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.
We owe many thanks to Best Buy for outing the details of several products a bit before their time. It seems the retailer is at it again with a posting of the Moto 360, including a price and most of the product specs. At some time in the near future, $250 will be all that stands in the way of picking up Motorola's brand new wearable. Unfortunately, it's just listed as "Coming Soon" without any release date.
At this year's Google I/O, the company behind the search engine with the most o's promised attendees not one, but two Android Wear devices. The first was either an LG G Watch or a Samsung Gear Live. The second, a Moto 360. We haven't heard much about the latter since then, but emails are now going out. The time has come for I/O goers to check their inboxes.
We've been wondering when conventional watchmakers would jump into the smartwatch game. Timex, a company that's no stranger to advanced wrist-mounted functionality, appears to be the first. They've adapted some of the technology first seen in the Qualcomm Toq developer device into the IronMan One GPS+. This watch combines the features of GPS watches that have been popular with runners and bikers for years with typical "smartwatch" functions like email alerts and an MP3 player.
Long before Android Wear first appeared and made the Pebble's black and white display look relatively antiquated, the latter's physical design already left plenty of room for improvement. The newer $250 Pebble Steel spiced things up quite a bit, but until now, the original $150 plastic model has remained untouched. Well today the company has announced three limited edition colors to breathe fresh, new life into its intelligent wristwatch.
These three new shades - Fly Blue, Fresh Green, and Hot Pink - stand in sharp contrast to the pre-existing black, gray, orange, red, and white options.
Like other Google I/O attendees, I picked up an Android Wear device at the conference. I went with the LG G Watch. What follows is not really a review so much as my experiences and thoughts about Wear thus far, having lived with it literally every day since picking it up. I'll include some of my opinions on the platform (ignoring for now the hardware), and what I think might be relevant insights and comparisons to Google's other efforts (like Glass).
Samsung's Gear Fit, the smaller, sleeker alternative to the company's other smartwatches, is probably the most interesting of the second generation Gears. If you've been coveting one, now would be the time to buy it: Amazon has it for just $99.99. That's a full 50% off the $200 retail price, and notably below alternatives like the Pebble smartwatch and the new Android Gear watches. As usual, Amazon Prime users in the United States can add free two-day shipping to the deal.