FROM APPLE IWATCH TO SAMSUNG GEAR S: THE SMARTWATCH BATTLE GETS UNDERWAY
Finally, it looks like the battle of the wearables will begin soon. It’s only been weeks since the LG and Samsung launched G Watch and Gear Live running Android Wear, and now both companies are all set to battle it out with the highly anticipated Moto 360 with newer round/curvy watches. After a string of rumours and lots of flip-flop, Apple is also expected to announce the iWatch on September 9. The list doesn’t end here; Microsoft is also prepping its smartwatch that will work with all leading OS platforms, while Asus and HTC have been hinting at foraying into the wearables segment too. All in all, we can expect an extravaganza of smartwatches over the next few months, and this holiday season could possibly be all about gifting smartwatches. It may be too soon to decide the fate the smartwatches, but we cant deny the fact that the true smartwatch era is set to begin too. here’s a quick round-up of the smartwatches expected to be enter the markets soon.
It is only fair to begin the list with the iWatch, and word about its development has triggered the race for the smartwatch market. The rumours about the iWatch began early last year, but after a no-show for almost over a year, Apple is now set to launch its fitness-focussed band alongside the iPhone 6 next month. As far as Apple iWatch rumours go, it has been reported that the watch could be available in two sizes of 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch flexible AMOLED displays. In terms of battery life, rumour mills had noted that Apple is testing newer and innovative ways for charging methods for the watch, which includes technology to enable inductive, solar, and motion charging of the wearable, thus minimising the constant battery consumption. Considering the recent track record of Motorola, we expect relatively lower price for the Moto 360.
Besides the battery and the display, we also know a few tidbits about some other features of the device. According to Kuo, one can expect a sapphire lens cover, biometric recognition and an NFC chip. Moreover, there has been buzz about Apple working on some new sensors that can check a person’s hydration levels, blood pressure, and sweat, components that can assist professional athletes during their training exercises. This further fuels speculations about the wearable device combined with Apple’s HealthKit could be capable of tracking steps, calories burned, heart rate and more. Here’s a quick Apple iWatch rumour-roundup.
iWatch concept seen before
As the year flagged off, we have been hearing about Apple going on a medical expert hiring spree. In January, there were reports about two medical wearable specialists, including one of Indian origin, being brought on board by Apple. Apple is also believed to have teamed up with some notable athletes to test the alleged iWatch’s fitness capabilities. Over the month of June, Apple had reportedly invited athletes from the MLB, NHL, and NBA to its Cupertino campus to brief them on the upcoming smartwatch.
The Moto 360 is one of the most highly anticipated wearables set to be unveiled early next month. The company is expected to lunch the new smartwatch alongside its successors to the Moto G and Moto X. According to a previous report by DroidLife, the Moto 360 is priced at $249 that translates to Rs 15,100. Its circular face measures 1.5-inch LCD display and features 320×290 pixels of resolution. It also comes with a heart rate monitor and a pedometer. The Moto 360 is powered by a Texas Instruments processor coupled with 512MB of RAM, claims the company. If this leaked page is to be believed than the Moto 360 is priced almost equivalent to the other two smartwatches – LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live. This also seems contrary to the ‘aggressive pricing’ that Punit Soni, VP, Product management, Motorola Mobility had been claiming.
Samsung Gear S
Samsung has pulled the wraps off its next iteration in the wearable Gear range in the form of the Gear S. This IP67 certified wearable is dust and water resistant, and runs Samsung’s own Tizen instead of Android Wear. It sports a 2-inch curved Super AMOLED display. One will find support for 3G as well as Wi-Fi connectivity. This Bluetooth-enabled wearable also comes with improved multi-sensors and built-in GPS. The wearable also offers turn-by-turn pedestrian navigation offered by the mapping service HERE, advanced reading technology from Spritz and comes with social media integration. It will also support the Gear apps along with Samsung features like S Voice, Find My Device and Power Saving Mode. The Gear S will be available in global markets in phases starting October.
LG G Watch R
While LG launched its G Watch last month, it was secretly working on a circular variant of the wearable to take on the Moto 360. With wasting any time, the company has quickly announced its all new G Watch R that will debut at the IFA this year. The company claims it to be the first watch-style wearable device to feature a circular Plastic OLED (P-OLED) display and utilise 100 percent of its watch face. A 1.3-inch full circle P-OLED display means it would directly compete with the Moto 360. The G Watch R is powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor coupled with 512MB RAM and fuelled by a 410mAh battery. One can expect 4GB onboard storage. Unlike the newly announced Samsung Gear S, it runs Android Wear, Google’s OS especially crafted for wearables.
Just like most the wearables , the G watch R has been built to sustain liquid spills. However, the company claims that with an Ingress Protection Rating of IP67, it is designed to run for up to 30 minutes in one meter of water. It is also dust resistant. The classic circular device is encased in a strong, durable stainless steel frame and carries a suite of watch faces that can be accessed with a simple touch of the display. It also gets interchangeable 22mm calf skin leather strap.
Microsoft was terribly late in updating its smartphone OS, after Apple’s and Android’s initial success and it possibly plans to not make the same mistake when it comes to wearables. News has it that the software giant plans to launch its first smartwatch in October. The company is said to be in talks with suppliers about design and plans to rope in an always-on heart rate sensor too. The company doesn’t want to limit the support for WP devices and the device is also rumoured to support Android as well as iOS. So, a cross-platform functionality and always-on heart rate monitor coupled with some other improved fitness features, would possibly work for Microsoft. With Kinect in tow, it could also introduce some gesture-enabled features for the smartwatch.
Asus is also gearing to launch its newest smartwatch at the IFA this year. Though not much is known about the Asus wearable yet, it is believed to be priced between $99 and $149 (approximately Rs 5,900 to 9,000). It is likely to come fitted with a curved AMOLED display and the device will be named Zenwatch. For the rest of the details, we’ll have to wait until the official launch.
Though we don’t know anything about the HTC smartwatch, the company has made it quite clear that it is working on one. HTC’s official video named “HTC Design – Behind The Scenes” that lasted not more than 1.05 minutes showed a square-shaped watch. The video showed some employees at a desk, probably testing the watch. The video also showed a 3D render of the watch on one of the computer displays. This means, the company clearly wants everyone to know that it working on a watch, which could be launched anytime soon.