The Cookoo can check you in on Facebook, though you still need to use the free Time To Connect app to complete the transaction. Nice idea, but hardly enough to make Cuckoo the "Facebook watch" it promised to be.

4. Pebble Steel

Price: £152, US$249, AUS$278 | Compatible with: iOS and Android

Best smartwatch 2014

With a few hundred thousand sold so far, the Kickstarter-launched Pebble has proved to be the smartwatch that most people have heard of. A watch for iOS and Android apps that uses power-saving epaper rather than a conventional LCD display, the Pebble's battery consequently lasts for a whole week.

Connecting to you smartphone via Bluetooth, Pebble has a customisable clock face that can receive the same notifications from a paired phone as most other smartwatches, including social media updates.

A newly announced Steel version - available in Brushed Stainless or Black Matte - is sleeker than previous incarnations, with a tough Corning Gorilla Glass display and an LED to indicate the charging status.

In a long overdue move by Pebble at CES 2014, it was announced that its official app store would go live by the end of January 2014.

5. Casio G-Shock GB-6900AA

Price: £163, US$180, AUS$245 | Compatible with: iPhone 4S, 5 and 5S

Best smartwatch 2014

Casio is being pretty bullish about its future in the smart watch market, but you could argue that its Bluetooth-powered smartwatch represents no more than simple first-gen thinking.

Linking to an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 hosting Casio's G-Shock app, the Casio G-Shock GB-6900AA's LED-backlit display notifies the wearer of incoming phone calls, emails and texts, and Facebook and Twitter updates.

You can also operate the iPhone's alarm (helpful if you tend to misplace your phone), and the GB-6900AA vibrates if it loses the Bluetooth link, which stretches only to about 2m. Another useful travel feature is world time: the GB-6900AA syncs with the iPhone's refreshed time when you change time zones.

There's no touchscreen here, but the GB-6900AA is a smart-looking, traditional watch with added extra smartphone-sync goodness. That appearance could be its trump card. Best of all, it uses a CR2032 button-cell battery that last for months.

6. Martian G2G

Price: £165, US$249, AUS$260 | Compatible with: iOS and Android

Best smartwatch 2014

Another smartwatch that started as a Kickstarter-funded project, the Martian G2G's big feature is voice control. Looking, acting and feeling like a regular timepiece, a tiny 96 x 16 pixel OLED display on the Martian's front is home to scrolling alerts that let you know about incoming direct messages on Facebook, Twitter mentions, reminders, events from Google Calendar and incoming emails.

Text message alerts on the Martian G2G's OLED screen also work, though it's like reading scrolling updates on the BBC News channel. Patience is needed, and you don't always get the entire message.

Where the G2G impresses most is with voice interaction and hands-free calling. A noise-isolating microphone allows the wearer to voice-dial phone numbers, speak-in text messages and have Siri speak to you via the watch's speakers.

The entire operation is configured using a Martian Watch Alerts app on any iOS or Android device, with the G2G using a lithium battery that refuels via USB.

7. i'm Watch

Price: £219, US$361, AUS$406 | Compatible with: Android

Best smartwatch 2014

We're not sure a recent price drop on this Android-compatible smart watch will save it from eventual obscurity, but I'm Watch is an interesting attempt nevertheless.

One of the few touchscreen smart watches available so far, its high price is accompanied by a useful extra feature that its rivals lack; it puts apps on your wrist. Made in Italy – which might explain the lack of a determiner between 'i'm' and 'Watch' – it links to a smartphone via Bluetooth and displays and reads out messages and emails, while phone calls can be made from the i'm Watch by choosing a contact.