5 On Your Side

Smart watches offer convenience at the wrist

Posted June 11, 2014

— Smart watches may be the next big thing. With the ability to sync with a smart phone, they offer convenience right at the wrist.

Smart watches play music, alert when text messages are received and some even make calls.

“It’s really handy to get the notifications and alerts on your watch,” said Carol Mangis of Consumer Reports. “But with most of them if you want to make or take a call, you have to pull your phone out to do that.”

Two new Gear watches just introduced to the market have the ability to take calls.

Samsung watches sync only with Samsung phones while other smart watched pair with various Android phones. iPhones require shoppers to look at the specifications of the smart watch to see if it will pair up correctly. The easiest watches pair with a simple tap.

Consumer Reports said the features of the Samsung Galaxy, equipped with a camera, stood out the most. All it takes to snap a photo is a tap.

Shoppers should be on the lookout for whether or not the watch is readable in bright sunlight as well as its user friendliness.

“The more basic watches don’t have a touch screen, so you have to navigate your way through their menus using button presses,” Mangis said. “It’s easier to navigate with the more advanced watches. They do have touch screens, and you can go through the menu just using taps and swipes.”

Consumer Reports said shoppers might want to wait until prices for the smart watches come down. Currently they run from $150 up to $300.

Shoppers should expect more smart watches to come to market soon – including one from Apple.

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