The real smart watches
Wristwatches are positioned as competent second screens for your smartphones
How quickly times change. This time last year, the entire smartwatch ecosystem was still all about its potential as a genuine productivity, fitness, even style, gadget. Now that potential has been realized, and there is a purpose to having a smartwatch on your wrist. But no two smartwatches are the same, and the choice has just increased with the arrival of the new Apple Watch Series 2. We identify the best watches and the user demographic each is ideal for.
Fossil Q Marshal
Who it works for: Those who want Fossil’s renowned quality in a smartwatch
Popular watch-maker Fossil’s newest Q Marshal smartwatch runs Google’s Android Wear software. It has call and message notifications, apps and the ability to control music playback on your phone, for instance. The 45mm watch is water-resistant as well. The display size is 1.5 inches. The Q Marshal also has a variety of fitness-tracking features—something we know Fossil products do well, including the Misfit Shine 2 band. As with most Android Wear watches, expect one day of battery life on a single charge. The Fossil Q Marshal is challenging the Huawei Watch (Rs17,999).
Asus ZenWatch 2
Who it works for: First-time buyers
Compared to the first ZenWatch in 2014, the ZenWatch 2 is truly a generational improvement. The square-ish dial with rounded edges looks classy. The stainless-steel ZenWatch 2 is lightweight, and the 1.63-inch display offers excellent visibility even in bright sunlight. The overall performance and experience of using a smartwatch is smooth, since there is enough power under the hood. If you want the first taste of smart wearables, this is one smartwatch to consider.
Pebble Time Steel
Who it works for: For those who want the simplest smartwatch
The Pebble Time Steel is much less complicated than Android Wear, and that is perhaps its biggest strength. Marine-grade stainless steel has been used with an oxidization-preventing physical vapour deposition coating, also used in aviation and automobile designs. The 1.25-inch, full-colour e-paper display has a Gorilla Glass layer to guard against scratches. It is not a touch screen; you will need to use the buttons on the sides to navigate the apps and menus. The latest software looks much more intuitive. It has all the smart features too—phone notifications, music playback control, fitness-tracking, and apps. The other big strength is the battery life—it lasts about three days on a single charge.
Apple Watch Series 2
Who it works for: Professionals, fitness enthusiasts, and the style conscious
The latest arrival on the scene, the Apple Watch Series 2 runs a powerful S2 chip. It has a brighter OLED display, built-in GPS, smarter fitness tracking, and is now waterproof as well. The improved battery life makes getting through a day a lot easier. Depending on your activity levels, Watch sends you a notification to take a couple of minutes to relax, and monitors your breath and heart rate. The new dock makes access to apps easier and there is a significant performance improvement too. Like its predecessor, the Apple Watch Series 2 comes in the 38mm and 42mm sizes. Those who are upgrading from the first-generation Apple watch will be happy to note that all the straps will be compatible with the Series 2 as well.
Who it works for: Fitness enthusiasts
The Blaze’s design blends a retro look with minimalist modernism and it weighs just 41g despite the solid metal frame. Fitness functions are the reason you would invest in the Blaze—the latest software update has made them even better and more accurate. The PurePulse heart-rate sensor allows it to monitor calories burnt more accurately than other smartwatches. The Blaze can also remind you regularly to get up and walk around. It has all the smartwatch notification functionality as well. The only niggle is that you need to take the watch module out of the frame every time you need to recharge it (battery life is about two days on a single charge). Buy this if fitness tracking is your primary motive.
*Prices may vary