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smartwatches

  • Qualcomm launches a new Snapdragon chip for smartwatches

    After two years of silence, Qualcomm has finally released a new high-end smartwatch chipset. Dubbed the Snapdragon Wear 3100, it's still based on the 28nm architecture of the 2100, but does include a more "hierarchical" layout with two additional processing cores. "In this hierarchical architecture, the high-performance quad core A7 processor, the highly efficient integrated DSP, and the new ultra-low power co-processor work in conjunction with each other to fundamentally look to re-imagine smartwatch experiences -- enhance existing ones, bring-in new ones -- while supporting extended battery life," the company touts on its product page. This new design enables three additional ambient...

  • Here’s how much you’ll pay for the Fitbit Versa in South Africa

    The Fitbit Versa -- the American wearables firm's second smartwatch -- is now available globally, and coming to South Africa in May. The company lifted the covers on the watch earlier this year, but now customers can purchase it in a number of different guises and finishes. But we'll get into this later. For now, the Versa is a smart wearable that tells the time and can track your health in realtime. It runs Fitbit OS 2.0, and comes with the tech we've seen first on the company first smartwatch, the Ionic. Said features includes an all day PurePulse heart rate monitor,...

  • Android Wear is now called Wear OS because reasons

    The Android Wear family of smartwatches plays second fiddle to the Apple Watch in terms of popularity, but that doesn't mean Google is giving up yet. In a bid to take the fight to rivals, the company has decided to... rename Android Wear to Wear OS. The company justified the rebranding by claiming that its technology and users are evolving. "As our technology and partnerships have evolved, so have our users. In 2017, one out of three new Android Wear watch owners also used an iPhone. "So as the watch industry gears up for another Baselworld next week, we're announcing a new name that better reflects...

  • Fitbit Ionic long-term review: daft software mars excellent fitness tracking

    Smartwatches have never been able to come close to smartphones in the hierarchy of digital needs. But that's slowly starting to change. Although Android Wear still languishes in the doldrums of slow development, Apple's Watch Series 2 adds notable features to an already competent smartwatch. The Series 3, launched around September 2017 went one better, adding LTE support and more. But it's a watch that only works within Cupertino's ecosystem, and that, for many, is a deal breaker. The same too can be said about Android Wear. That's where the Fitbit's Fitbit OS powered Ionic comes rushing through the door. Launched a...

  • Would you buy this Android Wear smartwatch for under R2000?

    It could be argued that smartwatches are overpriced and overhyped, given that they're basically fitness trackers that mirror your smartphone's notifications. But the upstart Mobvoi company is bucking the price trend thanks to the US$120 (R1614) Ticwatch E on Kickstarter. Sure, this might be an early bird price (otherwise retailing for US$199), but it still makes for a competitive price tag anyway. In fact, the company initially sold a Super Early Bird special that saw you getting the Ticwatch E for US$99. Got a little extra to spare? Then the Ticwatch S is available at an early bird price of US$139 (R1870)...

  • Huawei Watch 2 hits South Africa, but what about price?

    We found out back at the Huawei P10 launch that the Huawei Watch 2 would be coming to South Africa. Now, the company has indeed launched the device in the country. The watch stands out thanks to a water resistant design, LTE connectivity and Android/iOS support. Other notable features include a Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip, NFC/GPS/WiFi/Bluetooth and a range of preinstalled fitness apps. Huawei is also pushing the standalone nature of the watch, thanks to the aforementioned LTE capabilities, allowing you to use standalone apps or call/text contacts without a tethered phone. Why tether your phone to your smartwatch? That's the thinking...

  • Android Wear 2.0, SA-bound watches revealed

    We've already known that Android Wear 2.0 was due for a release, but Google has finally made it official. The latest version of Google's smartwatch platform offers a variety of features, starting with the watchfaces. Android Wear 2.0 now lets you personalise the always-on aspect of the watchface with desired actions/information. "Simply glance at your wrist to check your next appointment, stock performance, progress on fitness goals, or whatever is important to you. A quick tap on your watch face lets you instantly order an Uber ride, start a workout, or get in touch with your significant other," Google wrote on...

  • LG smartwatches, Android Wear 2.0 date leaked

    LG is teaming up with Google to reveal two new smartwatches next month, it has been reported. According to VentureBeat's Evan Blass, LG and Google plan to reveal the Watch Sport and the smaller Watch Style. The watches are purportedly set to launch alongside Android Wear 2.0 on 9 February. VentureBeat adds that the smartwatches will go on sale in the USA a day after launch. But one of the more notable nuggets of information is that the watches will apparently copy Apple and include a Digital Crown wheel for navigation. Android Wear is due for an upgrade, and it appears that LG...

  • WristWhirl hands-free smartwatch turns your wrist into a joystick

    A team from Dartmouth College has developed a novel way to use a smartwatch. Dubbed the WristWhirl, the smartwatch is currently in prototype but allows users to perform touch-screen gestures using only one hand in a continuous motion. To develop the WristWhirl prototype, researchers observed the intricate movements of the wrist. By using a small group of participants making eight joystick-like movements while standing and walking, researchers were able to record specific gestures. "While other studies have explored the use of one-handed continuous gestures using smartwatches, WristWhirl is the first to explore gestural input," explains co-developer Xing-Dong Yang in a blog...

  • Apple Watch Series 2 debuts with swimmers in mind

    Catch all of our iPhone 7 launch coverage as well as additional Apple news here and here. Amid the James Corden tomfoolery and Nintendo news, Apple also unveiled the new edition of the Apple Watch. The smartwatch, which has pushed the Cupertino company to second in the world smartphone sales stakes, is now swim-proof -- waterproof for up to 50 metres. Additionally, the company's wearable now boasts a nifty little speaker water ejection system, which keeps fluid out of the Apple Watch Series 2's system. Apple Watch Series 2 now boasts a swanky ceramic edition Speaking of the system, the Apple Watch now...