News & Reviews: SmartWatch
Last Updated: Jan 20, 2014
Remember the multiple screen concept Nokia smartwatch prototype called Facet? Well, while it was certainly interesting, it definitely didn't look very cool (or comfortable) but this could change as Nokia will retain the wearables part of the business when it finally merges up with Microsoft. In line with this, Nokia is rumoured to be coming out with a better smartwatch by Q3 of 2014 that could use Morph technology. However, this seems highly unlikely since we've not seen anything capable of doing that just yet. For now, a more realistic concept render of a Nokia smartwatch has just come out from Phone Designer. The concept doesn't go into tech specs or features that much but it does reveal an interesting lock screen interface which could save on battery life and reduce the size of the smartwatch. Check it out below:
Last Updated: Jan 10, 2014
Samsung's Lee Young Hee, Executive VP of the Mobile Division certainly likes to drop plenty of teasers for Samsung products in his quotes with this one concerning the next Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Confirming that the still unnamed smartwatch which could turn be named the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 would be unveiled with the Samsung Galaxy S5 by April, he said:
“When we release our S5 device, you can also expect a Gear successor with more advanced functions, and the bulky design will also be improved. Health-care related functions will be the most inherently tied functions to future wearables. We see a very big potential from there.”
Last Updated: Jan 09, 2014
While there have been a whole lot of smartwatches and smartbands, not many of them have actually been from existing popular watch makers, but Casio has changed that by announcing the G-Shock STB-1000 smartwatch. While the overall shape and design looks just like a Casio G-Shock watch, it is in fact Bluetooth 4.0 LE capable and can link up with several fitness apps. Unfortunately, it only works with iOS. Tech specs and features on the G-Shock STB-1000 include notifications of incoming calls, texts and emails along with music player control. It can also display data from the Abvio Runmeter GPS, Walkmeter GPS, Cyclemeter GPS and Wahoo Fitness apps with more to come soon. Other notable features include some degree of customization from the iOS app along with the ability to find your phone through the Phone Finder function. The main advantage the G-Shock STB-1000 has over every other smartwatch around is that the battery is rated at 2 years and it has 100-meter water resistance. While you definitely can't check emails, take pics or answer calls from this smartwatch, the other features should make it very attractive. So far, no Malaysia release dates or pricing were available but knowing Casio, the G-Shock STB-1000 is likely either already available or will be coming soon.
Last Updated: Jan 08, 2014
Coming from the makers of the first successful consumer smartwatch is the Pebble Steel smartwatch. Essentially the same Pebble bluetooth notifications smartwatch, the new Steel offers a more stylish and sturdy look with premium materials that include a Corning Gorilla Glass panel and all metal materials. The Steel definitely looks and handles nicer than the original plastic Pebble smartwatch but it still runs the same Pebble apps and notifications as before. The Steel will not replace the original though as it will be priced at a higher-end $249 (RM817) price tag. As far as Malaysia release dates go, the Pebble Steel smartwatch will be available worldwide on 28 January 2014 but you can still go to the Pebble Steel site to pre-order as stocks are limited.
Last Updated: Jan 07, 2014
CES 2014 continues to shape up as the place for everyone to announce their tech wearables and LG is no exception as they have gone and announced their Lifeband Touch smartband along with Heart Rate Earphones. Initially designed for the fitness inclined, the two devices connect wirelessly to each other and to both Android and iOS smartphones. The Lifeband Touch is a smart bangle with a touch OLED display showing the time, notifications, biometric data and music controls with a built in accelerometer and altimeter for the measurment of distance, speed, steps taken, calories burned and much more. The device is motion controlled as well, turning on or off when you rotate your wrist. The LG Heart Rate Earphones use PerformTek sensors to measure blood flow from your ears, allowing it to measure your heart rate and oxygen consumption. LG have made the design for the earphone comfortable and clip-on while being lightweight enough to go for a run without too much danger of falling off. Still not much news on exact Malaysia release dates or pricing but these devices should be expected after Q2 2014 when they will be released for the US.
Last Updated: Dec 31, 2013
Archos is usually better known for their affordable tablets but they have recently announced that they will be bringing a number of new and affordable devices to CES 2014. This includes a number of Archos smartwatches that may cost less than $50 (RM164). The Archos smartwatch in the picture looks a lot like the pebble smartwatch but there is no news on other tech specs, features or functions available for these supposedly affordable smartwatches. In related news, Archos will also be bringing a 7-inch tablet called the Smart Home tablet, an activity tracker, a blood pressure monitor, a home camera and a weather station to the show under a main theme called Archos Connected Home. All of these Archos devices will use Bluetooth LE and should be compatible with Android and iOS devices. Check out the devices in the article.
Last Updated: Dec 30, 2013
The first generation Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch really didn't wow us despite it currently being the most feature-filled consumer smartwatch available. It cost too much, lasted just a bit more than 24 hours and still had to rely on your smartphone to use most of the apps. So when rumours that Samsung could be coming out with a 2nd version surfaced we're still a bit skeptical about the whole Samsung smartwatch thing. As it is, rumours are saying that the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and another wearable to be called the Samsung Galaxy Band could be revealed at MWC 2014 in February. Tech specs and features are very limited but the Galaxy Gear 2 is expected to have a flexible screen while the Galaxy Band would be a health tracker much like the Nike FuelBand. No details on pricing or Malaysia release dates but if they do get revealed at MWC 2014, we'll probably see them in Malaysia sometime in 2014. For now, check out the whole bunch of flexible display tech from Samsung's own Display group below. Do watch out for a FuelBand like bangle smartwatch in the video.
Last Updated: Dec 27, 2013
Rumours have come up stating that LG may soon come out with not one but two wearable devices for your wrist at the MWC Expo 2014. The LG smartwatch could be called the LG G Arch while the wristband could be a bluetooth health tracker called the LG G Health. Unfortunately, there aren't any other tech specs available or details like Malaysia pricing or release dates but we'll keep you updated as soon as we get some more information.
Last Updated: Dec 24, 2013
While Motorola have yet to show off any smartwatch, much less a flexible display smartwatch they seem like one of the more likely companies to do so. Not only is Motorola responsible for many of the world's firsts in the mobile phone industry, they also have big pockets Google backing them up. Recent patent applications from Motorola suggest that we could see a flexible display smartwatch from them before long. The patent looks like a standard interlinked metal watch band with a flexible display overlay but there don't seem to be any other tech specs or features that may make it more unique. Since this is still just a patent application there are no Malaysia release dates yet, but it does mean that Motorola are planning something in the smartwatch department, so stay tuned.
Last Updated: Dec 24, 2013
Smartwatch devices are on the rise and it doesn't come as a surprise that rumours have popped up saying that Nokia will come out with a smartwatch of their own. What does come as a surprise is that the rumours say that the new smartwatch will use Morph technology which involves the use of smart nanotechnology materials. Bear in mind that Nokia's Morph tech isn't something new and was first demoed as concept renders way back in 2008. It was futuristic then and it remains so now, so we're rather skeptical that a Nokia Morph smartwatch could come anytime soon. Be that as it may, the Nokia smartwatch is rumoured to arrive in after Q2 of 2014. The actual quote referring the Nokia Morph is listed below:
"nanoscale technologies that will potentially create a world of radically different devices that open up an entirely new spectrum of possibilities"
As always, take this rumour with a pinch of salt but do check out the pics and videos of Nokia Morph and other Nokia flexible display technologies in this article as well.