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Top 10 Android Smartwatches Buyers Guide: May 2015 Edition

May 13, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

It’s been quite some time since Android Wear launched with the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, and my, how far we’ve come. The Watch Urbane is now available, and it’s been causing quite a stir not only because of the new version of Android Wear that it’s shipping with. With a big new Android Wear watch in town, how does the rest of the competition stack up? Let’s see, shall we?

10. Samsung Gear 2

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The Gear 2 is a pretty good smartwatch…if you’re a Samsung user that doesn’t expect too much from their smartwatch. The problem with the Gear 2 is that it only works with Samsung devices and the Tizen platform isn’t exactly populated with oodles of apps and watch faces. With Android Wear really taking off when it comes to apps, games and watch faces it looks like it might be time for Samsung to concede, until then however, the Gear 2 isn’t too expensive and it’s a great gadget for Samsung fans. If you’re looking for the perfect smartwatch for that shiny new Galaxy S6, this isn’t a bad option, it’s just a little limited.

09. Samsung Gear Live

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One of the first Android Wear watches – and the only one that Samsung makes – the Gear Live isn’t exactly the most exciting smartwatch out there, but if you’re a Samsung fan then this has that Super AMOLED display technology you’re probably looking for and it’s a modern looking watch. Sadly, the charging accessory for this guy is horrendous and if yours hasn’t broken by now, then you’re extremely lucky. However, you can purchase these separately if you needed to. For an inexpensive first Android Wear watch this isn’t a bad buy. You can read our review here.

08. LG G Watch

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Another of the first Android Wear devices to hit the market, the LG G Watch is one hell of an unexciting watch. It’s a black face with a silicon strap, and that’s about it. Having said that, some people like the fact that this is so simple and unassuming, plus you can easily attach whichever 22mm watch band you like to make the most of the overall design. The G Watch however is a great way of showing Android Wear off, it’s nice and speedy and the battery life is consistently much better than the Moto 360 even with the display always-on. You can read our review here and while you could call this the ugly duckling of the Android Wear world, it’s super-reliable and has great battery life.

07. Pebble Steel

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Soon to be outclassed by the Pebble Time Steel, the Pebble Steel is one of the few smartwatches you could tie with a suit. That’s not saying much however, as there’s competition from the likes of the Moto 360 and a steel Sony SmartWatch 3. With more memory than the original Pebble and a choice of either leather or metal watch straps in the box, this is a good product for those in need of something a little smarter, and it also has the same sort of fitness tracking elements from Misfit, too.

06. Sony SmartWatch 3

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Sony’s SmartWatch 3 got off to something of a rough start, with people questioning those rubber bands and why Sony needed to break away from the pack. Since then however, the SmartWatch 3 has presented itself as an excellent option for those always on the move and looking for something more sporty. The steel version however, is a great smartwatch to wear with a suit, or whenever you want, it adds a new level of class to an otherwise fairly strange design. Still, it stands out and it’s different. Our review is here. The choice to use microUSB makes this the only watch here you can top up pretty much wherever you are, no need to bring that cradle with you!

05. Samsung Gear S

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The Gear S might be expensive, and for a lot of users it’s only really useful when paired with a Samsung smartphone. Still, it’s one of the few devices that shows what’s possible when a flexible display is used in a watch and it’s also one of the few smartwatches that can function on its own without the need of a smartphone always present. You can read our review here, and while it’s certainly expensive, if you have the money and are into chunky watches then this is worth taking a look at. Frustrated with not having a watch that can stand on its two feet? The Gear S is the only watch in this lineup to do just that.

04. ASUS ZenWatch

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Easily one of the best-looking square smartwatches on the market, the ASUS ZenWatch shows us that there’s beauty to be had in a digital and modern design. It’s also got some pretty good battery life and some interesting apps available from the Play Store, too. All-in-all, this is the watch to get if you like square watches, but aren’t satisfied with the rest of the competition. Easy to pair with all sorts of different outfits, this is a great watch for any occasion.

03. LG G Watch R

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A light, comfortable watch that doesn’t look quite as big in person as you’d think, the G Watch R is a great example of what Android Wear can do. The display here is fully circular and very bright and readable. With a heart rate monitor and more, this has all the features you’d want in a smartwatch and it’s also good-looking, too. It’s a more rugged, slightly beefier watch that looks a little more, dare we say, manly? Those numbers around the edge of the display will remind many of the older G-Shock watches and that’s certainly not a bad thing. Our review can be found here.

02. LG Watch Urbane

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LG have gone and done it again, creating another circular Android Wear smartwatch with an excellent roster of features and a very, very pretty overall fit and finish. The problem with the Watch Urbane however, is that it doesn’t really offer too much over the G Watch R, sure it has the new version of Android Wear, but all watches will get that update soon enough. It’s also quite large and fairly expensive for what you’re getting. Still, if you were looking for something more traditional, along with the Moto 360, the Watch Urbane is perhaps the closest you’re going to get to a smartwatch that, you know, looks like a watch.

01. Motorola Moto 360

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Motorola recently lowered the price on the Moto 360, and it’s now just $170 from Amazon, which means you can get two of these for one Watch Urbane. Yes, there might be cause for buying two to get the same sort of battery life, but no matter how you look at it, this is great value. Moto Maker is now available to customize and build your favorite Moto 360 and while there are still concerns over its battery life, this is a good-looking watch period, and it’s also one of the smartwatches you could recommend to anyone, no matter their job or their dress sense. Take a look at our review here.