Samsung Galaxy Gear
This newcomer is the first smartwatch that can “legitimately claim to be a 21st-century version of Dick Tracy’s two-way wrist radio”: It makes and receives calls, takes photos and video, and supports various useful apps. Due to ship in October, it hasn’t been thoroughly test-driven. Also, it works only in concert with a Galaxy Note phone or tablet.
A recent Kickstarter sensation, Pebble performs one key task well: It provides convenient notification of incoming calls, texts, and emails. In our touch-screen age, its button controls “feel like a step back,” but this contender bears watching: It’s compatible with both iPhones and Androids, and app developers are quickly extending its capabilities.
Sony SmartWatch 2
Sony’s update of its “extremely svelte” smartwatch corrects the original’s one major failing: The touch screen was “practically impossible to read” in sunlight. This edition can be used to monitor incoming texts and calls, but you still can’t conduct a conversation on it. Still, Sony’s entry might be the “sexiest-looking” choice, and it’s compatible with many Android phones.
$240 (est.), sonymobile.com
So you prefer the look of a conventional watch? “Cookoo has you covered”—if you don’t mind sacrificing capabilities. This iPhone-compatible choice provides no notifications of incoming emails or texts. But it does monitor calls, Twitter mentions, and Facebook posts, and offers calendar reminders as well.