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Remember the days when James Bond and other spies would talk into their watches or set off explosives using their timepieces; maybe haul out some wire to strangle a villain or shoot poison darts at the bad guys? Viewers laughed: no one could make a piece of jewelry that small do all of that stuff; at least, that’s what we all thought. I don’t know if anyone has developed watches yet with built-in weaponry, but now James Bond really can talk on his watch if it’s a SmartWatch.
What is a Smartwatch?
Old-fashioned watches just tell time, perhaps in two time zones, and maybe the date. You use a sports watch as a timer to count seconds and fractions of seconds when training for marathons and other running or swimming events. Their functionality stopped there, however, and no one seemed to mind. People used separate devices for listening to radio, watching TV, placing phone calls, browsing the internet, etc.
A Smartwatch does several of those things at one time, if not all of them, maybe more. You could have one with GPS installed. They act as pedometers, sleep monitors, Bluetooth devices, and sometimes even watches.
Consumers can expect to pay around $150 to $200 for good products by familiar, reliable names in technology like LG, Sony, and Samsung. An LG Android-compatible smartwatch costs $170. Black and slender, you might even refer to it as a sexy accessory but it offers more than a dark accent to your wardrobe. With a changeable strap, consumers can even change colors to match different outfits.
It’s a phone. If so, then it’s a mobile internet device. The LG Smartwatch synchronizes beautifully with other Android devices, but can take a bit of getting used to. Still, LG can be relied upon to deliver high-quality performance and appears to have done so once more. The 400-mAh battery will need recharging regularly of course using the proprietary USB cradle, but you would be surprised how long that lasts if the SmartWatch is not used in place of a cell phone. Its display is crisp and easy to read. LG has built in 4GB of internal storage into the device: more than enough for the few times this will replace your usual means of accessing information.
Sony Square SmartWatch 2
I love the square shape of this watch/phone/internet device. Available colors include pink, black, and yellow so it’s got the potential to be sexy, smart, or sporty. Just pick a detachable spring-bar fastened band of leather, silicon, or nylon. For around $200, you get Bluetooth compatibility, you can download apps from Google Play, and you’re able to receive notification of Facebook comments, emails, text, and chat. It’s even rain resistant and if there is glare from the sun you will still be able to see the screen.
The screen is so easy to read: it’s hard to believe such abundant technology can be crammed into a space this small, but Sony knows how if anyone does. Their 1.6″ SmartWatch face is resistant to scratches and dust as well as water for tremendous durability; something athletes need to know since bad weather and dry conditions don’t put them off of their stride. An aluminum case is light to wear all day long. The Sony SmartWatch 2 supports Facebook, Twitter, MMS and SMS messaging services, and lets you know if you missed a call on your regular Android phone.
Talk into your 1.5″ screen or browse clear images made from 240 x 240 pixels. It’s got a touch screen, operates as FM radio or as an MP3 player, and can even record your voice, your child’s first words, or birdsong: whatever you want. Battery life is pretty good at 450 mAh which equates to 72 hours on standby, 6 hours of talking, or 8 hours of music before you will need to recharge.
For me, this is the sportiest choice since the ODEM was designed to help you improve fitness. A pedometer is built in so you will know how many steps you take daily doing the usual things: laundry, vacuuming, running errands, and so on. If those steps don’t amount to much, you know it’s time to increase the energy you expend.
Get moving every time an alarm goes off to say you’ve been sedentary too long. There is a sleep monitor built in too; helpful if you aren’t sure you get enough zeds nightly.
This is an excellent smartwatch for anyone trying to improve his lifestyle, be healthier generally, or lose weight. The display is lovely. Users like it better for incoming calls than for placing calls, but there is always something you sacrifice with a device of this compact size.
Sony Ericsson SmartWatch Android TM
For around $140, you can have this basic, almost industrial-looking black phone/watch from Sony Ericsson. Some people say it’s small; too small, but very comfortable on your wrist. Here’s the thing: if you want a big screen, use the computer or even your handheld communication device.
If portable convenience is all you are looking for, there isn’t anything more portable than a watch. It’s got a strap already built in so you can take it everywhere and forget you’re wearing it. The Sony Ericsson battery does not last as long as some, but you just remember to recharge it regularly.
Use it to download information from your smart phone when you’re out running or hiking. That phone, which once seemed so light, now feels heavy by comparison, especially if you were planning to go jogging. Pixels measure 160 x 160: serviceable but a little grainy at times. There was no coating or special technology to prevent glare from obscuring your view of the screen.
Still, there are Widgets and Apps on the tiny screen, so access Facebook, download your favorite style of clock, or reply to a Twitter message. Play music too. Some reviewers would have liked more features, but that would involve spending another $60 or so.