If the Mobile World Congress is about mobile phones and the Consumer Electronics Show is about home and consumer appliances, then the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFB) is the place where you'd probably get to see the most wearables. While many were expecting Moto 360 to be launched at the event, there was no sight of it. Many manufacturers did introduce new wearables at the convention though. Here's a look at some of them.
Building on their beautifully designed Gear S2, Samsung unveiled the new iteration of their smartwatch, Gear S3. With the signature rotating bezel still in place, Gear S3 is bigger in size compared to Gear S2, with a 1.3-inch screen. However, the PPI (Pixel Per Inch) is lower in the newer version, probably to accommodate the larger battery size.
Gear S3 has a much bigger 380 mAh battery, compared to its predecessor. Samsung has given the new smartwatch calling capabilities as well, with an in-built speaker. The GPS and heart-rate monitor are still there for fitness enthusiasts. The watch comes in two versions, the classic model and a rugged variant called, Frontier.
Some might find the watch bulky compared to Gear S2, but they're getting a bigger battery and better software.
For its first two iterations, Asus stuck with a squarish design with rounded corners. But this year, it has launched a smartwatch with a circular display. This is one of the first watches to come out with Android Wear 2.0, out of the box, with the added functionality of three buttons.
The hardware has also been upgraded, as the watch runs on Qualcomm's newest 2100 processor for wearables. Zenwatch 3 has a 1.39-inch circular display with a sizable 340 mAh battery. The biggest selling point for Asus watches has been their low price-range as compared to other smartwatches. If the company can maintain that, there is a good chance that Asus will sell a lot of Zenwatches.
The world's biggest wearable company showed off a couple of new iterations of their already popular smart bands. The Fitbit Flex and Charge got new variations in Flex 2 and Charge 2. Fitbit Flex 2 is a basic tracker that will display alerts through 4 coloured LED lights. It can also be used to track swimming activity. The battery life is expected to be five days.
Charge is probably the hottest selling wearable for the company, so the hardware upgrade makes sense. Charge 2 has almost four times bigger display than the original Charge. Also, it has connected GPS mode where you can track the location through your phone. Charge 2 costs the same as Charge HR which is priced at $149. Some of the other Fitbit bands will be getting software updates as well.
There were no major announcements from the minimal activity tracker company but they launched the Steel version of the Activité analog fitness tracker. The classic version comes with a few upgrades of its own. It now has a special secondary display which will show notifications, calendar entries, health stats and more.
The analog watch measures the user's heart rate with photoplethysmography (PPG) technology which uses lights on the back of the watch. It is also waterproof for up to 5 atm of pressure and can track your swimming stats.
The Swiss watchmaker showed off a bunch of analog smartwatches at the show, most of which are powered by the new Qualcomm 2100 chip. After buying the smart wearables company, MisFit, Fossil has launched four watches under the Q series in Berlin. These smartwatches are named Glazer, Nate, Tailor, and Crewmaster, and the pricing starts at $175.
Garmin is famous for producing wearables which are great at tracking with GPS. For the first time, it has included a heart-rate monitor in their newest smartwatch, Forerunnner 35. The sporty watch is expected to last for 13 hours when being used in the tracking mode and will cost $199.99. The company also launched the smartwatch, Fenix Chronos, in titanium and steel bodies for a premium look.
The fitness tracker company launched a slew of products at IFA this year, and the flag-bearer was TomTom Touch, a £129 fitness tracker that monitors your body fat too. The band sends an electric current around the body to measure the fat.
Spark 3 and Runner 3 were the other smart trackers that were launched. Runner 3 lets you listen to music through Bluetooth headphones, and comes in a cardio version too. For adventure sports, TomTom unveiled the Adventurer watch.
The current trend in wearables indicates greater accuracy in activity tracking and better battery life, which, naturally, is good news for consumers.