Last year, everyone was trying to convince us that wearables were cool, but no one believed it. This year, smartwatch makers have hit their stride, and IFA was a delectable smorgasborg of attractive wearables. Here are 10 of the coolest wearables we saw at IFA 2015.
Samsung finally hit the jackpot with the Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic. These gorgeous round smartwatches are the perfect size for any wrist, and Samsung’s rotating bezel is a stroke of pure genius. The Gear S2 and Classic both run a special rotary version of Tizen OS, which relies on the twisting bezel for navigation. Even though the watches don’t run Android Wear, both Gear S2 models will run on non-Samsung Android phones with 4.4 KitKat and 1.56GB of RAM. You can even use the watch to buy things with Samsung Pay.
Motorola’s new Moto 360 is just as gorgeous as the first-generation round smartwatch, but now it comes in two collections: one for men and another for women. The men’s version measures 46mm, while the women’s version comes in a 42mm size, which remains slightly overlarge for many women’s tastes. You can design your own look and choose from a number of straps and metal finishes in the Moto Maker design studio online. The Moto 360 runs Android Wear, of course, and promises one- to two-day battery life. You can even connect it to the iPhone.
Huawei finally released its first smartwatch at IFA, and the round Android Wear watch looks stunning. It’s a classic design made of high-end materials like stainless steel, sapphire crystal glass, and leather straps. The Huawei Watch comes in a variety of styles and price ranges, with a few rose gold plated options, which will cost you a pretty penny. The watch boasts a very high-resolution screen of 400 x 400 pixels and claims two to three days of battery life. Huawei’s watch works with Android or iPhones, thanks to the latest update to Android Wear.
LG spruced up its Urbane smartwatch with a new 23-karat gold option called the LG Watch Urbane Luxe. LG also offers new leather straps that feature the same premium clasp Cartier invented in 1910. It’s got all the same specs as the regular Urbane, which launched at MWC, so the design is the only new feature here. If you’ve always wanted an even more ostentatious and premium LG Watch Urbane, then the Luxe is for you. Priced at $1,200, the Urbane Luxe is significantly less than that 18-karat gold Apple Watch, which starts at $10,000.
Asus’ second smartwatch, the ZenWatch 2, made an appearance at IFA. It comes in two sizes, with three color options and 18 different straps to choose from. It’s one of the most customizable Android Wear smartwatches available, though it’s oblong screen is somewhat large and an acquired taste. The coolest thing about the ZenWatch 2 is that Asus promises up to four days of battery life, which would be outstanding, if it manages to pull it off. With prices ranging between $170 and $190, it’s also one of the cheapest Android Wear smartwatches.
TomTom’s Spark Cardio + Music may not be the prettiest wearable on this list, but it is the most powerful fitness watch of the bunch. It has built-in GPS tracking, a heart rate monitor, and onboard storage for music. The watch keeps tabs on all your fitness metrics, like distance covered, steps taken, calories burned, and sleep quality, among other things. The chunky sports watch syncs with your smartphone to give you a more detailed view of your progress, and it works with other major fitness apps like Runkeeper.
Runtastic is best-known for its amazing running and fitness app, but it’s also made wearables. Now, Runtastic plans to woo fashion-conscious fitness freaks with the gorgeous Moment — an analog watch with a progress bar and LED light that syncs with your phone to give you stats on your activity. It tracks distance travelled, steps taken, calories burned, and sleep. The Moment comes in a variety of styles and sizes to suit every taste, whether you prefer a sporty look, a classic watch, or something funky. The best part? You never have to charge it.
Phillips is experimenting with a lot of health-focused technologies that can be used in the home. One of the prototypes it demoed was the Health Watch, a wearable that sports an optical heart rate sensor, accelerometer, and other sensors capable of tracking heart rate, activity, and sleep patterns. Philips didn’t say what operating system the health watch runs, but we suspect it is the company’s own OS. The watch syncs with the Phillips’ HealthSuite app on your phone to analyze the data for you, so you know where you stand.
ZTE Axon Watch
ZTE intends to grow its Axon device range outside China beyond the two phones currently available, and this watch may be a hint of what’s to come. It’s a working prototype of the Axon Watch, a China-only smartwatch that runs Tencent OS, which is a modified version of Android Wear created by media giant Tencent. It works with all Android phones, has a heart rate monitor, a high-resolution screen, various apps and games, plus a customizable look through alternative straps and body colors.
Alcatel Go Watch
The Alcatel Go Watch is an affordable activity tracker that offers a heart rate monitor in a rugged IP67-rated, waterproof body. The face and strap come in a variety of bright finishes and you can switch them easily, though all of them are chunky plastic. In addition to keeping track of your daily activity, the Go Watch monitors your sleep, and it can be hooked up with your Android smartphone or iPhone to receive notifications and control music. It’s not much of a looker, but the budget $150 price tag secures it the final spot on this list.