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Smartwatches

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LG G Watch

 Sony Smart Watch SW2 for Android Pebble Samsung Gear Live Samsung Gear S
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My idea of smartwatch is Casio databank style want but with better E Ink-style screen and the capability to read small notes as well as better default visibility in low light env. That's it.

All current models of smart watches are more experimental that really useful as they do not solve the problem of battery life. so their difference in prices is not really justified. Watch that has a battery life less the week is probably not that smart. Of course much depends on how you use it. But one week on a single battery charge is an absolute minimum for light use. If you use watches mainly as a notification device for calls and messages, it should be usable at the end of one week business trip if  you forget the charger.

At the same time the smart watch is a concept which time has come.  I suspect that in year or two somebody will eventually produce a hit item. Probably with Eink display like Pebble. The required functionality is unclear, but the ability to connect to smartphone and read and display notifications is important.

Right now this idea evolves mostly around the idea of Smartphone helpers.  But to be viable smartwatch should have some autonomous functionality. Currently android Wear proves that. See LG G Watch

There are several pilot implementation on the market today. None is perfect.

There are also "wearable cell-phones" category. Most are "noname" with rather short battery life, for example"

The only exception is Samsung Galaxy gear S smartwatch, which can double as a GSM smartphone and is around $200.

There are a slew of other offerings, too, that might meet your specific needs. For the more fitness-oriented, Nike's new FuelBand ($149) and the Fitbit Force ($130) are both technically watches. Adidas' Smart Run,  is both a sports tracker and Android watch. 


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Old News ;-)

[Apr 01, 2015] New York Times Develops an Apple Watch App

Apr 01, 2015 | nyt
The New York Times said on Tuesday that it had developed an app to provide brief news reports for the Apple watch when it is released next month.

The reports, which will consist of a sentence accompanied by bullet-point summaries and photography or graphics, "will provide the news at a glance across many Times sections, including business, politics, science, tech and the arts," the company said in a statement.

The Times's breaking news alerts will also appear on the watch, the company said. ...

[Sep 08, 2014] Asus reveals the ZenWatch, a premium-styled Android Wear watch with a pedestrian price

greenbot.com

After several weeks of teasing, Asus officially debuted its first entry into the burgeoning field of smartwatches on Tuesday at IFA Berlin. Dubbed the Asus ZenWatch, the new wrist wearable is loaded with Android Wear...

The ZenWatch combines a stainless steel case, nicely designed accents, a curved glass 2.5D front, and an Italian leather strap to more closely emulate the traditional watches you're used to. The watch also features more than 100 digital watch faces to choose from.

... ... ...

Similar to what Google Now already offers for Wear users, the ZenWatch has a feature called What's Next that can display upcoming calendar appointments, reminders, and weather forecasts.

... ... ...

The ZenWatch also has a built-in feature called Tap Tap, which, as its name applies, activates with a double tap. During Asus' ZenWatch demo on Wednesday, the company demonstrated how you could use Tap Tap as a "find my phone feature." Just double tap the watch and your phone starts ringing. It's not clear if Tap Tap can be programmed for other uses in addition to find my phone.

Asus has also added wellness tracking to the watch via a "9-axis sensor," allowing you to track your steps taken, calories burned, activity duration, heart rate, exercise intensity and relaxation level. All of that data integrates with the Asus ZenUI Wellness app.

The ZenWatch's leather strap helps make it feel high-end, despite the low price.

... ... ... ZenWatch will sell for $200 in the U.S.

Thanks to IDG News Service's Martyn Williams for contributing to this report.

Updated on September 4 with a video report from IDG News Service.

[Sep 07, 2014] Motorola is throwing its hat into the smartwatch ring with today's release of the Moto 360

Ars Technica

Motorola is throwing its hat into the smartwatch ring with today's release of the Moto 360. According to one Motorola executive, the company "didn't come to invent a new gadget, but to reinvent the wristwatch." And in a field currently dominated by clunky, square Android smartwatches, the Moto 360 with its circular display and leather wristband actually looks and feels like something you wouldn't mind wearing.

Available Friday from motorola.com, bestbuy.com, and the Play Store for $249, the Moto 360 is made out of stainless steel and comes with three different options for leather straps (classic black, stone leather, and limited-edition gray). There also will be two metal options available for sale later this year, one with a dark finish and one with the classic stainless steel watchband look. Those will retail for $299.

Spec-wise, the 360 sports a 1.6" 320x290 (205ppi) display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy connectivity, water resistance in up to three feet of water for 30 minutes (IP67), wireless charging, 4GB of internal storage, and 512MB of RAM. It's 46mm in diameter and 11.5mm high.

The Moto 360 also offers a couple of bells and whistles not yet seen on the competition. Perhaps most noticeable is the lack of ports on the watch. That's because the 360 comes with an inductive wireless charger that doubles as a watch stand. Motorola says the battery is sufficient to power the watch for an entire day; at bedtime, you take it off and lay it on the charger. If you're traveling, you'll obviously need to bring the charger along for the ride.

Unlike the other round Android-powered smartwatch, the recently announced and not yet available LG G Watch R, the pixels run right up to the edge, maximizing the display area of the watch. The only slightly odd thing about the display is that the bottom sliver of the watch face is blank, cutting off the minute and second hands as they sweep along the bottom of the screen. According to Motorola, there are "thousands" of apps available customized for the circular 1.6" UI offered by the Moto 360. The watch is also the first Android Wear smartwatch with an ambient light sensor and auto brightness.

Compared to Samsung's newest offering, the clunky-looking square Samsung Gear S, the Moto 360 looks minimalist. The contrast is especially noticeable once you turn the watches over. The Gear S has pogo pins for charging and a SIM card slot in addition to the heart rate monitor, while the Moto 360 has the kind of smooth back you'd see on an old-school wristwatch. The design looks and feels really solid, bringing to mind sleek devices from Motorola's past such as the RAZR.

The Moto 360 feels more natural than other smartwatches I've tried on in the past, as the circular design and removable leather strap clearly communicate the concept of "watch" in both look and feel. Given that I've not regularly worn a watch in about a decade, it feels as natural on my arm as any other watch I've donned over that time period.

Motorola's new smartwatch will pair with any phone running Android 4.3 or better, and it linked up with our test Moto X without any problem at all once we downloaded the Android Wear app from the Google Store. The display lights up when you raise the watch to look at it, and if you tap the face, a Google Now prompt comes up. As the Moto 360 contains a natural language processor and a noise cancellation microphone, voice recognition worked very well, bringing up weather forecasts, driving directions, and the like without erring.

Motorola's "state of the art" heart rate monitor will give you your pulse on demand, along with a range of heart activity. There's also a pedometer that tracks your activity throughout the day.

Swiping through the notifications works well. Swipe to the left to make the notification disappear and to the right for more details. For example, if you ask Google Now for the current weather, swiping to the right will give you the four-day forecast for your area. Google Hangout notifications were sent seamlessly to the watch, as well, and could be read by swiping through the screens.

Is this the smartwatch you've been waiting for? We'll have a full Ars-style review on Sunday night with the definitive answer, but based on our brief time with it today, Motorola has definitely taken a step ahead of the competition with the Moto 360.

[Jun 20, 2014] Qualcomm Toq - Smartwatch for Android Smartphone - Black

amazon.com

Well made and works well, June 17, 2014

Glen S. Cook (Glen Cook, Oldham England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)

This review is from: Qualcomm Toq - Smartwatch for Android Smartphone - Black (Wireless Phone Accessory)

​I have a Pebble, Sony SW & SW2, LiveView and the Toq. I got all these watches to implement features for my corporate email app eNotify. I think the Toq is a good watch. For one thing, the battery lasts a lot longer than any of the other watches that I work with. I can be developing with it for a full week without having to put it on charge. The display is excellent. It is not only energy efficient, but can be viewed equally well in any light. You can see it perfectly clearly even in bright sunlight. The connection is rock solid (Used with Samsung s4). With my other devices there is much more fiddling about to get notifications coming through to the watch. Aesthetically, it looks and feels well made. I think it was clever putting the battery in the band so they could make a normal sized watchface. It is my favorite watch at the moment though I haven't had a chance to use the Pebble Steel yet.

[Jun 20, 2014] Qualcomm Snapdragon to power several Android Wear smartwatches by Afaq Shahid

March 19, 2014 | ChipLoco
Google announced the Android Wear, which is an extension of the Android OS, to power the future wearables; the first of which will be smartwatches from several OEMs. Motorola and LG went ahead and announced their smartwatches along with Google's announcement. This is a big announcement for Google, its partners and the whole wearables industry collectively. With Google jumping into the arena with Android Wear, a lot of manufacturers will start making wearables; smartwatches more specifically. That's it for the software side. On the hardware side, we haven't had any formal announcement from any company regarding this until today. Qualcomm just announced that their Snapdragon chips will be the heart of several Android Wear powered devices.

Qualcomm further revealed that they have been already working with Google and several other companies to develop and deploy Snapdragon chips into several Android Wear powered wearables. They did not name any names but Google revealed yesterday that they are working with Samsung, Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and HTC on wearables. So most of these companies will probably have Snapdragon chips in their watches.

Qualcomm Technologies also has decades of experience designing for mobile devices that need great performance and connectivity, but also long battery life. Our highly integrated Snapdragon processors are designed from the ground up for the optimal balance of high performance and low power, ensuring that devices based on Snapdragon processors can deliver outstanding performance and user experiences while lasting longer between charges.

Qualcomm made a smartwatch themselves last year. Even though the Toq was not really a huge success but it was a nice show of engineering and technology. The most exciting part of this watch was its display with Qualcomm's Mirasol technology which eats very less amount of power and can stay on for days. Furthermore, it somehow gets clearer in brighter conditions. However, there was no mention of this technology making its way to other watches in Qualcomm's announcement.

Source: Qualcomm Blog

Related

[Nov 06, 2013] Sony SmartWatch 2 review a fair effort that still hasn't cracked it

At $200, the SmartWatch 2 is cheaper than its most obvious competitor, the Galaxy Gear, which costs $100 more. That's quite a difference. Of course, the Galaxy Gear has some notable hardware features that help it stand apart --namely, a camera, speaker and microphone. On the other hand, Samsung's offering is also currently limited to just a small handful of compatible phones. Also, Sony made sure the SmartWatch 2 functioned well as a proper watch -- crazy, we know.

That said, this is also a third-generation device for Sony. That's two more cracks of the whip than Samsung, yet still the software can be buggy, and the performance is not as smooth as you'd hope. And then there are the apps. A bulging library to choose from is one thing, but in reality, there aren't many more useful apps here than you'd find on Samsung's offering, which has been out for just a month. In either case, however, we'd encourage you to question your need for a smartwatch. Unlike a phone, what you want to get from a watch will differ greatly from person to person. In a vacuum, the SmartWatch 2 is a well-built product that doesn't have a wince-inducing price. It offers a reasonably good notification solution, as well as the potential for improved functionality with future apps -- though it's probably best to check what's available first. The bottom line is: If you want a bit of a "gadgety" smartphone-companion, predominantly for notifications, the SmartWatch 2 will certainly fill that role. For everyone else, the buggy software will likely become too much to tolerate, even if you're the most ardent smartwatch believer.

GSM Quadband Unlocked for Worldwide Use -11mm Ultra-thin Single SIM Bluetooth 1.8 Inch Touchscreen Watch Phone

An Interesting idea of inner antenna into wrist band. Really improves reception
Amazon.com

Internal Memory: 128MB
RAM: 793KB ROM: 2GB
Support extend card: 4GB
QuadBand: GSM(850/900/1800/1900MHz)
Service Provide: Unlocked
SIM Card Slot: One SIM
Screen: 1.8" 256k colours TFT Touch Screen,Resolution: 240◊240 pixels
Ringtones Type: Polyphonic, MP3
Audio File Format: MP3, WAV, AWB
Video File Format: 3GP, MP4
Image File Format: JPEG, BMP,GIF
FM Radio: YES
E-book Format: TXT
Data transfer: USB, Bluetooth .
Mobile internet: GPRS
Stand-by time: Up To 120 hours
Talk time: Up To 3 hours

Charger: USB, Travel Charger
Style: Watch Phone
Languages: English, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Turkish, Arabic
Phonebook: 300
Messaging: SMS, MMS
Color: Brown
Dimensions / WxDxH: 65 ◊ 40 ◊ 11mm
Net Weight(Kg): 0.1
Additional Features: MP3 / MP4player, Calendar, Tasks (To-do List), Alarm, World Clock, Bluetooth

[Oct 3, 2013] Sony Smart Watch SW2 for Android Phones

3.0 out of 5 stars Blu Tooth Issues resolved - Updated, October 3, 2013

By

V. K. Balasubramanian "Nikon D700 Rocks!" (Virginia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)

Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)

This review is from: Sony Smart Watch SW2 for Android Phones (Wireless Phone Accessory)

Bought this device as second Android screen for my Samsung Galaxy S4 smart phone. Got with the black strap. So far it is working ok. There were some initial troubles in pairing this device with my phone via NFC. After several attempts, gave up on NFC pairing and went with blu tooth pairing. Blu tooth pairing is holding good till now. I have moved this watch away from the phone by significant distance and did not face any re-pairing type annoyances yet.

The watch face is wider than the length by few mm. I went with this watch instead of Samsung gear because I have small hands and I thought this will fit better than Samsung gear. The Gear is longer and narrower than Sony SW2. This watch sits perfect on my hand with no constant sliding in any direction. I have to use the last hole on the strap though.

I did not go with Samsung Gear because, as of now it will not work with my S4. I was also not keen on camera, extra cost and non-replaceable straps.

The resolution on SW2 is decent, but Samsung Gear resolution is much better. I did not compare them side by side, but I am fine with Sony SW2 resolution. I purchased one app so far to enable me to dial numbers from the phone (just for coolness factor).

The SW2 has one button on the side (like a regular watch) and it has 3 soft buttons (back, home and apps type button - still trying to figure this one out). You cannot press the soft buttons directly without pressing side button first. One the other side, there is a micro usb port to charge the watch.

Sony SW2 Smart Connect Liveware is the software that need to be installed on the phone first. It happens when the watch is paired with phone. One can also download the s/w from google play store directly as well. Once the Liveware s/w is installed the watch comes to life. The liveware s/w gives options to installs apps on the watch directly. There are few to select from.

The screen response is decent. It is not blazing fast, but generally responsive. I have installed Gmail, Messages, phone app, dial pad so far. They all work fine. The gmail app shows the gmail on your watch, messages shows texts on watch on so on. The dialpad allowed me to dial a number from the watch.

My biggest complaint about this watch is its standby brightness. It is very low and it is difficult to read the time without pushing the side button. The black watch face (shown in some pictures) is absolutely not readable. I have switched to white background, which made it marginally better. Pushing the side button, brightens up the screen and makes the time very readable. I think this is a big miss for Sony SW2. The watch should always tell time clearly without the need to push additional buttons. Hopefully this will get fixed via s/w update in near future.

My second issue is that there are no apps to allow multiple timezones to be displayed on the watch. As a watch linked to smartphone, I think this should have been made available out of the box. It should have allowed the travelers to switch timezones with a simple swipe action. This would have made it really useful for people traveling in multiple time zones regularly. I hope an app gets released by Sony or some third party to address this gap. There is a timezone app in the market, which allows to set a single timezone.

I will keep testing and post any updates.

Pros:

- fits on my small hand
- looks good
- wide and flexible strap
- Decent resolution
- Some useful apps

Cons:

- Standby display brightness is very low making it very difficult to tell time without pushing the side button
- Cannot pair via NFC (may be it is a galaxy s4 issue)
- Very few free apps. Most of the apps are at least 0.99
- No hotmail app
- Mail app listed by liveware is not compatible with the watch
- No world clock app yet
- Watch froze once so far, Had to reset (by pushing and holding power button for 15 second)

Update : 10/4/2013

The device is always paired over blu tooth. As some else pointed out, NFC is just for easier pairing. I think the issue was, when I tried pair it by NFC tapping, it did not download the liveware software. However when I paired it using blu tooth manually, it started downloading liveware software. I stand corrected on the NFC pairing. Thanks for pointing it out. However, theI am downgrading it 1 star because this device impacts the call quality on my blu tooth paired car phone system (honda odyssey). When this device is paired, the phone calls have become scratchy, barely audible over the other blu tooth paired headset.

Update : 10/11/2013

The blue tooth issue has been resolved after taking to an android expert. Basically on the phone I have to turn off sending Media Audio over BT, but only send Call Audio over BT. This resolved the call quality issues I had with Odyssey Handsfree Link BT.

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