In the days leading up to the holidays, smartwatches will undoubtedly be amongst the hottest selling devices for this year. As such, there is now a bewildering array of options for interested consumers.
Recently, three smartwatches have been the subject of much discussion within tech gossip. There is the Motorola Moto 360, which virtually sold out everywhere. Then, there is the newly-launched Apple Watch that runs on the iOS operating system. Meanwhile, Samsung launched the Gear S that is supposedly the first of its kind to operate independently of a smartphone.
We will explore the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of these three devices.
Aesthetics and Size
Noted for its classical circular design, the Moto 360 features chamfered glass with an elegant leather band that comes in either black or gray. The smartwatch has 1.56-inch screen with 320x290 resolution. At 49 grams, the Moto 360 feels like a regular watch when worn. Also, its material is made of stainless steel.
The Apple Watch comes in two different face sizes - either 38mm (1.49 inches) or 42mm (1.65 inches). Naturally, the smaller watch will be more comfortable for users with smaller wrists. Consumers can choose between six finishes as well as six band colors. Regarding looks, the watch is square-shaped with rounded edges. The watch comes in either steel, aluminum, or 18K gold.
In contrast, the Gear S is much larger with a whopping 2-inch AMOLED screen. The device is noticeably chunky, and is encased in plastic. It has a screen that is squared with sharp edges. However, the smartwatch curved shape conforms to the wearer's wrist.
Specs and Compatibility
All three smartwatches run on different operating systems. Motorola's Moto 360 has the new Android Wear OS installed, while the Apple Watch uses its own Watch OS. The Gear S runs on Samsung's proprietary Tizen OS, which is similar to operating systems on smartphones.
Unlike its competitors, the Gear S connects directly with the 3G network without the needing a compatible mobile device. On the other hand, the Moto 360 needs to be paired with a device running Android 4.3 or later. The Apple Watch only functions with phones such as the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, and iPhone 5C.
Many mobile device manufacturers are starting to add health-related features to their designs. Naturally, this trend has found its way to smartwatches.
The Moto 360 comes with a built-in pedometer that counts each step the wearer takes, along with a heart-rate monitor that measures heartbeat. Similar heart-rate monitors can also be found in the Apple Watch and Gear S.
All three of these devices have apps that store data based on information collected from the sensors. On Android smartwatches, this function is handled by Google Fit. The equivalent app for Apple is the Apple HealthKit.
Price and Release Date
The most expensive of the three smartwatches is the Apple Watch, which has an estimated retail value of $350. The Moto 360, in comparison, has a starting price of roughly $250. Meanwhile, Samsung has yet to officially confirm the price of the Gear S.
Though the Moto 360 is technically released, it continues to be sold out at merchants that include Best Buy and Google Play. Even Motorola's online store is having problems keeping the smartwatch in stock.
Samsung's Gear S may be released in October 2014. Still, the device is not being offered for pre-order at this time. Also, Samsung has remained silent regarding the release schedule for this particular smartwatch.
Apple has not confirmed when the Apple Watch will start reaching stores, even though the watch has already been formally introduced. Based on rumors, both versions of the Apple Watch may be available sometime in early 2015.