Samsung Gear S – $299 (No Contract)
Samsung debuted their third generation in their ‘Gear' wearable line near the end of 2014 and it remains one of the top smart watch options currently on the market. This new version offers competitive specs with a curved 2″ Super AMOLED screen, dual-core 1GHz processor, redesigned Tizen OS, half-gig of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 300 mAh battery. Unlike the Apple Watch, the Gear S can be used as a standalone wearable with the ability to use data, make phone calls, and send SMS messages without the need for a companion device.
Supported Platforms: Samsung Galaxy devices running Android only
LG G Watch R – $299
LG's response to the wearable market was their newest G Watch R model which sells for just under $300. This version looks most similar to a traditional watch yet it has all the smart features you'd expect including push notifications, weather alerts, turn-by-turn navigation and more. Similar to the Moto 360, the watch face is circular with a 1.3-inch P-OLED display that offers excellent clarity. Internally, the G Watch R is powered by a SnapdragonTM 400 1.2GHz processor and harnesses a considerably large 410 mAh battery for such a small package.
Supported Platforms: Android only
Motorola Moto 360 – $249
The Moto 360 is one of the most popular options currently on the market and also one of the most versatile. Running Google's Android Wear OS, you get easy support for Android app notifications as well as great options in regards to customization. The base $249.99 model comes with a leather band, but those with a higher budget can pay slightly more to get the version with a more durable, metal band.
Supported Platforms: Android Only
Sony Smart Watch 3 – $249
Sony's latest wearable also runs Android Wear and is a great device for athletes thanks to its a multitude of sensors and high waterproofing capabilities. Unlike the Moto360, this model doesn't offer a more high-end metal band variant, so the overall look of the device isn't as nice as its competitors. Like the majority of the models listed within this article, Sony's Smart Watch 3 won't cater to iPhone users and is compatible with Android phones only.
Supported Platforms: Android Only
Pebble Time Steel – $299
Pebble initially launched their first smart watch by way of a wildly successful KickStarter campaign. Recently, they trumped the original campaign with the announcement of their new Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel models. In the end, over $20M was raised, and this new model features a full-color e-ink display, better specs, and a redesigned OS. While the Pebble Time Steel won't be shipping until this summer, it is a serious contender in the market especially since it supports both Android and iOS at a reasonable price-point. If you can't wait the extra couple of months, you can now score the previous generation Pebble Steel for under $200.
Supported Platforms: Android & iOS
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As a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.