Apple launched a new product line with the Apple Watch for the first time in several years. And it’s a risk that they are hoping pays off in the long run. Apple hasn’t had a badly received product for a long time, but it’s the pricing of the more luxurious Apple Watches that is turning off a lot of people.
With a base price of about Rs. 31,000 here in India it’s not cheap. An excellent smartphone like the OnePlus 2 is cheaper by Rs. 5,000. But, if you own an iPhone your options are limited, you’d think. That’s where you’d be wrong. There are some alternatives to explore.
1. Pebble Time Steel
Pebble started the whole smartwatch craze with their original offering and the Steel version only makes it better. It’s $50 cheaper than the Apple Watch in the US, but if you’re importing here to India the customs duty will make it more expensive overall. It’s simple, elegant and has a much higher battery life than Apple’s wearable.
On the downside, though, the apps ecosystem isn’t all that great. Nor, does it look like it will improve anytime soon or will give Apple’s Watch any real competition in this department.
2. Vector Luna
In many ways, the Vector Luna is the odd one out in the list. It doesn’t have a touchscreen interface. Yep, I’m not kidding. But, moving to dial buttons and crowns might just appeal to an audience which isn’t a fan of mistakenly tapping somewhere on the watch dial just to realize that they’ve changed a setting they can’t undo.
It may take some time to unlearn the things you’ve picked up over the years using touchscreen tech, but the style and elegance of this piece might just be worth it. At $299 it’s certainly cheaper than the Apple Watch and quite different looking too.
3. Mondaine Helvetica No 1 Smart
Whereas Silicon Valley has all the tech, the Swiss have the skills and years of experience making stunning timepieces. The Mondaine Helvetica No 1 Smart might be a mouthful to say, but it’s simplicity of design and elegant looks won’t need much explaining. The “Swiss-ness” really shines through in almost every aspect of the watch, plus it syncs easily with an iPhone.
At a price of about $399, there’s only one other smartwatch in the Google Play Store which is as expensive. The 42mm casing on the Huawei Watch is 316L cold-form Stainless Steel and it screams class even in the base models. I personally feel they’ve designed the best smartwatch this year for Android wear and now that you can pair it with an iPhone, there’s a real threat of Apple loyalists switching sides.
The only real downside on this wearable beauty is the lack of onboard GPS, but if that’s a deal breaker for you, there are still 3 other great options above.