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28 March 2016

Best Smartwatches of 2016

Apple, Casio, New Balance, Blocks and more – smartwatches coming soon

Upcoming smartwatches for 2016

There’s a whole host of smartwatches already on sale, with the likes of Apple, Sony, Samsung, Pebble, LG and Motorola all tapping into the latest consumer tech craze. And there’s a huge range of upcoming smartwatches to look out for in the next 12 months.

Buying first-gen products is often a risky business with manufacturers not having prior hardware experience and the software systems very much a work in development.

Essential reading: The best smartwatches currently on sale

That’s why it sometimes pays to not be an early adopter, and instead wait for the next-generation of devices to arrive.

Here’s Wareable’s pick of the top upcoming smartwatches, all of which have been officially confirmed or have featured heavily on the web’s rumour mills…

Apple Watch 2: ETA April

The original Apple Watch was announced in September 2014 alongside the iPhone 6 and subsequently went on sale in April 2015. However, we don’t expect Apple to follow the same pattern this time. We’re expecting to see the second-gen Apple Watch announced in March, with a release date in April 2016.

According to web murmurs, the Apple Watch sequel will boast a FaceTime camera, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity enabling it to receive emails, text messages and more while you’re away from your phone.

More info: Apple Watch 2 – everything you need to know

Blocks: ETA May

Blocks modular smartwatch hits Kickstarter

One of the watches we most want to get our hands on is the Blocks modular smartwatch. It ships in May 2016 to backers of its Kickstarter campaign but aside from press images and prototype videos, there haven’t been too many hands ons of the hardware and modules themselves.

The Blocks core module has a 1.4-inch, 320 x 320 display, a battery life of 1.5 days (which can be increased by 20% a go by extra modules) and runs on a Snapdragon 400 processor. Five starter modules have been detailed as well as teasers of extra plug and play functionality coming soon.

Casio Smart Outdoor Watch: ETA April

The Casio Smart Outdoor Watch landed at CES and is the first Android Wear smartwatch to really diversify away from the mainstream. It’s a million miles from another me-too everyday watch. The Casio Smart Outdoor Watch WSD-F10, to give it its full meaty moniker, is a waterproof, shockproof and vibration proof AW smartwatch that’s certified to US military standards.

The 1.32-inch LCD touchscreen has an interesting twist – a second monochrome display that can be used instead of the colour panel to save battery life. Casio is promising a month of lifespan in this mode.

Samsung Triathlon: ETA February

The purported Samsung Triathlon is a Gear S2 lookalike, there’s also a suggestion that the rotating bezel will be on board.

That OS and UI, while not an exact likeness of the Gear S2, is unmistakably Tizen and the recent leaked images suggest rep counting, heart rate monitoring and water intake recording are all on board. We’re hoping for a MWC reveal in February.

HTC Smartwatch: ETA February

 

41The HTC smartwatch rumours continue to rumble and the latest murmurs point towards an Android Wear device, dubbed the HTC One Watch, launching at MWC 2016

The rumour mill is cooking up murmurs of an all-round display, as per theHuawei Watch, with a 360 x 360 resolution.

New Balance Android Wear: ETA December

Sports giant New Balance used CES to announce that it’s to launch a running focused Android Wear smartwatch in 2016.

The as-yet unnamed device is set to boast GPS and built-in storage for smartphone free music listening, and is being built in collaboration with Intel and Google, which will put it head-to-head with the new Moto 360 Sport.

It will be the first device created from NB’s all-new Digital Sports, which is focused on “athlete focused digital ecosystems.”

Razer Nabu Watch: ETA February

Razer announced the Nabu Watch at CES 2016. The company’s debut smartwatch will come in two designs and, more interestingly, have two screens. The illuminated backlit display takes care of features like setting alarms, using it as a stopwatch, viewing world time and using the automatic phone sync feature.

The second OLED screen is activated by raising your wrist and is where you can explore the smart features. You can preview phone notifications like texts and calls. It’ll also display activity and sleep tracking data thanks to a built-in accelerometer.

Omate Rise: ETA May

The Omate Rise is 3G-compatible, has GPS and is properly waterproof. It boasts a round 1.3-inch, 360 x 360, touchscreen with sapphire coating and runs Omate’s OUI 4.0 on top of full Android 5.1 Lollipop.

It works with iPhone and Android and the Rise also has a 3G micro SIM slot for untethered use as well as GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. There’s a speaker and mic, presumably to take and make calls as well the usual 6-axis accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer for activity tracking.

Bluboo Xwatch: ETA February

Bluboo is to release its Xwatch Android Wear smartwatch this February, according to its blog. We’ll believe it when we see it: it’s not the first time an unknown brand has claimed to have an Android Wear device in the works – and we’re yet to see any of the others IRL.

It’s claimed that the Bluboo Xwatch will pack a 1.2GHz processor with 4GB of storage and a 1.3-inch, 360 x 360 pixel display. Hmmmm.

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