Apple, Nixon, New Balance, Pebble, Blocks and more – smartwatches coming soon
The Apple Watch might make up more than half of smartwatch sales but, with the devices slated for release by the end of 2016, that could soon change. As well as the Apple Watch 2, we’re looking forward to new watches from Samsung, HTC, Fossil, Nixon, New Balance, Blocks and more.
So before you hit ‘buy’ on the current generation smartwatches, check out what might be worth waiting for. In Android Wear, in particular, there’s a lot more fashion and sports watches due this year.
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 September
The original Apple Watch was announced in September 2014 alongside the iPhone 6 and subsequently went on sale in April 2015. So far this year we’ve only had new Watch straps andfashion partnerships out of Cupertino, with regards to its debut wearable. So it looks as if we’ll be waiting until September.
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.
Pebble Time 2: ETA November
In the words of Pebble, the Time 2 is for the ‘active professional.’ Available in marine grade stainless steel, the Time 2 combines a silicone strap with a stainless steel buckle for a quick release mechanism making it easier to swap in other bands.
The Time 2 boasts an e-paper 228 x 200 1.5-inch display, covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It has a built-in microphone for voice notes and replies, while Pebble has also said that Smartstraps will be supported. Heart rate monitoring is also on board.
The Time 2 runs on Pebble OS with the same ARM Cortex M7 processor found inside the first Time powering performance. There’s no Wi-Fi or GPS, but it’ll still work with both iPhones and Android devices. It costs $199.99.
Blocks: ETA October
One of the watches we most want to get our hands on is theBlocks modular smartwatch. It was set to start shipping in May 2016 to backers of its Kickstarter campaign but that date has now slipped a few months… sigh.
The core Blocks smartwatch module runs Android Marshmallow and features a 1.4-inch 400 x 400 AMOLED display. Qualcomm’s low power Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor is on board and there’s 4GB of memory plus 512MB of RAM, as well as Bluetooth 4.1 LE, Wi-Fi and sensors for activity tracking.
The extra Blocks modules are made from polycarbonate and their maximum dimensions are: 25 x 31 x 8mm. It costs $330 with four modules of your choice. Extra modules are $35.
Samsung Gear S3: ETA September
The Samsung Gear S3 is likely to land at this year’s IFA expo, held at the beginning of September in Berlin. The rumours have only really just started on the Gear S2 successor but a de Grisogono exec has been caught saying that the Swiss watchmaker is collaborating on Samsung’s “next-gen smartwatch.” IFA seems likely as that’s when the Gear S2 launched. It then went on sale in October in the US and in November for the UK.
Samsung’s next smartwatch is purportedly round, codenamedSolis and will run Tizen. The suspect looking picture above leaked in June.
HTC One: ETA who knows?
The HTC smartwatch rumours continue to rumble and the latest murmurs pointed towards an Android Wear device, dubbed the HTC One Watch, launching the end of June. But it looks as if that date has slipped… again. According to @evleaks, it was was originally going to launch in April.
The rumour mill is cooking up murmurs of an all-round display, as per the Huawei Watch, with a 360 x 360 resolution. Still, that’s pretty much all we know, leaving this one a bit more of a mystery.
Nixon The Mission: ETA October
Alongside Casio’s Smart Outdoor watch, Nixon’s The Missionis one of a new wave of adventure friendly Android Wear watches.
Due to go on sale in October for $400, The Mission is Nixon’s first smartwatch and it looks like a beauty. It has standalone GPS, waterproofing down to 100m (50m deeper than the Casio) and a decent 24 hour battery life. It’s military grade dust and shock proof – nice touch – and customisable too with 20 silicon watch straps and 15 choices of bezel finishes.
On the apps front, third party apps, for surfing, skiing and other sports, will have access to all The Mission’s sensors including an altimeter, barometer, thermometer, gyroscope, accelerometer and humidity sensors.
Fossil Q Marshal/Wander: ETA Fall
We’ll have to wait a while for the next Android Wear smartwatches in Fossil’s Q collection, the Q Marshal and Q Wander. Announced at Baselworld, the new additions are smaller and slimmer than the Q Founder, Fossil’s first Wear watch. They are both available in 42mm and 46mm, starting at $275, and the difference between the two is that the Marshal has a rugged case and the Wander will be sold in a variety of finishes.
Due to go on sale in fall 2016 with the very similar looking $395 Michael Kors Access smartwatch due by the end of the year too.
Xiaomi smartwatch: Late 2016
Xiaomi’s founder has confirmed that it’s about to jump into the world of smartwatches. No, not the Mi Bunny GPS kids smartwatch (above).
After months of speculation, including the manufacturing partner Huami’s insistence that it would appear in Q2 2016, Liu De, the co-founder and vice president of Xiaomi revealed in April that its smartwatch will land in the “second half of 2016”.
We don’t know anything about specs just yet but we’d expect it to be hitting lower price points than its rivals – it’s a business model Xiaomi hasn’t strayed from yet.
Pebble 2: ETA September
Pebble is bringing a more fitness feel to its starter-smartwatch by adding features like a built-in optical heart rate monitor along with the ability to intelligently track sleep and step counts thanks to the accelerometer.
The Pebble 2 is going to be available in five different sportier colours, offering more variety than its predecessor. Dimensions-wise, it measures in at 39.5 x 30.2mm with a 9.8mm thickness and weighs in at 31.7g; it’s lighter and thinner than the original.
The $99.99 device has the same 1.26-inch, 144 x 168 resolutionalways-on e-paper display as the old model, but now features Gorilla Glass 3 for an extra layer of protection.
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.” The release was set for ‘holidays 2016’ so don’t hold out on seeing this before December.
Ticwatch 2: ETA August
The Ticwatch 2, released in China back in June, is jam-packed with tech, boasting a 1.4-inch always on AMOLED screen at a whopping 400 x 400 resolution. It blends touchscreen and the Tickle strip, which enables users to control the watch by swiping on the bezel, much like the Samsung Gear S2.
In addition there’s built-in GPS a dual LED optical heart rate sensor too. Not only that but the Ticwatch 2 will be priced “south of $200”.
There’s also a built-in SIM and the watch makes use of Mobvoi’s voice capabilities; Mobvoi’s software is already used in place of Google’s voice and search services in China on Android Wear devices.