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Second - generation smartwatches: Apple Watch vs Moto 360 (2) and others

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 Watch 

Apple's wearable ­ simply called the Apple 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.

It can remotely ­ but within Bluetooth range ­ trigger the camera app on your phone to shoot photos or a video. You can set it up to display alerts for your messages, appointments, e-mail, social networks and phone calls. And you can even dictate replies to messages. The Watch understands punctuations when you say “full stop“ and “comma“, and this makes all the difference when composing messages by voice. Of course, triggering Siri is as simple as saying “Hey Siri“, and it understands Indian accents.

Its microphone lets you answer calls, while its speaker is capable of sound that's amply loud to carry out short phone conversations. Take it off your wrist, and it locks up to protect your data, and can only be unlocked by the passcode you have set.

Simply put, the Apple Watch is by far the best smartwatch there is. It works flawlessly. It lets you get quite a few things done: `like' Instagram pics, see recent tweets, reply to SMS, check your calendar, heart rate, measure your physical activity and more.

On the downside, you have to charge it every day , and it costs a pretty penny.

Moto 360 (2nd gen) 

The Moto 360 is designed to be an extension to the Android smartwatch in your pocket. And connecting the two devices to each other is rather effortless: Install the ndroid Wear app and enable Blue Android Wear app and enable Bluetooth on your phone; then, follow the on-screen instructions to complete set up. As soon as a link is established, all the apps on your device that support the Android Wear platform appear in a list on the smartwatch.

Google's services like Maps, Alarm, Calendar and more, can also be accessed and configured from the Moto 360 with a few taps or voice commands. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you receive notific tions with minimal lag even when Bluetooth is off.

You can even store songs on the Moto 360 via the Google Music app on your phone. Just pair it with a Bluetooth headset when you want to listen to music from the watch.

For the health conscious, it comes with an optical heart rate monitor ­ just like the ones on the Apple Watch and the Samsung Gear S2 ­ ­ and its functions are tightly integrated a with Moto Body and Google's Fit app. i 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

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. 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.

Samsung Gear S2 Classic 

The S2 works with Android smartphones, but it runs on Samsung's Tizen platform and this makes it quite different from watches based on Android Wear. For navigation, you get a rotatable dial around the watch face, which lets you scroll through apps, menu options and long messages. You also get two buttons on the side that let you go to the home screen or return one-step back with every press.

Unlike its predecessor, the S2 can be used with non-Samsung Android phones. For this, install the Gear app; then follow a few steps to install a plug-in and a connectivity tool from the Play Store.

The Gear app is also the place from where you'll find Tizen apps for your watch, and it will even let you sync photos and music with the S2. On the downside, this also means you can't just install Android apps like you would with the Moto 360 and ZenWatch 2.

That said, the S2 comes pre-loaded with apps like Flipboard, Bloomberg, ESPN and CNN.Here, the rotatable dial makes it easy to navigate through news categories and summaries.Apart from these, the S2 can be used as a standalone music player (when paired with a Bluetooth headset), to scroll through photos synced from the phone, record voice memos, view appointments, track your activity with Samsung's fitness app (S Health), and more.

Like the Moto and Asus watch, the S2 comes with Wi-Fi capabilities that updates you with notifications even when you're not within Bluetooth range of your phone.

Voice recognition was found to be slow at times, but worked fairly well for most part.However, since the watch does not natively support Android apps on your phone, it is not possible, for instance, to set reminders on Google Keep, or initiate WhatsApp conversations.The Gear 2 will still let you receive notifications from these apps and respond to them.Simply , the Gear 2 is full of promise. Navigating the device is simple, it comes with some lovely watch-face customizations, health tools and almost two-day battery life. All it needs now is greater support for apps and tools that every Android user relies upon.

For a closer view, you can refer to the following video comparing all the above mentioned smartwatches 

Shrey Kapoor is a Tech-Enthusiast, Harvard certified Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics Expert. He Founder, which is one of the India's Top Tech News Website. Even Forbes and many other renowned publishers took his articles reference. Shrey is a Technology analyst, strategic thinker and creative writer who is passionate to deliver the best, latest possible Tech-News to his followers and subscribers. He completed his masters in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, certified in IPR, T.Q.M. & ISO 9001:2008 In Quality Management Systems.

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