Upcoming smartwatches 2017: What to expect from the next-gen wearables

Casio, New Balance, Google Misfit and more – smartwatches coming soon
Upcoming smartwatches for 2017

2017 is set to be a big year for smartwatches. Android Wear 2.0 is finally set to land, we're expecting to see even more hybrid smartwatches and you can bet your money we'll be seeing follow-ups to the Apple Watch Series 2 and the Samsung Gear S3. Hey, we might even finally see a Fitbit smartwatch.

Essential reading: The best smartwatches currently on sale

Some companies have already laid out their plans while others are just hoping to get those MIA devices out after delaying them in 2016. We've updated our watchlist of the smartwatches that are set to land this year and when we can expect to be wearing them.

Here's the state of smartwatch play for 2017.

Blocks: ETA January/February 2017

One of the watches we most want to get our hands on is the Blocks modular smartwatch. It was set to start shipping in May 2016 to backers of its Kickstarter campaign, then the date slipped to December and now it's moved to early 2017.

Hands-on: Blocks smartwatch review

The core Blocks smartwatch module runs Android Marshmallow and features a 1.4-inch 400 x 400 AMOLED display. Qualcomm's low power Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor is on board and there's 4GB of memory plus 512MB of RAM, as well as Bluetooth 4.1 LE, Wi-Fi and sensors for activity tracking.

The extra Blocks modules are made from polycarbonate and their maximum dimensions are 25 x 31 x 8mm. It costs $330 with four modules of your choice. Extra modules are $35.

New Balance Run IQ: February 2017

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

A year after the sports giant announced it was making an Android Wear smartwatch, we finally got to see it up close CES 2017 in the shape of the New Balance RunIQ.

Like the Polar M600 and Moto 360 Sport, this is a Wear watch designed for runners. It's powered by Intel and features built-in GPS, an optical heart rate monitor and a 1.39-inch AMOLED screen.

It also has 4GB of storage to download music from Google Play and Strava integration to track running and cycling sessions then share them quickly to the third party fitness app.

Read our New Balance Run IQ hands-on, to find out if the Android Wear smartwatch makes a good first impression.

Swarvoski Android Wear: ETA March 2017

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

Yes, we are set to see an Android Wear smartwatch for women this year after Qualcomm announced it'll be powering the device.

The cut crystal specialist is no stranger to the world of wearables having already partnered with Misfit for the Swarovski Shine fitness tracker and teamed up with Samsung, Polar and Huawei in the past for special editions of its wearables.

We have no idea what the Swarovski Android Wear smartwatch is going to look like, but we'll find out more in March 2017 when a big reveal is scheduled for the Baselworld watch and jewellery show.

Casio WSD-F20: April 2017

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

Casio's second generation Android Wear smartwatch is still a rugged, connected timepiece but now it's a much better fit for outdoor adventurers.

Read this: Casio WSD-F20 first look

That's because it finally includes built-in GPS, which let's you track routes sans smartphone. It also unlocks new features including GPS-enabled watch faces and the ability to lay markers if you want to revisit a memorable spot on your travels.

It crams in all of the same sensors found in the original, but in a slimmer body and now supports colour maps, even in offline mode. It's set to cost $500 making it by far the most expensive Android Wear smartwatch you can wrap around your wrist.

Misfit Vapor: ETA 2017

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

After launching the Misfit Phase hybrid smartwatch, the Fossil-owned company has turned its attention to a genuine Apple Watch and Samsung Gear rival with the Vapor.

The circular smartwatch features a vibrant 1.39-inch OLED display with a barely visible touch bezel to navigate Misfit's proprietary operating system. There's built-in GPS, an optical heart rate monitor and it's waterproof so you can take it for a dip in the pool. Unlike Misfit's fitness trackers though, battery life is just a couple of days.

Misfit is still refining the Vapor's OS, so you can expect the $199 smartwatch to launch later in 2017.

Have a read of our Misfit Vapor hands on to see what we make of the sporty smartwatch so far.

Google Android Wear watches: ETA 2017

The world's most hotly anticipated wearable tech

Android Wear product manager Jeff Chang has confirmed that Google is set to launch two of its own Android Wear smartwatches with both set to land alongside Android Wear 2.0.

They won't be branded as Pixel smartwatches as had previously been rumoured, but it's expected that they'll feature circular displays and are likely to include GPS and LTE connectivity support. You can expect Google Assistant integration as well to deliver contextual alerts.

When will the land? It's likely to be around Spring time, which is around the time we're expecting to see new Android Wear 2.0-running watches from Casio and New Balance.

ZTE Android Wear: ETA 2017

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

Who said Android Wear was dead? ZTE USA CEO Lixin Cheng has confirmed that the company is planning to launch its first Android Wear smartwatch in 2017.

We don't have a lot of specifics of what to expect, but it's likely to have LTE connectivity support to work as a standalone device. So you can leave that smartphone behind.

Cheng has also hinted that battery life will exceed what is currently on offer by the current crop of Android Wear watches. If it looks anything like the ZTE Axon watch (above) and can deliver great battery life, then this could definitely be one to keep an eye on.

HTC/Under Armour: ETA who knows?

Most anticipated smartwatches release dates

It's the rumour that won't die. Talk of a HTC smartwatch have rumbled on for a few years now and the latest murmurs pointed towards an Android Wear device, dubbed the HTC One Watch, that was supposed to launch in June 2016. But it looks as if that date has slipped… again. According to @evleaks, it was originally going to launch in April.

The rumour mill is cooking up murmurs of an all-round display, as per the Huawei Watch, with a 360 x 360 resolution. Still, that's pretty much all we know, leaving this one a bit more of a mystery.

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

Shop for recommended smartwatches on Amazon

Samsung Gear S3
Samsung Gear S3
Pebble 2
Pebble 2
Apple Watch Series 2
Apple Watch Series 2
Huawei Watch
Huawei Watch

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  • 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.

    • anonydispostabl says:

      Agreed. 2 year pebble user as well. Love pebble!

  • 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.


    • rawraj says:

      There are fitness trackers and smartbands that show allows you to read your text messages and even answer or reject calls. You can keep your phone in the car mount and you can answer calls through yourphone. Its difficult looking at your car mount but its easy looking at your watch. There is the huawei band 2and 3 that also acts as a bluetooth ear piece that lets you talk.

  • 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 !

    • xToddrick says:

      Except it's illogically round which hampers its functionality.

  • 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.. :)

  • Shoaib344 says:

    that looks great watch 

  • ChrisCChan says:

    I didn't jump on the smartwatch bandwagon until recently, and then it was because I wanted a smartwatch that had the right sensors optimized for improving my health and fitness. I previously had a Fitbit Charge HR, but had too many quality issues with the first I bought and the two subsequent replacements. I gave up on Fitbit, and after a lot of research, I got the Garmin Fenix 3 HR. That was one of the best purchasing decisions I've ever made. 

    I use it to measure HRV and have the heart rate strap for running (an activity I hate but that's like eating your veggies- good for you in the right amounts). I currently use it for running and gym workouts, and I plan to use it for hiking and exploring (thanks to its GPS capabilities) and skiing in the future.

    To me, I get a lot of watch (and apps from the ConnectIQ store) for what I paid. I got it from REI too, so I have the support of its generous return policy if something should go wrong. Here's my quick take on it after a few days. I plan on updating it after a few weeks, when I have more data and time with it.

  • suryakumar1 says:

    Best smart watches next gen upcoming will be have the projection technology I Hope so.

  • LatestOnecom says:

    Having a Smartwatch makes your life so comfortable. In fact you can avoid unlocking your Mobile phone to check whether if there are any important messages or calls when you are busy attending a meeting wearing a Smartwatch. You will definitely love wearing  on your wrist and receiving notifications to your wrist really makes you feel super cool. What not you can listen to music, record, check call history & messages, monitor your sleep and take some lovely photographs using a Smartwatch.

  • Greg says:

    It seems like everyone is sleeping on the Olio Model One. They had a rocky start and some initial launch issues, but the issues are all in the past. I just picked one up and i'm loving it. Its the only smartwatch that actually has the build, materials, and look of an actua timepiece. The OS has a simplicity that compliments your phone rather than trying to replace it. The earlier and later streams work much better than Pebble's timeline. A couple of advertised functions are still in beta, but they likely should be released soon. If you're a professinal looking for a connected device that doesn't stick out like a sore thumb in the boardroom, Olio is the only way to go. 

    • drewvan1 says:

      Only it costs a fortune.

  • drewvan1 says:

    I don't care if I get apps and notifications on my wrist, I just want a nice looking watch that tracks steps, sleep, and heart rate. What looks most promising and can I get it soon?

  • maryklipyard says:

    Current wearable manufacturers don't know what people want. People don't want Apple type smartphones or even fitness trackers,It seems like every brand in the field is trying to release their own version of smart watches in a hope to capture the huge market sales and varieties of smartwatches are going to be released in 2016. Also take a look at the upcoming smartwatches in 2016.

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