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Smart watches that look good—and can help you feel good, too

Smart watches that look good—and can help you feel good, too

Until recently, smart watches were more cool looking than good looking. But judging by some of the devices shown at this week’s CES, the watches are coming of age: They’re actually starting to look like something you’d actually want to wear. And that includes some of the devices that are packed with fitness apps, so they might help you look better too.

Take the new Pebble Steel (Jan. 28, $250) announced this week. It’s stainless steel with a Gorilla Glass face. It comes with leather and stainless straps. It’s waterproof, and the company says the battery will last five to seven days on a charge. Plus, it has all the apps already available with the Pebble, including fitness trackers.

If you want a watch specifically suited for fitness, the Wellograph ($320, April) could be a good choice. It doesn’t have all of the features of dedicated activity monitors, such as the top-rated Fitbit One. But it is also stylish, with leather straps as an option. The face is a sapphire-crystal display that the company says prevents it from breaking. It also has a built-in heart-rate monitor. You can see your high and low heart rate each day, and also get a display that compares your actual age to your “fitness age,” which changes over time depending on your activity.

For all the show news, trends, and analysis, visit our insider’s guide to CES 2014.

The Wellograph tracks aerobic exercise and also lets you know when you are in workout zones such as “fat-burning.” Data from your workouts is presented in simple but informative infographics, including daily and weekly summaries of movement, calories burned, and more. The company says a battery charge lasts two weeks.

The new Meteor Watch ($170, February) from Kreyos isn’t quite as elegant-looking, but it’s fun and functional. With two-way communication capabilities, you can talk on the phone or listen to your e-mails as they’re read back to you. The Meteor also puts a good bit of emphasis on fitness. It integrates with blood-pressure monitors and heart-rate monitors, for example. There’s a gyroscope and accelerometer built in, and the company hopes app developers will use those to do things such as track golf swings. If you want to change your music while you’re working out, you’ll be able to use gesture controls instead of buttons to do so.

—Donna Tapellini

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on this website. Copyright © 2007-2013 Consumers Union of U.S.

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