mercredi 21 septembre 2016

What is a smartwatch? What sets a smartwatch apart from a conventional digital watch, or, for that matter, a wearable activity tracker? The lines are blurring, at least between the last two. Basically, smartwatches are wearable-technology devices that maintain a relatively persistent wireless connection to your mobile device—usually a smart phone—and can receive notifications of incoming calls, texts, instant messages, social-network updates, and more, from that device. Some can also let you accept and conduct phone calls right on the watch. And even newer models (the Samsung Gear S, for one) can act as smart phones all on their own, without needing a paired phone nearby. Smartwatches, like smart phones, can also run apps, via your smart phone or right on the watch. These include health and fitness apps (thus the comparison with activity trackers), apps that control functions such as music and the camera on your phone, navigation apps, and more. Because most smartwatches have open software platforms (at least so far), developers are coming up with new and innovative apps that can increase the functionality of the devices. Manufacturer claims All of the tested smartwatches pairs via Bluetooth with iOS and/or Android mobile devices to receive notifications of incoming calls and messages and other information from the mobile device. Each model is Android-compatible, and the Martian, Cookoo, and MetaWatch models also have iOS compatibility. All but the Martian Notifier claim some degree of water resistance: the LG, Samsung, and Motorola models can survive underwater up to 1 meter for 30 minutes, the Cookoo2 up to 100 meters, and the MetaWatch up to 3ATM, which is equivalent to 30 meters. Only the Martian and Motorola models claim to have scratch-resistant screens (the Martian has an anti-scratch acrylic crystal and the Moto 3 uses Gorilla Glass 3). None of the newly tested models’ time displays time out when the watches are inactive, which we’ve seen happen on previously tested smartwatches. The time displays of the LG, Samsung, and Motorola models have a setting to keep them always on, though they dim after a little while. The Martian Notifier and Cookoo2 have traditional analog watch faces. Ask yourself these 5 questions before you buy a smartwatch. And check our reviews of these previously tested—and still available—smartwatches: Martian Passport, Pebble Steel and Pebble Watch, Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Fit, Sony SmartWatch 2, and MetaWatch Frame and Strata. How we tested Our testers subjectively evaluated each model for ease of pairing, ease of interaction, and readability of the display in bright sunlight. All were judged to have about the same ease of pairing; each also requires an app to be downloaded to the mobile device. The LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live, and Motorola Moto 360—the Android Wear models—have intuitive color touchscreen interfaces and were judged easiest to interact with. The Martian Notifier, Cookoo 2, and MetaWatch M1, which have push-button navigation, were determined to be the most difficult to use. In particular, the Cookoo 2's buttons were very hard to press. As for screen readability, the Notifier and Cookoo 2 were judged best for reading the time in bright sunlight, but worst for reading text. The other watches were judged to have about the same readability of both time and text in bright sunlight. We evaluated the watches’ claimed water resistance, with one exception, the Cookoo 2: It claimed water resistance to 100 meters or 300 feet, but we can test only to 220 feet. Each of the other models met its water-resistance claims, and the Cookoo 2 met its water-resistance claim to the maximum depth to which we could test. And finally, we tested “scratch hardness”—the resistance of the watch’s screen to scratching. All were rated as very good or excellent, except the Martian Notifier, which claimed an “anti-scratch acrylic crystal” yet was rated as poor. We did not test battery life, as smartwatches vary widely in how they’re used and how much power each needs throughout a typical day. —Carol Mangis Latest watches Check the smartwatch comparison to see what we liked and didn't like about each model. And read about Android Wear, Google's OS for wearable tech devices. Cookoo 2 Connected Watch, $150 Claimed battery life: 3 years Claimed water resistance: 100 meters Weight: 2.6 ounces Works with: Devices running Android 4.3 and later; Apple iPhone 5s,5c and 5, iPhone 4s, iPad (4th and 3rd generation), iPad mini If you like traditional analog watches and want just a few smart features, the Cookoo 2 might be more appealing than its more full-featured rectangular competitors. Behind its hands is a monochrome display that delivers basic notifications: incoming calls (with Caller ID), missed calls, texts, e-mail, social media alerts (for WhatsApp, Line, QQ, WeChat, Skype, Facebook, Twitter), and calendar alerts. Just bear in mind that it's a very basic smartwatch, with little configurability. The Cookoo 2 is available in six colors, including, black, white, blue, and purple. LG G Watch W100, $230 Claimed battery life: Not stated Claimed water resistance: 1 meter no longer than 30 minutes Weight: 2.2 ounces Works with: Smart devices using Android 4.3 and higher The LG G Watch was the first one we tried that uses Google’s Android Wear OS (the Moto 360 and Samsung Gear Live do as well). It includes Google Now, the company's Siri-like "intelligent personal assistant." Say “OK Google,” and you can do Google searches, compose texts, and make requests of your watch (“Show me my steps” or “Set an alarm”). Google Now also offers up a stream of "cards" on the watch's face, with information it determines is relevant to you. If, for example, the card tells you how many minutes it would take you to get home from your current location, you can click on the card and get specific traffic and navigation information. The G Watch comes with a black or white rubber strap, but you can swap it out for any standard 22mm watch strap. Martian Notifier, $130 Claimed battery life: Up to 6 days Claimed water resistance: None stated Weight: 1.8 ounces Works with: Android smart phones using version 2.3.3 or later, Android tablets using version 2.3.3 or later; iPhone 6, 6+, 5S, 5C, 5, 4S, iPod touch (5th generation) iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad (3rd generation) The Martian Notifier combines a traditional analog watch with a small, narrow OLED screen at the bottom of the watch’s face, on which alerts appear—just tap the screen to dismiss them. You can also customize vibrations for different kinds of alerts. The Notifier is compatible with a wide range of apps; check Martian's website for a list. The Notifier comes in black, white, or red, and you can swap out the silicone strap; Martian offers eight other colors ($20 each). MetaWatch M1, $349 Claimed battery life: 5 to 7 days of battery life Claimed water resistance: 3 ATM Weight: 5.8 ounces Works with: Android 4.3 and higher, iOS 7.0 and higher The MetaWatch M1, like the Cookoo 2 and Martian Notifier, is a basic smartwatch. It shows alerts for texts, e-mails, social media updates, calendar appointments, weather, and Caller ID, and can control your phone's music app. The notifications are configurable in terms of what you are alerted to and how: whether via a vibration or on the watch’s display. Also built in are a timer, a stopwatch, and an alarm We tested the Stainless Silver model, but the stylish-looking M1 comes in a variety of materials, including rubber, leather, and stainless steel. Other models are priced lower and higher, ranging from $250 to $450. At 5.8 ounces, the steel model is also heavier than rubber or leather models. Motorola Moto 360, $250 Claimed battery life: All day, mixed use Claimed water resistance: 1 meter no longer than 30 minutes Weight: 1.8 ounces Works with: Smart devices using Android 4.3 and higher The Moto 360 was the first round smartwatch we got our hands (or wrists) on, and the design was a standout, for us. It looks like a traditional watch and fits more comfortably than rectangular smartwatches, but still packs the full functionality of an advanced smartwatch. Like the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, it runs the Android Wear OS, allowing voice commands and pushing relevant information to the wearer. This smartwatch comes with a stainless steel case and metal or leather straps. We tested the black body with black leather straps; prices for other styles range from $250 to $350. [corrected 1/27/15] Samsung Gear Live, $200 Claimed battery life: None stated Claimed water resistance: 1 meter no longer than 30 minutes Weight: 2 ounces Works with: Smart devices using Android 4.3 and higher The Samsung Gear Live is the first of the company’s smartwatches to be compatible with any Android phone running Android 4.3 or higher; other Gear models can be paired only with specific Samsung phones. Like the LG G Watch and Moto 360, it runs the Android Wear OS, allowing voice commands and pushing relevant information to the wearer. Compared with the LG G Watch, we prefer the style and fit of the Gear Live. The watch body is slightly curved, which made it more comfortable. The Gear Live also has a heart-rate monitor, which the G Watch lacks. The Gear Live comes with either a black or wine non-swappable plastic strap.

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