Best smartwatch introduction
With a glut of new next-gen smartwatches landing on the market, we've gone back to the drawing board for our best smartwatches top ten.
We've spent two days in the TechRadar lab putting the latest and greatest through the same intense processes our phones and tablets go through.
This has allowed us to weigh up everything from design and features, to interface and price and everything in between, to bring you what we believe is a comprehensive list of the best smartwatches around - telling you which watch offers the best balance of function, performance, style and value for money.
Dozens of choices are available, with Samsung, Sony, LG, Motorola, Asus, Huawei, Alcatel and Pebble all getting in on the action. Oh, and one is now made by Apple.
All of them deliver important information closer than "at hand," from texts messages to email alerts. Notifications and apps are the big difference between smartwatches and the best fitness trackers.
10. Sony SmartBand Talk
The light frame makes the Sony SmartBand Talk very comfortable to wear day in, day out without discomfort.
At $169.99, £99 (around AU$199) you're paying a bit for technology that is less than cutting-edge. The price will probably drop before too long (it already has in the UK), though, which makes the Talk easier to recommend.
Fairly small, light and comfortable, the design isn't flashy but it works. You can also get more colourful straps, if the choice of a black or white watch just isn't jazzy enough for your tastes. It's the screen that you should really take note of though.
Unlike the LG G Watch and Moto 360, the Sony SmartBand Talk uses an e-ink display. It's just 1.4 inches across and offers resolution of 296 x 128. You do get three days of battery life from the tiny 70mAh battery, but we were hoping for a few more considering its limited functionality.
Read the full review: Sony SmartBand Talk
9. LG G Watch
The LG G Watch was the very first Android Wear smartwatch we donned at Google IO 2014, and we continued to wear it for months even with its square-shaped design and plastic build. That's mostly because the battery life gave us a solid day's use between charges.
That made it easier to swipe through all of the contextual Google Now notifications, texts and email alerts beamed to our wrist. It also eased the battery usage of our Android-connected LG G3 because we could see these messages and the current time via the always-on display.
LG G Watch gave us the best insight into Android Wear, but it's very much a device for wearable diehards. It looks like a computerized plastic wristwatch and the default rubber strap is a dust collector. We're also not a fan of the the buttonless design and proprietary charging cradle to turn it back on.
Of course, many of these faults have been corrected with the LG G Watch R and the more premium Watch Urbane, making this version the first edition of an Android smartwatch fit for early adopters - plus it's now one of the cheapest around.
Read the full review: LG G Watch
8. LG G Watch R
The LG G Watch R has got one thing right, it's one of the few Android Wear smartwatches that actually looks like a watch. It may not appear as fancy as the Moto 360, but it still has a sporty look that many might actually prefer.
You may notice it's taken a bit of a tumble down our rankings, and that's thanks to the arrival of the Watch Urbane. It hasn't fully replaced the G Watch R, but builds on it with a more premium design and slightly inflated price tag.
In terms of specs the G Watch R is relatively well equipped with a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 410mAh battery. Compared to the Moto 360 that's a better processor and larger battery, plus you also get a barometer, heart rate monitor and 9-Axis (which includes a gyro, accelerometer and compass).
The display is also worth shouting about. While the Moto 360 had a larger screen which made text a little larger and easier to read, the higher resolution display of the G Watch R is easier on the eye, while the P-OLED screen delivers strong colors.
If you want the latest from LG, and something that looks much nice, then check out the Watch Urbane - otherwise the Watch R is still a very viable option.
7. Samsung Gear Live
Samsung recycled its boxy smartwatch design when it made the Samsung Gear Live, but that was enough to make it our favorite Android Wear watch early on. That's because it conformed to the wrist with curves lugs, making it better than the black slab that is the LG G Watch.
It's not as easy to get hold of these days, but its price has dropped and it surprisingly has Wi-Fi built in which is ready and waiting to be unlocked by a software update - another thing its LG rival cannot boast.
Gear Live sneaks in a so-so heart-rate monitor, a smaller (though still proprietary) travel charger and a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display with a superior 320 x 320 resolution.
Of course, now that Motorola and LG's circular watches are out, it only serves as the boxy alternative if you have something against rocking the iconic round design of the Moto 360 and LG G Watch R.
Read the full review: Samsung Gear Live
6. Moto 360
Motorola's Moto 360 is a bit of a looker, defined by a 1.65-inch circular display, stainless steel frame and premium leather band.
This was the first Google watch that could pass itself off as a stylish designer timepiece. Everything else before it was square and plastic. Moto 360, like the slightly newer LG G Watch R, doesn't come off as an overt computer strapped to your wrist. It analog watch faces really blend in.
It's not all good news, as the Moto 360 has an inefficient processor that sometimes stunts swiping through these Android Wear menus, and battery life is a day at best.
That's why it's not higher up the list here, but on its face - it's beautiful, beautiful face - Moto 360 is one of the best-looking smartwatches to date and comes with a nifty Qi wireless charger to make up for those all-too-frequent charges.
Read the full review: Moto 360
5. Asus Zenwatch
If you're after a stylish smartwatch that does your basic range of Android Wear things, the ZenWatch is worth a look. Beyond that, there's little difference from the other similarly priced Android Wear watches.
The design is stronger than the early Android Wear offerings from LG and Samsung, but it doesn't quite hit the heights of the Moto 360.
It doesn't quite stand up to the Smartwatch 3 or G Watch R in terms of battery life or general ruggedness. Regardless, this timepiece is certainly in the top tier of rectangular Android Wear watches on the design front.
There are better Android Wear watches out there for a similar price, but if you are personally fond of the ZenWatch's stylings then it won't let you down.
4. Pebble Steel
The Pebble Steel outclasses its plastic-clad predecessor with a stainless steel frame that surrounds its 1.26-inch e-paper LCD and the silver or matte black casing comes with a leather band in the box. A matching steel band to complete this sophisticated look costs extra.
You get all of the same texts, emails and notifications at a glance for $199, £149 (about AU$228). That's cheaper than most of the Android Wear watches. Missing here, however, is the brilliant color display that makes Android watches shine, a number of features found on rival wearables and a way to get around Pebble's annoying eight installed apps limit.
Of course, Pebble Steel doesn't have the same battery life issues of the Moto 360. It can last at least four days between charges and is compatible with both iOS and Android phones. It's for everyone and, with swappable bands, for every stylistic situation - plus it has a 5ATM water resistant rating.
If the Steel is a bit rich for your liking there's always the $99, £99 plastic clad Pebble to fall back on - it doesn't look anywhere near as nice, but it still has pretty much the same features.
3. LG Watch Urbane
LG's reaction to the Apple Watch is the Watch Urbane, its own premium smartwatch which uses the G Watch R as a base, but sports a thinner bezel and new colors for a smarter look.
It's more expensive than the Watch R, but it comes in slightly cheaper than the entry-level Apple Watch Sport and it's one of the few Android Wear watches you'll actually feel comfortable wearing to swanky parties rather than tech meet ups.
The LG Watch Urbane is the watch you should get if you want a premium looking G Watch R.
2. Apple Watch
It's finally here. The smartwatch we've been waiting for with bated breath, the one we'd hoped would change the faces of the wearable revolution - and the best iPhone-compatible smartwatch and, at the same time, it's pretty much just OK.
It's a thing of beauty but comes at a high cost when it simply can't deliver on all the fronts. Starting at $349 (£299, AU$499) and peaking at an exorbitant $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000), this lightweight wristwatch is meant for patient early adopters and boutique store regulars.
There are plenty of iPhone features that are and aren't carried over to the wrist. It makes calls, but it can't add new contacts. It listens to dictated texts and sends them as an audio message or transcription, but it doesn't have any sort of edit function. It tracks basic fitness goals, but not it's GPS-enabled, doesn't track sleep and third-party workout apps require an iPhone close by. Likewise, it can name songs through the Shazam app, but it listens with the iPhone microphone, not its own.
For iPhone users waiting for nice wristware, the Apple Watch takes the cake when you take price away from the equation.
1. Sony Smartwatch 3
"What's this doing at number one?" we hear you ask. Well let us tell you, the Sony Smartwatch 3 offers the best balance of price versus features from the range of smartwatches currently available.
It can now be snapped up for just £127, $188 (around AU$240), which makes it surprisingly affordable. You get the relatively standard Snapdragon 400 processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage, but the Smartwatch 3 also packs Bluetooth, GPS, NFC and Wi-Fi giving it great connectivity options.
This means it can double as a running watch, while its dust- and water-resistant body means you can jump in the shower without having to take it off.
Sure it's not as nice to look at as the Apple Watch or LG Watch Urbane, but for your money it's very difficult to knock.
If you're not fond of the strap design, Sony has the Pebble Steel-esque band called the Sony Smartwatch 3 Steel - it looks pretty nice compared to its rubbery counterpart, but the guts remain the same.
Ultimately, the Smartwatch 3 has proved that third time's a charm (at least in Sony's Smartwatch series). It puts function ahead of form, delivering one of the best user experiences yet with minimalistic style.