Friday, September 6

How Galaxy Gear stacks up to other smartwatches

It's tricky business comparing the handful of smartwatches that been publicly unveiled so far -- an early wave in the growing flood of wearable tech products. The market is still defining what qualifies as a smartwatch, and the features available so far vary broadly from device to device.
Samsung made the biggest splash so far Wednesday when it rolled out its Galaxy Gear, a souped-up watch with a simple camera, some decent storage space, voice controls and a single-core processor. But it lacks integration with Facebook and Twitter -- basic functions already adopted by some of its simpler competitors. Smartwatch a smart idea? Galaxy Gear smartwatch a game changer? Samsung announces Galaxy Gear smartwatch And, if truth be told, some of the stars are still waiting in the wings. Apple, Google and Microsoft -- arguably the heftiest triumvirate in the tech world -- are all expected to hit the market soon with their own smartwatches. For now, here's a comparison of the leading connected wrist adornments for sale to tech fashionistas and early adopters. Expect this list to grow quickly as the weeks go on. Samsung Galaxy Gear Display: 1.63 inches Price: $299 Battery life: About one day Compatibility: New Samsung Galaxy devices, eventually older ones Connection: Bluetooth 4.0 LE Camera: 1.9 megapixel camera, 720p video recording Other: 4GB storage, 800 MHz single-core processor, gyroscope and accelerometer Availability: Late September worldwide, early October in U.S. and Japan Pebble Display: 1.26 inches Price: $150 Battery life: 7+ days (additional 10-15% on phone battery) Compatibility: iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, 5 or any iPod Touch with iOS 5 or iOS 6. Android devices Connection: Bluetooth 2.0, 4.0 Camera: No Other: Accelerometer, magnetometer, water-resistant Availability: For sale now Motorola MotoActv Display: 1.6 inches Price: $149 for 8GB version Battery life: 20 hours active indoors, 9 outside Compatibility: Android phones Connection: Bluetooth 1.5 or higher Camera: No Other: Optimized for exercise, it has GPS tracking, Google Maps integration, is water resistant Availability: For sale now Sony SmartWatch 2 Display: 1.6 inches Price: $262 Battery life: 3-4 days Compatibility: Most Android phones Connection: NFC and Bluetooth 3.0 Camera: No Other: Display that's readable in sunlight, hundreds of apps available Availability: Available "soon" Qualcomm Toq Display: 1.55 inches Price: Around $300 Battery life: TBA Compatibility: Android phones Connection: Bluetooth Camera: No Other: Mirasol display, similar to e-ink Availability: In limited numbers in mid-October