Why I went with the Android Wear Smartwatch and Your 5 Best Options

As much as I like the idea of the Apple Watch Series 2, with its waterproof case, GPS and new S2 chip given that I have both Mac (MacBook Pro) and iOS (iPhone and iPad) devices, I have made the decision to go with an Android Wear and here is why

I have always been an early adopter with Apple devices, first with the iPhone, first with the MacBook Air then MacBook and MacBook Pro and first with iPad (1st Generation). Through all these I have been very happy with my purchases. With the watch however, it was a case of wait and see. I tried it out and could not justify the spend given its fiddly interface, small screen and somewhat blocky despite the rounded corners design.

When Apple announced Series 2, I thought given the improvements (brighter screen, waterproof case, GPS and new S2 processor) it is time to jump on the smart watch band wagon. It now has the features already standard on most Android Wears. However, I was quickly disappointed by Apple. Instead of replacing the first generation Apple Watch, they kept both watches pushing the Series 2 price tag up considerably.

The first generation Apple Watch launched in 2015, received a processor upgrade and stayed on the shelf as Apple Watch Series 1. Both watches will receive the new OS upgrade the WatchOS 3. Still, I tend to agree with most owners switching from Apple Watch to Android Wear that with the Apple Watch, it tries very hard to be a phone instead of a watch and not faring very well in both departments given its size.

Don’t get me wrong, it is a superior smart watch, the best smartwatch in 2015 with the original Apple Watch and now with Apple Watch Series 2, it will likely be the best smartwatch of 2016. But, after months of research, I have finally decided on the Huawei Watch with Android Wear.

Top 5 Reasons for Choosing Android Wear Smartwatch

Here are the reasons why I went with the Android Wear Smartwatch:

  1. Choices & Design – there are a lot more choices with Android Wear from big names like Motorola, Huawei, Sony, Asus and LG. Fashion houses are also getting in the game, brands like Fossil and Michael Kors offer their take on the Android Wear watch as a fashion piece. Traditional watch maker is getting in the game too with Tag Heuer and their Tag Heuer Connected Android smartwatch.
  2. Conventional Round Clock Face – Most Android Wear watches have circle displays based on conventional watch designs. With some designs you cannot even tell it apart from normal watches. The display is round complete with touch interface and gesture support. Being more of a conventional watch also meant you have access to a wide selection of watch faces including those from third party apps and bands or straps from manufacturers and third party as these are based on industry standard and therefore not locked to a proprietary fitting.
  3. Technical Abilities – Already equipped with GPS, plenty of memory, strong processor, IPS rated and heart rate sensor on some models, it certainly has plenty going for it. Some manufacturers offer do-it-all, some offer the designer look and others focuses on sports, fitness and health. Behind all these Android Wears are high speed processors, half a gigabyte of memory, 4GB of storage, brilliant display, quick charge battery that last up to 1.5 to 2 days depending on usage, the standard sensors, Heart Rate sensor on some, Bluetooth, WiFi and Android Wear OS.
  4. Watch First – Android Wears smartwatches have simple interface and are a watch first. Don’t get me wrong, it has all the notification features such as email, agenda (calendar), calls, text and fitness tracker (steps, distance, calories, day to day chart), heart rate monitor (models with heart rate sensor) and the ability to install apps. Being Google, it benefits from deep integration with Google’s ecosystem especially Google Now, Google Map, Google Search, Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Translate. All this and standard watch functions to tell tell time, date, different time zones, timer, stopwatch and alarm. The interface is clean and simple and quick to catch on.
  5. Supported on both major platforms – smartphones running Android 4.3+ or iOS 8.2+ can both install Android Wear app and start connecting and controlling the settings on the watch. There are limitations with Android Wear on the iPhone such as the lack of access to app store for Android Wear otherwise, it does most things. You can’t do this with an Apple Watch however, it will only connect to an iPhone.

You can find more reasons to love an Android Wear here.

Top 5 Best and Highly Rated Android Wear Smart Watch

So where does one start, here is a quick list of our line-up. Five of the best rated smartwatches in the market right based on Android wear followed by other trendy and fashionable smart watches.

  1. Huawei Watch 1.4-inch Round [HEART RATE SENSOR]
  2. LG Watch Urbane 1.3-inch Round [IP67, HEART RATE SENSOR]
  3. Motorola Moto 360 2nd Gen 1.37 or 1.56-inch Round [IP67, HEART RATE SENSOR]
  4. ASUS ZenWatch 2 1.45 or 1.63-inch Square [IP67]
  5. Sony Smartwatch 3 1.6-inch Square [IP68]


Let’s check out these watches and see how they compare to one another.We left out wearables from Samsung as these uses the company’s proprietary OS, Tizen.

1. Huawei Watch 1.4-inch ROUND (42mm) – HEART RATE SENSOR

  • Profile: Full circle face traditional Swiss design without the ‘flat type’. Sapphire Crystal cover.
  • Screen Size: 1.4-inch AMOLED display, 400×400 resolution, 286 dpi, 10,000:1 high contrast ratio
  • Memory: 512MB RAM + 4GB ROM
  • Case Size: 42mm Cold-Forged 316L Stainless Steel and Sapphire Crystal
  • Button Location: 2pm
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1 BLE, WiFi
  • Sensors: 6-Axis motion sensor (Gyroscope + Accelerometer), Heart Rate Sensor (PPG), Barometer, Vibration Motor
  • Battery Life: 1.5 days with 300mAh capacity

Case variations: Gents: Stainless Steel Case, Black-plated Stainless Steel Case, Rose gold-plated Stainless Steel Case. Ladies: Rose Gold-plated Stainless Steel Case, Swarovski Zirconia (Huawei Watch Jewel), Clous De Paris Pattern (Huawei Watch Elegant)

Strap variations: Gents: Stainless steel Mesh Strap, Stainless steel Link bracelet, Genuine leather strap. Ladies: Pearl White Leather Strap (Huawei Watch Elegant), Sapphire Blue Leather Strap (Huawei Watch Jewel)

Gallery: For Gents

Gallery: For Ladies

2. LG Watch Urbane W150 1.3-inch ROUND (45.5mm) – HEART RATE SENSOR

  • Profile: Full circle face traditional Swiss design without the ‘flat type’. IP67 rated.
  • Screen Size: 1.3-inch Full Circle P-OLED display, Always on
  • Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400, 1.2GHz
  • Memory: 512MB RAM + 4GB ROM
  • Case Size: 45.5 mm Water and Dust Resistant
  • Button Location: 3pm
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1 BLE, WiFi
  • Sensors: 9-Axis motion sensor (Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Compass), Heart Rate Sensor (PPG), Barometer
  • Battery Life: 410mAh capacity

The IP67 rating means that the product is fully dust proof and will maintain its operability even if it is gently submerged in a tank of still tap water at room temperature for about 30 minutes, up to a depth of 1 meter.

3. Motorola Moto 360 2nd Gen 1.37 or 1.56-inch ROUND 42/46mm

  • Profile: Circle face with ‘flat type’. IP67 rated. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 cover
  • Screen Size: 1.37-inch (42mm) or 1.56-inch (46mm) display, Always on
  • Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400, 1.2GHz
  • Memory: 512MB RAM + 4GB ROM
  • Case Size: 42/46 mm Water and Dust Resistant
  • Button Location: 2pm
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1 BLE, WiFi
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Gyroscope, Vibration/Haptics engine, Optical Heart Rate Sensor (PPG)
  • Battery Life:  up to 1.5 days 300mAh (42mm) or up to 2 days 400mAh (46mm) capacity

ALSO: Motorola Moto 360 1st Gen 4.2stars1416

4. ASUS ZenWatch 2 1.45 or 1.63-inch SQUARE

The rectangular watch with a square display from ASUS is available in two sizes, the ZenWatch 2 is a great watch but lacks heart rate sensor. The 1.45-inch variant does not have built-in speaker while the 1.63-inch variant does. Asus also offers 60 watch faces for both gents and ladies plus the ability to create your own perfect combination using FaceDesigner app. The watch also features HyperCharge giving you 60% charge in 15 mins and 100% in 60 minutes.

  • Profile: Rectangular face. IP67 rated. 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3 cover
  • Screen Size: 1.45-inch 280×280 resolution 273 ppi or 1.63-inch display 320×320 278ppi
  • Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400, 1.2GHz
  • Memory: 512MB RAM + 4GB ROM
  • Case Size: 45.2 x 37.2 x 10.4 ~ 11.8 mm (LxWxH) or 49.6 x 40.7 x 9.4 ~ 10.9 mm (LxWxH) Water and Dust Resistant
  • Button Location: 3pm
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1 BLE, WiFi
  • Sensors: 6-Axis (A+G) with Sensor-hub
  • Battery Life:  up to 1.4 days 290mAh (42mm) or up to 2 days 380mAh (1.63-inch) capacity

ALSOASUS ZenWatch 3 1.39-inch ROUND

A new round face watch with thin-bezel and three-button design redefines the smartwatch to provide quicker and easier operation. The customizable top button provides quick access to your favorite app or feature. The middle button provides a range of functions, including access to Interactive, Ambient, Theater, and Brightness Boost modes. The bottom button switches the watch to Eco Mode for the times you need extra-long battery life.

  • Profile: Circle face. IP67 rated. 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3 cover
  • Screen Size: 1.39-inch 400×400 resolution 287 ppi
  • Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 2100
  • Memory: 512MB RAM + 4GB ROM
  • Case Size:  45mm (45 x 45 x 9.95 ~ 10.75 mm) Water and Dust Resistant in Silver, Gunmetal or Rose Gold
  • Button Location: 3 buttons 2, 3, 5pm
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1 BLE, WiFi
  • Sensors: 6-Axis (A+G) with Sensor-hub, Ambient light sensor
  • Battery Life: 340mAh capacity

5. Sony Smartwatch 3 SWR50 1.6-inch SQUARE

A simply and unpretentious smartwatch, the second square profile watch in our list, the Sony Smartwatch 3 SWR50 is everything a smartwatch should be. A range of wrist straps from formal and sophisticated to casual, vibrant and fitness style are available (see below). It works even without the smartphone. Simply fill it with music and take it with you when you are out on a run. You can then sync your activity and movement with the Lifelog app when you get home. While it can take orders from you via the microphone, it does not however have a built in speaker.

  • Profile: Rectangular with square display. IP68 rated.
  • Screen Size1.6-inch 320×320 resolution Transreflective Display
  • Processor:Quad ARM A7, 1.2 Ghz
  • Memory: 512MB RAM + 4GB ROM
  • Case Size: Plastic with Silicon, Steel or Leather bands. Bands include surround for the watch.
  • Button Location: 3pm
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1 BLE, WiFi
  • Sensors: Ambient light sensors, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyro, GPS
  • Battery Life: up to 2 days

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