What’s the best wearable tech that was introduced at CES 2015? Wearables have been growing in popularity the past few years at CES. What started as a trickle of products has grown into a veritable flood. So, how do you determine what is what and which device or devices to choose? You could take the time like I do to read every single product review and spec sheet that crosses your desk, or, you could just let me do it and present my results, like I will here.
The Best Wearable Tech Covers Many Bases
Wearable tech covers a pretty large swath of capabilities. These include simple watch functions, what I call relay functions where you can use the watch/wearable to make and receive calls and texts, some app interactivity with the phone, and health/fitness monitoring functions, among other things.
Wearables mostly started out as watches with extra functions and were made by the likes of Samsung. Nike got into the act not long after and introduced a wearable that monitored health and fitness functions such as distance walked, calories consumed, heart rate, and activity levels. CES 2015 has seen the introduced a few wearable devices that cross over and combine these features.
Just a quick word before I begin: Unless otherwise noted, these devices all work with iOS or Android phones.
The Best Wearable Tech in Advanced Timekeeping from Alcatel
Alcatel has introduced the Alcatel OneTouch smartwatch. This smartwatch has an elegant look and will be comfortable in the boardroom, a fine restaurant, or the gym. The OneTouch offers call and message notifications, control over the music player and camera on your phone, and works as a phone finder. The OneTouch is one of those crossover pieces that also monitors health and fitness markers such as heart rate, sleep patterns, calories burned, and steps taken.
There are others out there that combine these features while still looking elegant. The Kairos Smartwatch and Band is one of these, however the price is a little on the steep side, ranging from almost $130 just for the watch band alone up to several hundred dollars with one of their proprietary watches included. I can’t find an asking price for the Alcatel unit yet, but I see it being just over 100 bucks. Although this one doesn’t seem to have anything for cyclers and swimmers as far as fitness help goes, this is still my favorite of the best wearable tech of CES 2015.
Garmin Introduces a Smartwatch for the Active Set
Most of the wearables that are designed to help people get or keep their fitness regimes on track aren’t really designed for people like me. I’ve got bad knees and a ruptured Achilles’ tendon so I can’t run. By body can’t handle the abuse that running delivers; so what can I do for a fitness tracker/wearable?
I spring for a Garmin Vivoactive that has an asking price of about $250. I’m a swimmer and a cycler. The Vivoactive has apps built-in that give me fitness data pertaining to my swimming and cycling workouts. There are dozens of watch faces that can be downloaded to customize the look of the watch. Iton’s from Garmin, so you know the quality is there. If you want a heartrate monitor, add another 50 bucks.
Sony Debuts a Smartwatch with Some Chops — Finally
Sony has had a couple of smartwatches before, however they flopped. They just weren’t worth commenting on. Their Smartwatch 3 is actually pretty boring looking, but it has a couple features that combined to make it good enough to make my list of the best wearable tech of CES 2015.
One of my favorite new features is that you can give it voice commands, instead of having to physically interact with it to make calls or send messages; you can just speak and tell it to “Call the Digital Landing office.” I also like the fact that if I don’t want to take my phone with me when I go for a walk, I can leave it at home and still use the watch to give me fitness info about that walk. It’s also got built in memory and a music player, so you don’t need to take your phone with you for your workout.
The Lenovo Vibe Band VB10
The Lenovo Vibe Band VB10 looks to me to be the perfect smart tech accessory for ladies. It is a smartwatch with the typical features you’d expect, but it has a feminine look. It’s got what looks to be either a brushed aluminum or brushed stainless steel case and has a slim and elegant shape. It’s not big and bulky-and masculine-looking-like most others I’ve looked at and worn. The only problem I can see is that it only works with Android 4.4 and above, iOS users are out of luck.
Of course, these weren’t the only wearables at CES 2015, but these are, in my opinion, some of the best wearable tech devices introduced this year.