We’ve got a roundup of the best smartwatches at this years IFA conference.
There’s no shortage of smartwatch announcements at IFA this year and it’s been quite hard keeping up. As such, we’ve created roundup of the biggest highlights at the conference. One thing that was obvious is a more committed focus to ‘realistic’ looking smartwatches. Blocky square designs are old hat, with a shift to more traditional circular designs that mimic the appearance of real watches.
Asus ZenWatch 2
Aggressively priced at only ¬169 for the 45mm version and ¬149 for the larger 49mm model, the Asus ZenWatch 2 will be available from October in a variety of finishes. My personal favourite is the one above, which looks very similar to those retro Casio watches from the 80’s. 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3 gives it a subtle curve so it sits more flush on the wrist, while the various sensors allow the usual array of health and fitness monitoring. It’s also rated as IP67 water resistant, meaning it can withstand the occasional splash of liquid.
The larger version has a 1.63-inch panel with a resolution of 320 x 320, which equates to roughly 278 pixels-per-inch. The smaller version has a 1.45-inch panel with a lower resolution of 280 x 280, which is around 273 PPI. Both versions come with AMOLED displays for better power efficiency. Running on a Snapdragon 400 processor with 512MB RAM, it manages to keep up with the more expensive models. Internal storage is 4GB. The battery is 400 mAh, with Asus quoting a usage time of 2.5 days in ambient use.
The Zenwatch 2 will launch with a choice of three straps, either metal, fabric or leather.
This stylish looking number is Huawei’s first foray into smartwatches and it’s certainly an excellent first attempt. Available in a 42mm version, it has a premium finish and quick release band for easily changing over straps. The screen is protected by Sapphire glass, making it more tougher than other smartwatch devices which tend to opt for Cornering Gorilla Glass. It’s jam packed full of sensors, with a heart-rate monitor, motion sensor, gyroscope and accelerometer.
The Huawei watch has a 1.4-inch AMOLED display with a high 400 x 400 pixel resolution, giving it a good score of around 286 pixels-per-inch. It’s also one of few smartwatches to work with both major operating systems, with iOS 8.2+ and Android 4.3+ supported. Internally, the specifications are much the same as the rest. It has a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU and 512MB RAM, plus a decent 300 mAh battery. Huawei say that the average life of the device should be around 1.5 days, which is likely due to the benefits of using an AMOLED screen.
It will be available in Stainless steel mesh (above), stainless steel link and and leather versions.
Moto 360 2
As one of the first company’s to buck the trend of square phones, Motorola had a lot to prove with their update of the popular Moto 360 smartwatch. Unsurprisingly, it carries on the theme of a circular watch face but manages to improve on a few areas where the original fell short. A 46mm version is available (the same as last years) which is now aimed at men, plus there’s also a new smaller 42mm version available for women. The small cutout at the bottom where the ambient light sensor sits has being carried across from the previous design, though the main navigation button has now moved to the 2 o’clock position.
The screen is still an LCD panel, which isn’t as power efficient when compared to OLED displays. Resolution has increased to 360 x 330 on the larger model and 360 x 325 on the smaller model. It uses a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor and 512MB RAM, much like every other smartwatch currently available. One trump card up its sleeve is wireless charging, which is included as standard on the new Moto 360. The 300 mAh battery is slightly lower than its competitors and the LCD screen is a big drain, with Motorola only quoting ‘up to 1 day’ with the ambient light sensor turned on.
It’s available from the end of September with prices quoted at $300 for the smaller version and $350 for the larger variant. There’s also a sport variant, which has an outdoor readable display and on-board GPS.
For more on IFA 2015, visit What Mobile’s dedicated IFA page.