Amazon's Alexa has been put into basically every product imaginable from smoke detectors to toilets. The goal, apparently, is to get Alexa into as many places as possible, so putting Alexa in glasses seemed like the next logical step. Amazon Echo Frames bring Alexa even closer and make it easier to access by putting it right on your face. While the Amazon Echo Frames are cool, they lack the audio quality I'd expect from $250 earbuds, and easy access to Alexa doesn't make up for that.
If you want a smartwatch to pair with your Android phone, you've got a lot of options. There are Wear OS watches from a billion different manufacturers, plus Fitbits, Samsung's Galaxy Watch devices, and plenty more niche picks. This month, OnePlus tossed its hat in the ring with the creatively named OnePlus Watch. For $159, it offers quality hardware and great battery life — but crappy custom software makes using it a miserable experience.
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Google's Wear OS is not in the best state right now, but it's serviceable if you want a smartwatch that integrates deeply with your phone. When you decide to make do with Wear OS, Fossil is usually there to offer an array of acceptable devices. Over a year ago, we reviewed the Fossil Gen 5 and it was one of the best Wear OS smartwatches at the time. Since then, very little has happened in the Wear OS world. That's why the Fossil Gen 5 LTE is exciting: it's one of the few LTE-enabled Wear OS devices on the market, and LTE on watches can be a real game-changer, in my experience.
OnePlus smartwatch rumors are almost as old as OnePlus smartphones themselves, but any full-fledged smartwatch that might exist is still in the offing. The first OnePlus wearable is an inexpensive fitness band for the Indian market. The OnePlus Band is priced to compete with the bestselling Mi Band 5 in India, but some of its glaring shortcomings at the basic level keep the OnePlus Band from realizing its full potential.
Fossil released its first hybrid smartwatch in late 2019, a halfway point between the company's traditional watches and its Wear OS devices. The watch has continued to receive updates since then, and while Fossil hasn't yet developed a full-blown sequel, the company did announce a new variation under its Skagen brand at CES last month.
The Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR isn't too different from the existing Fossil hybrid smartwatches, but it is available in more styles and sizes. The software has also matured more since our initial Fossil Hybrid HR review, so we thought it was worth looking at the new model.
The Galaxy Buds Pro are the biggest update to Samsung's line of in-ear true wireless headphones since the original Galaxy Buds in 2019. The most notable upgrades? Audio comes via a brand-new dual dynamic driver system in each bud (the Buds Pro sound great), and a return to a sealing eartip design combined with multi-microphone ANC deliver seriously effective noise reduction. If you've been waiting for credible noise canceling true wireless earbuds with strong audio chops that aren't the AirPods Pro, Samsung delivers with its latest Buds.
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.