Think smartwatches only come with digital displays and ‘funky’ straps? Well, think again – these examples marry modern functionality with classic looks
1 iFit Duo
The ¡Fit Duo is the kind of smartwatch you might see in a sci-fi movie, with a face that lifts right off the strap and flips around. One side is a totally normal analogue watch, the other a monochrome LCD fitness tracker. It’ll count your steps, tell you the time, display notifications from your phone and even tot up the calories of your food. It’s a two-faced smartwatch, in the best possible way. It’s not perfect, though. The mechanism makes a clicking sound as you move; it has a loud seconds hand; and the smart display lacks a bit of polish. Still, it’s gadget-tastic.
2 Garmin Vivomove
This fitness-tracker-meets-timepiece looks innocuous even by normal watch standards, but it uses a cunning method to show you how active you’re being. Instead of a dial to show you the number of steps you’ve taken that day, there’s a subtle white bar to the left of the display that fills up as you progress towards your goal. A matching one on the right-hand side gradually turns red if you sit on your backside too long. So it’s a real gent of a watch – and it’s no-fuss, too, with the battery lasting a year. On the downside, it doesn’t offer phone notifications.
3 Withings Activité Steel
When it comes to watches that have covert smart features, the Activité is the undisputed king – and now it’s back with its third model. The Steel is every bit as fancy-looking as the original Activité, though it’s half the price. The Activité range are fitness trackers only – there are no smartphone notifications. This enables them to adopt a look that closely resembles a normal watch. As well as looking chic, the Steel is light and comfortable, while battery life is eight months.
We’ll be honest -smartwatches haven’t taken off as much as some big names in tech insisted they would, and if we want to get something done, we’ll still usually head to our phones and not to our watches. This has led to the rise of a new kind of smart-watch, though: one that cares more about being gorgeous and fun to live with, as well as being useful to your daily routine, while not getting in the way if it either.
Read on to discover what smartwatches are out there. Matching classic style with contemporary features, these are the new catwalk stars of the watch world – and some of them last for a year or two off a battery. The big question is: should you buy one of these instead of an Apple Watch? Let’s find out…
Mondaine Helvetica 1
The Mondaine Helvetica 1 makes a pretty good case for love at first sight – stunning on the wrist and packed with smart credentials, It’ll make you wonder why you ever thought twice about splashing out £650. The design is as timeless as the Helvetica font, with the MotionX fitness and sleep tracking kept in a little sub-dial at the bottom. There are no notifications but the watch teams up with an app to offer alarms and sleep tracking, with this chunk of steel under your pillow rather than on your wrist.
Motorola Moto 360 2
This is our pick as the best-looking watch here. A stainless-steel body and standard strap fixture make the Moto 360 2 feel like a normal watch, but seeing as it has an LCD screen, you’d have to have pretty bad eyesight to mistake it for one. It has one of the best screens among Wear watches, too, switching from a back light to an ambient light when It’s bright outside. But you’ll still have to charge It every day. That’s the trade-off: more smart moves, less convenience.
Apple’s first wearable Is now a classic. The Watch comes in a whole stream of styles. Gold or silver? Steel or rubber? Every one still looks just like an Apple Watch. This is the least watch-like of all our featured picks, though, being rectangular. One of the biggest advantages of the Apple Watch is that you get access to more apps than any other smartwatch in the world. And with watchOS 3 just around the corner, things can only get better. It’s just a pity Apple’s chic wearable lasts only a day between charges.