Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch includes some classy watch faces out of the box, but the options don’t have to end there.
An update to Motorola’s Connect app for Android now lets users build their own watch faces. Users can load an image from their phones for the background and choose from a list of different dials and tick marks. If you’d rather not start from scratch, Motorola’s pre-made watch faces can also be customized with different dials and tick marks, joining the dial color options that existed previously.
Motorola had announced the customization features last week, while also revealing new watch bands and a built-in fitness app called Moto Body. That app is available now through Moto Connect as well.
The Asus Zenwatch will land on the lower end of the Android Wear price spectrum when it launches on November 9.
According to TechCrunch, the retro-styled smartwatch will launch through Best Buy with a $199 price tag. It'll also go on sale through the U.S. Google Play Store at a later date.
Unlike most current Android Wear watches, the Zenwatch has a more unisex design, with a tan, stitched-leather strap that matches some of the trim around the metallic watch body. The face of the watch is covered in gently curved glass, though it's still on the large side due to the thick black bezel around the display.
The G Watch R is the most expensive smartwatch in the Android Wear lineup, but it justifies the price with long battery life, a bright display that holds up in direct sunlight and a design that looks like a traditional watch (albeit one that caters mainly to men).
As a lady, I’ve been kind of distraught over the lack of choice out there when it comes to Android smartwatches. Everything seems to come in solid black or manly silver, and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to make these wrist-worn devices look stylish.
Motorola’s hoping to tackle that issue by vowing to offer more choice. The company announced a slew of new watchband options for Moto 360 users.
A hardware startup called OnBeep is doing its best Star Trek imitation with Onyx, a clip-on communicator that works over any distance.
The Onyx is a palm-sized orb that clips onto a lapel, sleeve, or bag strap. It has a built-in speaker and a big button in the middle for activating the device’s microphone. When connected via Bluetooth to a companion iOS or Android app, it lets a group of users communicate over the Internet with either a Wi-Fi or cellular connection.
OnBeep is taking pre-orders for the Onyx now and plans to start shipping by year-end, though the company isn’t promising delivery in time for the holidays. A single Onyx will cost $99, and a pair will cost $195, but app and service are free.
Jawbone isn’t flinching in the face of more advanced smartwatches, as its new fitness trackers stick with simplicity and long battery life over full-blown displays.
The cheaper of Jawbone’s new gear is the Jawbone UP Move. At $50, it’s a direct response to low-cost fitness trackers like the Misfit Flash, with a module that users can either clip onto their clothing or wear on their wrists with an optional $15 strap. While it doesn’t have a proper display, it’s the first Jawbone whose LED indicators can tell the time and step progress.
On the high end of Jawbone’s lineup is the $180 Jawbone UP3, which seems like a souped-up version of Jawbone’s existing fitness bands. Like its predecessors, it has no display, but adds new sensors that can measure resting heart rate and tell the difference between light, deep and REM sleep. Over time, it can also learn to recognize specific exercises, such as cross-training, tennis or swimming, so users no longer have to specify what they’re doing.
Smartwatches like the LG G Watch R are probably best suited for skilled craftsmen. I’m talking ironworkers, car mechanics, plumbers, and stonemasons. These are the professions that make a man’s wrists buff and burly, and you’ll want the biggest wrist possible for a smartwatch this large. Still, if you have the bone and muscle density to pull it off, you’ll be rewarded with the best Android Wear watch available today.
Its size notwithstanding, the G Watch R has a look that sends all the right signals to sports watch traditionalists. Just as importantly, the R’s battery life easily beats that of the Moto 360, its direct Android Wear competitor. And there’s a lot to like about LG’s Plastic OLED display, too.