Let's get this out of the way first: smartwatches have not been the big sellers that many technology firms were hoping they would be. Android Wear is stumbling, and even Apple is having trouble convincing its rabid fans to pony up $300 to $1000 on a wearable device. Samsung has taken a long and winding road through the land of wearables, having released an Android-powered smartwatch before Android Wear existed, then adopting Android Wear ever so briefly, then diving into its own Tizen-powered watch ecosystem.
That's where we are now—Samsung is making its own smartwatches running Tizen, but unlike earlier devices, the Gear S3 works on all Android devices. Read More
For the past 4 years, I've been wearing a Fitbit device of some sort. I started with the One, which stuck with me for the better part of 3 years, then I tried the Blaze, the Alta, and the Charge 2. My main complaint with each of these trackers was the lack of water-resistance, which meant that I couldn't wear them in the pool or track my swims with them. I've tried several swim trackers including the Misfit Shine 2 Swim Edition and Amiigo, looking for something that could replace Fitbit, but the best that I found was the Garmin vivoactive, which has excellent swim tracking and can send the main stats to Fitbit through MyFitnessPal. Read More
Asus has been one of the more persistent promoters of Android Wear since it was released. As other companies have scaled back on wearables, Asus is full speed ahead with a third-generation ZenWatch. The first ZenWatch was a solid addition to the initial wave of watches, and the ZenWatch 2 had some appeal due to the extremely competitive price. Both those watches had the same rounded square body and general aesthetic, but the ZenWatch 3 is a radical departure. This is a completely round watch—no flat tire—and it makes more tweaks to the UI of Android Wear than any watch I've used before. Read More
When I reviewed the Fitbit Blaze a few months ago, one of my main complaints was its bulky design and the identity crisis over what it actually is: a smartwatch, a sports watch, a fitness tracker, or all of the above to a certain extent. That was never a question with the company's best selling tracker, the Charge HR. From the first look, you knew it was an activity tracker first and foremost, and anything else that it could do was just a bonus feature.
Now the Charge 2 is here to carry the torch. It's an all-around better Charge HR with several significant improvements that nearly put it on the same level as the higher priced Blaze. Read More
Everyone was intrigued when Fossil announced it would make Android Wear devices. After all, it makes "real" watches, so maybe its smartwatches would be a cut above. The Q Founder was an okay smartwatch for its time. It was a little big, but it looked nice and had a fast Intel SoC. Now, Fossil is back with the Q Marshal and Q Wander. These smartwatches are some of the first to have the wearable-focused Snapdragon 2100 chip, but is that enough to make them a good purchase? Sadly, not really. Read More
If you've read my previous activity tracker reviews here on Android Police, you'd know that I'm still trying to find one that suits my needs, especially when it comes to swim tracking. I've had the Fitbit One and Blaze, Pebble, Amiigo, Misfit Shine and Flash, Garmin vivoactiv, not to count a few Android Wear watches. What I have come to rely on though is the One for everyday wear, the Blaze for exercise and sleep, and the vivoactiv for swims and hikes. It is definitely not an ideal system: I have to make sure all of these are charged when I need them and I keep on taking one off and putting another on as I go through my day. Read More
Activity trackers are not miracle workers. Wearing a Fitbit isn't going to make you healthier, just like buying a piano for the living room won't make you a pianist. They're not going to force you to take a run instead of eating bags of Doritos while binge watching House of Cards for an entire weekend, and they're not magic pills that will do the hard work for you.
Activity trackers, however, are invaluable tools and immense help if you really want to get healthier and/or stay healthy. If you have already made the decision to be more active and it isn't just a spur of the moment, short-lived resolution, then activity trackers can be one more weapon in your arsenal. Read More
I have always wanted true wireless earbuds. Over the past years, I have gone from using Bluetooth earphones connected to a central unit (Sony MW600, Jabra BT3030) to the smaller and less intrusive earbuds (Jaybird BlueBuds X, Plantronics BackBeat GO2, and BackBeat Fit), but there was still a wire somewhere in the design connecting the left and right earbuds together and I wanted it gone. I wasn't alone in that sentiment.
It's this desire that Bragi banked on when it launched its Kickstarter campaign about two years ago, in February 2014. The Dash was promised to be a true wireless set of earbuds that had everything I wanted and more — built-in storage for local music playback, waterproofing for use in pools, and activity tracking and heart rate monitoring. Read More
Motorola launched the second-generation Moto 360 last fall and fixed many of the issues with the original watch, but at the same time it teased the Moto 360 Sport. It took months for it to come out, and even then there was little promotion surrounding it. I don't think you can deny that it's a less elegant device than the standard Moto 360, which comes with the same $299 starting price, but there are a few distinct, sporty features that might tempt you.
Until now, all the Android Wear watches you could buy were made by technology firms moonlighting as watchmakers, but now there's the Fossil Q Founder. This is the first widely available Android Wear smart watch designed by a company that makes regular watches. In some ways it looks more like a real watch than any of the others, but there are also some design concessions that remind you Fossil is new to the whole wearables thing. Read More