Smart Watch Race

Posted on 20th March 2014

With the latest rumors of the possible health-centric iWatch and the already available Galaxy Gear and Pebble watches, Dick Tracy would have a lot to investigate with which would be his iconic choice. Sorting out which one is the best for the real you will only get more daunting in the future as more options become available.

Finding a watch that is both usable and stylish is what Pebble has recently been focusing on. The kickstarter success has recently started shipping the Pebble Steel along with running their own App Store for watch faces and apps. Coming in at around $250, the Steel is available in a silver or matte black with matching stainless steal and leather bands. They are also using Gorrilla Glass to help prevent the screen from getting scratched.

The original Pebble comes in at a cheaper $150 and is offered in 5 colors with a black rubber arm band except for the white model. This plastic version boasts the same functions as the Steel and is readily available on their website as well as Best Buy.

The original Pebble alongside the new Steel are geared to work with both iOS and Android phones. Both use an LCD screen that works in both low light and bright areas and even sports a backlight that turns on when you shake it. They are also rated at 5 ATM for under water use. But what makes any Pebble model special is their ability to install new watch faces and applications. Previous to the release of the Pebble App Store, the amount of apps for the watch had been quite small. With the new App Store and recent partnering with Pandora, iControl, and others, the Pebble line of smart watches is sure to impress.

Samsung’s Galaxy Gear

The Galaxy Gear is Samsung’s smart watch offering and can be seen advertised alongside the Note 3. Samsung’s first attempt at the smart watch limited the device to working with Android 4.3 and shied away from expanding the device with apps. It has been said that Samsung has confirmed a Gear 2 to be released with the Galaxy S5 later this year. Anticipation of a newer, sleeker design coupled with better app support could put the watch into a much better light then it’s predecessor. Perhaps they will be taking a few pages from the book of Pebble.

Just to add more to the evidence pile, Google has recently announced Android Wear, a mobile version (if you can call it that) of their popular Android OS for wearable devices. This can only mean that we will start seeing watches from companies like LG, HTC, and Samsung.

Then we have the fabled and much anticipated iWatch from that fruit company that changed the cell phone back in 2007. With the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c firmly behind them, Apple could be planning to get into the smart watch race with their iWatch. Rumors are circulating the Internet that Apple plans to not only allow the watch to control some aspects of your phone from your wrist, but allow the device to keep track of your health. This could be something that monitors your health just like the popular FitBit and Nike Fuel Band currently do. Tie the array of sensors already in the iPhone plus the development of iOS 8, Apple could be one step further then both the Gear and Pebble. Will It be release alongside the iPhone 6? Nothing has been officially confirmed.

Today, we have one watch that had already started to run the race. The Pebble’s app expandability and cost effectiveness makes it easy for almost anyone to try a adopt a smart watch early. With confirmed and rumored releases of both Samsung’s Gear 2 and Apple’s iWatch, the smart watch race can only get more interesting. Could this be the beginning of the end for the traditional watch and smart phone? Will Dick Tracy get his video watch? The answer to this is, it is possible and it is near.

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