Android smartwatches are gaining traction with consumers, pushed along by the success of the Android Wear 2.0 operating system by Google. The main idea behind Android Wear is to provide a common operating system across various devices, from different manufacturers.
There is a positive outlook on what this operating system could offer using Google’s machine learning capabilities, which will hopefully minimise the need to manipulate the screen manually so often.
CBR looks at the current market, listing five of the best Android smartwatches around.
SONY Smartwatch 3
This Android smartwatch is Sony’s most recently available wrist-wrapping wearable device. Sony has changed course from the previous Android-based operating system, instead choosing to incorporate Android Wear.
Android Wear is Google’s smartwatch operating system (OS) and the main competitor to the operating system that runs the Apple Watch, watchOS. The OS has been around since 2014.
The Android smartwatch offers built in GPS, a respectable battery life, and a display that stacks up well against the competition. The Sony Smartwatch 3 is also set apart from the crowd aesthetically with its circular display; this feature may also be partly responsible for the reasonable price to power ratio
Importantly, the Wifi and Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities of this watch are elements which will future proof this device where other models will not make the cut. NFC is a type of communication which allows data to be transmitted wirelessly from one hardware device to another physical object, provided that the devices area within 10 centimetres of one another
The Sony Smartwatch 3 is the first Android Wear option which is capable of GPS tracking of its own accord, while other devices rely on the GPS connection supplied by your smartphone. This is an important first step in the process of smartwatches making the move to becoming independent from smartphones.
The Moto 360 (2015) remains a very strong contender for the top spot, with wide reviews praising the beautiful design and improved performance compared to its predecessor. The Android smartwatch fits neatly into a very current trend of sleek, classic designs with the combination of a copper face and brown leather a contrast to the technology within.
This outlook on design has been spurred on by the belief that a more casual look will encourage those who are adverse to the typical square, high-tech look of a smartwatch. This bold choice has also led to a stronger identity for Motorola’s line of smartwatches.
The Android smartwatch is available in two different sizes, 42mm and 46 mm, and it is equipped with a formidable 1.2 GHz processor. 4GB of onboard storage, wireless charging capabilities, and Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity are other noteworthy features of this watch
Despite a considerable list of positives, the Moto 360 is set back slightly by a lacking GPS support, meaning that unlike the Sony Smartwatch 3, it is unable to track your journeys and workout natively. In addition to this, the 48 hour battery life has been a topic of criticism, with a growing need for greater potential. An argument in favour of the Moto 360’s battery life is that it is still substantial in comparison to the Apple Watch.
Huawei are a well-established Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company. It is the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world, having overtaken Ericsson in 2012.
The Huawei Watch is targeted for the top end of the smartwatch market as it is priced at around £230, but it has been considered one of the best overall. The main argument for the watch is its screen, which a 1.4” AMOLED display, running at 400×400 resolution. This statistic is on par with that offered by the Apple Watch, a desirable achievement for any Android design.
A minor but helpful feature is that the screen of the watch is always on, meaning that unlike many other designs, the time remains visible without you have to activate the screen.
The other aspects of the watch do not stand out to the same extent, with a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 300mAh battery. These features are broadly on par with the competition.