Smartwatches were supposed to be the next big thing in tech. The neat wearables were supposed to make life easier for people and do all sorts of other cool things. While the smart watch concept has developed quite a bit from last year, it still hasn’t reached the point where everyone wants one. Nevertheless, here is our list of the best smartwatches of 2014 for all those who can’t resist toting the latest and greatest.
[divider]5. Martian Notifier [/divider]
Where the next item on this list offers some smart functions with amazing design, the Martian Notifier is more of an accessory for those on a budget. At $130 ($99 at Best Buy) the Martian Notifier provides a nicely designed analog watch with a small OLED screen that can display notifications, weather updates, fitness tracking data etc etc. The Martian Notifier provides a great smartwatch experience at an affordable yet stylish package and would be an excellent fit for first time smartwatch users.
[divider]4. Withings Activité [/divider]
The Withings Activité is what you can call the closest thing to a classic watch. The Activité is a real, Swiss Made analog watch that sports some activity tracking features. The Activité is not about how many features it has, it is about being a classy watch first and foremost with some bonuses. A major plus point for the smartwatch is that the battery lasts around 8 months and the device can be taken for a swim! The Activité is made from premium materials and also has a premium price, the watch retails for $450 and is in limited supply. If you’re looking for something traditional and not geeky and don’t mind the price tag, the Withings Activité is a sweet offer.
[divider]3. Pebble steel [/divider]
The follow up to the crowd funded success, the Pebble Steel takes everything great about the original Pebble and puts it in a premium package. As the name implies, metal is the main highlight of the device. The Steel retains the same form factor of the original but takes things to a higher level with the more elite material choices thus moving a bit away from the geeky toy gadget sphere. We love the Pebble Steel because it’s well made, easy to use, has a battery that lasts a week and is compatible with Android, iOS and Windows Phone. The Steel sells for $250 and is a great choice for any consumer.
[divider]2. Samsung Gear S [/divider]
Samsung has always tried overloading their smartwatches with a boatload of features and the Gear S is no different. This time around though, Samsung put a significant amount of utility into its wearable. To understand the Gear S, think of it as a mini smartphone. Aside from a camera, the Gear S has everything a smartphone does including 3G connectivity, making it the only smartwatch you can substitute your phone with. Aside from this one of a kind function, the Gear S sports an impressive curved display that is bound to turn some heads. The Gear S may not be the most stylish option available but it earns a spot on this list for its sheer capabilities and the unique design. The Gear S costs $350.
[divider]1. Moto 360 [/divider]
No smartwatch list would be complete without this beauty. Whilst some of the entries on this list are mainly there for their design first and functionality second, the Moto 360 takes the #1 spot for blending both in a harmonious package. We can’t help but ogle that beautiful circular form factor and just appreciate the gorgeousness of the simple design. The device runs Android Wear and asserts itself as a smart watch, not a watch with some fancy features. The Moto 360 barely edges out the LG G Watch R because of its superior elegance, aside from that both are on par. The 360 was built to turn heads and will look good regardless of if you’re in a suit or casuals whilst still keeping track of your activities and obviously telling you the time. The Moto 360 starts at $250 for the leather strap model.
Ultimately, the perfect smartwatch for each individual will be different. At the current stage of development, smartwatches are premature. This however means that there is a lot of room for improvement. Given the great quality of the software currently running the show, the future holds only greater prospects for the wearable market.