BERLIN—The IFA show floor here was full of wearables, from smartwatches to headphones, glasses, and more.
But with designer brands like Michael Kors and Puma unveiling their first fitness-centric smartwatches, it’s clear athleisure was the trend this year. From the sleek Garmin Venu that tracks metrics like respiration and sweat loss, to the Asus VivoWatch SP, which comes with an ECG and PPG sensor in a more refined, practical form factor, it looks like the days of choosing between accuracy and design are behind us.
And of course, along the way, we also saw wearables that are worn in places other than the wrist—including Adidas’ new over-the-ear headphones and TCL’s wearable display concept. While wading through all the devices was quite the task, we narrowed it down to 12 wearables we thought were the most noteworthy.
Huami AmazFit GTS
The AmazFit GTS looks like the Apple Watch, but it has much better battery life; squeeze up to two weeks on a single charge. It also features 12 different exercise modes, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, GPS, NFC, and sleep tracking. The GTS’ case is super lightweight at only 0.87 ounces and comes in a variety of different colors including black, silver, gold, and pink, with silicone bands to watch.
Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3
If you’re looking for a sporty watch in a vibrant color, the Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3 has plenty of options. The aluminum case comes in blue, green, orange, silver, and yellow, all of which are balanced out by a black bezel and black rubber watch strap. Under the hood is a Qualcomm 3100 chip, heart rate monitor, GPS, and NFC chip. Using the speaker, you can make and receive phone calls right from the watch. Available in October, the EA Smartwatch 3 will retail for $ 350.
The Garmin Venu is the company’s first smartwatch with an AMOLED display, and it’s stunning. It also tracks more than your standard health metrics including respiration, hydration, and sweat loss estimation. A new workouts feature uses animations to demonstrate exercise moves on the display. To add to its appeal, the watch comes with up to five days of battery life. We were such big fans of the Venu, we added it to our Best of IFA 2019 list; it arrives this month for $ 399.99.
Garmin Vivomove Series
As a hybrid smartwatch, the Vivomove collection comes with all the features of a smartwatch but the design of a traditional watch. Both the Luxe and Style models have a hidden AMOLED display with watch hands that sit on top. When you want to check your notifications or health stats, simply swipe on the screen and the watch hands move out of the way. Content then appears on the top and bottom of the display. The Vivomove series comes with a heart rate monitor, GPS, and NFC chip, and tracks activity, stress, sleep, and a variety of different exercise modes. The Vivomove Luxe starts at $ 549.99; grab the Style for $ 299.
Michael Kors MKGO
Amongst a lineup of chic and glitzy smartwatches comes the first Michael Kors athleisure smartwatch that tracks heart rate and activity. With an aluminum case and silicone strap, it’s super lightweight and comfortable as a gym companion and everyday accessory. The watch, currently on sale for $ 295, also comes with Qualcomm’s Wear 3100 chipset, which promises smoother, faster performance and better battery life.
TCL Movetime Family Watch MT40S
Designed for seniors, TCL’s latest smartwatch comes with 4G connectivity for text and voice messaging. Using the watch’s camera, you can use it for video calls as well. A locator app allows family members to stay informed of where their loved ones are, as well as set safe zones and reminders about medication and upcoming appointments.
In the event of an emergency, holding down the power key for three seconds sends a message to preset contacts for help. And, to encourage staying active, the watch tracks steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep throughout the night.
The MT40S will be sold in select markets starting at €129.
Asus VivoWatch SP Smartwatch
Embedded into the case of the VivoWatch SP is an ECG sensor on one side and a PPG (optical heart rate) on the other. The sensors can also measure pulse transit time (PTT), SPO2 levels, autonomic nervous system (ANS), sleep, and stress. In some countries, the watch will even be able to measure blood pressure. Equipped with GPS and an altimeter, you can use it to track workouts, elevation gain, and oxygen saturation. Even with all of these features, the SP boasts 14 days worth of battery life. Like the Garmin Venu, it made it on our list of best overall products at IFA. Asus has yet to release pricing and availability information.
If you’re already a fan of Puma’s merchandise, you’ll love the company’s first Wear OS smartwatch. Its aluminum case is so lightweight, it’s hard to tell it packs a heart rate monitor and sensors to track activity. It comes in white, black, or yellow, with a design that blends in well whether you’re at the gym or the office. It arrives in November for $ 275.
Diesel On Axial Smartwatch
Perhaps the most rugged smartwatch we saw at IFA, the Diesel on Axial smartwatch is made of stainless steel with rivets along the bezel that give it a durable, industrial look. Like the Michael Kors MKGO and Puma smartwatch, it packs a Wear 3100 processor under the hood, a heart rate monitor, GPS, and NFC. It also comes with four new extended battery modes. Look for it in October for $ 350.
Adidas FWD-01 Headphones
Adidas teamed up with Zound Industries to create a new lineup of headphones. The $ 149 FWD-01 are wireless in-ear headphones that come with interchangeable ear tips and wings to appease all types of ears. The buds are magnetic, so you can wear them around your neck without having to worry about losing them.
Meanwhile, the knitted cord gives the headphones a more elevated look and are also tangle free. On one side of the cord is an action button that you can program to trigger an app like Spotify, a favorite album, or artists. On the other side is a button for controls like pause, play, and volume. The FWD-01 have up to 16 hours of playtime and USB-C charging.
TCL Wearable Display Concept
While still a prototype, TCL’s “Wearable Display Concept” is basically a pair of sunglasses that stream content on the inside. The micro OLED display is supposed to mimic a 100-inch screen that sits about 3.5 meters away from your eyes.
On the arms of the glasses are speakers. You lead the cursor and control the menu by moving your head. With the final model, you’ll be able to play video games, watch movies and shows, and read books. And, unlike VR, you can actually see and hear what’s going on around you while wearing them—which means you’ll likely be able to safely wear them in public . During a demo, I was easily able to look down at my phone and type notes and could hear others speaking around me without ever having to take the glasses off.
Aukey Smartband-Stored True Wireless Earbuds
On the outside, the Aukey is a standard fitness tracker with a touch-screen display and rubber watch band attached. It tracks fitness and sleep while also providing smartphone notifications. It also has up to a week’s worth of battery life. But the most interesting part is that it also doubles as a charger for wireless earbuds, which reside on each side of the case. To take them out, simply press down on the right and left side of the watch and the ear buds pop out. The buds come with 5.5 hours of battery life, noise isolation, and are splash as well as sweat-proof.
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