Also called “Wearable Tech” and “Computerized Watches,” smartwatches provide users with functions that go well beyond the timekeeping purpose of standard watches. Early smartwatch models performed basic functions that included calculations, language translations, and the playing of simple video games.
Contemporary smartwatches act as wearable computers, hence the two ancillary terms often used to describe the technology. Most smartwatches run mobile apps, but a growing number of brands have installed mobile like operating systems that mimic the functions performed by modern electronic devices, such as smartphones.
What Factors to Consider for Buying a Smartwatch for Android OS
The recent entry of Google into the smartwatch market has dramatically increased awareness of the computerized watches, but many consumers still do not know what factors to consider, before making a purchase decision.
Type of Android Device
Android smartwatches operate exclusively with Android phones. Google develops the mobile operating software and contracts out the design and manufacturing of the watches to companies like Sony and Motorola. The physical structure of an Android OS smartwatch has little bearing on the purchase decision, except for personal style preferences.
However, the Android OS used play s a huge role in determining the speed and capability of Android smartwatches. As of May 2015, Android smartwatches only work with Android OS phones that run on Android 4.3 or later software releases.
Consumers must decide which Android smartwatch features they plan to use frequently. Just remember that some features jack up the price of an Android smartwatch.
Here are some Android Os features that make the computerized watch stand out from a rapidly growing number of competing brands.
- Phone call and email notifications
- Respond to text message via voice activation
- Hands-free Google Now
- Sleep Tracking
- Variety of Hardware Sizes and Designs
- Ticket scanning
- Chromecast integration
- Music play lists
- Traffic and weather updates
Google has added features that track sport performances metrics, including heart monitor and running distance. Consumers can also select features like an accelerometer, compass, organizer, and geo-map display.
What Apps Do You Want to Run?
Since an Android smartwatch needs to combine with an Android driven smartphone, consumers should place an emphasis on buying the smartwatch that possesses the right downloadable apps. Google offers hundreds of apps to upgrade the Android smartwatch experience and most of the apps download conveniently from the Google store.
The apps available for the Android smartwatch are extensions of Google Android smartphone apps, which make adding the technology cost effective.
Customization Puts the Consumer in Charge
Style has morphed into a prominent buying factor for wearable tech devices. Everything from straps to customized fits present additional purchase decisions for consumers. The Android wearable teach lineup includes Moto 360 that offers the most comprehensive customization tools. Android smartwatch customization also includes display features, such as clarity and screen coverage.
3 Android Smartwatches Stand above the Rest
Selecting the three best Android smartwatches can cause gray hair, as eight manufacturers have released models worthy of making the best of list. With seven of the eight Android smartwatches currently for sale, we can at least reduce the list by one smartwatch.
With updates that include enhanced GPS navigation, offline music, and Wi-Fi connectivity, the decision to place three of the best smartwatches at the top of the list mostly boils down to feature availability. Google offers an Android smartwatch tutorial online to make the decision a bit easier.
It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. In no particular order….
LG G Watch R-$349
As the most expensive smartwatch on the top 3 best smartwatches for Android Os list, the LG G Watch R comes with a battery that lasts up to two days. Leather and stainless steel combine to produce a highly durable smartwatch that exudes panache. The sharp contours around the rugged protective cover make the LG G Watch G the most traditionally styled smartwatch in the Android family.
The smaller than average 1.3-inch P-OLED display presents graphics that appear incredibly sharp on the 320-by-320 pixel screen. With an IP67 rating, this Android smartwatch can withstand the constant exposure to moisture.
Several reviews applaud the LG G Watch R for having the look and feel of standard watches. A power button on the right side of the smartwatch immediately tells consumers that the LG G Watch R is not an ordinary smartwatch.
Notifications from an Android smartphone immediately alert users by sending small vibrations. The noise-less notification alert feature works great for professionals that attend several meetings throughout the day.
Google Now prompts provide useful location or scheduling information, and the smartwatch navigation features access by voice or searching for locations by using an android smartphone.
Fitness buffs enjoy the steps counted feature, as well as the downloaded Google apps that monitor a number of physical achievements. $349 is a hefty price tag, but you can frequently find better deals at this listing.
Considered by many smartwatch experts to represent the most elegantly designed smartwatch, the unisex Aus Zen Watch possesses a thin frame and smoothly curved edges that complement both business suit and formal dress attire. The Aus Zen Watch destroys the myth that only men look good wearing smartwatches.
Scratch resistant stainless steel forms the back of the watch to ensure long lasting durability. The Aus Zen Watch weighs only 75 grams, with a thickness of just under 10 millimeters. You can read our full comparison of the ZenWatch vs Moto 360 here.
Users enjoy clarity by accessing all types of information from the 1.63-inch, 320-by-320 pixel high-resolution screen. Instead of a circular screen design, the Aus Zen Watch presents information around a rectangular screen design that provides more visual balance than the visual balance provided by circular smartwatch screens.
Rectangular screens never cut off text or images around the edges of the display. Easy to use music controls and remarkably accurate Google Voice highlight the features of the Aus Zen Watch. A large range of outstanding watch faces combine with the Find My Phone and Remote Shutter features to present one of the most diverse smartwatches on the market.
You can set the reliable smartwatch to keep your smartphone unlocked every time it enters the smartwatch’s range. Very few other smartwatches have the capability to alert users to the pending arrival of an Uber service vehicle. The ZenWatch comes in at a reasonable mid-range of $199. You can check out this listing for the latest pricing and deals.
As the most customizable smartwatch, the Moto 360 sets the performance standard in the smartwatch industry. The sleek design and use of high-grade materials makes the Moto 360 the perfect smartwatch to wear in more formal settings, although it does not project a snobbish image for users that want to enjoy the myriad athletic monitoring features at the gym.
NOTE: I did a comparison of the Sony Smartwatch vs Moto here, and I found that the Moto 360 was a better value for the money.
Consumers can choose between a black and stainless steel exterior devoid of the unbecoming curved lines that dominate the appearance of other smartwatches. The display automatically turns to a clock display, after a preset passing of time.
This not only ensures practical use of the watch, but also the conservation of battery power. The illuminated screen offers users clear images in low-lit environments.
Google Fit highlights the features that come with the Moto 360 smartwatch. The health monitoring features include creating goals and tracking heart rates. Heart Activity monitors the heart rate of users that perform 30 minutes of activity per day.
Google Keep allows users to produce verbal notes that store in files for later review. Users access Google Now features to track weather and football scores, as well as learn directions by following clearly displayed virtual maps. Be sure to check out this listing for a good deal on the Moto 360.
ZenWatch vs Moto: If you are stuck between these two (like I was), you can check out my head to head comparison here.
A Final Word
No discussion about buying an Android OS smartwatch is complete, without mentioning price. The recent development of sophisticated smartwatch features-features that some say mirror the watches worn by James Bond-increase the price of the smartwatches.
At the end of the day timed by precise smartwatch technology, you have to decide if you can afford higher end smartwatches. As with all other types of new tech gadgets, prices decline shortly after mass release. Consumers should shop for recently released affordable Android OS smartwatches that provide the best tools and features.