Nov 19 AT 2:32 PM Dustin Earley 4 Comments

Android and Me holiday gift guide: wearables

android_wear

It’s that time of the year again. Jack Frost is nipping at your nose, the smell of cinnamon and spice fill the air, football is on the TV and you’re trying to figure out what to get your brother for the holidays. Fear not, Android and Me reader, you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re trying to appease your audiophile cousin, help your clumsy mom, surprise your friend or give yourself something extra special this year, we’ve got your back. We’ve sifted through the junk to give you some recommendations for what we think are the best Android and mobile tech-related products you can buy this holiday season.

Each day this week we’ll be publishing a post covering a different category. Today, we’re taking a look at wearables.

Smartwatches

Last year, our pick for the best smartwatch was a no brainer. This year, things get trickier.

If we were writing about more than just Android here, we’d have to recommend the Pebble or Pebble Steel. Yes, the e-ink display is starting to look very, very dated, but it works with multiple platforms, has great app support and lasts for forever on a single charge. But there’s a new face in town for Android users that will simply blow Pebble out of the water.

If you want to get the most out of Android and your smartwatch, get a Motorola Moto 360. Sure, we wish it had a full-circle display like the LG G Watch R, but it just looks so much better than anything else you can strap to your wrist right now. And Motorola is killing it in updates for the Moto 360. It keeps getting better and better.

Android Wear is still in its infancy, but to be frank, it’s a hell of a lot cooler than anything else available right now. We still say no one really needs a smartwatch right now — not like they do a smartphone, anyway — but there’s no denying how cool Android Wear is shaping up to be. A regular old Pebble still works fantastic if you just want to monitor incoming notifications, but the Moto 360 will make the techie in you shine like a string of cool white LED lights.

Fitness trackers

fitbit sync

Everyone knows a fitness junkie, right? Or at least someone who is interested in tracking their health. Fitness trackers can make for a great gift. And they come in at a variety of price points.

You know the saying the best camera is the one you always have with you? The same goes for fitness trackers. Android Wear watches come with fitness tracking capabilities baked in now. So if you want to kill two birds with one stone, check out our recommendations for smartwatches. If it’s a dedicated tracker you’re after, there are two brands you can’t go wrong with.

Both FitBit and Jawbone are doing a stellar job in the fitness tracking arena, should work with most modern Android phones and they both just refreshed their lineups. So how do you choose between the two?

One of the biggest perks of FitBit products is the community. If you are buying for someone who has friends and family already using FitBit, then a FitBit product is probably the way to go. Motivation is key in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which is what fitness trackers are all about.

Even if you don’t know a ton of people using FitBit products, we still really like FitBit. FitBit offers the widest range of prices and features in fitness trackers. You can go as simple as the clip on Zip, or go with something a little more robust like the Charge. If we were buying today, the Charge would get our money. It has a clock built in too. But again, there are Android Wear watches that cost about the same as a FitBit Charge. Deciding between a Charge and an LG G Watch is a hard choice. If tracking activity is your main goal though, stick with a FitBit.

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • aranea

    I’m using fitbit flex but I ended buying Garmin vivo for my parents because they don’t have to worry about charging and the screen show the steps rather then requiring them to connect it to a computer or phone. (besides it’s on sale at REI)

    • thekaz

      Yeah, I love my Flex, but I wouldn’t wish the charging on anyone. Of course, with the newer ones, you don’t have to take the unit out to charge, but if your band breaks, you’re screwed…

  • sandwich

    The sky in that main article image looked like the person’s skin at first glance, which made me think that Android Wear needs clock faces that actually do look like the person’s skin, underlying musculature, or bones. :p Does Wear do Live Wallpaper?

    • Bart

      I also noted that and that is a Great idea. Using a personal photo as a background has been done on phones. Its sure to come to a smartwatch near you soon. ;-)