Android Police

Wearables

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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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Garmin's vivofit jr. arrives alongside its Android app

A few days ago, Garmin announced its newest wearable for kids: the vivofit jr. Despite the name being in lowercase, it sounds like a pretty neat device. Garmin claims that it is water-resistant, comfortable, durable, and that it has more than a year's worth of battery life. Like other fitness trackers, the vivofit jr. will monitor the child's steps, sleep, and physical activity.

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[Deal Alert] Refurb Moto 360 (2nd gen 46mm) on sale for $154.99 ($195 off) via Daily Steals

We're in a bit of a dry spell for Android Wear releases, so this might be the perfect time to pick up a refurbished last gen watch on the cheap. Daily Steals has the 2nd gen Moto 360 on sale for a mere $154.99. It's refurbished, but Motorola does still sell this version of the device for $350. This is US only, though.

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Don't expect new Android Wear smartwatches this year from Huawei, Motorola, or LG

In recent years, a raft of new smartwatches would launch each fall in time for holiday shopping, but not this time. There were a few fitness-oriented watches released earlier this summer, and some new Fossil watches have started popping up at retail. But where are the big names like Motorola, LG, and Huawei? Cnet has gotten confirmation from all three companies that they won't be releasing any more watches this year.

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