THE GOODS

Face-off: Bluetooth Watches Tested

New Bluetooth-connected smart watches act like remote controls for your smartphone. Here’s how to use them.
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These watches let you monitor calls, read text messages, check your calendar or e-mail, and even control a PowerPoint presentation with just a tap on your wrist. Has their time come at last?

1. InPulse Smartwatch

The InPulse syncs with only Android or BlackBerry phones, and at 2.4 ounces, it's on the bulky side. It shows incoming calls, text messages, and e-mail messages, but you can't use the watch to answer calls on a headset. It does come with games, and you can connect to your laptop over Bluetooth and use the watch to advance PowerPoint slides. You have to press and hold touchscreen icons to open apps, which isn't intuitive, and we ran into a few bugs, including not being able to go back to a home screen. The watch runs up to three days, or one day if you are connected to your phone. There are 40 face styles available.
Cost:
$150 (silver), $199 (black), at getinpulse.com

2. WIMM One

This stylish 0.7-ounce watch (available at Amazon.com) works with most iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry phones. As with the InPulse watch, you must long-press to select apps. You can check incoming texts and calls, but you can't answer calls from the watch using a headset. Apps let you sync with Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange or show your Starbucks loyalty bar code. Battery life is about 30 hours, or 20 hours if you stay connected to your phone. There are 14 watch-face options.
Cost:
$200

3. Sony SmartWatch

The smartest watch of the bunch, this half-ounce Android-only model features a bright, responsive touchscreen that displays text messages and incoming calls. Just tap to answer on a headset or send callers to voice mail. Use 17 apps to access e-mail or music, or control a PowerPoint presentation when your phone is linked to an HDTV. Battery life is two to four days—one if you are connected to your phone all day. The thin plastic band comes in six colors, and you can choose from two face styles.
Cost:
$150

IMAGE: Courtesy Company (3)
Last updated: Apr 3, 2012

JOHN BRANDON | Columnist

John Brandon is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine covering technology. He writes the Tech Report column for Inc.com.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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