Consumer Reports: Smart Watches for Techies on Your Holiday Lists

Having a smart phone means you can get calls just about anywhere. Having a smart watch lets you see who’s calling without even digging out your smart phone. You just look at the watch to see the notifications, see what time it is and see who’s calling.

Know people who’d like to wear their data on their sleeve? Consumer Reports tested six new smart watches. They all pair easily to your mobile device via Bluetooth and alert you to phone calls and messages. But to go beyond the basics, consider a watch that uses the Android Wear operating system. 

Android Wear is a real game changer for smart watches. Not only can you use voice commands to do searches, but it also pushes relevant information to the watch. For example, if you have a calendar appointment you set up, it will tell you what time to leave and how long it will take you to get there.

Consumer Reports recommends the Samsung Gear Live sells for $200. The easy-to-use, color touch-screen displays stock prices, weather and even your heart rate. 

The $230 LG G Watch is another good choice for Android users. The touch-screen is just as intuitive and it rated excellent for scratch resistance. 

For iOS users, there really isn’t an obvious choice in the batch Consumer Reports tested. They’re harder to operate because they’re push button instead of touch screen and they’re a little harder to see. Better to wait for the Apple watch, which is due out in early 2015 and is expected to cost around $350.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to

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