Five iWatch alternatives you can buy today

Ever since Samsung confirmed that it too was working on a device to rival Apple’s rumored iWatch, these smartwatches have suddenly become the talk of the town. But think about it, smartwatches are not something new. Remember the calculator watch from Casio in the 80’s? That can easily be termed as the first official smartwatch. Since then there have been quite a few watches in the market from companies trying to sync the watches to PCs in an attempt to make them do more than just show the time and date. But smartwatches never became the thing you could show off to your friends.

But with the two biggest companies in the world now at each other’s neck to make the next best smartwatch, people are for the first time genuinely interested in these devices. It’s exciting to see what products they finally develop, but in the meanwhile let’s have a look at some of the other options that are available in the market for you to buy.

Pebble

The Pebble connects to your Android and iPhone via Bluetooth and provides a variety of customizing options to the user. You can download a variety of watchfaces to customize the watch’s homescreen and also download apps to make the watch do a variety of things like show the incoming caller ID, email, send and read SMS, calendar alerts, social media updates, and even weather alerts. The Pebble is priced at $150 (Rs 8,100 approximately) and is available in different color variants like Jet Black, Arctic White and Cherry Red among others.

I’m Watch

Developed by the Italians who do know a thing or two about fashion, these watches come in different colors and do more than just look good. The I’m Watch too syncs with your phone via Bluetooth and allows you to play music, see a preview of your email, read social updates and more. But what is most impressive in this watch is the ability to make calls using the in-built mic and speaker. You can buy the I’m Watch in India for Rs 18,000.

Sony SmartWatch

This Android-only smartwatch from the Japanese company is only 0.3-inches thin and connects with your phone via Bluetooth to allow you to read texts and emails, and also listen to music using a Bluetooth headset. Like the I’m Watch, the Sony SmartWatch too allows you to make calls or receive them, but needs a connected Bluetooth headset for it to work. You can also customize your watch according to your needs using apps available on the Google Play Store. The Sony SmartWatch is available at stores in Rs 6,299.

MetaWatch

Rather than being a small phone snapped onto your wrist, the STRATA range of MetaWatches work like an extension of your phone. In other words, the MetaWatch works like a notification bar (the company calls it ‘Hands Freedom’) on your wrist that alerts you to updates on your phone. The watch connects with your phone via Bluetooth 4.0 and will alert you when you get an email or text message, but unlike the other watches, you won’t be able to read them and will still have to take your phone out. The smartwatch though gives you an option to choose what information is displayed on your watch’s homescreen. You can opt for the watch to show you the number of unread emails and SMS messages, missed call count and the current weather among others. You can buy this smartwatch at select online and retails stores in India for Rs 10,000.

WIMM One Watch

The WIMM One is compatible with Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and Windows Smartphones and unlike the rest of smartwatches will store all the information on its Cloud and update itself using Wi-Fi. It comes pre-loaded with several apps like calendar, weather app, timer, and world clock and its app store makes it very easy to install additional apps.  Once you install the WIMM Companion app on your smartphone, you can start receiving SMS messages on your watch itself. Another excellent feature on this watch is that unlike others which go dark when not in use, the WIMM One continues to display the current time, date and temperature.

With options like these available in the market, it is surprising that the smartwatch hasn’t become a part of a geek’s arsenal. But if Apple and Samsung’s track record for innovative devices are anything to go by, then the day shouldn’t be far when we see a smartwatch on every second person’s wrists.