Android Wear Smartwatches

If it's a watch running Android, we've used them all ...

It seems you can't go two stories these days without someone talking about wearables are the next big thing. (Never mind that we've been hearing that for a couple years now and are as much a part of the problem as anyone.) And there's a good chance you're exiting the holiday season with a new smartwatch on your wrist.

So now what?

We've used the major smart watches for months now. If you've got questions, chances are we've got answers. Let's break it down.

Are there different kinds of smart watches?

Yes! We're mostly going to focus on the Android Wear watches here. They run a full, specialized version of Android that's both separate from and reliant on your phone. The Android Wear need a companion device for data and to receive notifications. But it's not completely dead should you move out of range.

If you've got a Pebble — another excellent smartwatch that we've used for quite some time — we'll point you to Connectedly's Ultimate Guide to the Pebble Smartwatch.

Samsung also has a number of Tizen-based smartwatches. They only work with Samsung smartphones, however. And while they're quite functional, they're not running Android and aren't nearly as diverse in the design department.

You'll need to charge it once a day, most likely

This is just a fact of life. The current crop of Android Wear smartwatches have small-capacity batteries — somewhere around 90 percent small than what's in your phone, most likely. You can only get so much use out of that. The exact time will vary a good bit depending on how many notifications you get. Firing up the display and vibration motor takes a toll. But then again, if you're not actually using the watch, why are you wearing it?

So just be ready to charge every night, if not once in the afternoon as well. And if one's available, we recommend picking up a spare charger.

Did I get the best Android smartwatch?

Honestly, that's a pretty subjective answer. We recently updated our list of the best Android Wear watches, and of the six currently available we'd have no problem recommending any of them. The top four — the ASUS ZenWatch, Moto 360, LG G Watch R and the Sony SmartWatch 3 — are all really good buys. Each looks different, and the we regularly rotate them on our wrists.

The final two — the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch are the oldest and most plain of the bunch. But they're not bad buys. given the relative parity in software and hardware. They're just not as fancy.