The Best Smart Watches You Can Buy Compared

Buying A Smart Watch Soon? 

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Here you’ll find detailed product reviews, the latest deals and information about the best watches shipping today – plus a few on the way. Written in plain English. There are 100s of pages to explore.

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Our goal is simple: we want to help you find the best watch for your needs, at the best price. And avoid the junk.

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The Best Smart Watches You Can Buy

The star ratings are our own.

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Want More Detail? Check Out Our Comparison Charts

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Where we compare 30 leading watches on:

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Our Top Pick: Pebble Smart Watch

Pebble Steel vs original Pebble smart watch

Pebble Steel ($229) vs original Pebble ($149)

With all the new color touchscreen models hitting the market, you might think the Pebble looks a bit dated. Perhaps, but it’s been our #1 pick for a year now because it is a simple and effective companion device for iOS and Android smartphones. It provides key information and notifications that you need, when you need it – plus thousands of fun and useful apps. What else does a smart watch need to do?

The Pebble’s most competitive features include a best-in-class 5-7 day battery life, user-friendly operation, tons of apps to select from and a simple but efficient black and white e-Paper display that’s easy to read in direct sunlight. In addition, its 5 ATM waterproof rating makes the device safe in a downpour or swimming. We shower with it on all the time.

Compared with other options, the Pebble is especially lightweight and comfortable, if a bit plasticky for some. The only big drawback is its black-and-white screen, which isn’t touch-sensitive.

Two Versions Available

Pebble Watch ($149 – now $99)

pebble-blackThe original, affordable 8-bit charmer. One-week battery life. Lightweight plastic body. Eyes-free controls. A scratch-proof display that’s easy to read in any light. Thousands of apps and watch faces to choose from. Works with any iOS and Android phone.

At $99, it’s also one of the least expensive smartwatches you can buy.

What’s not to like?

The unit’s lightweight and modern design will go unnoticed by most, unless you select an attention-getting watch face. Some people think the design is cheap-looking, while others appreciate the clean, modern look.

My son and I have owned an original for 18 months. We still use them every day.

Pebble Steel ($229 – now $199)

pebble steel smartwatch matte black

Announced in December, 2013, the Steel is a more expensive ($229) and better looking version of the original.

All of the internals of the Pebble Steel – the operating system, apps and controls – are identical to the original. The main differences include a tough steel casing, a color LED indicator, a durable Gorilla Glass display and a choice of replaceable and stylish watch bands.

1,000s of Apps and Watch Faces

pebble apps

Pebble’s app store has more than 3,000 apps and faces, which makes it easy to customize your device for any style or use. And because they offer an open SDK/platform that is easy to use, new apps and watch faces are constantly being published by Pebble’s large app development community.

Controls

Both watches use Up and Down buttons on the right hand side of the device that let you scroll through watch faces and menus. The Select button in the center takes you to the main menu which includes music control, alarm, and settings.

A tap on the watch or flick of your wrist will illuminate the backlight. Some apps use this gesture to change screens or activate a timer, etc.

To charge the battery, you connect it to a computer using the included magnetically tethered custom USB cable.

Alerts and Notifications

The Pebble displays email, SMS, Caller ID and other notifications from your favorite apps right on your wrist, allowing you to leave your phone in your pocket while you’re in meetings, social engagements or on the go.

It will alert you with a silent vibration to incoming calls, text messages, calendar reminders and notifications from a wide variety of apps including Facebook and Twitter.

Tether With iOS and Android Phones

Both models connect via Bluetooth with most iOS and Android devices. They work best with phones using iOS6+ and with Android OS 4.0+.

Where To Buy

Both models are available for sale on Pebble’s website, at Best Buy and on Amazon.com where discounts are sometimes available.

 


More Watches Are On The Way!

 

samsung gear 2 live announced

This is an exciting time for smart watch innovation. There are more than a dozen new devices coming to market soon – including the over-hyped Apple Watch and the new Android Wear devices with Google Now integration.

Read our comprehensive review of the best new smart watches to learn more about all the new watches coming soon.

To stay on top of new developments, subscribe to our Flipboard magazine or signup for our newsletter using the 1-click button below.

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