Best smartwatches to look forward to in 2017

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To hear watch without the word smart in front of it will soon be indicative of a heirloom description. Even luxury watch brands have embraced smartwatches.

In 2016, we saw Apple launch its second-generation smartwatch, Asus and Samsung their third and Fossil bring several fashion companies into the market, including Michael Kors and Skagen. So what else do we have to look forward to?

Here are all the best smartwatches thought to be coming up in 2017. We have included devices that have been announced but are not yet available to buy, as well as a few rumoured timepieces for good measure.

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Casio announced its second Android Wear watch at CES 2017 in the form of the WSD-F20. The new device sticks with the same styling as its predecessor and brings with it water resistance up to 50 metres, MIL-STD-810 certification, built-in GPS and support for offline mapping.

It runs on Android Wear 2.0, has a 1.32-inch dual-layer display that is designed for low power consumption and it will be available from 21 April 2017.

GarminFenix 5 series 2

Garmin’s Fenix 5 Series was announced at CES 2017, comprising three models: Fenix 5, Fenix 5S and Fenix 5X. The Fenix 5 has a 47mm casing, the Fenix 5S has a 42mm and is designed for females, and the Fenix 5X has a 51mm case, making it the beefiest of the bunch.

All the models have a 3-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter for measuring altitude and movement, as well as GPS and GLONASS for accurate location tracking. The Fenix 5 and 5S will cost $599, while the 5X will cost $600 and they will all be available sometime in Q1 of 2017.

HuaweiSwarovski Watch

Swarovski is bringing out an Android Wear smartwatch of its own at Baselworld in March 2017. The device was confirmed at CES 2017 after Qualcomm announced it would have its chipset inside.

No details were revealed about the smartwatch itself other than the processor however so we will have to wait a few months before we find out what it will look like, but expect all the sparkles.

MisfitMisfit Vapor

The Misfit Vapor is the activity tracking company’s first touchscreen smartwatch and its most advanced device yet. It has all the usual activity and sleep tracking features, along with optical heart rate monitoring, built-in GPS and standalone music functionality.

Vapor has a 44mm stainless steel casing, is water resistant up to 50 metres and it has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor under the hood. It will be available sometime later in 2017 for $199.

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Rumour has it Google has plans to launch two Android Wear smartwatches, which are currently being codenamed Angelfish and Swordfish. It is thought they could be branded Nexus when they arrive though.

Several details surrounding the watches have been leaked already from Android Police and the site has since followed up with a “recreated image” of the devices based on information from its source. Apparently the design could change entirely though as the watches are still in development so take everything with a pinch of salt for now.

The larger device in the image is Angelfish and it features a large crown with smaller buttons either side. It is also said to be a standalone watch offering LTE and GPS. The smaller Swordfish device is said to lack these two features, while offering just one button.

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The second-generation of Sony’s FES Watch made its way onto the company’s stand at IFA 2016, created in conjunction with Fashion Entertainment. The FES Watch U is not so much a smartwatch but a connected watch that offers an e-paper display and strap with a range of monochrome designs that can be switched over at the tap of a button.

It won’t deliver smartphone notifications or anything fancy but it has a three-week battery life and it is waterproof. The FES Watch U offers a much improved design on its predecessor, looking far less like a toy and more like an actual watch, and it is able to store 24 designs at any one time, allowing for quick and easy customisation.

The Sony FES Watch U comes in two models, a premium option and a slightly cheaper option, with prices expected to be €600 and €500 respectively. The original FES Watch didn’t make it out of Japan so it might be that this model doesn’t either but for Japan, it’s April 2017.

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Hublot could be the next LVMH brand to launch a smartwatch, according to a Bloomberg interview with Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of TAG Heuer and Hublot. Although details were thin on the ground, Biver said a Hublot smartwatch would feature sports-related functions.

It is not clear whether Hublot will follow the same path as the TAG Heuer Connected by opting for Android Wear as the platform, but it’s expected to arrive in 2017 or 2018.

Considering how well the TAG Heuer Connected is reported to be doing, it is not surprising to see other brands within the parent company wanting a slice of the pie. We will keep you updated as we hear more.

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The original TAG Heuer Connected smartwatch was teased at Baselworld 2015, followed by a proper launch at the end of 2015. It might have been the first smartwatch from the company, but it won’t be the last it seems.

CEO Jean-Claude Biver not only revealed sister-company Hublot would be releasing a smartwatch at some point in the future, but he also told Reuters at Baselworld 2016 that TAG Heuer had “totally underestimated demand” for the Connected watch.

Biver told Reuters that because of the success of the original, the company is planning a new collection for next year with six to eight models. A new model will apparently debut in 2017. 

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Tissot used Baselworld 2016 to reveal its Smart-Touch smartwatch. The device is a watch first but delivers a range of functions beyond the current T-Touch offering.

The design is based on the T-Touch Solar models, featuring a titanium case, ceramic bezel and sapphire crystal face with quartz movement inside. The battery can be charged by the sun and it features functions including a timer, alarms, compass, barometer and temperature.

When connected to your smartphone, the Smart-Touch will all you to sync the time, get weather updates, change settings and share experiences with friends. There are also connected accessories, including a Find-It tag to help you keep track of other items and a weather station that can give you humidity, air quality and temperature readings.

The Tissot Smart-Touch smartwatch was due to be available late-2016 for around CHF1000, which is roughly £710, but nothing has appeared as yet.

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It is likely Apple will launch another smartwatch at some point, but whether this will be in 2017 is not known. There have been a couple of patents filed by Apple, suggesting the new Apple Watch could be round.

The patent, titled “Electronic Device Having Display With Curved Edges”, shows a circular watch face and drawings indicate tech elements that would drive a round screen. It works similarly to a normal display, and the tech would be hidden in a bezel around the edge much like the current rectangular Apple Watch or, indeed, the iPhone.

As with all rumours though, especially patents, this should be taken with a big pinch of salt for now.

PocketnowHTC-smartwatch

Rumours that HTC is making a smartwatch have been circulating for some time now. It was thought the Taiwanese company would launch the Petra smartwatch at Mobile World Congress 2015, but nothing ever appeared.

The rumours then suggested the design was being changed to a round model that would apparently appear in 2016 but again, nothing appeared. We are therefore still waiting.

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Guess announced the Guess Connect smartwatch at CES 2015. It looked like the traditional Guess Rigor watch but added a notification bar at the bottom of the face, powered by Martian. The company announced there would be several new designs of the Guess Connect appear in 2016, including a leopard print design and a new, smarter option, though nothing has appeared as yet.

In addition to the new colours and styles of the original Guess Connect however, the company is also planning to launch an entirely new model, which will again be powered by Martian. The new watch will focus more on looking like a normal watch, adding just an LED notifier light within the watch housing instead. We’re expecting to see the new designs and new model appear soon.

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Sony announced the the Wena smartwatch in the run up to IFA 2015 under its First Flight crowdfunding platform, which is part of the Seed Acceleration Program that features other products such as last-years FES Watch.

The Sony Wena approaches things a little differently to the current smartwatch offering, integrating the smart features into the metal bracelet rather than the watch face. It looks every bit like a traditional analogue watch, but the Sony Wena smartwatch has three functions.

It monitors activity through a range of sensors, delivers notifications through a customisable seven-colour LED light and vibrations, and it can perform e-payments thanks to an NFC chip. The Sony Wena smartwatch went on sale in Japan in March 2016, but there is currently no confirmation for the rest of the world.

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The Bulgari Diagono Magnesium concept was revealed at Baselworld 2015 and it is claimed to be a luxury timepiece “completely opposite” from other “so-called” connected watches. The company says it is 100 per cent Swiss and NFC-enabled.

The Diagono Magnesium was described as a self-winding, mechanical watch that apparently works with a protected electronic passport called Luxury Wrist Vault. The passport app is said to have a range of possibilities including making payments, logging in securely to a digital community, opening doors and starting your car engine.

Pricing, specs and a release date have yet to be detailed so whether we will see it this year or not is still to be confirmed.

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