Best Smartwatches 2019

Best Smartwatches 2019

The historic calculator watch has been around since the 1970s, but smartwatches have arrived and they have finally reached the point that they’re… well…. smart. From running apps, to displaying smartphone notifications, to monitoring your heart rate, the latest crop of smartwatches do a lot more than just tell time. But which one should you buy? We’ve rounded up our top-rated options to help you decide. 


Apple Watch Series 5

Best Smartwatches 2019
Best Smartwatches 2019

Pros: Always-on display. Excellent fitness tracking and heart rate monitoring accuracy. WatchOS 6 brings useful new apps. Smooth performance.

Cons: Expensive. No built-in sleep tracking. Battery life remains the same.

Bottom Line: The Apple Watch Series 5 doesn’t feature any drastic changes, but an always-on display makes the best smartwatch you can buy even better.


Fitbit Versa 2

Best Smartwatches 2019

Pros: Attractive AMOLED screen with always-on option. Long battery life. Lots of useful apps and fitness features. Fitbit Pay. Amazon Alexa.

Cons: Screen isn’t quite as bright as the original model. Alexa responses are text only.

Bottom Line: The Fitbit Versa 2 takes everything we like about the original smartwatch and adds an always-on AMOLED display, a microphone for Amazon Alexa, and Fitbit Pay.


Apple Watch Series 3

Best Smartwatches 2019
Best Smartwatches 2019

Pros: Built-in cellular connectivity. Improved heart rate monitoring. Faster processor. Clear call quality. New band and case options.

Cons: Expensive. LTE drains battery rapidly.

Bottom Line: Apple adds cellular connectivity and doubles down on fitness features with the Watch Series 3, but it comes at a price.


Fibit Ionic

Best Smartwatches 2019
Best Smartwatches 2019

Pros: Vibrant screen. Changeable straps. Safe for swimming. Excellent battery life. Smart notifications. Built-in GPS and NFC. Pandora integration. Open SDK for app developers.

Cons: Expensive. Thick bottom bezel. Case easily scratches.

Bottom Line: The Fitbit Ionic is an ambitious and promising smartwatch with a focus on fitness and accurate tracking, but its success will depend on the growth of its app ecosystem.


Fossil Sport

Best Smartwatches 2019
Best Smartwatches 2019

Pros: Runs Qualcomm Wear 3100. Includes GPS and heart rate monitor. Accurate fitness tracking. Lightweight, stylish case.

Cons: New processor doesn’t make a huge difference in performance.

Bottom Line: The Fossil Sport smartwatch combines the latest Google Wear OS hardware and software in a comfortable, functional design.


Samsung Galaxy Watch

Best Smartwatches 2019
Best Smartwatches 2019

Pros: Lasts up to five days on a single charge. Crisp AMOLED screen. Rotating bezel. Accurate heart rate monitor. Resistant to dust and water.

Cons: Expensive. 46mm version is chunky. Fitness tracking accuracy not up to par in testing.

Bottom Line: The attractive Samsung Galaxy Watch has better battery life and is easier to use than most smartwatches, but its fitness tracking features aren’t up to par.


Huawei Watch 2

Best Smartwatches 2019
Best Smartwatches 2019

Pros: Continuous heart rate monitoring. Built-in GPS and Android Pay compatibility. Accurate step and distance tracking. Good battery life.

Cons: Strap feels chintzy and isn’t easy to swap out. Difficult to keep track of long-term fitness progress. Wi-Fi can be finicky.

Bottom Line: The Huawei Watch 2 features excellent fitness tracking capabilities and is the strongest showcase for Android Wear 2.0 we’ve seen so far, but that still doesn’t make it a perfect smartwatch.


Apple AR Smart Glasses – The Next Big Thing?

Apple AR Smart Glasses – The Next Big Thing?

We all know that Apple has big augmented reality (AR) ambitions but ARKit is focused on using an iPhone or iPad’s display to overlay digital information to the real world.

However, a patent that’s just been uncovered points at a new form factor for Apple’s AR assault. “Semi-transparent spectacle or glasses” are mentioned in the details of a patent that originated from Metaio – an augmented reality startup that Apple acquired in May 2015 – hinting at a pair of Apple AR smart glasses.

Apple’s patent FIG. 10a, as discovered by the guys at Patently Apple provides details on representing POIs in the view of a real environment on a semi-transparent screen of a head-mounted display (HMD).

“It is typically not possible for the user to touch the head-mounted screen in a manner like a touchscreen,” reads Patently Apple’s analysis of the documents. “However, the camera that captures an image of the real environment may also be used to detect image positions of the user’s finger in the image. The image positions of the user’s finger could be equivalent to touching points touched by the user’s finger on the touchscreen.”

AR differs from VR (virtual reality). VR is a fully immersive digital world whereas augmented (or mixed reality) overlays digital aspects over the real world. It was AR that Google’s Glass project used and it’s now a huge buzz area in tech thanks to the likes of Microsoft’s Hololens and the mysterious Magic Leap startup.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has praised AR in the past, describing it as a “core technology”.

“There’s virtual reality and there’s augmented reality – both of these are incredibly interesting,” Cook told Good Morning America in 2016. “But my own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far.

“Virtual reality sort of encloses and immerses the person into an experience that can be really cool,” he added, “but probably has a lower commercial interest over time. Less people will be interested in that.”

According to Bloomberg, Apple has already been in talks with potential suppliers for components of a glasses-like device and “has ordered small quantities of near-eye displays from one supplier” for testing purposes.

references: apple, bloomberg, patently apple