Upcoming smartwatches 2016: What to expect from the next-gen wearables

Upcoming smartwatches 2016: What to expect from the next-gen wearables

Apple, Casio, New Balance, Blocks and more - smartwatches coming soon
Upcoming smartwatches for 2016

There's a whole host of smartwatches already on sale, with the likes of Apple, Sony, Samsung, Pebble, LG and Motorola all tapping into the latest consumer tech craze. And there's a huge range of upcoming smartwatches to look out for in the next 12 months.

Buying first-gen products is often a risky business with manufacturers not having prior hardware experience and the software systems very much a work in development.

Essential reading: The best smartwatches currently on sale

That's why it sometimes pays to not be an early adopter, and instead wait for the next-generation of devices to arrive.

Here's Wareable's pick of the top upcoming smartwatches, all of which have been officially confirmed or have featured heavily on the web's rumour mills...

Apple Watch 2: ETA April

The original Apple Watch was announced in September 2014 alongside the iPhone 6 and subsequently went on sale in April 2015. However, we don't expect Apple to follow the same pattern this time. We're expecting to see the second-gen Apple Watch announced in March, with a release date in April 2016.

According to web murmurs, the Apple Watch sequel will boast a FaceTime camera, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity enabling it to receive emails, text messages and more while you're away from your phone.

More info: Apple Watch 2 - everything you need to know

Blocks: ETA May

Blocks modular smartwatch hits Kickstarter

One of the watches we most want to get our hands on is the Blocks modular smartwatch. It ships in May 2016 to backers of its Kickstarter campaign but aside from press images and prototype videos, there haven't been too many hands ons of the hardware and modules themselves.

The Blocks core module has a 1.4-inch, 320 x 320 display, a battery life of 1.5 days (which can be increased by 20% a go by extra modules) and runs on a Snapdragon 400 processor. Five starter modules have been detailed as well as teasers of extra plug and play functionality coming soon.

Casio Smart Outdoor Watch: ETA April

The Casio Smart Outdoor Watch landed at CES and is the first Android Wear smartwatch to really diversify away from the mainstream. It's a million miles from another me-too everyday watch. The Casio Smart Outdoor Watch WSD-F10, to give it its full meaty moniker, is a waterproof, shockproof and vibration proof AW smartwatch that's certified to US military standards.

The 1.32-inch LCD touchscreen has an interesting twist - a second monochrome display that can be used instead of the colour panel to save battery life. Casio is promising a month of lifespan in this mode.

Samsung Triathlon: ETA February

The purported Samsung Triathlon is a Gear S2 lookalike, there's also a suggestion that the rotating bezel will be on board.

That OS and UI, while not an exact likeness of the Gear S2, is unmistakably Tizen and the recent leaked images suggest rep counting, heart rate monitoring and water intake recording are all on board. We're hoping for a MWC reveal in February.

HTC Smartwatch: ETA February

The HTC smartwatch rumours continue to rumble and the latest murmurs point towards an Android Wear device, dubbed the HTC One Watch, launching at MWC 2016

The rumour mill is cooking up murmurs of an all-round display, as per the Huawei Watch, with a 360 x 360 resolution.

New Balance Android Wear: ETA December

Sports giant New Balance used CES to announce that it's to launch a running focused Android Wear smartwatch in 2016.

The as-yet unnamed device is set to boast GPS and built-in storage for smartphone free music listening, and is being built in collaboration with Intel and Google, which will put it head-to-head with the new Moto 360 Sport.

It will be the first device created from NB's all-new Digital Sports, which is focused on "athlete focused digital ecosystems."

Razer Nabu Watch: ETA February

Razer announced the Nabu Watch at CES 2016. The company's debut smartwatch will come in two designs and, more interestingly, have two screens. The illuminated backlit display takes care of features like setting alarms, using it as a stopwatch, viewing world time and using the automatic phone sync feature.

The second OLED screen is activated by raising your wrist and is where you can explore the smart features. You can preview phone notifications like texts and calls. It'll also display activity and sleep tracking data thanks to a built-in accelerometer.

Omate Rise: ETA May

The Omate Rise is 3G-compatible, has GPS and is properly waterproof. It boasts a round 1.3-inch, 360 x 360, touchscreen with sapphire coating and runs Omate's OUI 4.0 on top of full Android 5.1 Lollipop.

It works with iPhone and Android and the Rise also has a 3G micro SIM slot for untethered use as well as GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. There's a speaker and mic, presumably to take and make calls as well the usual 6-axis accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer for activity tracking.

Bluboo Xwatch: ETA February

Bluboo is to release its Xwatch Android Wear smartwatch this February, according to its blog. We'll believe it when we see it: it's not the first time an unknown brand has claimed to have an Android Wear device in the works - and we're yet to see any of the others IRL.

It's claimed that the Bluboo Xwatch will pack a 1.2GHz processor with 4GB of storage and a 1.3-inch, 360 x 360 pixel display. Hmmmm.

Wareable Forum

Let us know what smartwatch you are most excited about over on the Wareable Forum.


  • WhyY says:

    where are the next gens!! I want a smartwatch and start to get impatient...

  • FoxHunter says:

    I prefer smartbands with notifications for texts, calls etc instead of smartwatches,  but the Kairos system with a traditional watch and smart strap/wristband is the way to go for watches. It will help keep costs low, for other makers. You can even have a system where people buy any ordinary watch like they normally do, and then buy after market straps for their traditional analog or digital watches that will have bluetooth and a screen to show texts and calls etc.  Smart watches like Apple Moto, etc are a dead end, too expensive and they don't really offer much in return.  Current wearable manufacturers don't know what people want.  People don't want Apple type smartphones or even fitness trackers, what people really just want is something to tell them if they have received texts or calls, and maybe a way to know who sent that text or call, and in the case of texts, you can even go so far as to be able to read some of it.  Big companies are pushing expensive smartwatches but in the end , it will be the smaller companies that will win.

    • Jamesd says:

      Agreed! ive had countless smart watches and they are amazing however.... they all fail when it comes to battery life.

      i've recently just sold my Gear S2 for a Garmin Vivosmart band and i instantly knew this was the right decision. I get a week of battery out of it and with its strong vibration i never miss a notification. It also displays the relevant info you would want see from a text, call, email and so on. Im not saying functionality wise the band is better than the Gear S2 because its not, but my phone is and when my band shows me something worth while then i'll get my phone out as opposed to managing the notification on my wrist. 

  • mosamjc says:

    I can't help but agree with you about the potential of smartbands against the current backdrop of the contemporary smartwatch, and I'm a Pebble user of over two years who's sold on the concept of the smartwatch. Sometimes you just want a watch that's a watch, but don't want to lose the "in the moment" feeling that a good smartwatch can give you so that you can leave your phone in your pocket or purse without interruption except for the most important notifications (the office, babysitter, home security alert). I think the potential for smartstraps could go beyond just call and message notifications though. Imagine if Fitbit or other fitness tracking firms embraced the idea to integrate their product into a classy watchband that you could add to your favorite time piece or even a smartwatch with more anemic abilities so that you don't have to double up or wear something on each wrist.

  • allben says:

    I like future watches so thanks teams

  • harveydeven says:

    I'm really curious about what LG is planning to launch, since the Watch Urbane was one of my favorites. Also, Sony can pull out a nice trick with the Wena model. I've made a list with some of the most expected smartwatches http://wearablearena.blogspot.com/2016/01/what-to-expect-from-2016-in-terms-of.html, if anybody is interested.

  • Manasse says:

    Sorry to disagree, but what is the need to have something which is only a reminder ? When I receive an email or a text, my phone either rings or vibrates, I don't need another wearable to tell me exactly the same information: pull out your phone you have messages !

    Instead, with a smartwatch, I no longer need to pull out my phone to read either text or emails, and that makes a big difference. When you're in a meeting, your phone can stay silent and you can glance at your watch to check and read your notifications/messages.


  • Rogger_Rabbit says:

    What they need to come out with is a smart watch that doesn't require for you to have your phone close by. Let's say your forgot your phone at home but it's okay because you have your smart watch on that can receive text and calls and you can send out texts and calls or even emails and for the hell of it even browse the web. 

    • chrismacg says:

      Samsung Gear S

  • adjuster11 says:

    I'm with Manuel on this one.  I've had the Huawei for less than a month, and it's super handy for checking texts, What's app, emails, all while never touching your phone.

    I carry the phone in a holster, yeah I know, old school, but I don't have to reach for it every time.

    You can read it while  you're driving, not recommend but you can and I'm talking with old eyes. Maps, etc needs some work on mine, but it does tell you turn left at Main, etc.

    I'm not a facebook, twitter person, but I can only imagine all those notifications piling in. You'd look like a Kardashian, with your phone in your hand 24 x7 with that many notifications.

    My watch does what I wanted it for, if only they'd light up the speaker, so I get the full Buck Rogers and talk to the watch, even if it's just, I'll call you back, but I can easily see the day when I talk to the watch while driving down the road.

    Since I'm on the road, I have a antenna booster, and my phone sits right on the antenna in the car, and it would be way handy to just talk to the watch rather than holler at the speakerphone. I work in the woods, the real woods with bears.

  • arrow1 says:

    None of those watches matches Samsung Gear S nor the new Chinese smart watch / anroid phone. No one came up with better idea !

  • Guitar187 says:

    Whatever you do stay away from Olio.  The watch does not work anywhere close to how it's advertised, and the company is probably the worst run company I've ever seen.  They should really be prosecuted by the FTC.

  • No1UP says:

    very nice line up... But the Pebble time steel is still running circles around these. No touch screen was my only concern which melted away in about 30 seconds of using my peb.. :)

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