Since the release of the Pebble smartwatch in January 2013 and the release of the Fitbit Flex in May of the same year, wearable tech has been gaining resounding traction in the tech community. Wearable tech has entered into the markets of fitness and fashion while remaining at an affordable price, situating itself as a great gifting option. We’ll look at some popular and up-and-coming wearable tech gifting options for 2016.
1. Michael Kors Smartwatch
The Michael Kors Smartwatch runs Android wear, making it compatible with both iOS and Android, includes a luxurious and striking navy-tone stainless steel variant, and features everything you’d expect from a full-fledged smart watch. The case itself is on the larger end of 44.5mm, but as stated previously it does make a statement. Similarly to the Apple Watch, it charges inductively via a magnetic puck USB cable and has battery life that will last all day and night. Also, don’t worry around water – the Michael Kors Smartwatch is water resistant to 1Atm. I wouldn’t use it as a swim watch though, even with the capability to swap bands.
One caveat, though. Not all features present with Android devices will be available when using iOS. For example, while you can receive iMessage notifications, you can’t respond to them. Nonetheless, as a timepiece, notifier, and fitness tracker it does have some things going for it.
At the core, the watch is an innovative timepiece that fuses fashion with technology. As a more luxurious option in comparison to the rest of the list, the Michael Kors Smartwatch starts out at $350.00 and can be purchased from Michael Kors.
2. FitBit Charge 2
FitBit has been leading the charge in activity tracking for years (bad pun, I know). The new Charge 2 is the next generation of that mission. It starts out at an affordable $149.95, or $179.95 for their rose gold and gunmetal editions.
The FitBit Charge 2 features most notably interchangable bands and a touch screen OLED display for enhanced battery life. The heart rate monitor comes standard, and it also includes guided breathing sessions, call and text notifications, multi-sport tracking, and a cardio fitness score to improve over time.
3. Apple Watch Nike+
After Nike’s Fuelband was discontinued, a partnership with Apple became the next step in revolutionizing wearable tech for athletes. The new Apple Watch Nike+ features a new sport band with rows of compression-molded perforations, a dedicated Nike+ Run Club app, exclusive clock faces, and running reminders, as well as all other features of the Series 2 Apple Watch.
Accountability is one of the greatest ways to promote truly getting in shape. Apple Watch Nike+ offers activity sharing between friends, a run scheduler, leaderboards, and yes, virtual fist-bumps. With the quick ability to change bands, the Watch can be dressed up or down, making it a great workout companion and overall daily driver. However, at $369.00 for the 38mm variant and $399.00 for the 42mm variant, it will cost a bit more than some of our other featured options. In my opinion, for what you’re getting the price is absolutely justifiable. It’s a fitness tracker, a nice timepiece, and an extension of your iPhone.
You can pick it up from Apple’s online store, but there are gift card offers that have popped up from retailers throughout the season.
4. Bellabeat Leaf
Bellabeat’s Leaf is a new take on an activity tracker. It looks like jewelry, can be worn around the user’s neck, wrist, or shirt collar, and runs on a replaceable coin battery – much like FitBit’s Zip.
But what sets it apart from other wearable tech geared towards women? For one, it puts emphasis on sleep tracking, something we don’t see very much in other trackers. Two, it tracks menstruation and ovulation cycles, something to date we haven’t seen in any other wearable tech.
The jewelry itself is made of beautiful wood and stainless steel and sizes in a little larger than most other pendants. The Leaf is sure to grab attention. Do bear in mind that the tracker’s wood casing makes it non-suitable for water activities.
It starts out at just $119.00 but goes up in price based on chosen style. You can grab it from Bellabeat directly.
Wearable tech is truly at its height, and who knows what is to come in the following years? Whether you’re giving the gift of activity accountability or just want to treat someone with the current generation of wearable tech, these options will help them live a better day.