Technology is all in the wrist these days.
As smartwatch technology continues to improve, wearables are becoming gotta-have-it gadgets for people who want data served up quickly and conveniently, and who still appreciate the personal statements that come with timepieces. The Apple Watch Series 4 remains the best all-around wearable, but there’s a lot to be said for the versatility of non-Apple watches running Google's Wear OS operating system.
All of the following wearables will work with iPhones and Android handsets.
WHAT Emporio Armani Connected and A/X Armani Exchange Connected
THE COST $395 Emporio, $295 A/X
AVAILABLE FROM armani.com
WHAT’S HOT Both watches have all the expected functionality — heart tracking, fitness apps, GPS, "swimproof" seals — in a modern stainless-steel case. The flashy A/X aims for a more classic appearance, the sort of watch a Rolex guy might be attracted to.
WHAT’S NOT The 43-millimeter diameter of the Emporio might be a little wide for smaller wrists, but that's offset by an attractively slim profile. As for the A/X, its 46-mm case all but dominates your arm.
WHAT Samsung Galaxy Watch
THE COST $280-$300
AVAILABLE FROM samsung.com
WHAT’S HOT Along with a touch screen, the watch has a rotating bezel that makes it easy to interact with. It also features Samsung Health rather than the Google Fit of Wear OS devices, and Samsung Pay instead of Google Pay. Available in 42- and 46-mm sizes.
WHAT’S NOT The Tizen operating system limits access to available apps.
WHAT LG Watch W7
THE COST $250
AVAILABLE FROM lg.com
WHAT’S HOT It has both a fully functional touch screen and analog hands, making the W7 simultaneously old school and new school. With its silver metal hands, the W7 maintains its essential "watchiness" at all times, with a distinctly Movado vibe when set against a dark, sleeping face. Wake it up, and its digital background switches on, imparting whatever data you immediately desire, whether that's your heart rate, stock market figures or email notifications.
WHAT’S NOT If traditional-looking timepieces aren’t your thing, this isn’t for you.
WHAT Withings Steel HR Sport
THE COST $200
AVAILABLE FROM withings.com
WHAT’S HOT Its analog hands are about as watch-like as you can get, while there's a small digital component that can handle basic fitness tracking, such as sleep, step count and heart rate and other Fitbit-type functions.
WHAT’S NOT Proprietary software means you're not going to have access to lots of apps, and there’s no touch screen.
WHAT TicWatch C2
THE COST $200
AVAILABLE FROM mobvoi.com
WHAT’S HOT It features smooth, minimalist lines and none of the macho flourishes, such as a numbered bezel, intended to convey a readiness for action. The silver and black versions have a 43-mm diameter and accommodate a 20-mm band. The rose gold has a 43-mm case but takes a slightly narrower 18-mm band.
WHAT’S NOT If you want something more sophisticated, this may not be for you.
WHAT Michael Kors Access Runway
THE COST $350
AVAILABLE FROM michaelkors.com
WHAT’S HOT Its 41-mm diameter is perfectly sized for anyone who wants a smartwatch that doesn't overpower your arm or weigh you down as the day goes on.
WHAT’S NOT The unisex design may be more conspicuous than you might prefer.