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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Apple Watch vs Android Wear vs Pebble Time



With the release of the Apple Watch, we expect the world will start paying much more attention to wearable devices. But this doesn't mean the Apple Watch is the best choice for someone looking to purchase a wearable device. So lets find out how Apple's first smartwatch compares to devices running Android Wear, or the upcoming Pebble Time.

Hardware

Each of these wearables differ in terms of design and build quality. Apple is not ashamed to boast about the miniscule details of designing its smartwatch, but that doesn't mean that the competitors make any less of an effort with their own offering.

Another important distinction is the use of a touch-enabled displays (Apple Watch, Android Wear) and tactile buttons only (Pebble), and their respective resolution. Pebble Time trails the competition with its colored e-paper display, but that choice allowing this timepiece to achieve a battery life that lasts six times longer than its competitors.

Apple Watch Android Wear Pebble Time
Interchangeable straps
Touch display x
High resolution display x
Water resistant
Long-lasting battery life x x
Different sizes x

Software

When you talk about software features, its imperative to consider compatibility. The Apple Watch is only compatible with the iPhone, and Android Wear is only compatible with Android devices. Pebble on the other hand supports both iOS and Android (and even Windows Phone).

The Apple Watch is unique for extending the functionality of the apps on your phone to your wrist, while Android Wear and Pebble Time bring their own app experiences to the smart watches. However, due to the limitation of smartwatch apps, you don't get much more than a glimpse of the app on your Android Wear device, before having to reach for your smartphone. The Apple Watch on the other hand will give you a more complete experience, even eliminating the need for your smartphone to complete a task.

Lastly, whereas both Apple Watch and Android Wear-based devices offer intelligent voice assistants (Siri and Google Now, respectively), Pebble Time is devoid of such a majorly important feature. That's very much worth considering, especially given how the aforementioned two services are only going to get better and more suited for your wrist.

Apple Watch Android Wear Pebble Time
Works with all smartphones x x
Autonomous apps built-in x x
Support for third-party apps
Various watchfaces
GPS navigation
Voice assistant x
Fitness tracking
Weather forecast
Stock quotes
Song recognition x
Media controls
Mobile payments
Find your phone
Camera remote

What about the Microsoft Band

Remember that Microsoft has its own wearable device - the Microsoft Band, which is unfortunately almost never available for purchase and limited to the U.S. Still its affordability and functionality make it a great alternative to any of the above mentioned wearables.

Microsoft Band

The ten sensors that give the Microsoft Band its perceptive powers are also a means by which Microsoft is extending its reach into the depths of the wearable space. Microsoft has announced that the sensor technology can be licensed by other OEMs and implemented in their brand of wearable tech.

The Microsoft Band is built with a cloud first approach, storing all your personal information online and allowing you to access it as you need it. The Microsoft Health service is also linked to various other fitness platforms, allowing a complete picture of your fitness tracking. The Microsoft Band is also cross platform offering iOS, Android and Windows compatibility.

The Microsoft Band also packs a considerable amount of software features. In addition to fielding smartphone alerts and notifications, the home screen is customizable. The Band allows for productivity and social media integration. It is open to third party developers. It has an intelligent keyboard, a quick read function and Cortana, Microsoft's popular personal assistant is integrated with the device (for Windows Phone users). The Microsoft Band is a powerful and reliable health agent which also provides guided workouts, and it fulfills the consumer need for monitoring and navigating one's smart device without the inconvenience of consistently retrieving it from your pocket.

The Microsoft Band is also affordable, costing only $199. The only downside is that its nearly impossible to purchase one online due to limited availability
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