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Top 10 Android Smartwatches Buyers Guide: July 2015 Edition

July 15, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

The summer is officially here, which means that consumers are more likely to purchase a new smartwatch for fitness capabilities, or just to look fly on holiday. Regardless, smartwatches have come a long way since last summer when Android Wear launched. Pebble is back with a new model that’s finally available, and options from LG look better than ever. Plus, the Moto 360 now poses some of the best value out there, so there’s plenty of choice to be had these days. These are 10 of the best smartwatches that you can buy right now.

10. Samsung Gear Live

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One of the first Android Wear watches available, it now looks as though Samsung has stopped production of the Gear Live. Still, if you can pick one up on the cheap, the Gear Live is a modern-looking entry into the world of smartwatches. Unlike the Gear 2 and Gear S line of watches, this will work with any Android device running Android 4.3 or above, and it still featured an AMOLED display and a look that any Samsung fan could get behind. It’s not the best-looking, but it has a little something about it. It’s just a shame about the charging mechanism, which is arguably one of the worst out there.

09. LG G Watch

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We reviewed the original LG G Watch some time ago, and since then it’s not exactly aged well. Performance wise, the G Watch has some of the best performance and battery life out there when it comes to the more affordable Android Wear contingent. Still, it’s unassuming, bulky black frame is far from exciting and it’s pretty heavy, too. With a simple charging cradle and a standard 22mm watch strap fitting however, there’s not too much to complain about here. Completely uninspiring, the G Watch is definitely a digital-looking piece of hardware, and if that’s your look, then go for it.

08. Pebble Steel

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When Pebble first launched the Pebble Steel, it was one of the best-looking smartwatches on the market. Of course with the likes of the Watch Urbane and Moto 360 that statement doesn’t quite hold up any more. However, for a smartwatch that’s good-looking, won’t look out of place with smart attire, has excellent battery life and is mostly hassle-free, the Pebble Steel is still a decent option. It helps that it’s no longer as expensive as it used to be, too.

07. Samsung Gear S

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With the Gear S, Samsung might be showing what they can do with flexible OLED, and while it definitely says “the Future” in big, bold letters, the Gear S is hardly practical day-to-day. This is a shame as there’s some great features here, not least being able to work as a phone on its own, complete with 3G radio. Sadly though, it only works at its best when connected to a blessed Samsung Galaxy smartphone, and it’s really quite expensive for the limited use the majority of customers will get out of it.

06. Pebble Time

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The Pebble Time was somewhat confusingly launched as a Kickstarter earlier this year, despite the company probably having enough money to finance a second-generation on their own. It’s now finally hitting shelves, and while it’s still a Pebble, complete with finicky buttons instead of a touchscreen, it now has voice control and some of the best battery life of any smartwatch in this list. It will last most people through the week, and perhaps into the weekend and the new Timeline feature is something that many users will appreciate, even those settled in with Android Wear. Speaking of which, it works well with Android Wear on your smartphone to get a similar experience where notifications are concerned.

05. ASUS ZenWatch

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ASUS just recently announced the new ZenWatch 2, which doesn’t bode well for purchasers of the first-generation product. Hopefully, we’re wrong there. With a design that makes square devices actually look good, the ZenWatch was a pleasant surprise in the Android Wear world. But with no WiFi support in the Android 5.1.1 update and little besides the brushed metal fame to set it apart from others, the ZenWatch isn’t the best-looking Android Wear smartwatch out there.

04. Sony SmartWatch 3

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Sony has a long history in smartwatches, and one of the first to ship a viable product with functionality we now take for granted on our wrists. With the Sony SmartWatch 3, Sony have put together a device great for everyday life as well as those looking for more of a fitness-orientated device. It has two-day battery life, as well as an excellent stainless steel version available now and it will work with the excellent LifeLog app as well. It doesn’t have the best-looking  display, but it’s clear and won’t disappoint.

03. LG G Watch R

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Despite some controversy surrounding WiFi capabilities, the G Watch R is an excellent Android Wear smartwatch, as we found out in our review. It’s a little chunky, but it’s surprisingly light on your wrist, and the overall look and feel might be what G-Shock wearers have been waiting for, and it’s also got a heart rate monitor and a fully circular display. An excellent choice that might not be for everyone, the G Watch R is good-looking and an excellent performer all-round.

02. LG Watch Urbane

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The Watch Urbane is obviously a classic, and good-looking smartwatch, and it launched with Android 5.1.1, too. So then, why is it second? Well, the problems with the Watch Urbane could be its strengths depending on your outlook, but it’s quite chunky and quite expensive. How much you pay for something can have a big impact on your experience, and considering there are other options out there for much less, the Watch Urbane is a luxury smartwatch that might not suit everyone.

01. Motorola Moto 360

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The Moto 360 has held this spot for quite some time now, and just when the Watch Urbane was poised to take its crown, the Moto 360 got an excellent update to Android 5.1.1 as well as another reduction price. This makes the Moto 360 one of the best value-for-money smartwatches out there, and it has a universal appeal as well. It’s more affordable than ever, has received another shot in the arm in the form of a software update, and still looks this good.