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Battle of smartwatches: Apple Watch vs Moto 360 (2) and others

Battle of smartwatches: Apple Watch vs Moto 360 (2) and others
Battle of smartwatches: Apple Watch vs Moto 360 (2) and others
Text: Ashutosh Desai & Savio DSouza, TNN

Second-generation smartwatches are already here, and while you might have resisted the lure of such technology so far, you might find yourself asking yourself every now and then, "Is it time for one?" Here we tell you about four new smartwatches available here.

So go and take your pick ...
Apple WatchBCCL
Apple Watch
Apple's wearable ­ simply called the Watch ­ only works with iPhones running iOS 8.2 and later. Connecting it to the phone is simple and painless: Choose your language of choice and then ­ through the Watch app on your handset ­ use the camera to scan the graphic that appears on your smartwatch screen. There. You're done.

After you connect the watch to your iPhone, it stays connected. No repeat pairing required. To see the time, just lift your wrist ­ and its screen lights up to display the watch face, time after time, without fail. As far as apps go, the Watch has a bouquet to choose from in categories such as fitness, weather, productivity , news, photography, astrology, education and reference that are customized for its smaller display.

To interact with the device, swipe for notifications and for features like heart-rate monitor, activity tracker, weather report and more. A rotatable crown on the right side of its screen lets you customize watch faces, or scroll through options. Press this once, and you are presented with a beehive-like view of all your Watch apps.

Long press, and Siri is activated. A button just below this crown gives you quick access to your favourite contacts, allowing you to send messages and initiate phone calls. The watch face is just as receptive to taps and touches.
Data gets synced automatically
Data gets synced automatically
Besides, its motion sensor records physical activity on the watch itself, so you can step out for a walk without your phone. Data gets synced automatically when it is in the vicinity of the handset.

You can use voice commands to send messages and e-mails, and you can also use it to initiate a call, but you will need your phone to have a conver sation because the watch is not equipped with a speaker. All in all, the Moto 360 is a decent acquisition for early adopters of technology.

You will be able to send texts, reply to e-mails, set appointments, mark off items from your to-do list and more from the watch itself. But it does suffer a few drawbacks: While voice-to-text is fairly accu rate for varying accents, it is not perfect.

We also had trou ble getting the Moto 360 to under stand punctuations, making it slightly cumbersome when it came to dictating messages, making calendar appoint ments and personal notes. Besides ­ like all smartwatches presently available ­ you will need to charge its battery every single day.
Asus Zenwatch 2
Asus Zenwatch 2
Like the Moto 360, the ZenWatch 2 is also based on the Android Wear platform, so it comes with similar stock features: You get access to supported apps on the Play Store, pattern lock on its display and notification cards on sports, weather, stock markets and flight schedules from Google Now; you can view notifications, create to-do lists, and send messages. All these features work without a hitch.

As part of its customizations, Asus lets you choose from over fifty watch faces; it lets you remotely control and take photos with your phone's snapper, listen to music from the watch with a Bluetooth headset and monitor personal fitness.

Most of these apps work well with Asus handsets, but users of other brand phones could face certain operational issues.
Budget ZenWatch 2
Budget ZenWatch 2
For instance, the camera app when used with a non-Asus device worked sluggishly and its performance was rather inconsistent.

Additionally, the budget ZenWatch 2 is the only wearable in this review that does not include a heart rate sensor. But it comes with built-in motion sensors to count your steps, calculate distance covered, calories burned, etc for detailed activity analysis via third-party fitness apps.

You can expect to get a day's worth of service from this wristwatch, and if you overlook its smallish screen, you'll even manage to get a fair amount of tasks done with it (especially if you own an Asus phone). Besides, you won't find too many (branded) competitors for the ZenWatch 2 at its price.


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