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Archive for the ‘Smartwatches’ Category

How to ruin your Apple Watch: the ugliest straps yet

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Apple are trying very hard to make the Apple Watch their first true luxury product; a fashion accessory that appeals to the upper end of the economic spectrum. Thankfully, the world at large is bringing Apple back down to earth in comic fashion, by crafting some of the most dreadful straps possible.

Make a mess of Apple’s options

Apple has done pretty well to make their collections look good, but it’s still possible to end up with the ugly duckling of the Apple Watch world by trying some unorthodox combinations. Mark Gurman provided an excellent start to the proceedings using the website mixyourwatch.com, which lets you play with all possible combinations.

I’m definitely a fan of combining the most expensive watch case, the £9,460 18-carat gold, with the cheapest strap, the £39 fluoroelastomer. Of course, we also have to make it the loudest colour available as well:

ugly

 

Perfect.

Pick up some awful third-party alternatives

Probably the most well-popularised third-party strap is the Reserve Strap, which actually charges your Apple Watch with its own integrated batteries. That’s pretty damn useful, but looks pretty clunky and childish:

apple-watch-reserve-strap-02

Of course, you can do more to your Apple Watch than just put a terrible band on it. You can also put it in a box with this line of Apple Watch cases from designed by many. The case provides additional protection, but also make your Watch considerably thicker, heavier and uglier.

12214-5879-150319-Banded-l

 

Mashable also produced a list of Apple Watch strap concepts, which are by and in large reasonable… but also include some rather deliberately awful ideas, including a plaid watch, a reversible plastic/leather option and the obligatory tie dye.

mashable

 

I’m sure we’ll see even more 3rd party Apple Watch straps in the weeks to come.

Choose your own terrible look

casetify

Custom phone cases have grown in popularity over the last five years, allowing users to choose their own designs to adorn their phones. This has allowed people to make some surprisingly beautiful and individually meaningful cases, but has also let trolls and design illiterates craft wonderfully terrible stuff. Casetify is letting people do the same for the Apple Watch, which should prove interesting for such a visible accessory. Even their site is in on the joke, asking “your #selfie on your watch band? Err… why not!”

lol

Unlocking a wider world of questionable straps

apple-watch-click-02

Of course, you shouldn’t feel limited to just Apple Watch straps if you want your watch to push the boundaries of bad taste. A couple of crowd-funded adapters have been launched since the Watch’s announcement, which seek to marry Apple’s proprietary slide-in locking mechanism with standard 22mm straps. With these in place, you’ll be able to choose from a much wider range of awful watch bands. You can pick up an ill-suiting strap from a retailer online, or just take off your sweaty casio strap and use that. Nice.

guilty

Have we missed some top-tier ugly Apple Watch straps? And what do you think of our selections? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @mobilefun!

First Apple Watch docks announced

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

The Apple Watch was announced on Monday, and already we’ve started to get in a nice range of accessories for the wearable. We have five charging stands prepared, including four distinct designs each from a different manufacturer. These Apple Watch docks serve to both charge your Apple Watch each night, and provide a suitably stylish display area for your watch. I hope you’ll enjoy what we’ve selected so far, and we welcome your feedback in the comments below!

DODOcase Wooden Apple Watch Charging Stand

DODOcase Wooden Apple Watch Charging StandDODOcase Wooden Apple Watch Charging Stand

The DODOcase is our first selection, and it’s a beauty. The stand is made from genuine Californian walnut and tanned leather, providing a classy traditional look. The stand is elegantly formed to hold the Watch in an elevated position, allowing you to show off your choice of case and band without revealing a clumsy charging mechanism. The base is made from solid steel for stability, so you’ll be assured a perfect platform for your desk, side table or nightstand. This relic, handcrafted in San Franciso, is available on pre-order now for just shy of £60.

Griffin WatchStand Apple Watch Charging Stand

Griffin WatchStand Apple Watch Charging Stand    Griffin WatchStand Apple Watch Charging Stand

Our second stand has a more modern look, and a friendly price point too. The Griffin WatchStand is designed to charge and display your Apple Watch at an even more elevated position than the DODOcase example, making it ideal for positioning on a low table like a nightstand or coffee table. This stand also allows you to position your watch vertically or horizontally, allowing you to emphasise readability or a cleaner appearance according to your preference. Finally, the Griffin WatchStand also includes a handy stand area for your phone, allowing you to keep an eye on incoming notifications or watch videos in landscape mode.

HEDock Aluminium Apple Watch Charging Stand

HEDock Aluminium Apple Watch Charging Stand    HEDock Aluminium Apple Watch Charging Stand

Apple are famous for their use of aluminium, and HEDock are using that same material here to provide a great-looking platform for the Apple Watch. The modern industrial design is simple but effective, and will complement any colour or strap combination well. If you’re looking for a futuristic dock, this is a great choice.

Twelve South HiRise Apple Watch Charging Stand – SilverBlack

Twelve South HiRise Apple Watch Charging Stand - SilverTwelve South HiRise Apple Watch Charging Stand - Black

The Twelve South HiRise is our last Apple Watch accessory of the article, but it’s a good one. The HiRise uses a cool partially split design to display the Apple Watch, while keeping the bulk of the strap and the charging cable safely out of sight. The charging stand is available in two colours – silver or black.

Conclusion

Thanks for checking out the article. For more information, please leave a comment below or talk to us on Twitter @mobilefun!

Apple Watch UK price and launch date announced

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Apple first announced the Apple Watch last year, but today’s event served as the official launch of the device. Apple revealed a few new features for the watch, including 18 hours of battery life, an included microphone and speaker for taking phone calls, and the first apps from the likes of Twitter, American Airlines, Instagram, Uber and Shazam. The biggest news was the UK price and shipping date for the wearable.

The Apple Watch will go on pre-order on April 10th in the UK, US and eight other countries. At this date, you’ll also be able to get a demo of the Apple Watch at Apple retail stores. The Watch will start shipping on April 24th, two weeks later.

The Watch has a wide price band, thanks to its range of materials and bands available. These are all individually priced, in three collections: Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition.

Apple Watch Sport is the cheapest collection, with aluminium bodies, fluoroelastomer straps and prices starting at £299 for the 38mm size and £339 for the 42mm size. Colours include white, blue, green, pink and black, for 10 models in total.

Apple Watch is the mid-range collection, with the largest amount of straps available in a range of materials and a stainless steel body. Band options include fluoroelastomer, leather and steel, with 20 models in total.

Apple Watch Edition is the high-end premium collection, with a small range of straps and 18-carat gold bodies. The cheapest option here is £8,000 for a fluoroelastomer band, going up to £13,500 for a ‘bright red modern buckle’.

Apple also unveiled a range of Apple Watch accessories. You can also buy bands separately, allowing you to change looks or upgrade your watch to a more expensive option later on. Prices here range from £39 for the fluoroelastomer sport band, £209 for modern buckle straps, and £379 for the stainless steel link bracelet. A spare magnetic charging cable is also available, costing £25 or £29 depending on the size of your watch.

What do you think of the Apple Watch’s pricing? Is it more or less than you expected, and will you pick one up? Let us know in the comments below, or speak to us on Twitter @mobilefun!

Pebble Time smartwatch announced

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

More Pebble smartwatches have been sold than any other, and now there’s a new model on the horizon. The Pebble Time is a gorgeous new design, with a unique color e-paper screen that can show 64 colours while retaining the seven day battery life that Pebble users rely on.The Pebble Time also includes a microphone, allowing users to record notes and respond to messages. The new Time will be available in three colours – black, white and red – and will be launched on Kickstarter before being sold more widely at retail.

The Pebble Time’s new design is 20% slimmer than the first generation model, with its display wrapped in Gorilla Glass and a stainless steel bezel. That color e-paper display is quite something – it’s always on, making checking the time easy, and it’s still easier to read in sunlight than an LCD or OLED display. The Pebble Time is water resistant too, so you can wear it in the rain or while doing the washing up.

The Pebble Time also introduces new software into the mix. The Time will come with a ‘continuous timeline’ interface, where new notifications, upcoming events and contextual information can be shown in sequence. You can move forward to see upcoming calendar or flight info, go back to see sports scores or fitness records, or see information in the present like stocks, weather and… the time.

The Time also has more potential than earlier models when it comes to interfacing with other devices. The Pebble Time’s Bluetooth radio can be controlled by third-party apps, potentially allowing the Time to serve as a control hub that lets it talk to fitness trackers, heartrate monitors and other wearables. Ideally, that’d mean you’re able to leave your phone at home more often.

The Pebble Time looks like a strong improvement upon what was already a solid smartwatch platform. With a more comfortable design, a color display and a redesigned interface, there’s a lot to look forward to here.

The Pebble Time will be coming soon to Mobile Fun, with retail availability expected in May. To register your interest and see more information, please visit the link below:

Thanks for checking out the article. Let us know what you think of the new Pebble in the comments below, or write to us on Twitter @mobilefun!

Hands-on with the LG Watch Urbane: a slimmer, more luxurious Android Wear smartwatch

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

LG Watch Urbane for Android Smartphones - GoldLG Watch Urbane for Android Smartphones - Silver

LG announced the Watch Urbane this week, a new Android Wear smartwatch that combines the solid internals of the G Watch R with a brand new design. We had some hands-on time with the watch recently; here are our impressions.

The Watch R was a well-designed smartwatch, but it had a more rugged and outdoor look. In contrast, the Urbane lives up to its name with stylish elegance. A thinner bezel reduces the size of the watch, and the silver or gold curved metal makes for a softer look.

The redesigned look works well with the watch faces on offer, which as of Android Wear 5.0 include hundreds of new options. Unlike the Moto 360, you get a completely round display – no “flat tire” here!

The new body is married to a high-quality genuine leather strap, which is coloured black on top and tan on the bottom for the silver model. There are two lines of white stitching and a traditional clasp. The watch uses the same magnetically-aligned charging system as before, with four gold contacts transferring power and data. The Urbane includes IP67 water resistance as well.

Bottom line, LG have crafted the most luxurious Android Wear smartwatch so far. The thinner bezel and more stylish look of the Urbane really impresses, while the fully round display looks as good as ever. If you didn’t like the oversized look of the G Watch R or the flat tire look of the Moto 360, this is the watch for you.

Thanks for checking out the article. What do you think of the Urbane so far? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @mobilefun!

Index of Smartwatches