Six Smartwatch Alternatives to the Apple Watch

Do I need a smartwatch? [With Apple releasing new details] for its line of smartphone-like line of wristwatches, that's a question sure to come up for anyone interested in electronic gadgetry.

And if the answer is yes, the next question might be, do I need the Apple smartwatch?

Not necessarily. None of the alternatives has a sufficient feature set to answer the question of "need," but they're getting close.

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LG G Watch R $299. With a round face, metal body and leather straps, a look that resembles a normal watch is the killer feature for those who don't need to advertise their technological cool. The low-key look makes it easier for people who get hundreds of notifications a day on their smartphones to check the alerts discreetly in business meetings. Users have said the battery lasts through a normal day of work. The watch requires Bluetooth pairing to an Android smartphone. Note: Don't count on the heart rate sensor to be great.

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Pebble Time Steel $250. Though Pebble's latest watch isn't scheduled to be delivered until July, it's available for purchase on Kickstarter. The killer feature: a set of three side buttons that moves users through past, present and future notifications. The intention is to organize around "time" as opposed to organizing around "apps" like on a smartphone. The stainless-steel watch comes in silver, black or gold; is water resistant; and has a battery with a 10-day charge. The rectangle-face watch, whose "e-paper" display isn't as vibrant as competitors', requires pairing to an iPhone or Android smartphone. Functions such as replying to a message by voice may not work on iPhone.

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Moto 360 by Motorola $249. The round-face watch with metal or leather strap options is the bare-bones choice on the market. Users say battery life has improved over time because of software updates, allowing...

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