News & Reviews: SmartWatch
Last Updated: Feb 25, 2014
Reports indicate that Google could finally come out with it's smartwatch. They also say that LG could be the manufacturer in charge of the 'Nexus' smartwatch due to their previous good jobs with the other Nexus devices. It is expected to integrate a lot of voice commands through Google Now and that Google are working on a fork or version of Android designed for smartwatches, perhaps solving the current problem of short battery life. The reports go on further to say that Google could announce this smartwatch in March 2014 with a possible release date in June 2014 at Google I/O. No news on pricing yet, but if Google want it to be a hit, it should be fairly affordable or at least below the $100 (RM327) mark, especially if it is going to be another companion accessory.
Last Updated: Feb 24, 2014
As rumoured, Huawei recently came out with their first smartwatch called the Huawei TalkBand B1. Featuring a bended 1.4-inch OLED display, the TalkBand B1 looks more like a smartband than a smartwatch with a silicon band that should fit most wrists. While the TalkBand B1 functions in the same way as other bluetooth companion devices, one of it's main features includes the ability to take out the OLED display and use it as a Bluetooth earpiece.
Last Updated: Feb 24, 2014
At the ongoing MWC 2014, Samsung revealed their next generation smartwatches the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo. Major differences with the original Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch include the fact that both new smartwatches are running Tizen, Samsung's mobile operating system and the fact that the camera has been moved to the chassis and not the strap. A new IrLED blaster lets you control your TV and other devices. Both smartwatches have more or less the same tech specs and features except that the Galaxy Gear 2 Neo doesn't have any camera. Check out the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and Galaxy Gear 2 Neo tech specs below:
- Samsung Galaxy Gear 2
- 1GHz Dual Core Processor
- 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display (320 x 320 pixel resolution)
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB storage
- 2MP camera (auto focus, 720p at 30fps video recording)
- 36.9 x 58.4x 10.0 mm | 68g
- 300 mAh battery
- Supports heart rate sensor, pedometer, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, IrLED sensor, Noise Cancellation
- IP67 Certified Dust and Water Resistant
- Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2014
According to recent rumours, the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch could be getting a refresh at the upcoming Mobile World Congress 2014 set to happen at the end of the month. What is really interesting is that instead of the Android operating system it is using, the new refresh could be using Samsung's Tizen operating system. Both Android and Tizen are designed to be scaled down to devices with limited hardware but Tizen seems to be something Samsung could be more familiar with. No news if the refresh could also mean a pricing refresh as well but many are expecting the Samsung smartwatch to make it's appearance at the Unpacked event coming up soon as it would make a good companion device to the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2014
While the Google Glass and other smartglasses offer a good amount of functionality but certainly look rather geeky. Going the way of the fashion conscious tech head the Icis smart glasses are still at prototype stage and are being built by a company called Laforge (yes, from Star Trek: The Next Generation). The Icis smartglasses will look like normal glasses but offer functions similar to other Bluetooth companion wearables for Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices. Tech specs so far include a 1GHz Sitara processor, 512MB RAM and a Linux based operating system, although the final product could have 1GB of RAM, 720p video recording and other features. The team are looking to get $80000 (RM264280) by next month with an Icis BOLD kit costing $620 (RM2048) to be delivered in January 2015. There are other options which you can check at the Icis Indiegogo Crowd-funding site. Check out the video in this article for a better idea of the Icis smartglasses.
Last Updated: Feb 13, 2014
Don't fancy a smartwatch or smart band or even smart glasses? Well, why not have some smart, wireless and in-ear headphones instead? This is exactly the premise of The Dash by BRAGI LLC, which are a pair of water-proof in-ear headphones packed with a 4GB built-in music player and sensors that can track your heartbeat, steps and gestures. The headphones fit perfectly (for most ears) into your ear and have a glowing LED circle on the outside, giving it a very stylish and Tron-like feel.
Last Updated: Feb 11, 2014
Everyone seems to be jumping on the smartwatch bandwagon and Huawei is no exception. Rumours have cropped up that Huawei could be coming to the Mobile World Congress or MWC expo 2014 with it's first smartwatch. Other products coming along with the smartwatch also include several tablets along with a smartphone. So far, the only definite device seems to be one of the tablets which could be the Huawei MediaPad X1, which is a 7-inch tablet with 1080p display. All the other devices don't seem to have any other tech specs to give them away, but we're hoping that Huawei being Huawei will result in a more affordable yet innovative smartwatch offering. Since this is just a rumour still, there are no details on pricing or Malaysia release dates just yet. As always, take this rumour with a pinch of salt as we wait for 24 February 2014 when the MWC will officially begin.
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2014
While the Apple iWatch has yet to arrive, or even get any official leaked images, quite a few designers have gone and made their own takes or concept render's of Apple's rumoured smartwatch. Most look very attractive while some seem so realistic that they look very much like how the Apple iWatch could look when it does come out. This next concept render however, is just beautifully attractive and doesn't seem very realistic at all. The designer states tech specs like a Retina display on a circular watch design which definitely looks nice but we have to wonder where or how Apple would stick all the necessary hardware like a battery with this design. We think it very unlikely that this design will get picked up by Apple but you can enjoy it for yourself below nonetheless.
Last Updated: Feb 07, 2014
Most smartwatches today tend to suffer from poor battery life. In comparison to your normal watch which lasts 1-2 years before needing a battery change, the longest period most smartwatches can last is about a week, and even then, that is with very minimal usage. HTC have recently come out saying that they have solved this battery life problem and could be coming out with a HTC smartwatch in late 2014. This news comes from an interview by Bloomberg where top HTC execs revealed that the company will be coming out with a wearable by the end of 2014. While they didn't confirm if it would be a smartwatch, smart glasses or smart band, we're guessing a smartwatch or smart band would be the device in question. No news on tech specs, pricing or compatibility, which are the other limitations of smartwatches but we're hoping that HTC do their research and go for a device below or around RM500 that can be used by all devices.
Last Updated: Feb 06, 2014
The Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch offers the most amount of features around but one of the main reasons it didn't really take off in Malaysia was it's RM999 price tag. Recently Samsung cut down the price of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch in India down to $120 (RM397), with the original initial pricing set at an even higher $365 (RM1208). Samsung has not given any official announcement on a global cut-down in pricing for markets like Malaysia yet but since India got it, China, Malaysia and other Asian markets will probably follow soon after. The price cut is also indicative of what could be coming as well, as many are expecting the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch or S Band bracelet to be revealed in 2014. No specific Malaysia release dates just yet, but we're expecting it to come in or after the end of February 2014.