Once upon a time there were two AndroidWear smartwatches. One boasted a rich Swiss heritage, while the other was bred from solid Chinese stock.
Their tale has become legend as others have sought to bask in their glory, but, alas, their worst fear was realized: Although their heritage differed, they were, technically, equal.
Tag Heuer and Huawei have pretty much set the standard for other rivals to the Apple watch and, truthfully, have become only two of the bevy of watch and tech companies to adapt the Android and iOS operating systems to gain the valuable space on your wrist.
So, why are we focusing on these two companies? Simple. They were the only ones that sent us watches to play with.
The biggest differences between the dazzling duo is price and size. The Tag Heuer Connected watch retails for $1,250 with a 46 millimeter titanium 2 case. The Huawei Watch Classic can be purchased for a mere $399 ($750 if you want the most luxurious rose gold model) with a stainless steel case and is a bit smaller at 35.6 millimeters. The Huawei watch also has a built-in heart rate sensor, which is missing on the Tag Heuer model.
On the technical side, the Tag Heuer has Intel Inside, while the Huawei uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, which is common to most of the AndroidWear smartwatches on the market.
Basically both watches use Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone and have the ability to connect to a WiFi network when you've left your phone at home. Plus, they don't discriminate, meaning they can work with either an Android or iPhone operating system. They can also be used to track your activity on a daily basis.
We put the two watches through their paces using the AndroidWear app on our phone and found that, once connected, we could easily switch from one watch to the other. This means, of course, both watches were able to run any of the thousands of apps that were available and shared watch faces. Tag Heuer, though, does have its own app - - - Tag Heuer Connected - - - which gives you access to five faces designed exclusively for their watch. The watches also connect to an Android Wearable Widgets app, which allows you to choose from a bucketful of widgets to load on the watches. The caveat here is that only the first one is free.
If you are extremely fashion-conscious and believe thinner is better, you won't like either of these timekeepers. Both are much thicker than your average Rolex. But, if you want access to thousands of apps, email and your Facebook account on your wrist, plus the ability to answer calls without digging out your phone (available only with the new Android Marshmallow update), these may be the wiser choice.
The only peeve we have with these watches is what we call "hit or miss" charging cradles. Both use circular magnetic cradles that attach to the bottoms of the watches, but there is little assurance (such as a click or beep) that they are making proper contact.
For those that need to know, here are the specs:
Tag Heuer Connected
- Intel Dual Core 1.6 gigahertz processor
- Transreflective LTPS LCD 360x360 display at 240 dpi
- Bluetooth 4.1 and Wifi connectivity
- Android 4.3 (minimum) or IOS 8.2 (minimum) connectivity
- Titanium grade 2 case
- Sandblasted titanium bezel
- Vulcanized rubber band in seven colors
- One gigabyte main memory plus four gigabytes for storage
- Gyroscope and tilt detection sensors
- 12.8 millimeters thick
- Built-in microphone
- Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal screen
- 410mAh battery offering 24 hours of battery life (we were able to extend this to two days)
- Charging time of 1.5 hours
- 1.2 gigahertz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
- 400x400 AMOLED display at 286 dpi
- Bluetooth 4.1 and WiFi connectivity
- Android 4.3 (minimum) and iOS 8.2 (minimum) connectivity
- Cold-forged 316L stainless steel case
- Sapphire crystal
- 300mAh battery offering up to two days of battery life
- 512 megabytes of main memory plus four gigabytes for storage
- Choice of bans ranging from rubber to stainless steel
- 11 millimeters thick
- Built-in microphone
- Heart rate, gyroscope, accelerometer and barometer sensors