Armani Exchange AX Connected (£TBC)
Fossil Group has been doing a sterling job bringing connected smarts to its fashion-oriented brands, and the Armani Exchange AX Connected is the best expression of this aim yet.
Pairing rugged smarts with a helping of style, the AX Connected is fashionable yet firm, with a welcome dose of sturdiness - though its 44mm case means it isn't as chunky as other tickers. In fact, it's not immediately noticeable that it's a smartwatch at all - though there's plenty going on under the hood.
Sleep and step tracking, together with notifications and smartphone controls, make it a truly multi-functional machine, while a six-month battery life means there's no annoying recharging to worry about every night. Available in February, it might not pack game-changing capabilities - but, for many, the name will be enough to make it a pretty package.
Garmin Fenix 5 (from US$600)
Garmin has already made some excellent wearable tech for outdoorsy types - but the Fenix 5 bundles a whole lot of customisation into the mix.
Available in three sizes - 42, 47 and 51mm - it's suitable for wrists both big and small. You can also buy it with scratch-resistant sapphire glass, built-in maps and a chest-based heart-rate monitor.
The customisation extends to the watch's features, too, courtesy of free watch face and app downloads. And, if you're the sporty type, you'll be able to track your activity and share it across your favourite fitness apps, of course. A great all-rounder.
Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini 3 RE (£TBC)
Ask any runner: there are those days when you feel as if you could go forever, and there are those days where you end up hobbling home after only 5K. Under Armour’s latest trainers aim to stop you from pounding the pavement if they think you’re going to do some damage, using a new feature called Jump Test.
The shoes make you perform a series of jumps, then measure the average air time to see if you have muscle fatigue. That way, you can alter the intensity of your workout, or just count today as a rest day and be stronger for tomorrow.
The shoes also provide comprehensive workout stats via MapMyRun, including pace, cadence and the number of miles they’ve covered, so you can retire them when they’re worn out. The SpeedForm Gemini 3 RE shoes are part of a range of new smart trainers from Under Armour, and are available for pre-order now.
Price is TBC, but they’ll include an “MVP” subscription to MapMyRun with coaching, training plans and advanced analytics thrown in.
PKVitality K'Track Athlete (US$200)
If you’re the sporty type, there’s no shortage of GPS-enabled, heart-rate tracking smartwatches out there. PKvitality aims to take things one step further with its SkinTaste technology, which employs 0.5mm-long microneedles to puncture the surface of the skin and measure lactic acid.
If you’re a serious athlete, you’ll be familiar with the Lactic Threshold: when lactic acid builds up in the body faster than it can be removed, fatigue sets in - which is no fun for anyone. This watch tells you how you’re doing either by constantly monitoring these levels or taking readings at the touch of the button. If you’re taking part in long-distance running, rowing, swimming or cycling, this means you can use the watch to optimise training, recovery and performance, according to PKvitality.
It’s a smart innovation, albeit one that will cost you: the watch itself is US$200, but it needs a US$150 Athlete K’Apsule to function, each of which lasts a month. It’s a watch for serious athletes, then, but it’s an innovation that looks like it could have the potential to revolutionise professional training regimes. The same technology is also being incorporated into the K’Track Glucose, which monitors blood sugar levels for diabetics.
Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor with GoPro compatibility (€90)
Ever felt your GoPro footage was in need of that added something? You know, like a pulse rate overlayed on your downhill skiing footage? Good news: Polar's new range of wearables is GoPro compatible - including the H10 heart rate monitor.
Strap it on your chest, pair it with a Hero4 or Hero5 camera using Bluetooth and - bump bump - your thumpers output will be pasted on to your action shots.
The new strap is also equipped with electrodes that prevent interference and - paired with a new measuring algorithm - ensure more accurate pulse measurements.