The unveiling of Snap Inc.’s Spectaclesearlier this month is proof-positive that wearable tech is still trending. Despite the fact that most who wear activity trackers stop using them after about six months, technology companies are betting that smartwatches and trackers will only increase in popularity—and they’ve seriously upped their game on the newest line-up of wearable gadgets.
How? First, the new devices are sleek. Collaborations with fashion brands like Kate Spade and Michael Kors have raised the design bar; some offerings look more like high-end jewelry than something that tracks your steps and counts calories.
Second, they actually do a whole lot more than measure how far you’ve walked in a day. Some, like the Misfit Ray, can take selfies and turn on the lights in your apartments. Others can control the music playing in your headphones during workouts, or subtly show who’s texting you during an important work meeting. And the new Apple Watch Nike+ will be the go-to for serious athletes because its features rival those of heart rate monitor and GPS trackers.
From marathon training to the board room, the latest class of smartwatches and activity trackers can do pretty much anything and look good doing it—just like you.
What it does: Monitors sleep, counts steps, tracks calorie burn, take pictures and control lights from a smartphone, vibration alerts for incoming calls and texts.
The Misfit Ray is about the size of an AA battery, and easily attaches to a wristlet or necklace to track fitness. Boasting a battery life of six months, the Misfit Ray is sleek and versatile device you never need to take off (it’s waterproof, too)—perfect for someone who has good intentions but always forgets to turn on their tracker. Like most wearable tech, it sends updates directly to your phone so you can monitor your progress throughout the day.
Shop the Misfit Ray here.
Michael Kors Access
What it does: Tracks steps, calculates calorie burn, syncs with Google apps, voice commands, vibration alerts for incoming emails, calls, and texts; changeable interface.
Michael Kors just released two new smart watches as well as two light-weight activity trackers. The trackers—named Reade and Crosby—and cute and stylish, but we’re really into the Bradshaw and Dylan smart watches. Both (the Bradshaw is styled as a women’s watch, the Dylan as a men’s offering) have interchangeable bands that can be dressed up or down depending on your outfit. We’re drooling over how chic the rose gold band is on the Bradshaw, which we’d happily wear even if it didn’t tell us how many calories we burned in our morning spin class.
Shop the Michael Kors Access line here.
What it does: Tracks steps, calories, distance traveled, and sleep; tracks water intake; measures daily exercise; controls music and snaps selfies; alerts with light notifications.
Kate Spade’s Scallop activity tracker is so cute and sweet, it makes us want to log our daily steps. The device pairs with an app on your phone so you can check in with your progress throughout the day. Although it’s not as techy as other smart watches, it’s fashionable and playful—very Kate Spade. We love that it encourages us to drink more water throughout the day, and that it’s dainty enough to rock with a stack of bangles and not obviously look like a souped-up pedometer.
Shope the Kate Spade Scallop here.
What it does: Tracks steps, distance, and calories burned; vibration notifications from your smartphone; touchscreen interface; interchangeable watch bands.
Q Wander is Android’s answer to the Apple Watch—the colorful touchscreen alerts you to whatever’s popping up on your smartphone. Luckily, the Q Wander pairs with both Android and Apple devices so everyone can get in on the fun. Jury’s still out on whether it outperforms the Apple Watch, but the circular watch face and more fashionable bands definitely win with the style set.
Shop the Q Wander here.