If you’ve been reading the news over the past few weeks, you know that Pebble is no more. Fitbit’s acquisition will see it acquire the startup’s intellectual property, software and key personnel, but not its hardware. Time 2 and Pebble Core have been cancelled, and Pebble has started refunding backers of those products.
Its safe to say, existing customers can probably expect less support for their devices in the future. And whether Pebble services continue beyond 2017 is anyone’s guess. If you are a fan of Pebble watches, it might be time to start looking at some alternative options.
Essential reading: Top hybrid smartwatches, the best of both worlds
This might not be as easy as you think. Pebble was one of a kind and there is nothing really out there that directly compares to its smartwatch lineup. The combination of simple and functional designs, good-looking screens, an open operating system, long battery life and low cost made it a perfect entry point for many consumers.
That said, we’ve pulled together a list of a few alternatives that you might consider as a replacement.
Released just over a year ago, the Huawei watch is one of the best looking smart timepieces you can buy today.
Created using sophisticated materials such as scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, cold-forged stainless steel cases, and fine leather and stainless steel bands, Huawei comes across like a great looking conventional watch. Under the hood, though, the device packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 512MB RAM and 4GB internal storage.
Huawei pairs with any Android phone and is one of the first watches powered by Android Wear to work with iPhone. The always-on, full circle, 42 millimeter diameter, 400×400, AMOLED display delivers notifications, music from your phone, and more than 4,000 apps you can personalize and explore.
The watch also tries to bridge the gap between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker. It comes preloaded with the Google Fit app though you can download other apps of your choice. With auto-activity recognition it knows when you’re walking, running or climbing. The heart rate sensors keeps tabs on your ticker.
The Chinese company’s timepiece comes in a range of premium casings and fine leather or stainless steel straps. The variety of bespoke watch faces lets you customize it further.
Compatible with most Apple iOS and Android cell phones, the second generation Moto 360 is a seriously good looking timepiece. A backlit LCD with 360 x 325 resolution and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass provides a sharp view, even in dim lighting. The round design with edge-to-edge glass and a thin bezel offers a stylish look.
With form factors made specifically for men or women, the watch allows you to stay connected and up to date by getting messages, news, weather, and more without constantly having to check your phone. With voice activation, you can control the smartwatch simply by speaking. Moto 360 also includes a built-in activity tracker and heart rate monitor to monitor your daily efforts and offers coaching advice to help you meet your goals.
It was widely expected we would see a new smartwatch from Motorola in time for the launch of Android Wear 2.0 which is slated for an early 2017 rollout. Albeit, this will not be the case. For now users will have to settle for the most recent Moto 360, which will still benefit from Android Wear 2.0 when it sees the light of day.
ASUS ZenWatch 3 is crafted from jewelry-grade 316L stainless steel, and comes in a choice of three colors, Gunmetal, Silver and Rose Gold. For added comfort and a great look, the company has thrown in specially selected genuine Italian leather for the watch strap.
With six custom design themes and more than 50 display faces to choose from, you easily create a watch that matches your individual style. Get messages from friends, weather updates at a glance, and a variety of useful assistance that helps you make the most of your day.
In terms of fitness tracking, there is no heart rate monitor, but the watch automatically counts your steps, and encourages you to move at regular intervals. ZenFit also tracks a range of workout activities such as walking, running, push-ups, and sit-ups.
Despite a bump in specs, the added power efficiency means ZenWatch 3 sports a two-day battery life. There is also a quick charge function – plug it in for just 15 minutes to reach a 60% charge. Or you can always switch on Eco Mode, which extends battery life by more than 200% by turning off networking and notifications.
With an IP67 water resistance rating, ZenWatch 3 can be submerged in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes, so you can wear it all day.
A Kickstarter backed project, the relatively unknown Ticwatch 2 is what a smartwatch should be – powerful and affordable at the same time. From the home screen to the pairing process, Mobvoi made sure that its smart timepiece is simple to use.
Sporting a sleek, clean-cut design and 20mm replaceable band, Ticwatch 2 is compatible with both iPhone and Android. The 1.4 inch, 400 x 400 pixel OLED display is vibrant and rich. A novel feature for a smartwatch is its Tickle side-strip, a touch-based way to scroll, select and zoom without the use of physical buttons.
Ticwatch is run on proprietary Android based Ticwear 4.0. Apart from standard smartwatch features, you do get quite a few fitness tracking features as well. The watch’s sensors monitor real-time heart rate data, speed, distance, and GPS location so you can leave your phone behind. You can also sync with Bluetooth headphones to listen to music on the go.
On the downside, the watch packs a 300mAh battery which barely gives it enough juice to last more than 24 hours. Nevertheless, Ticwatch 2 offers a great smartwatch experience at a fraction of the cost of the better known brands.
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