Comparing SmartWatches

Which SmartWatch Should You Buy?  Comparing the Apple Watch, the Pebble Steel, and the Martian SmartWatch

September 16, 2014 11:31 AM ET


Welcome to the era of smartwatches. The battle for your wrist has begun. And thev good news is you have a large pool of worthy contenders to choose from. There's the LG G Watch with an Android Wear system that doesn’t fail to impress. There's the stylish Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, the new improved Sony Smartwatch 2, the sporty LG Lifeband Touch, which works with both Android and iOS devices and there are many more. The list of options is long, but we’re going to compare three premium smartwatches that have impressed us the most.


The Pebble Steel vs the Martian Smartwatch vs the Apple Watch


Here's what you need to know about the three watches:


Pebble Steel ($249)


Pebble Steel was released by Pebble in January 2014 and has been a crowd-pleaser since. A step up from the previous model (the eponymous Pebble Smartwatch), Pebble Steel notifies you of incoming or missed calls, messages, e-mails, Facebook and Twitter activity, calendar events, and weather updates. Alarm and timer notifications are also included. You can control music from your wrist and shake it to dismiss notifications.


Pebble Steel - NewsWatchPros – Compatible with both Android (2.3 or higher) and iOS (5 or higher). Water resistant. Fitness apps available from the Pebble App Store. Elegant design, smooth notification handling, easy app-management. Three sensors (accelerometer, magnetometer and ambient light sensor).


Cons – Can use only eight apps at a time. Limited functionality for a ~$250 smartwatch. No call conversation. No voice control. No sound or LED flash notifications.




Martian Passport ($235)


The Martian Passport, one of the three models of Martian Watches' Voice Command series, was released in the spring of 2013 and is known for being feature rich. It notifies you of social media and text messages, calls, calendar and weather alerts. You can make or answer phone calls, read messages and reply to them using voice commands and shake to dismiss notifications. A different model, the Martian Notifier was launched recently, as a cheaper but better looking alternative of the Martian Passport.Martian Passport - NewsWatch


Pros – Compatible with Windows (7 or higher) and Blackberry (10 or higher) along with Android and iOS. Voice control. WhatsApp and LINE apps available for Android. Additional link-loss notification. Notifies via back-lit screen, LED flash, vibration and sound.


Cons – Splash proof only. No notifications for missed calls, timers and alarms. Only one sensor – accelerometer. Can't add fitness apps.



Apple Watch ($349)


Apple Watch was launched by the Cupertino company on September 9, 2014 and is expected to  hit the  markets early in  January, 2015. Launched alongside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple's premier smartwatch is surprisingly not called the iWatch. CEO Tim Cook has billed the Apple Watch as a health and fitness tracking device as well as an everyday lifestyle accessory. The smartwatch will be available in three models – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Edition (18-carat gold smartwatch) and Apple Watch Sport. Apple Watch - NewsWatch


Pros – Compatible with iOS 5 and onwards. Addition of full apps from the Apple App Store. Can store music on the smartwatch itself. Special messaging features (details yet to be released) including customizable emojis. Health and fitness focused. Waterproof. Multi-touch sensor. OLED display. Simple and intuitive user interface.


Cons – Cost.  No Android compatibility. No accelerometer, magnetometer or ambient light sensor.


So which one is the best for you?


We'll have to wait until the release of Apple Watch to see detailed pros and cons of owning one but it could easily change the smartwatch game. Of the two other options, the Pebble Steel Smartwatch is the best choice. With a “smart rating” of 100 percent (which takes into account the technical specifications like screen resolution, battery life, pixel density and other attributes and general overview and specifications like compatibility, remote features and functionality) Pebble Steel is arguably your one gadget to rule them all!




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The show is hosted by Andrew Tropeano and features reports by Susan Bridges, Joe Toohey, Amanda Forstrom, Mallory Sofastaii, and Scott Steinberg on technology news.


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