14 Smartwatches That Are Here, Coming or Rumored

The market for smartwatches--devices that play music, connect to social media and even let you make phone calls--is poised to take off. Here's a look at what's available and what's in the works.

14 Smartwatches That Are Here, Coming or Rumored

The Dick Tracy era is (almost) here. Research firm Canalys estimates 5 million smartwatches will ship in 2014, compared to 500,000 in 2013. Sony's already in the game, along with a handful of scrappy startups—many of which got their funding on Kickstarter. And everyone's waiting to see what's up the respective sleeves of Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and Google.

In the meantime, here's a look at five smartwatches that are available now, five coming soon and four rumored to hit the market someday.

James A. Martin is an SEO and social media consultant and writes the CIO.com Martin on Mobile Apps blog. Follow him on Twitter @james_a_martin and on Google+.

Pebble

Pebble: Early to Market

In 2012, Pebble's Kickstarter goal was to raise $100,000. Pledges totaled more than $10 million, signaling serious interest in the nascent smartwatch category.

You can now buy a Pebble at Best Buy for $150. The e-ink-display, water-resistant timepiece pairs via Bluetooth with iOS and Android and displays SMS and incoming calls. You can control your smartphone's music, too. A growing ecosystem of third-party watch faces and apps are available.

Reviewers agree that you have more options using Pebble with Android than with iPhones. Before you dive in, though read the CIO.com review: 3 Reasons the Pebble 'Smartwatch' Isn't Very Smart at All.

Status: Available now.

Video: Pebble Smartwatch Hands-on Demo

MetaWatch Frame

MetaWatch Strata and Frame: Choice of Styles

Dallas-based MetaWatch currently sells smartwatches in nine styles in two models: The Strata ($130) and the slightly higher-end Frame ($199). All sync with select Android and iOS phones and display caller ID, SMS, calendar and email notifications (the latter is iOS only). Facebook and Twitter notifications, along with alarms and cycling and running apps, are coming soon.

PC Mag, which rated the Strata 3 stars, says it's "a feature-rich smartwatch" but isn't "quite as intuitive…as some competitors." TechHive rates the Frame 3.5 stars, saying, "This well-built watch satisfies with its design, its notifications and its widgets."

Status: Available now.

Cookoo

Cookoo: Long Battery Life

Most smartwatches require recharging via USB cables. But the iOS-compatible Cookoo uses a standard CR2032 battery supposedly good for 274 days.

Cookoo departs from the crowd in other ways, too. It has a standard watch face instead of a screen. Icons on the watch face light up to alert you of incoming calls, calendar reminders and such. And it can trigger your smartphone’s camera. The New York Times' David Pogue says the Cookoo's $130 price is "reasonable. But there are lots of rough edges and missing features."

Status: Available now.

I'm Watch

I'm Watch: Goofy Name, Italian Design

Maybe something got lost in translation, but for some reason, the Italian inventors of this iOS and Android-compatible smartwatch called it I'm Watch ($299 to $999).

At any rate, the touchscreen timepiece—most current smartwatches lack touchscreens—comes with native apps for weather, stocks, news, a calculator, a compass, Facebook and Twitter, an address book, music player and more. It also offers the ability to make phone calls and comes in a variety of wrist strap colors.

But reviews have been mixed at best. David Pogue writes that the I'm Watch is "big, baffling, buggy and slow, and the battery doesn't last a day…Here's a better name for this watch: I'm Unfinished."

Status: Available now.

Martian Passport

Martian Watches: Siri Under Your Sleeve

The Irvine, Calif.-based developer offers three Martian smartwatch lines: Martian Passport, Martian Victory and Martian G2G.

The Passport ($299) is the high-end model and resembles a traditional, analog, tank-style timepiece. CNET says the Passport watch face "looks like it escaped from a spy movie in the 1960s."

The Martian watches pair with iOS and Android smartphones and displays notifications, such as SMS alerts, on the watch face's bottom half. Unusual among today's smartwatches, it makes calls and connects with Siri or Android Voice via a built-in speakerphone, too.

Status: Available now.

LifeTrakMove C300

LifeTrakMove C300: Inexpensive Health Tracker

The market is flooding with smartwatches specifically focused on tracking health and fitness. Among the least expensive is LifeTrak C300 ($60). The watch automatically tracks your daily steps, distance and calories burned and syncs that data with the Argus iPhone app (free). A progress bar on the watch face shows how you're progressing throughout the day in achieving your goals.

The device also detects when you go from walking to running and starts tracking your workout. You can also get a heart rate reading—but you have to press a button for several seconds, and that information isn't synced to the Argus app. Watch straps are easily interchangeable.

Status: Available for pre-order.

More: Mobile Health Gadgets for Better, Longer Living

Sony SmartWatch 2

Sony SmartWatch 2: Sleek and Stylish

Sony is already onto its second-generation SmartWatch 2, which the company calls a "second screen" to Android smartphones and tablets. (It doesn't support iOS.)

You can do lots with this touchscreen watch, such as check your Twitter feed, take a photo remotely using your Android's camera and control presentations. Sony claims SmartWatch 2 is the first "water-resistant smartwatch with NFC connectivity."

Compared to the first-generation model, SmartWatch 2 "has made some modifications and improvements, CNET says. No pricing yet, but the original was $150.

Status: Due in September.

Omate TrueSmart

Omate TrueSmart: A Full Android Device

To date, most smartwatches are like yesterday's "dumb terminals" in that they need a connection to a smartphone to deliver the goods. Omate's TrueSmart watch, currently in pre-production, is said to be a standalone Android 4.2.2 device—no smartphone needed. The TrueSmart will run Android apps and integrates a watch, a dual-core processor, 4GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, an FM tuner and even a 5-megapixel camera, reports SlashGear.

The developer says it will be available in October, though details and pricing are still hard to nail down. Even the company website (as of this writing) tells you exactly nothing about the watch.

Status: Due in October.

Analysis: Will Wearable Technology Kill the Smartphone?

Kreyos Meteor

Kreyos Meteor: Watch, Lanyard, Rubber Clip

By early August 2013, the Kreyos smartwatch Indiegogo campaign had raised more than $1 million—a tad more than its $100,000 goal. Expected in November for $169, the Meteor will work with iOS, Android and Windows 8 phones as well as Macs and Windows PCs.

The developers claim it's the only smartwatch with voice and gesture control. Expected features include the capability to receive and make calls and access Google Now or Siri via a built-in speakerphone. Other perks will include a built-in pedometer, sleep tracker and cycling fitness apps. The device will pop into and out of brightly colored watchbands, lanyards or rubber clips.

Status: Due in November.

HOT Watch

HOT Watch: Privacy, Please

The coming HOT (Hands On Talk) smartwatch is yet another Kickstarter success, having raised more than $211,000 against its $150,000 goal. This smartwatch will enable "private" phone calls; simply raise the watch to your ear to talk and hear your caller, all without your smartphone.

HOT watches (models range from $169 to $249) will sport a touchscreen and sync to any Bluetooth-equipped smartphone, though most features will require an Android or iOS phone. You'll be able to see text, email, Facebook and Twitter updates; weather; stocks; news, and music. Fall detection will use the watch's accelerometer with gyroscope to detect a fall and text your chosen emergency contact, while Proximity Alerts warn you if you've walked off without your phone.

Status: Due in December.

Apple iWatch

Apple iWatch: The Smartwatch to Watch?

Apple, as usual, is keeping mum. But it's widely speculated that an "iWatch" is in the works for release sometime between, say, five minutes from now and the end of 2014.

The company has put together "a team of hardware and software engineering, medical sensor, manufacturing and fitness experts," reports 9to5Mac, "indicating the company is moving forward with a project to build a fitness-oriented, sensor-laden wearable computer."

It's anyone's guess (outside Apple) what an Apple smartwatch will look like. But CIO.com's Tom Kaneshige wonders if the watch shown in a recent Apple ad might be an iWatch prototype.

Status: In the works?

More: Apple Supplier Foxconn Eyes Smartwatches with Wristband Technology

Google xWatch

Google xWatch: From Eyes to Hands?

In June, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google is moving "aggressively" to incorporate the next big Android version (Key Lime Pie) into all sorts of devices, from laptops to refrigerators. With Key Lime Pie, Google is also giving manufacturers such as Samsung greater freedom to build Android into gadgets other than tablets and smartphones.

The Journal also noted that Google is planning its own Android smartwatch. Some believe Google's device will be the xWatch and will be part of the Motorola product line. While there's been plenty written about the upcoming Google Glass eyewear—including its vulnerability to Wi-Fi attacks—details about Google's watch are scare right now.

Status: In the works?

More: GlassUp is Part Google Glass, Part Smartwatch

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch: Out of This World?

As of this writing, Samsung has confirmed development of a smartwatch but hasn't revealed much about its specs.

Reports are that the watch will be announced sometime around the IFA 2013 show in early September (along, perhaps, with a Samsung Galaxy Note 3). Will it be called the Samsung Galaxy Watch, the SM-V700, the Altius, or the Samsung GA7? Will the watch display maps when paired with a Samsung (or other Android) phone—though preferably not while the wearer is driving? We should find out soon. In the meantime, the blog Android Smartwatch reminds us that Samsung has released smartwatches before—as long ago as 1999.

Status: In the works?

News: Samsung Lays Ground For 'Galaxy Gear' Smartwatch

Microsoft Surface Watch: Windows on Your Wrist?
Fortune

Microsoft Surface Watch: Windows on Your Wrist?

Microsoft suppliers tell the press that the company is "sourcing components for the prototype of what could potentially be a 'watch-style device.'"

Microsoft released a smartwatch back in 2002 but removed it from the market following lackluster demand. The Verge reports that Microsoft smartwatch testing has been moved to its Surface team; the watch may have a Surface connector, removable bands and a 1.5-inch display. It may even come with a modified Windows 8 version. (Does this mean you'll need to run anti-virus software on your wrist?)

Status: In the works?