News & Reviews: SmartWatch
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.
Last Updated: Feb 05, 2014
While Samsung's Unpacked invite all but announced the coming of the Samsung Galaxy S5, it still didn't offer much in terms of tech specs or features. Rumours have cropped up from Eldar Murtazin who says he knows the exact details. According to him, the Samsung Galaxy S5 will have a 5.24-inch display with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution (2K display) which would give it a world's first record with 560ppi pixel density. Other features include a 3200 mAh battery, 32GB / 64GB storage, a 16MP rear camera, 3.2MP front camera and two versions with either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 or Samsung Exynos 6 processor and chipset. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is expected to arrive with a companion S Band bracelet and not a Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch. Last but not least, do take this rumour with a healthy dose of salt, as Eldar Murtazin has been wrong about the Galaxy S5 before.
Last Updated: Jan 30, 2014
Direct from the horses mouth, or in this case the mouth of Jonny Shih, ASUS chairman is the statement that we may soon see an ASUS smartwatch come our way. He said that such a wearable device could come by the second half of the year after June 2014 with the quote:
"There are actually many challenges in this area, and I don't think products that lack special features will be useful. We'll try to replace your watch by all means."
This isn't really new though as ASUS did say that the ASUS smartwatch would be on show at the Computex Taipei 2014 show in June this year, way back in November last year. That being said, the ASUS smartwatch is expected to offer many features although we hope that they manage to extend the battery life, make it standalone or ensure that it is compatible with every device more than special features it may have.
Last Updated: Jan 28, 2014
A Korean report recently quoted a Samsung spokesperson who hinted that we may soon see a pair of Samsung smartglasses, ahead of the consumer version of Google Glass, which has already come out for developers and first-time adopters. According to the report, we could see the still-unnamed Samsung smartglasses at the latest IFA which should be happening around September 2014. The report says that the Samsung Smartglasses will have the same functions as the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, although we hope it won't have the same crippling battery life and compatibility limitations. Below is the exact quote from the report:
It will be interesting to see which companies get better stakes in the race for smart glasses. Players definitely want to enjoy a ‘first-mover’ advantage in this new and highly lucrative market [...]
Wearable devices can’t generate profits immediately. Steady releases of devices are showing our firm commitment as a leader in new markets …
Last Updated: Jan 23, 2014
A couple of months back we saw a Nike Fuelband inspired Apple iWatch concept from Thomas Bogner and in the recent CES 2014, the trend for smartwatches is leaning more towards the smart band or bracelet look than your traditional watch. This time around we get another, very polished and very beautiful Apple iWatch concept render, this time courtesy of designer Todd Hamilton, who not only did a similar band design but also added in iOS 7 functionality. Overall, the design here is a lot more realistic, as the icons look more readable (as it is oriented differently) than the previous one. However, there are major hurdles for this design, one of which would be flexible enough batteries for such a slim bangle but with LG's recent string batteries, we don't see why it can't be fit into a band form as well. Check out the concept render for yourself below:
Last Updated: Jan 22, 2014
While the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch probably offers the most in terms of functionality for any smartwatch currently on the market one of it's main limitations was that it only works with certain Samsung smartphones. This short compatibility list included the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Note 2, S4 and S3 with Android 4.3 firmware. However, this is no longer the case as Smart Watch Fans have come up with a guide showing how to make the Galaxy Gear smartwatch work with a Nexus 5 smartphone. It may require you to download some files, extract them and rename them, but there isn't any arduous programming or too-technical stuff to do to make it work. Do bear in mind that most of the apps work, except for S-Voice and Weather. Other smartwatch fans are saying that they have also made the Galaxy Gear work with the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, provided that it is the pure vanilla Google Edition version.
Last Updated: Jan 22, 2014
Jumping on the gold coloured smartphone bandwagon? Then Celcom's recent offer for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Rose Gold Edition should interest you as you can now get the phablet in Rose Gold White or Rose Gold Black at Celcom from RM1538. In addition to this, Celcom are even throwing in a free Moschino casing (worth RM189) along with a Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch at just RM288 (the standard retail price for the Gear is RM999). The initial Celcom Samsung Galaxy Note 3 deal is still the same with 12-month, 18-month and 24-month contracts for the Celcom First postpaid plans. Just for your information, the free Moschino case is only available from 28 January 2014 with the whole deal valid up until 28 February 2014. Check out the table and links in this article for more details.