Smart Watches from Sony, Samsung and Pebble add Tech to Your Wrist

Samsung Galaxy Gear

Samsung Galaxy Gear

Your wrist is a hot commodity in the fashion world. So much so that jewelry designers are even skipping it altogether for alternative real estate. But for those of us that are still getting invitations to the arm party, there are a slew of new techy toys that are designed to connect your digital life to your accessorizing game. Enter the smart watch, which is quickly becoming the new space for tech brands to stretch their style muscle. Big brands such as Sony, Samsung and Pebble — Kickstarter’s most successful crowdsourcing project to date — are all in on the game, and there are already rumors of Google and Apple’s products on the horizon. For now, we’re letting you in on what’s available in-stores right this minute, so make some room on that wrist, you’ll need to add a plus one to your collection of bangles, bracelets and hand chains.

Samsung Galaxy Gear

Samsung Galaxy Gear

The Samsung Galaxy Gear is getting the most attention thanks to a barrage of online and television ads from Samsung. They’ve tapped into the nostalgia of past smart watches (although they lean a little…fictional) by including clips from shows such as Dick Tracy, Star Trek, Knightrider and even the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers to get audiences in the mood to wear a piece of tech on their wrists. The Galaxy Gear, priced at $299, is available in an array of colors (pictured above) that definitely have a bit of fashion influence. Just take a look at the rose gold/white combo or the neon strap for a taste of Versace or Betsey Johnson. The smart watch includes a camera and Samsung has already boasted that its app store has over 50 add ons. Though most of them are just skins to transform the watch feature (you can go old school with a digitized analog face or high-tech with different displays of the time), you can connect the Galaxy Gear through Bluetooth with your Android phone to access Facebook, Twitter and more.

The downside to the Galaxy Gear is that it doesn’t actually keep you from reaching for your phone. Alerts simply let you know that something’s happened on one of your social media channels and if you’re itching to find out who liked what or who crafted the perfect 140 character quip, you’ll have to check your computer or your mobile phone. We’d skip the Galaxy Gear if you’re looking for something that’ll show your texts, Tweets and more. You can make calls from it though, because while it’s small, it’s packed with a microphone and a speaker, too.

Available at Samsung.

Sony Smartwatch2

Sony Smartwatch2

In the world of notebooks, tablets and tech in general Sony’s known for one thing above all else: the goods really look great. And it’s no exception with their Smartwatch2 ($199), which compared to the clunky Galaxy Gear and toy-like look of the Pebble, stands head and shoulders above the pack in the design department. Sony’s been tinkering with the idea of a smart watch for a while, and this is third second release, which improves upon their debut with an array of upgrades. Unlike the Galaxy Gear, Sony’s Smartwatch2 has a slightly larger display that allows for time telling, of course, and small previews of your Tweets, texts and Facebook notifications.

The Smartwatch2 takes some design cues from the Dieter Rams-designed Braun watches that have become an icon of horology, and since it does let you read a bit of E-mail and get the basic information from your Facebook, Twitter and texts, it lets you stay connected while your phone is in your pocket or purse. You won’t be able to actually talk on your phone, but you can answer calls through the watch and zap your convos right to your Bluetooth headset or actual mobile phone. The watch itself is a handsome timepiece, as we mentioned, but we have to add that the proprietary watch app is a lovely change from the decidedly digital Galaxy Gear and Pebble watches.

Available at SonyStyle.

Pebble watch

Pebble watch

Without a touchscreen, a color display and an almost juvenile design, what sets the Pebble apart? Well, it was one of the first and it can boast the pedigree of being the most popular Kickstarter campaign ever. But have its bigger brothers left it in the dust? Maybe, and maybe not. Pebble raised $100,000 in two hours for their smart watch, which is priced the lowest of our three at just $125. Simplicity is key with the Pebble, because it eschews all the flash for actual function. Instead of a battery-draining, multi-color display, the Pebble utilizes an e-Paper screen similar to a Kindle. And instead of a touchscreen, there are four buttons that let you scroll and select. The Pebble is also iOS compatible, giving it a leg up over the competition for now, because word has it that Apple is hot on the heels of Samsung, Sony and Pebble’s smart watches.

Pebble boasts the longest battery life of the three watches we’ve shown, and while it’s got few bells and whistles, it does let you read entire E-mails instead of just previews and get Facebook notifications, too. Currently, Pebble is working on adding more apps from third party, so you can expect Twitter and more to join in on the fun. What Pebble has that Sony and Samsung don’t, however, is the camaraderie of the crowdsource, which is why the Pebble, even with limited functionality, is one of the most popular choices for those who have an itch for something techy on their wrist.

Available at Best Buy locations and www.getpebble.com.

Images courtesy Sony, Pebble and Samsung

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Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.