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Open thread: which Android Wear smartwatch would you buy?

If you had to recommend an Android Wear device, which one would it be? What about if you had to use your own money? Which watch delivers the best bang for your 200 bucks?
By
June 30, 2014
The Gear Live and G Watch will offer the same UI
The Gear Live and G Watch will offer the same UI

Now that the dust is settling around last week’s big announcements, it’s time to make some serious decisions. Some buying decisions that is, preferably some that we won’t regret in a few weeks.

When it comes to Android Wear, there are two options currently on the table, the Gear Live and the G Watch, with the Moto 360 just around the corner. All three devices will feature essentially the same user experience when it comes to software, so hardware features and price remain the differentiating factors.

It’s not just the Moto 360 that’s coming this summer – rumors claim HTC has its own circular design ready for an August launch, and Asus may attempt to undercut rivals with a device that could cost as little as $100.

Let’s take a brief look at current and upcoming Android Wear devices.

LG G Watch

Price and availability

The G Watch is now available for pre-order in the Play Store. The device will start shipping on July 7 for $230. LG says it will sell the G Watch in dozens of countries in the following weeks.

Gallery

Key specs

  • 37.9 x 46.5 x 9.95mm, 63g
  • 1.65-inch IPS LCD display, 280 x 280 pixels
  • Snapdragon 400, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage
  • 400 mAh battery

Key details

The G Watch is a bit thicker than the Gear Live, and slightly heavier, though the difference is a matter of just a few grams. What you may notice is that its LCD display is lower-res than the Gear Live’s. The G Watch comes with a slightly bigger battery though, and battery life should be good for a day of medium usage. The device comes in Black Titan and White Gold and features a standard sized silicon strap with a buckle style clasp. There are no buttons on the smartwatch – to wake it up, simply double tap on the screen.

Samsung Gear Live

Price and availability

The Gear Live is currently available for pre-order in the Play Store. The device will start shipping on July 8 for $200. The device will become available in Samsung stores later this summer.

Gallery

Key specs

  • 37.9 x 56.4 x 8.9mm, 59g
  • 1.63-inch AMOLED display, 320 x 320 pixels
  • 1.2GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage
  • 300 mAh battery

Key details

The Gear Live looks very similar to the Gear Neo, Samsung’s Tizen-powered smartwatch, featuring the same general shape, dimensions, and even specs. Just like the G Watch, the Gear Live is made of stainless steel and plastic, and you can change the strap with any standard 22mm strap. The Gear Live features a rather small home button on its right side, that could be a little hard to use. The battery is smaller than on the Gear Live, but the AMOLED screen could help offset this issue. The Gear Live comes with a simple pin clasp, potentially making it easy to quickly remove and put on. The device also features a heart rate sensor on the back, but unless you’re a fitness buff, you might not care.

The others

Motorola is rumored to finally unveil the Moto 360 later this summer, but you might have a while to wait. The device will feature a beautiful circular design, resembling a traditional wristwatch, and that may be its biggest draw when compared to the Gear Live and the G Watch. There’s also talk about Qi wireless charging, which is something we wished we saw on LG’s and Samsung’s products as well. The Moto 360 could cost about $250 when it launches, and Motorola may offer some customization options, via Moto Maker.

moto 360 first look (2 of 12)

HTC and Asus will probably introduce their own AW smartwatches by fall, but we know little else. Asus is rumored to go for the budget-conscious with a device in the $100-$150 price range, while HTC will probably introduce something more akin to the Moto 360.

Sound off

If you had to recommend an Android Wear device, which one would it be? What about if you had to use your own money? Which watch delivers the best bang for your 200 bucks?

Would you buy one of the currently available models or would you wait for the Moto 360 or Asus or HTC’s products?

Is it even a good idea to jump on the Android Wear bandwagon now? Better, cheaper, sexier devices could be just months away…

Sound off in the comments!

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