The Fitbit Versa 3 launched earlier this year alongside Fitbit's flagship tracker, the Sense. That device is packed with features, including heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, what have you — but it can also do ECG scans, and even purportedly measure your stress levels. In his review, our own Ryan found that the usefulness of some of the Sense's features was questionable. He also said it's too expensive at $329.
The Versa 3 is extremely similar to the Sense, with a few key differences: it drops ECG and electrodermal activity (EDA) monitoring, trades stainless steel casing for aluminum, and slashes $100 off the price tag.
In the era before modern smartwatches, Fitbit's name became synonymous with wearable fitness trackers. Full-fledged smartwatches have become the norm as consumers have demanded more and more from wearables, and Fitbit stepped in with the Ionic and Versa smartwatches a few years ago. I had high hopes that Fitbit would continue to improve and provide Android users a viable alternative to the increasingly frustrating Wear OS experience, but the Sense has some of the same shortcomings and bugs I remember from the Ionic. The Sense also has its own raft of new glitches that I find equally annoying.
I've always been really interested in fun products — even if the product isn't remotely practical or "good" in the traditional sense. Sometimes a truly bleeding-edge device can give us a glimpse of the future, regardless of its flaws. That's what made me interested in the new Bose Frames when they were released a few weeks ago.
The idea of Bose Frames is to combine sunglasses and earbuds into one product by putting directional speakers in the temple of the shades right above the ear. They are the most unusual audio gimmick I've seen in a long time, and the interesting design and genuine enjoyment I get from this product makes it hard to regret my purchase.
Samsung released the Galaxy Watch in 2018, a sequel to the earlier Gear S3, for everyone who wanted a smartwatch resembling a traditional timepiece. It was followed up by the sporty Watch Active and Watch Active2, but some fans were left disappointing by the more modern design. At long last, the Galaxy Watch3 is here — no, you didn't miss anything, Samsung skipped #2.
The Galaxy Watch3 is the best smartwatch Samsung has made yet, and as a result, it's probably the best smartwatch you can pair with an Android phone. However, the $400 starting price is laughable, considering the smallest Watch Active2 costs $230 right now, and many of the unique health features don't work in the United States.
Google's Wear OS platform has had its fair share of ups and downs over the years—mostly downs. Perhaps the greatest issue has been slow progress on hardware. Most Google-powered watches sold right now use the Snapdragon Wear 3100, a two-year-old SoC built on the same 28nm process that the Snapdragon 800 from 2014 used. Qualcomm promised to finally address battery life and performance limitations with the new Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset, and the TicWatch Pro 3 is the first Wear OS smartwatch to use it.
After using the TicWatch Pro 3 for a while, I can confidently say that the Wear 4100 is the hardware boost Wear OS has desperately needed for years.
Xiaomi's Mi Band series has won fans by offering a lot of fitness features for not a lot of money. That formula isn't changing with the latest entry, the Mi Band 5. It looks almost identical to its predecessors but makes some notable improvements: There's finally magnetic charging so you don't have to pry the device out of the band anymore, the screen is a little bigger, and the tracking is a bit more accurate.
The Mi Band 5 might not compete with high-end trackers and smartwatches from Garmin or Fitbit, but it doesn’t have to.
For many people, Fitbit is synonymous with fitness trackers, but the company has faced new challenges from smartwatches in recent years. The Fitbit Charge 4 signifies a change, even if it doesn't look too different from its predecessor. The tracker packs everything you could want from a fitness tracker, and you get basic smartwatch capabilities like notification management, Spotify controls, NFC payments, alarms, and more. However, its $150 price tag may make it a tough sell when a smartwatch like Fitbit's own Versa 2 often goes on sale for the same price.
Google's Wear OS still has a few long-standing issues that haven't been addressed, like stagnant hardware and poor app support, but Fossil Group has been trying to pick up the slack. Last year's Fossil Gen 5 smartwatches showed the platform at its best, featuring 1GB RAM to reduce lag and a few exclusive software features.
Wyze started off as a maker of simple smart home products that worked well and were affordable, but the company has started to expand rapidly. It just released a scale and door lock, and additional products like outdoor and doorbell cameras are in development. Another of its new products is the Wyze Band, a $25 fitness tracker that can also control your smart home devices.
I've been trying out the new Wyze Band for the past week, and while there's a surprising amount of functionality for a wearable product that costs so little, there are a few software quirks that ruin the experience.
The original Moto 360 was the first mainstream smartwatch with a round screen (ignoring the 'flat tire' at the bottom), which meant that despite its terrible internal hardware, it was definitely unique among a sea of ugly square smartwatches. Motorola followed it up with a sequel in 2015, and then in 2016, the company said it was done making wearables.
The new Moto 360 is almost entirely disconnected from its predecessor (it's manufactured by eBuyNow, not Motorola) and lacks the technological and design innovation that made the original watch so special. Much like a direct-to-video Disney sequel, there's not much to complain about, but there's also nothing unique or interesting to speak of.