Android Wear smartwatches so far
The Android Wear smartwatch selection is expanding, but you can only buy the LG and Samsung models right now. Motorola, Sony and Asus watches are coming soon, and LG has another up its sleeve.
Moto 360 has been confirmed to be orientation-free so that left and right-handed wearers won't see a single difference. The digital screen can be flipped and the classic-looking single knob is symmetrical. Just flip the entire thing around to get the knob on the right side.
Even better is that this beautiful watch face has a 1.5-inch LCD display that boasts a 320 x 290 resolution and 205 pixels per inch. It's protected by Gorilla Glass 3, according to leaks.
Sticking with that authentic watch styling, there are no charging contacts or USB ports to be found here, Motorola confirmed. Instead, the inductive wireless charging feature gives us a wire-free reason to own that Qi-compatible Nexus charger Google sells in the Play Store.
It doesn't feature a privacy-invasive camera like the Galaxy Gear and Gear 2. This just didn't fit into the classic design, according to Motorola. Also, unlike Samsung's non-Android Wear watches, it supports more phones than its own Moto X.
Moto 360 blends familiar Android menus like Google Now and Hangouts messages with a sophisticated-looking digital watchface, and Motorola touts just-as-premium strap materials that remain comfortable.
The company promises a variety of styles when it ships globally later this summer, starting in the US. We're still waiting on an official release date and word on the metal band seen in the Moto 360 renders. So far Motorola has demoed leather straps as the default option.
Motorola hasn't finalized the Moto 360 price either, but its recent contest outed the "average retail value" as $250 (about £147, AU$265). US retailer Best Buy backs up this pricing.
LG G Watch R is even rounder
One-upping Motorola's smartwatch is the LG G Watch R that's due out this fall. It boasts what LG loves to refer to as the first full-circle watch powered by Android Wear.
It's true. Moto 360's display doesn't form a complete circle. It has a blank spot at the bottom. This chin or horizon line houses its screen components instead of needing a blank circular bezel for the task.
Moto 360 isn't ideal for analog watch faces, and LG think it has a solution. LG G Watch R uses a circular bezel on its smaller 1.3-inch Plastic OLED screen, but covers it up with second-hand tick marks.
Some people think this looks more like a real watch, while others call it a diver's watch and don't want to wait until it releases this fall or see its likely expensive price.
Sony Smartwatch 3, Asus ZenWatch coming soon
The newest smartwatches were announced at IFA 2014 care of Sony and Asus. They couldn't be more different.
Sony said it purposely stuck with a square-shaped display on its Sony Smartwatch 3 because it's better. It also added a GPS chip to its specs - a first for Android Wear.
Fixing a major complain of ours regarding proprietary chargers, Sony opted to include a micro USB port for charging. Brilliant. It also promises a longer battery life, but that remains to be tested.
Asus went a different route with the Asus ZenWatch. It's boxy, but still stylish with a stitched leather strap and 2.5D curved glass.
Even though manufacturers can't fundamentally change Android Wear, a nifty Asus ZenUI Wellness app makes use of the watch's nine-axis sensor and makes good on Asus' promise to make a health gadget.
The Sony Smartwatch 3 will go on sale in Autum, while Asus has yet to announce a release date for its ZenWatch.
Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch
LG G Watch is a little more awkwardly titled, as if it's a typo with too many Gs. Just as awkward is the fact that the Moto 360 dissed square-faced smartwatches in its unveil.
That happens to be the exact design of the LG G Watch. And, curiously, it's is opposite of the LG G3 that seems to be all about its new quick circle case.
LG doesn't seem to be offended, though. The company thinks it's hip to be square with a buttonless design that highlights the boxy watch face even more.
With a 1.65-inch LDC IPS display, the G Watch is bigger than the Samsung Gear Live's 1.63-inch display, but has a tad fewer pixels with a 128 x 128 resolution instead of the 320 x 320 resolution.
Importantly, the LG G Watch lasts longer than the Gear Live thanks to a larger 400mAh battery. It lasts a day and a half whereas Samsung's watch typically stops ticking just shy of 24 hours.
Battery life is key for a wearable device that has to be worn all day long.
Also, like the Pebble Steel, it follows the trend of supporting swappable bands for a more personalized look and feel.
The LG G Watch costs $229 in the US and £159 in the UK. It's more expensive than the Gear Live in the US at $199, but cheaper than Samsung's UK price at £159. It really depends on where you live.
As we predicted, there was no rumored 3G-cabale LG G Watch unveiled. Expect that to be added further down the line in smartwatches and possibly available in South Korea before anywhere else.
Where Android Wear stands
Android Wear shows more promise on day one than Google Glass has in its year of availability because it's not a stretch to imagine donning Moto 360, LG G Watch or Samsung Gear Live.
Since only two of the three watches have released, there are still plenty of questions left to be answered about its future, especially its battery life going forward.
Then there's the question of iOS compatibility. Would Android-powered watches ever be able to connect to an iOS 8 device? Google has made plenty of its gadgets, app and services work with Apple's iPhone and iPad hardware.
We're looking forward to seeing how natural the "Okay Google" voice commands progress and if Google-owned Nest creates an Android Wear project of its own.