Over recent years, wearable technology has expanded into many households, with products such as the smart watch becoming commonplace amongst consumers. The futuristic feeling of having a smartphone on your wrist, as well as the benefits of staying connecting without your phone, has been too hard to resist, with plenty of companies jumping into the market.
While not a new concept, with the term ‘smart watch’ going back to the early 90s, it’s only been over recent years that the concept has really grown and improved. With so many companies offering their products, it may be the best time to invest in the latest smartwatches in the Australian market.
By today’s standards, the smart watch is essentially a smartphone or computer that fits on your wrist, capable of keeping you up to date with the world, as well as helping you with errands, reminders and day-to-day activities.
The traditional smart watch has a small electronic display, similar to the lock screen on your phone, with notifications and information popping up as it comes through. As they have progressed over time, the smart watch now usually includes the functionality to call or message contacts, search the internet as well as help you on your fitness program.
More recently, a line of smart watches called Hybrid smart watches have been designed for those who like the aesthetic of the traditional hands-on-the-dial, but also want to be kept in the 21st century. As a result, there are a lot of options out there, which can make it a bit tricky when it comes to finding the best fit for you.
As with any electronics release, the usual big names are here, with some lesser known brands and even fashion labels getting in on the action. Below are a few examples that can be found in Australia.
Recently releasing the Series 3 model, Apple has looked to dominate the smart watch market with its consumer familiarity and recognition. With such a large market share in mobile phones and computers, smart watches seem like an easy step for the technology giant.
While it may offer some impressive specs and capabilities, be ready to dip into your savings if you want to go with Apple, with the most expensive model pricing at just under $2,000. Thankfully, Apple has a wide range for those not looking to break the bank, with other, more reasonably priced, models easily available.
Samsung is another of the tech giants getting in on the smart watch market, with the Korean company offering smart watches at a cheaper price compared to Apple. While it’s not as big on range as its rival is, Samsung does provide enough to get consumers excited, regardless of how they use their watch.
A more traditional watchmaker, Fossil has kept up with technology, producing a range of smart watches and hybrid watches in both men and women’s designs. For the more aesthetically-conscious, Fossil may be a better option due to their expertise within the watchmaking industry, but don’t let that fool you into thinking they can’t mix with the best of them, as the specs and prices are worth checking out too.
While more associated with fitness and heart monitors, FitBit has released a range of smart watches for those on the go. The ‘Ionic’ smart watch range combines the features FitBit has become known for, as well as functions that embody the modern-day smart watch. Cheaper than most brands, FitBit may be a good suit for those who are keen on their fitness, but want a bit extra.
When it comes to wearable technology, it’s really no surprise that fashion labels are expanding into the market, with smart watches becoming half fashion statement and half tech product. While not heavily focussed on the technology side as other smart watches, MK watches stand out from the crowd with its design, great for those who don’t mind a bit of bling.
Offering a few varieties, Armani is again for the fashion lover rather than the tech lover, with the company banking on the image and design of its product rather than the technological capabilities. Compatible with both IOS and Android operating systems and phones, Armani smart watches boast multiple customisable faces and a few options for bands. Starting at close to $500AUD, Armani is not the cheapest option on the market, but for a high end fashion brand you can’t expect much else.
Realistically the smart watch is a handy bit of technology, allowing users to go anywhere without their phone (something we’re not used to) and stay up to date, and in charge. But despite it being useful in some areas, it may not be a necessary purchase for everyone, so you’ll have to think about whether or not the smart watch fits into your lifestyle.
As with any big electronics purchase, it’s best to do your research, as products and brands all have different advantages and disadvantages. The added area to be aware of is that the smart watch is as much about the looks as it is about the technology, so for the fashion-savvy, it does add another complexity to the decision making process.