This year finally saw the release of Google’s own answer to the smartwatch, bringing the Android that we run on our smartphones to our wrists. With the launch of the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live this summer, it was a bit of a rough start for Android Wear, more so in the looks department than anything else. Since then however, more attractive watches have launched from the likes of LG, Motorola and even ASUS of all people. Now, there’s more choice than ever when it comes to picking up an Android Wear watch, and they’re all good-lookers, too. It’s been a big year for the Android Wear timepiece, and we’re sure next year is going to be even bigger, but for now let’s see what was the best from 2014.
Winner – LG G Watch R
The G Watch R isn’t the most imaginatively named watch, and its leather strap (easily changed) isn’t the best. However, the display is stunning in both its brightness and its clarity. It’s also a fully-round display, which instantly makes this feel more like a watch than anything else on offer. It’s not going to be to everyone’s taste, but it’s a sharp watch and it’s nice and light, too. With the same hardware on the inside, the G Watch R is quick and has all the features you’d want including a heart-rate sensor to boot. A fantastic example of what can be done with a round display, the G Watch R is one of the best looking smartwatches around.
Runner Up – Moto 360
The Moto 360 was the watch that we were waiting for, and when it finally became available it was something of a mixed bag. On the one hand it’s undeniably good-looking, but on the other the experience was marred by poor battery life and questionable performance from an ageing processor. The charging cradle is of course a highlight here, and while you can’t change those bands out as you would on any other watch, Motorola does now offer more options. A minimal, yet classic looking watch the Moto 360 has a lot going for it, but misses in a few key areas.
Runner Up – ASUS ZenWatch
While ASUS is not the first name you think of when it comes to watches, but they’ve managed to show the world just what you can do with a square display. This is a square watch, which makes it look decidedly digital, but it’s still a good-looking watch. The only real turn off here is the large bezel around all of the display, but that’s not too big a deal for a lot of users.