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Wearables

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Casio's new rugged Android Wear watch will launch in April with Wear 2.0

Most Android Wear watches can take a splash, but knock them around and they might not hold up very well. Casio's first Android Wear device was an exception with its MIL-STD-810G rating, and the second one will be much the same. The WSD-F20 will be built to last, and it'll be running Android Wear 2.0 when it comes out around April. It won't be cheap, though.

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Samsung Gear S3 review: A good smartwatch, but probably not enough to win over smartwatch skeptics

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.

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[Deal Alert] Fitbit Flex on sale for $49.99 ($20 off) via Amazon, but it won't ship right away

Okay, smartwatches are a bit of a tough sell right now, at least until Google shows us its vision for Android Wear early next year. In the meantime, fitness trackers are still a good wearable bet. The Fitbit Flex is on sale at Amazon today for a mere $50, but it won't ship right away.

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Google confirms it will launch two smartwatches early next year, but they won't be Pixel-branded

Speaking to The Verge, Google's product manager for Android Wear Jeff Chang confirmed the company will launch two smartwatches next year with Android Wear 2.0. Five months ago, we revealed that Google was undertaking such a project, with the device codenames being Angelfish and Swordfish. Later, we showed renders of what the hardware could look like.

Chang also confirmed to The Verge that Wear 2.0's final developer preview will be released in January, and should add support for Android Pay and Google Assistant, two major features that have been high on the list of requests from Wear users. Interestingly, Chang says the watches will not be Google-branded, but branded by the manufacturer, who is apparently a previous Wear partner.

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[Deal Alert] Grab a refurbished Samsung Gear S2 Classic for $130 ($220 off) on eBay, T-Mobile version only

Smartwatch fans, we have a deal for you today courtesy of eBay. You can grab a refurbished Gear S2 Classic for $129.99, a whopping $220 off! It is worth noting that this is only for the black T-Mobile version, but it is still a fantastic price for the watch.

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[Deal Alert] Grab an Asus ZenWatch 2 for up to $50 off at Best Buy today only, plus $25 off with Visa Checkout

The Asus ZenWatch may be growing a bit old at this point, but it is still a capable performer. Today brings us a few deals on the last memorable square Android Wear watch, but most notably is the offering from Best Buy. You can score some versions of the watch for $100 today only, but you'll get the additional $25 off if you use Visa Checkout. An effective $75 for the ZenWatch 2 is not bad at all.

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Fitbit just paid $40 million to kill Pebble, hammering another nail in the smartwatch's coffin

You will hear many things about today's Pebble acquisition by Fitbit - that it was about software, firmware, engineers, intellectual property, or simply that Pebble was unable to continue on as it existed. The one examination you should take to heart, though, is that Fitbit just straight up wrote a check to kill a competitor. There's really not any other way to slice this deal from Fitbit's end: Pebble was competition, even if not necessarily in a big commercial sense these days, and this was an easy way to smother a company that had hogged much of the wearable limelight.

Fitbit even goes so far as to make expressly clear that they are not acquiring any assets or personnel related to Pebble's hardware division - only its software and firmware teams, and some intellectual property.

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Fossil Q Marshal and Q Wander review: The surest sign yet that Android Wear is on the ropes

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.

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IDC: Smartwatch sales absolutely tanked in Q3 2016

According to the IDC, sales of smartwatches globally declined an absolutely catastrophic 51.6% in the third quarter of this year versus the same time frame in 2015. While there are several mitigating factors at play, this is even more staggering than the numbers from the previous quarter, in which sales dropped only 32% ("only") year over year.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of the bleeding comes courtesy of Apple, which just released its newest Apple Watch devices. Those new watches were only on sale for two weeks in the third quarter, so their impact will likely be felt more in Q4, though I'm really not sure by how much.

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Google's smartwatches may arrive in Q1 2017, will run Android Wear 2.0

Android Wear hasn't received much love in the past few months. The first major update, Android Wear 2.0, was announced back in May. Two months later, we revealed the first leaks of Google's own smartwatches, set to debut with the new update. Although developer previews for 2.0 are still arriving, the update itself has been pushed back to 2017, and multiple companies won't release any new AW devices this year.

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