Best wearable tech 2013: 10th Pocket-lint Gadget Awards nominees
Wearable tech has really come into its own this year and, as such, has rightly deserved its own category in the 2013 Pocket-lint Gadget Awards.
Samsung made its debut in the market with its Galaxy Gear smartwatch allowing you to take pictures and answer calls from your wrist via one of a handful of Samsung smartphones, while Nike improved its FuelBand with the Nike+ FuelBand SE. We've also seen fitness devices galore, from pedometers to accelerometer-based watches.
There have been highs, there have been lows, but definitely a lot to think about. After careful consideration, we have selected the five best, listed below with extra detail so you know why we picked them for our Best Wearable Tech 2013 shortlist.
The 2013 version of the Jawbone Up was released in November last year in the US and the beginning of this year in the UK, costing £110. The price is reasonable for what this wristband can handle and the companion app that supports it is really good too.
READ: Jawbone Up (2013) review
The Jawbone Up is designed to do one thing: track your activity and keep you motivated. Its battery life is good, it's simple to use, and it is comfortable and lightweight. It may not be the best in terms of a serious tool for exercise, losing out to GPS watches, but as a casual device to keep you motivated, it is a solid and subtle looker of a device at a good price.
Nike+ FuelBand SE
Nike released the upgrade to its FuelBand, the FuelBand SE, in October and kept the price the same as the original at £129. The second version of the wearable wrist device still tracks your activity, but delivers a better and more precise experience than its predecessor and introduces Sessions and Hours for a variety of activities and to keep you motivated throughout a day.
READ: Nike FuelBand SE review
The end result is great, especially if you have an iPhone to sync up (no Android available), as it will really make you sit up and pay attention to how active you are. It is robust, vibrant and succeeds in being a social device that people will talk about. It's more than just a tracker.
The Pebble started out as a Kickstarter project, before being previewed at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013, with the official product launching later in January priced at $150. It's taken a little longer to make its £150 transition to the UK, but is now available. The wait was worth it: the Pebble has a great battery life, water-resistant build, and is clever enough to tap into your day-to-day activities such as Gmail, while also being able to track steps.
READ: Pebble review
It is a fun smartwatch that feels sophisticated and we like the fledgeling platform that Pebble runs on. It's certainly smart, and although we would like something a little "manlier", the Pebble is a charming device that's great to complement your smartphone. And it will only get better with time.
Samsung Galaxy Gear
Samsung introduced the Galaxy Gear in September, priced £300, at the same time as its Galaxy Note 3 hit the market. And for good reason: upon launch it functioned as a companion device for that phablet only; a couple of months on and support has expanded to a wider range of Samsung smartphones.
READ: Samsung Galaxy Gear
The Gear looks great, is comfortable to wear and features a fantastic display, plus it is easy to set up and comes with bags of potential. It is a fantastic piece of technology in our opinion and among the best of its type that we've seen. Give it six months, when there are more apps available, and we have a feeling it will verge on the incredible.
Withings Pulse activity tracker
The Withings Pulse is a tiny activity tracker that was released in September and costs £90. This thumb-tip sized devices weighs just 8g, so you'll barely notice it. It can track your steps just like a pedometer, but it also adds heart rate monitoring and sleep pattern tracking to its list of features.
It uses Bluetooth to sync with your smartphone, and you can get hold of online data analytics which come in handy to see how you're progressing. We like the app and website integration, as well as the fuller Withings Ecosystem - there are digital scales, for example - and we believe for some, the Withings Pulse Activity Tracker will be a miracle device.
Voting for your favourite
Voting in the 10th annual Pocket-lint Awards is now open. You can let us know which one of these great devices should win the Best Wearable Tech 2013 award and give us your verdict about all the other tech across the 12 select categories. To vote, all you have to do is visit pocket-lint.com/awards.
Winners will be announced at the exclusive event in London on 28 November in association with O2 and Hotwire. For now, keep an eye on the Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2013 hub for all the latest on how the voting works, who the elite judges are and the complete 10th Pocket-lint Gadget Awards shortlist.