News & Reviews: SmartWatch
Last Updated: Oct 30, 2014
Microsoft recently announced their first device for the smartband category with the Microsoft Band. Compatible with iOS, Android and Windows Phone the Band offers mostly fitness tracking, notifications and for those Microsoft Lumia users, voice commands with Cortana. Using a flat screen in a thermal plastic elastomer (something like silicon) it also features a UV sensor, optical heart-rate monitor and galvanic skin response sensor. Tech specs include a 1.4-inch flat touchscreen wutg 320 x 106 pixel resolution, GPS and 2x 100 mAh batteries. The Microsoft Band will work with the Microsoft Health platform to help track fitness globally. According to the app descriptions, features also include a 24 hour heart rate monitoroing and automatic activity counting system, which could indicate that it will last at least 24 hours on a single charge. No Malaysia release dates or pricing details yet but it does retail for $200 (RM657).
Last Updated: Oct 17, 2014
Apple mentioned a little bit about their upcoming smartwatch, the Apple Watch. While it hasn't been released yet, it has been confirmed that the Apple Watch will be coming in early 2015. This means that you'll have to wait till at least Q1 of 2015 (rumours say February 2015) to get the Apple Watch. In the meantime, developers for Watch OS apps will get the WatchKit SDK in November 2014. Bear in mind that the Apple Watch will start from $349 (RM1146) so if you really want it, you should start saving now. No Malaysia release date or pricing yet but we expect it in 2015.
Last Updated: Oct 14, 2014
We first reported on the Blocks modular smartwatch earlier in the year but it looks like they could be coming out soon better than before. Things have been looking up for the Blocks team as they received funding from Intel and are now looking to release their first 1000 units of the Blocks modular smartwatch under an exclusive membership program. A recently released video shows that while the interlocking module design remains the same there are now a lot more modules including a round watchface, heart rate monitor and much more. Check it out for yourself in the video below:
Last Updated: Sep 15, 2014
Direct from Samsung Malaysia, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone will be coming on 19 September 2014 and will also be available with a FREE Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch. The offer is for the first 100 buyers of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone at the Samsung Experience Store in The Gardens KL, Gurney Paragon Penang and the Maxis Centre at KLCC. No confirmed Malaysia pricing yet but some retailers are offering the Samsung Galaxy Alpha from RM1899. The metal-frame Samsung Galaxy Alpha offers tech specs and features that includes:
- Octa-core Samsung Exynos processor (1.8GHz quad-core + 1.3GHz quad-core)
- 2GB RAM
- 32GB storage
- 4.7-inch display (Super AMOLED, 1280 x 720 pixel resolution)
- 12MP rear camera (ISOCELL, LED flash, 4K video record) + 2.1MP front camera
- features LTE Cat.6, WiFi 802.11 ac, MIMO(2x2), NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 BLE, Hall Sensor, Fingerprint Sensor, Heartrate sensor
- 132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7mm | 115g
- 1860 mAh battery
- available in charcoal black, dazzling white, frosted gold, sleek silver and scuba blue
- Android 4.4.4 KitKat
Last Updated: Sep 09, 2014
Sony has announced their first Android Wear smartwatch with the Sony SmartWatch 3. Designed to work with Sony's Lifelog app it can track fitness statistics, get notifications, answer calls and pairs with smartphones via Bluetooth. Tech specs include a 1.6-inch transfelctive display for good visibility in bright sunlight at 320 x 320 pixel resolutions. Other tech specs include 4GB of storage, a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 512MB of RAM and a 420mAh battery. It comes in black and lime green with the cost being around 230 euros (RM945). As expected, there are no specific Malaysia release dates or pricing details available yet but it should be coming to Malaysia soon.
Last Updated: Sep 04, 2014
ASUS have officially announced the ASUS ZenWatch (WI500Q), confirming a curved screen, premium look and gesture-based shortcuts. The overall design of the smartwatch is definitely premium with a classy metal chassis that is both thin and shiny right down to the chrome finish. Measuring in at 50.6 x 39.8 x 7.9-9.4mm and 75g the ZenWatch is quite slim and trim. Tech specs for the ZenWatch are not bad at all with a Snapdragon 400 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage and a curved 1.63-inch display with 320 x 320 pixel resolution covered by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The watch has a leather strap and IP55 water resistance certification. This means that it can probably take a shower or some rain but may not survive a swim. The ZenWatch runs on Android Wear with the ASUS ZenUI user interface but we're not sure if this also means that the watch may only have 1GB of storage left due to all the ZenUI apps. According to ASUS, they have more than 100 watch faces but one of the more notable features is gesture-based system of shortcuts such as covering the watch to mute it and so forth. While there are still no Malaysia release dates or pricing details yet, early estimates have it priced at around $260 (RM823) which places it on par with other smartwatches in the country. Hopefully, the price comes down a little for it to remain competitive.
Last Updated: Aug 29, 2014
Samsung has revealed their first smartwatch that doesn't need a smartphone to work with the official announcement of the Samsung Gear S. The smartwatch is fully 3G capable and comes with both Bluetooth and WiFi support along with IP67 water and dust resistance. Other tech specs and features include a 1.0GHZ dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage, 2-inch curved Super AMOLED display with 360 x 480 pixel resolution, 300 mAh battery and Tizen operating system. No camera on this Samsung Gear but it does have a heart rate monitor and supports S Health, S Voice and provides notifications for messages, emails and other apps.
Last Updated: Aug 29, 2014
Apple has sent out invitations for an event on 9 September 2014. The invite doesn't give much of a hint apart from the title "Wish we could say more". However, many are expecting the event to reveal the Apple iPhone 6 or at least the version with the 4.7-inch display. Already, any number of Apple iPhone 6 clones have appeared, many of which have been confirmed to be how the original will look like. Other devices may also make an appearance such as the Apple iWatch and possibly some premium Audio devices from Apple's recent purchase of Beats Audio. The final version of iOS 8 is also expected to be available on the same date but there are still no details on Malaysia release dates or pricing. If we were to follow the trend we should see the Malaysia launch in November 2014 at $100 (RM315) more than the previous Apple iPhone 5S.
Last Updated: Aug 28, 2014
Preferring to do it themselves, LG have released a sneak peak of their upcoming LG G Watch R smartwatch. While the official announcement is set for the IFA 2014 event, this sneak peak reveals nearly everything, including how the smartwatch looks and key tech specs and features. First of all, the LG G Watch R will be using a 1.3-inch full circle P-OLED display along with a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor. 512MB of RAM and a 410 mAh battery. It will run on Android Wear and have an IP67 certification for water and dust resistance. According to LG, the G Watch R will offer health and fitness tracking on it's own and provide smart notifications for calls, messages, events and weather from your compatible smartphone. In terms of design, the watch will be stainless steel with an interchangeable 22mm leather strap but for now it will only be available in black. No news yet on Malaysia release dates or pricing but LG will announce these details at the launch during the IFA 2014 event. LG say that the G Watch R can be expected in Q4 of 2014 but in the meantime you can check it out for yourself.
Last Updated: Aug 26, 2014
ASUS recently showed a teaser image of what could be their first Android Wear smartwatch, set for the upcoming IFA 2014 event on 3 September 2014. Recently, ASUS have revealed another teaser image, this time showing design sketches and notes. While there aren't any specific tech specs the design sketches show a curved display while the notes mention features like a "smooth shell" and "front camera" along with a "genuine leather" wrist band. Overall, it looks very nice and rumours indicate that it could be priced from $99 (RM313). This would definitely make it more attractive than many other smartwatches here, most of which are priced around RM899. No news yet on Malaysia release dates but we should find out more next week so stay tuned.