News & Reviews: SmartWatch
Last Updated: Mar 10, 2015
While it has been announced, the pricing and release date for the Apple Watch wasn't actually revealed, until now. While international pre-orders start from 10 April 2015 and ship on 24 April 2015, we should be able to expect the Apple Watch in Malaysia a few months afterwards. Pricing begins with the aluminum alloy Apple Watch Sport with the 38mm version going for $349 (RM1285) while the 42mm version will go for $399 (RM1470). The stainless steel Apple Watch 38mm version will be priced from $549 (RM2022) whille the 42mm version will start from $599 (RM2207). The 18k gold Apple Watch edition 38mm version will go from $10000 (RM36847) while the 42mm will start from $12000 (RM44216). While it isn't unusual for someone to wear a watch priced the same as a small car here in Malaysia, it is the most expensive price for a smartwatch yet. Too bad that it only works for Apple devices for now.
Last Updated: Mar 09, 2015
The first smartwatches to come out often looked like thick squarish slabs of touchscreen on a strap. They offered limited usability as companion devices to your smartphone or mobile device and couldn't do much on their own. The Motorola Moto 360 smartwatch changed all that by by being the first round smartwatch and now, there are many other round smartwatches as well. Motorola went on to claim that the Moto 360 would actually look and feel like existing watches. Did they manage to do that and still deliver an awesome smartwatch experience? We find out in the full review of the Motorola Moto 360 in this article.
Last Updated: Feb 06, 2015
While they initially said that there wouldn't be a Swatch smartwatch, it appears that we may soon see one from the watch maker. Recently, Nick Hayek, Swatch CEO said that the company would be launching a Swatch smartwatch in the next three months or so. While no definite tech specs or features were revealed, he went on to say that the Swatch smartwatch would support Android and Windows Phone, have NFC, mobile payments and an Internet connection. Swatch have made similar devices before but never a full-scale smartwatch like the current batch of Android Wear devices. No Malaysia release dates or pricing details were available at the time but if it does come, it should hit Malaysian markets faster than most smarwatches.
Last Updated: Jan 06, 2015
Sony has revealed a new stainless steel edition of SmartWatch 3 and various other wearable devices at CES 2015. This includes a multi-sensor, waterproof headset prototype, Lifelog collaborations and more. The all-in-one headset will be called the Smart B-Trainer designed for runners with voice coaching and music playback. Other devices include the SmartBand SWR10 which features IP58 waterproof certification. The stainless steel SmartWatch 3 on the other hand features a 1.6-inch TFT LCD Transflective display at 320 x 320 pixel resolution. Other features include IP68 water proof certification along with a built-in GPS sensor, allowing it to work on it's own. While there are still no Malaysia release dates or pricing details, the SmartWatch 3 is expected to arrive sometime in February 2015. Sony will continue to explore collaborations with other parties especially through it's Lifelog Android app which is also acessible online at lifelog.sonymobile.com.
Last Updated: Jan 03, 2015
As usual, every tech company is set for major announcements come CES 2015 and Alcatel OneTouch are no exception. They have also announced that they will be releasing a circular smartwatch named the Alcatel OneTouch Watch on 6 January 2015. While there is not mention of tech specs the image shows multiple (and possibly interchangeable) watch straps, a circular watch face and a mostly touchscreen and voice control interface. We're not sure if it will use Android Wear but features will include notifications, remote music playback, pedometer and other health tracking functions. While there are no Malaysia release dates or pricing details just yet, Alcatel OneTouch have said that the OneTouch Watch will have a "smart price". While it is unclear if it is smart for Alcatel OneTouch or for us, it would be great if it is priced below the usual $300 (RM1058).
Last Updated: Dec 12, 2014
According to anti-Virus company Bit defender, the data transferred between an Android wearable and a smartphone is not secure. Wearables like smartwatches use a Bluetooth connection to send and receive information from the paired smartphones. While this connection is secure to some extent, it can easily be intercepted by hackers who would like to take a peek at the user's conversations. Bluetooth is usually considered secure because it can be accessed only from a short distance, about 10 meters or less. This restricts hackers from attacking a live connection from a long distance. Bluetooth also has its own six digit encryption system to keep hackers at bay. However, Bit defender reports that this six digit passcode is easily crackable by a computer program since there are only 1 million possible combinations. Once this encryption is cracked, hackers can get hold of all the information communicated from the smartwatch to the paired smartphone. Bit defender has also demonstrated a proof of concept video which is shown below. In the video, the company successfully brute-forced the six digit encryption between the Android based LG G Watch and the Nexus 4 smartphone running the developer preview version of Android L.
Last Updated: Dec 11, 2014
Next year may be even more eventful for the wearable industry. According to Business Korea, LG is all set to announce the successor to its G Watch R at the MWC event to be held in March 2015 in Barcelona. LG will probably stick to its traditional naming scheme, so the next version could be called the LG G Watch R2. If the rumored launch date turns out to be true, then the upcoming G Watch will have to compete directly with the Apple Watch expected to be released around the same time. Unfortunately, the source didn't mention much about the tech specs or features of the device apart from one thing - 4G LTE connectivity. Yes, the G Watch R2 may feature a 4G LTE radio, which means it could be a standalone smartwatch, much like the recently unveiled Samsung Gear S smartwatch. The G Watch R2 will be the third smartwatch from the South Korean giant till now. Given that the current generation G watch's design was well received, the company may stick with it for the next version too. However, none of these details have been confirmed, so make sure you take this news with a grain of salt.
Last Updated: Dec 09, 2014
TAG Heuer is rumoured to be releasing it's first smartwatch at CES 2015 to be held in Las Vegas. After a series of rumors that cropped up this fall, the company admitted that it was working on its own smartwatch back in September. However, at that time, company CEO Jean-Claude Biver said that the watch would only be unveiled at the 2015 Baselworld international watch show. But from the latest rumors it looks like the company may have shifted the unveiling to January next year. The source adds that there is a slight chance that the launch may happen a few weeks later, but it would still be before end of March 2015. The source further said that the watch would run on an Intel chipset. This isn't surprising given that the famous chip company has been investing a lot of money in wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT) in the past two years. The watch is said to feature a sleek design in line with current TAG Heuer offerings, and may come with functions like a steps calculator, calorie count and a few notifications options.
Last Updated: Nov 17, 2014
Apart from the Samsung Gear S, there are other smartwatches that allow you to make calls or answer them without having to pair it up with a smartphone. The Burg 12 is one of these smartwatches and could offer users a relatively cheaper alternative, if it ever gets here in Malaysia. Recently released in the US for $199 (RM664) the Burg 12 offers a round watch face, but still uses a square 1.5-inch screen with 240 x 240 pixel resolution. Other tech specs include 4GB of storage, a 16GB microSD slot, a camera, voice recorder and both the bezel and strap can be swapped out. The Burg 12 is also splash and scratch resistant and it also works with both iOS and Android devices, if you decide to pair it up anyways. According to the developers, it has a 3-day standby battery life and 2-3 hour talk time.
Last Updated: Nov 04, 2014
In a message sent out to employees, Apple's Senior Vice President of Apple Retail and Online stores revealed that the Apple Watch will be delayed to Q2 of 2015. Initially rumoured to be coming in early 2015, the message clearly says "we've got a new watch launch coming in spring". The Apple Watch brings a new interface and premium rounded corners to the usual thick slab of touchscreen design language along with various other features. It will be priced from $350 (RM1163) so this just means you have a few more months to save up for Apple's first smartwatch device. No Malaysia release dates or pricing but we expect it to be available locally near the end of Q2 of 2015.