Being on time (either for work, or for personal matters) was one of our big resolutions for 2017. We say “was” because... yep, you guessed it. We have failed. Miserably and repeatedly.
We totally see the irony of giving you six suggestions for smartwatches when we ourselves can’t get out of the curse that is Filipino Time, but let us explain. First, these babies are super nice to look at. Second, they don’t just tell time—some do double duty as activity trackers, smaller smartphone extensions, and outright fashion statements, so you can also hit whatever resolution or goal you have that’s related to these factors. Lastly, we may have failed in 2017’s first two months, but we have ten to go, so we’ll say this is part of being optimistic.
Unless we get sidetracked by the many nifty tech features. Oh well. Get your wallet ready, gents.
(If you prefer your timeliness with a side of fitness tracking, check out these 10 fitness trackers instead.)
The lone wolf
The Apple Watch Series 2 has everything we expected to come out of Cupertino. The latest smartwatch-appropriate internals. Water resistance. Activity tracking, coaching, and sharing. Rankings and bragging rights. Customizability. Sure, we like all those things. But there are two features that made us like this watch even more: its accommodation for disabled, blind, and low-vision users with specific accessibility features; and the Time to Breathe app, which issues reminders for periodic mindfulness. It’s not always about being on the go, you know.
The Series 2 watch can be yours for a starting price of P15,490, and is available at authorized Apple resellers.
Unlike most of the watches on this list, the LG Watch Style hasn’t made its formal debut yet—it’s all set to shine at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), which starts in six days, and it will be unveiled along with Android Wear 2.0. (Pressure.) Also unlike most smartwatches, LG opts for the traditional look for this timekeeper, and keeps it simple with a feature set smaller than its flashier sibling, the LG Watch Sport.
There it is, simplicity. A word not often associated with current tech, but hey, we’ll take it. A rotating bezel and easy-to-use touchscreen will take you through the Style’s various functions. Wireless charging and smaller faces would make most customers like it already. You can also control your phone and call up Google Assistant from it. The price (US$249 or around P12,500) makes it the more affordable LG smartwatch option, too. The waiting period starts now.
Wear your zen
Of course we’re not going to leave ASUS out of the smartwatch party! Its ZenWatch 3 smartwatch oozes sexiness, from its “Annular Solar Eclipse” design to stainless-steel frame and diamond-cut bezel. Three control buttons on the right side enable quick operation, including customizable access and Eco Mode activation. Speaking of customization, you can also choose between six watch faces, or make your own if those aren’t enough. And as expected, the ZenWatch 3 can handle digital assistant tasks and fitness concerns with ease.
It’s now available at the ASUS US website for US$229 (around P11,500 minus shipping fees). No word yet on local availability.
Oldie but goodie
While waiting for its second iteration (to be launched at MWC 2017), we’ve no problems recommending the very first Huawei Watch if you need one from Huawei ASAP. It can withstand daily wear and tear with its scratch-resistant sapphire crystal exterior and stainless steel casing, show you everything you need to see on its 1.4” AMOLED display, take on different looks with removable straps and casings, and help you with fitness tracking and basic connectivity whenever you’re away from your phone. Battery life’s a bummer at “only” 1.5 days, but fast charging serves as a good consolation for us.
Contact Huawei’s authorized Philippine distributors for availability and price.
Most of the smartwatches here are adopting the classic timepiece look. Sony goes the other way and brings to the market a smartwatch that embraces its (literal) squareness. Its SmartWatch 3 (SWR50) can still be customized to look analog, don’t worry. But it also rides the digital watch trend with swappable straps, connectivity and syncing with your Android phone, fitness-centric features, water-resistance, and a projected two-day battery life. And if you have a Sony Action Cam, you can even use the watch as a remote for taking selfies and group shots!
Now here’s the downside: this smartwatch doesn’t support Android Wear 2.0. That’s fine if you don’t always feel the need to be on tech’s cutting edge. The P11,990 price tag for the black-strap version is lower than most of the smartwatches on this list, too. (The metal-band version goes for P12,990). Otherwise, go for other options.
Garmin’s Fenix smartwatch lineup got three new additions at CES 2017, but we’re looking at the Fenix 5 for you gents. This 100-m waterproof timekeeper is made for those who love to be outdoors: multisport/fitness tracking and reporting, and heart rate monitoring, plus a rugged look that sets itself apart from its more sleeker competitors. Garmin’s QuickFit bands also allow costume changes for your smartwatch when you go from outdoors to more indoorsy occasions. The watch face can also be customized to your liking—and you could even use your own photos for it.