Now that we're firmly into the month of October, and November is just around the corner, it's quickly beginning to look like the year is well and truly coming to a close. As such, this means that there's little going on in the way of hardware releases towards the end of the year. What does that mean for smartwatches? Well, despite the fact that Motorola, LG and Huawei don't look to be releasing anything new until 2017, there are still some smartwatches to look forward to launching before we say goodbye to 2016. Including some from big names like Samsung and market stalwarts, Pebble. So, let's take a look at what's coming up before the end of the year, shall we?
Pebble Time 2
Perhaps somewhat annoyingly, Pebble have gone back to Kickstarter once again for the Pebble Time 2, but what really matters is that fans of the Pebble recipe will have nothing to worry about with this latest. Putting together everything that was great about the Pebble Time Steel and the Pebble Time, the Pebble Time 2 is a 1.5-inch square affair with a 228 x 200 resolution. Pebble is giving this another of their "e-paper" displays, but what that really means is that the display is a lower refresh rate with just 64 colors to display. This of course, has long been the secret to the stellar battery life, which is rated at 10 days this time around. All the usual Pebble Time features are here, including fitness tracking with the heart rate monitor as well as the Pebble Timeline. All of this is wrapped up in a Stainless Steel 316L casing. The Pebble Time 2 should be landing some time in November and is still on Kickstarter for those looking to back it.
New Balance Android Wear Watch
One of the bigger advantages to Android Wear, compared to something like the Pebble or the Apple Watch, is that the software is available to any and all firms looking to enter the market. As such, this means that the likes of New Balance can get into the game. Earlier this year, the sports brand said they were launching with a new Android Wear smartwatch before the end of the year. That gives the brand a short time window from here, and there's nothing known about this upcoming watch aside from the fact that Intel will be providing the internals for this, rather than Qualcomm. GPS would also be a must for a device that is no doubt going to be aimed towards runners, and that's one feature that appears to be on its way. Some think that this is a watch that will be launching in December, but there's a chance it'll be delayed until next year.
ASUS ZenWatch 3
The ZenWatch brand has, since its launch some time ago, been known for being affordable, as well as good-looking, but with the ZenWatch 3 ASUS have outdone themselves. A fully-circular display with a 1.39-inch 400 x 400 display is front and center here, with the new Snapdragon Wear 2100 running the show. Design wise, the ZenWatch 3 is less than 10mm thick, and happily blends modern and classic design elements together. Considering that all of this costs $229 and will be shipping in November, this is an Android Wear watch to get excited about, especially when we consider the high prices of other watches out there.
Samsung Gear S3
The Gear S3 – in both Frontier and Classic models above, from left to right – represents a huge upgrade over last year's Gear S2. The software is still from Samsung's own Tizen origin, and it offers up all kinds of features you won't find on other smartwatches, including some pretty competitive fitness features. Fit and finish here has taken a more traditional turn, and Samsung even worked with some big names in the Swiss industry to make this design happen. While an LTE version is planned as well, Samsung does appear to have cleaned up the models and offerings for this follow-up to the Gear S2. The South Korean brand hasn't shared any info on when these 1.3-inch smartwatches will be launching, but the Gear S2 was on sale by this point already in 2015, so we can't be too far away from a big launch now.