Android Wear: Present and Future
There are many Android Wear devices out now, and some to come in the future. But with so many smartwatches out and upcoming, should you get your dream device now or just wait a year or two?
The devices I am focusing on are LG G Watch, LG G Watch-R, Samsung Gear Live, Moto 360, ASUS ZenWatch(announced), HTC SmartWatch(announced).
So the most differentiating factor between the current slew of smart watches is, visually, its shape. The upcoming ASUS Zen watch is square, as well as the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live. The LG G -R and the Moto 360 are round, each with their own defining features. Amongst the circular watches, G-R and 360, they both have pros and cons. G-R has a smaller screen (1.3″), but the bezel surrounding it gives it more weight. The 360, with its large 1.56″ display, has a small wedge blacked out on the bottom, which makes room for the light sensor. So if you want to sacrifice screen real estate for a useful light sensor, go with the 360. But if something about the G-R tugs at your nostalgia for a real watch, G-R is your go-to.
One concern with all smart watches is the battery life. There is a demand for long battery life, even in a small watch. The G Watch R has a superb battery life, lasting up to 2 days on a charge; the Moto 360 recently updated to improve battery life, and it can still only muster up about a day’s worth of use before needing a recharge. Battery life with the G watch and Samsung Gear are about that of the Moto 360. Asus’ Zen Watch lists its battery capacity in Watt-hours instead of milliamp hours, and since it isn’t out yet, there’s no word on its battery life other than it probably lasts about a day. The Pebble, an Android compatible smart watch, touts almost a week’s worth of battery life, but was not included in the review because of obvious reasons (not Android Wear OS, LCD screen, built for ruggedness, less features, cheaper).
Another deciding factor (in my eyes) is the processor. While the G watch, G-R, and Zen boast a Snapdragon 400 at 1.2GHz, the Moto 360 interestingly has a TI OMAP3 processor, which is found in TI calculators. While this may not really affect performance on a noticeable level, it is interesting to point out that the processor is older. It is also noteworthy that Asus has chosen the faster processor in its upcoming smart watch as well.
To conclude, all smart watches have slightly different facets, and in my opinion, the LG G Watch -R is the best overall watch in terms of processing, battery life, sensors – the G-R has a 9 axis sensor which includes gyroscope, accelerometer, and compass,as well as barometer and heart monitor – and is water and dust resistant. The bezel and reduced screen size are the sacrifices, but if you’re willing to forego the screen size for the nostalgic bezel then this watch is the best. In terms of future watches such as the Zen watch, it definitely has the potential to be a top contender Android Wear watch.