ITProPortal’s top 5 wearables of 2014

What wearable should adorn your wrist going into 2015? ITProPortal has gathered its knowledge to bring you the five best options available right now.

It doesn’t seem like too long ago that "wearable tech" was nothing more than a buzzword. Smartwear is a new and exciting area of modern technology, and we here at ITProPortal have compiled what we believe are the most exciting examples of that tech in 2014.

5. Google Glass

Any list of the top wearables isn’t complete without mentioning Google Glass - the name most people immediately think of when they hear the term “wearable tech”.

Google Glass has been one of the hottest topics in tech since 2012 and has its fair share of supporters and detractors. To some it’s the future of technology and to others it’s nothing but an overwrought headband.

Its slick design, Google Now features and solid interface give everyone a taste of what future technology might be like for the everyman, yet its poor battery life and exorbitant price let it down.

Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Have a look at our hands-on.

4. Samsung Gear Live

Is it third time the charm for Samsung with it’s new Gear watch? The company has been desperately trying to break into the wearable game with no real impact. We didn’t like the Galaxy Gear when we reviewed it in 2013, so what’s different this time?

The Gear Live features a 320 x 320 resolution screen lit up by 1.63 inch Super AMOLED, creating a sharp picture for a smartwatch. Each notification has its own background image in vivid colour, too. Google has taken the reigns of the Gear Live with its Android Wear software and has introduced some marked improvements.

When compared to its main wearable rival, the LG G Watch, the Gear Live comes out on top. Still, that’s perhaps not hard to do when there are so few models on the market.

3. Motorola Moto 360

The Motorola Moto 360 is a smartwatch that hides its wearable capabilities in plain sight. Its face is classy, clever and smart and for all intents and purposes looks like an ordinary watch's. The Moto 306 goes some way to proving that you don’t have to have put up with a garish glowing square on your wrist if you want a wearable.

As with most smart watches, though, battery life can be a bit of a disappointment and Bluetooth connectivity can be a bit choppy. It’s wide face does leave plenty of room for the Android Wear OS' notification cards, even if initial response times can be slightly slow.

Take a look at our in-depth analysis of the Moto 360 here.

2. Jawbone UP24

For those looking for a no-strings attached fitness tracker, the Jawbone UP24 couldn’t be a better fit. An easy to use and enjoyable accessory, the Jawbone counts steps, sleep and calories. It’s water resistant, light and comfortable and synchs with both Android and iOS devices via Bluetooth.

The UP24 has a colourful, stylish design and lacks a screen entirely, making it stand out amongst the wearable crowd. The band doesn’t clasp together, either, but instead wraps around the wrist parallel to itself, meaning its quick and easy to take off and put on again when out running or at the gym.

Those who prefer to check their stats in a flash with a screen might want to look elsewhere, but otherwise the Jawbone UP24 is the perfect wearable for someone on the go.

1. Pebble Steel

The Pebble Steel made a broad move away from its predecessor’s playful, sporty look in order to create a weightier, classier look. The new look is something it pulls off with Bond-like panache and style.

Supporting both iOS and Android, the Pebble Steel is powered by an ARM Cortex M3 processor which powers through most processes on the watch’s 144 x 168 pixel screen quite comfortably.

Despite coming up against some stiff competition from both sides of the wearable market Pebble has proven its worth – in January alone it shipped 300,000 units following a hugely successful funding campaign.

Equal parts fashionable and functional, the Pebble Steel is the wearable for business that’s been needed in 2014. The only criticism that can be levelled against it is that it builds upon other watches' mistakes, rather than adding its own unique features. On the back of the Steel though, we can't wait to see what Pebble do in 2015.

Check out our hands on with the Pebble Steel here.