung decided to equip the smartwatch with a stand-alone wireless connection so it can work just fine on its own, thank you.
Sony's been in the Android-powered smartwatch game for years now, but with the release of the third iteration of its straightforwardly-named "SmartWatch" line, the company is transitioning to Android Wear.
The SmartWatch 3 is an unapologetically plastic product. Rather than the usual black brick with a cheap strap, the band on Sony's watch comes in to wrap around the body of the device. This provides it with a look that sets it apart from the competition, though this also means it will probably show more wear and tear with age.
At this year's IFA, Asus has removed the layer of secrecy surrounding its upcoming Android Wear-powered ZenWatch. Unlike the Moto 360 or the LG G Watch R, Asus is not trying to wow us here with a circular display. The ZenWatch distinguishes itself by fitting a square screen behind a layer of curved glass and a hardware design that strives to be more than a plastic wrist computer. The watch sports a brown leather strap that's intended to add to its appeal.
This is a story you've heard before - Samsung has announced another smartwatch. Not content with its current bevy of smartwatch offerings, the South Korean manufacturer has introduced the Gear S, a new Tizen-powered watch with a curved display that Samsung says "enhances the smart wearable experience."
The watch has a 2.0" SAMOLED display at a 360x480 resolution, a 300mAh battery, a dual-core processor, and a handful of sensors including an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, heart rate monitor, barometer, and sensors for ambient light and UV.
IFA will take place early next month in Berlin, and a number of companies are tripping over themselves to drum up hype for their upcoming Android Wear devices. LG has teased the G Watch R, a round evolution of its first attempt from earlier this summer, a few times now. For its part, Asus also wants consumers to know that it has something on the way. Yet this competitor doesn't appear to have something circular on its mind.
Smartwatches aren't good at a number of things, but one area where they really shine is the delivery of notifications: email, texts, you name it. Now ESPN has launched a Pebble app that adds another type of information to peoples' wrists - sports scores. This way fans and fanatics alike can keep up with the action without having to bother whipping out their phones and hunting for the app. Instead they can look down at their watches and explain to confused onlookers why they're suddenly cheering.