When it comes to smartwatches, everyone wants to know what the next big thing is when it is time to upgrade their wearable technology. Technology itself improves so quickly that the latest and greatest smartwatches on the market can change dramatically from year to year.
From next-generation models of beloved watches such as the Samsung Gear and the Apple Watch, to completely new models, everyone is always looking for the next exciting smartwatch.
The newest 2016 releases are looking to be as high-tech, impressively designed, and as exceptional as smartwatches have ever been. Here are some of the smartwatches that are highly anticipated for release in 2016.
1. Samsung Gear S3
The Samsung Gear S2 is still one of the most popular smartwatches on the market, and a direct and strong competitor to the Apple Watch. For Android users, the new Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch is one of the most highly anticipated smartwatches for the 2016 year.
This next generation watch, whether or not it remains named the “Gear S3” upon release, is one of the favorites for those saving up to purchase the newest model.
Because the S3 is still under wraps and pretty secretive, there are no details as to the specifications or features. However, it is said that the Gear S3 may be launched at the 2016 IFA technology show in Berlin on September 2nd.
The Apple Watch 2 is also rumored to be waiting to unveil in September, so it is likely these two competitors are dancing around each other and waiting for the prime time to unveil their newest models.
Details and Design
While there are no exact details as of yet, there are certain aspects that are a sure thing in the Gear S3.
For example, the early version had some problems but was already one of the most functional, intuitive, attractive smartwatches on the market and with a much better battery life than its competitor, Apple.
The bi-directional bezel that users went insane for, allowed them to easily and intuitively navigate the menus. It is safe to say that this feature is not going anywhere, and if anything, will be improved upon.
Unfortunately, for now, that is all we know about the Gear S3 thus far. It is safe to say that the design will be very similar to the popular S2, however beyond a circular display with excellent resolution, an intuitive bezel, and a very decent battery life, anything else is simply guessing.
As an Android device, the Samsung Gear series is also popular because it integrates and works perfectly with Apple products as well.
We can expect to see upgraded processor, screen features, display design, and likely improved straps. As for native applications, GPS, health tracking, wireless charging, and independent functioning without your smartphone device; it is clear that these aspects will be included in the Gear S3 as well, and upgraded for the best performance.
Even though the details are scarce, (and some, non-existent), the Samsung Gear S3 is still going to be highly anticipated, even sight unseen.
2. Nixon The Mission
Nixon has announced their plan to offer a smartwatch that has the features one would normally find in a higher priced analogue luxury watch.
For example, the Nixon Mission smartwatch is going to offer wearers waterproofing up to 10 ATM (which is 100 meters or 330 feet). This is typically found in luxury timepieces such as Hublot, Panerai, Patek Philippe, IWC, and Rolex.
This smartwatch is perfect for those who are active, as it comes pre-loaded with apps that are made especially for surfers and snowboarders/skiers. These apps offer live information and weather conditions around the world. Since it is waterproofed so well, these wearers can finally have a smartwatch they can count on, and actually wear as they surf or hit the snow.
The display of the Mission includes a round AMOLED display (the circular display is clearly a very common theme in the smartwatches of 2016). The bezel is made of stainless steel and the display is incorporated in a polycarbonate and stainless steel shell with a silicone wristband.
This makes the Nixon Mission an exceptionally sports/activity-friendly smartwatch.
Underneath the display, lies the brains of the operation. Featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, the Mission is expected to offer all of the standard Android Wear features as most other smartwatches on the market. The exact details are still under wraps.
The price is not yet available for the Nixon Mission smartwatch, but it the watch is expected to become available in Autumn. Hopefully, an unveiling and pricing release will be available soon, but it has yet to be announced.
3. Fossil Q Wander & Marshal
Fossil has impressed the world with their Q Founder smartwatch in 2015. When everyone thought that Fossil was a historic analog watch maker (and they are), people never dreamed that this company would blast onto the wearable technology scene with such an excellent start.
The Fossil Q Founder is an excellent smartwatch that was so popular, that it has caused Fossil to create more wearable technology for 2016.
Incredibly, Fossil has stated that they will be releasing more than 100 connected devices in 2016, two of which are the Wander and the Marshal.
They plan to accomplish this by teaming up with eight brands, including Fossil itself, Kate Spade New York, Misfit, and Michael Kors, for example.
Fossil Q Wander
The Wander model features a beautiful 44mm Gold Case with leather straps that are interchangeable. The display screen is circular and features an always-on touchscreen. The functionality of the Wander is the same as the Marshal, meaning both smartwatches have similar features to the Q Founder and most Android Wear smartwatches.
This is great news considering the high quality Fossil has been producing, especially in their Q Founder series. The design is what separates the Wander, the Marshal, and the other 100 connected devices that Fossil plans on releasing this year. Some of these connected devices are analogue watches that include some interesting and clever tech in them (the names of some of them are: Q Crewmaster, Q Gazer, Q Nate, and Q Tailor, all of which continue the evolutionary journey of the Q54 Pilot and the Q Grant models.
If you are a Fossil fan (and you should be), you need to keep an eye on this website (smartwatches.io) as well as the news for all of the upcoming devices and gadgets that this up and coming powerhouse company is going to be producing to the masses.
Included with the Wander smartwatch is a wireless charger.
The Fossil Q Wander is expected to cost around $275.00 each, which is a fantastic price considering the high-quality technology you will be receiving. The Fossil Q models are every bit as good as the Samsung and Apple smartwatches and is something to consider when shopping for your next watch.
Fossil Q Marshal
As stated above with Q Wander, the Fossil Q Marshal is the more “rugged” of the two smartwatches. Featuring a larger case than the Wander, at a rugged 46mm, the Marshal features a navy blue finish casing and a great vintage-looking leather strap.
The display is circular and features an always-on touchscreen and uses Android Wear.
The Marshal is expected to cost the same as the Wander, at $275.00.
These two models from Fossil are outstanding options at exceptional prices, and they are a must-have on your shortlist of most anticipated smartwatches of 2016.
4. The Apple Watch 2
As nearly half of the smartwatch sales are Apple Watches, we would be lacking in our list if we did not include the highly anticipated Apple Watch 2.
Slated for release in September of 2016, we are not far off from finally getting our hands on this beauty. This next generation version of the Apple Watch has been thought out by Apple and Tim Cook, who took to heart the pros and cons as reported by users of the Apple Watch.
To improve upon their design with the Apple Watch 2, they dropped some of the functionality hype that they did with the original, because they knew that the battery did not quite have the juice to back it up so glamorously. And that’s okay–people will still buy Apple Watches in droves, but with a bit of honesty being shown by Apple, we can now get a better idea of what kind of capabilities this next generation smartwatch will have.
First off, nearly every wanted a longer lasting and robust battery in this new Apple Watch 2. It looks like the company tossed around ideas on how to minimize battery usage or include a more robust battery.
Apple is already using the Samsung Foundry’s 14FF process to create the chipset in the iPhone–this is because Samsung has a much superior battery manufacturing process and has longer-lasting batteries for their smartphones as well as smartwatches.
The current Apple Watch uses an S1 chip that uses 28nm architecture. Think of it this way–the bigger the nanometer (nm) size, the more power it requires, so Samsung’s 14nm could make an impact. However, we do not know for sure what type of battery the Apple Watch 2 will have. The company may still be making their decision.
Even if they use the Samsung 14nm rather than the current S1 chip with 28nm, this will not answer the battery life issue. With an always-on screen, consumers are still likely looking at a smartwatch that will be manufactured to last a whole day. A week-long battery life is certainly not on the horizon with the Apple Watch 2.
As far as design, Apple wants to do away with any childish colors or designs of the original Apple Watch. The typography, for example, is something the designer wants to improve. You should also expect better kerning (that’s the spacing of the numbers on the face) to improve as well.
For the more expensive models, there are also some rumours that new materials will also be used such as platinum, titanium, tungsten, and palladium. This would be for stainless steel editions and cost up to a grand.
The display of the Apple Watch 2 will either change significantly or have the same rectangular look of its predecessor. It is looking as if a major design change may change the face (quite literally) of the newest generation of this smartwatch. Rather than the rectangular dial face of the Apple Watch original, it looks as if the Apple Watch 2 may feature a perfect circle design. It is unclear how large the display will be, but it will undoubtedly contain high-quality resolution and screen technology. No word yet on how large it will be but seeing as the original Watch was typically 42mm, it is a good bet that a circular display will be the same size.
If Apple decides not to go through with this design and keep the rectangular display, we will find out at the unveiling, but with hope, most Apple supporters are looking for a different design.
Developers’ dreams have come true with the nes that the included watchOS 2 would support native applications, running directly on the Watch (without the need to pair with your iPhone at all times). This is a big change and will deliver a performance upgrade and allow for much more useful Apps to be included in this edition.
Features: Siri, Health, Sensors
Siri, of course, will be included–upgraded. There has also been talk about the Apple Watch 2 possibly integrating health sensors that they were not able to the first time around. The space issue was the problem with the first model, and there will always be an issue with that. But with the release of CareKit (a follow up on last year’s ResearchKit), there can be an open source platform that can allow developers to create health care apps. For now, we will have to wait until the unveiling that will hopefully occur in June, 2016.
GPS is a much-anticipated feature, however, until the release, we will not know for sure if the Apple Watch 2 will include it. The latest reports state that the Apple Watch 2 will not feature GPS but rather have a new Wi-Fi chip that can be used to track Apple Watch devices using router triangulation tech. This means more independence from the iPhone, as well, so this is not terrible news–if true, this is still a considerable upgrade.
One thing is for sure: The Apple Watch 2 is going to be waterproofed with much superior tech than the original. This is because waterproofing was the second-most wanted attribute of the new watch and 80% of respondents in Wristly’s “inner circle” of watch owners stated that they wanted a rating of more than IPX7, which covers only a depth of 1 meter.
According to sources, the early word that a FaceTime camera would be included may be delayed to a later model than the Apple Watch 2, but this is not set in stone. It may be very likely that it could be included in the Apple Watch 2–because Apple has made it clear that they are interested in increasing FaceTime functionality.
Finally, from health, fitness, to notification, Apple Watch 2 smartbands may be getting smarter. There has been a lot of talk about a bottom strap connector slot that can be used for accessories, as well as using the strap for a complex haptic feedback notification system and other functions. Future-talk has been that one day, Apple wants to release a smartwatch with straps that contain antenna and even long, flexible batteries to power the watch for days. While this will not happen in the Apple Watch 2, this is exciting news for the future of Apple wearable technology.
A price range has not yet been set for the Apple Watch 2, but there has been talk by Apple that they want to make it more affordable than the original Apple Watch. At worst, it looks as if it could cost the same as the first generation model.
As for the release date, most experts agree that we are looking at a 2016 release of the Apple Watch 2. The most popular calculations are a release from June to September, depending on when Apple finally does their reveal.
For now, we say mark your calendars for September, but keep a close eye out for news on the release in case it comes up on us sooner than expected. Start saving up your money for this next generation so you can pre-order as soon as it is released.
5. Blocks Modular Smartwatch
The Blocks Modular smartwatch has made our lists before, as it is one of the most unique smart watches that we have ever come across.
The Blocks is a modular smartwatch that is finally nearing the end stages of its Kickstarter campaign. When we wrote about Blocks in one of our previous articles, this highly anticipated smartwatch was gaining huge amounts of fans and was becoming extremely popular, despite the fact that it was still on Kickstarter.
The developers got the funding they needed and to the hopes and joy of the tech world, Blocks is in the final stages of their campaign. We can expect the Modular smartwatch to first appear by June 2016. This is on our doorstep, so it’s arrival may appear at any time.
The company who came up with Blocks Modular is working with Compal to produce this innovative and exciting smartwatch.
From what we know, this watch will feature a sleek, round finish and a single button on the side of the round case. This simplistic design should not fool you–this is a sign of quality and innovation. This is not just an ameauter smartwatch–this is a high-tech smartwatch that is the first of its kind, that very well may take the wearable tech world by storm.
The features and tech the Blocks Modular will hold is the same as the best watches around, including the Gear S2 by Samsung and Apple Watch.
What makes the Blocks Modular so special is that the links of the bracelet band is made up of modules that each have their own unique function. If you want more battery longevity, you can add on another link, if you do not want a fingerprint module, you can take it off and replace it with a NFC payments module or a GPS module.
The point is, this smartwatch does not end at the display and the casing–the real magic is on the modular bracelet, whose functions can be completely customized by what you use in your daily life. You can change out the links and functions at any time to suit what you are doing that day, or if you need extra functions for certain activities.
Thanks to reaching not one but two Kickstarter goals, Blocks will contain Gorilla Glass protection and an AMOLED display (rather than the originally planned TFT). This will be a smartwatch whose force is to be reckoned with.
The clasp itself has been redesigned so that the final model will feature a pop and clip clasp that will allow it to be resized to fit any wearer’s wrist.
The bespoke OS on board will launch around 20 Block applications, as well as much more from partners.
The processor is the same used in the most popular smartwatch models and brands: As far as our information tells us, the Blocks should be using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and a 400 mAh battery for longevity.
Included will be: an Accelerometer and Gyroscopic sensors for motion detection (which suggests there will be health and fitness apps).
Also included are: Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi, Haptic Feedback, and Voice Controls onboard. This is excellent for more independent useage of the watch, away from one’s smartphone.
Unlike other smartwatches, Blocks Modular will allow for upgrades to the basic design, which is something only this Modular smartwatch can do, due to its unique and exciting construction.
The first of the Blocks smartwatch units have begun shipping in May 2016. You can purchase the smartwatch alone or with module units as part of a package.
The pricing begins at $195.00 on Kickstarter.
This is an incredible price for a smartwatch that has all of the essential features that the most popular models on the market have. And due to its unique construction and innovative design and upgradability, the Blocks Module is one of the best smartwatches out there for the money.
6. LG Watch Urbane 2
The LG Urbane did surprisingly well when it was released out of the gate amidst smartphone giants such as Samsung, Apple, and Motorola.
LG found their learning curve and has come into 2016 with the first LTE Android Wear smartwatch with excellent features and functionality to compete with other new releases.
The LG Urbane 2 (W200) is the first LTE cellular Android Wear smartwatch on the market. It also contains 3G technology, Bluetooth version 4.1, Wi-Fi connectivity, and Offline Music Play.
With a real watch design, this 2nd generation edition resembles a classic timepiece with hairline-etched stainless steel body and a hypoallergenic rubber strap.
This edition delivers 348ppi on the 1.38-inch, full-circle P-OLED display. The 480 x 480 High Resolution display is gorgeous and offers fantastic functionality and a sleek and impressive design.
Featuring Android Wear OS, this smartwatch uses the Google Play Store.
The 1.38” Full Circle P-OLED display offers a 480 x 480 resolution at 348ppi. The Case is 45.5mm in diameter and 14.2mm thick, which includes the bezel and crown/side buttons. Inside of this 45.5mm case is the 1.38” circular display.
With a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset, this is the processor the Samsung Gear S2 uses for optimal processing speed and power.
With 768 MB of memory and 4 GB eMMC, this watch has plenty of room for your applications, downloads, contacts, etc…
The case is made of Stainless Steel (31 6L), and has a Brushed Metal Finish.
The protection is par for the course for a smartwatch of this caliber. It is IP67 Certified, which means it is waterproof for up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
This smartwatch includes Quick Access to Shortcut settings with three buttons that adorn the right side of the casing. You can now reach commonly-accessed features such as your Contacts, LG Health, and your apps list, for example.
Also included, is Ambient Mode, which can now be enabled or disabled with a single press of the crown button. This offers total control of lighting to the wearer.
As with most smartwatches, health applications and features are heavily sought after and favored. LG has an answer to these popular demands. Included in the Urbane 2nd Edition, is LG Health and Personal Trainer. You can have your own perfect trainer in the Urbane 2, who can help you keep track and encourage you during the day and check on activity and body status on your wrist.
You can also download and use thousands of Android Wear apps at the Google Play Store, as well as enjoy pre-installed applications (Google Now, Maps, etc…). This can be great for social media notifications, keeping track of messages, emailing, and more.
The LG Urbane 2 is very interactive. The Urbane 2 also has interactive watch faces you can choose from to customize you watch to your fashion and lifestyle. These can be found in the Google Play Store.
Sensors included in this model are excellent for the fitness buffs out there and those who want to keep track of their day. Included are: 9-Axis (Gyro/Accelerometer/Compass), Barometer, and PPG (Heart Rate Sensor).
The LG Urbane 2 features a long-lasting 570mAh battery for longer battery life. To compare, the Samsung Gear S2, the beloved smartwatch of 2015, boasted a 250mAh battery and had around a two day battery life at most. This is pretty excellent for the LG Urbane 2.
Fortunately, this anticipated smartwatch has already hit the shelves and is available to purchase through mobile carriers such as AT&T for around $199.99 with qualifying service.
If you purchase it online and not through a mobile carrier, make sure to purchase one that is unlocked (similar to a smartphone).
Online, it can cost you in the 500’s–anywhere from $579.99 to $599.00 is common direct from LG via Amazon.com.
To check out the LG G Watch, released in 2015, click on the highlighted link!
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