CES 2021 was a bit different this year, hosted entirely online due to the on-going global pandemic. As such, it wasn’t quite as hectic as usual, with many brands such as Garmin, which usually releases at CES, staying away.
But we still got a healthy dose of new wearables that should keep us going through the leaner early months and into the heart of 2021.
Here’s our Top Picks of CES 2021…
Amazfit GTS 2e/GTR 2e
The Amazfit GTS 2e and GTR 2e is our pick of the devices that landed at CES – as Amazfit continues to bewilder us with an entire range of extremely similar GT smartwatches.
The GTS/GTR 2e is designed to sit between the full GTS 2 and GTS 2 Mini. They boast the same display tech and suite of health sensors – with longer battery life, but some advanced features don’t make the cut.
The key benefit of the GTS/GTR 2e is better battery life. The GTR 2e will last 24 days on a single charge with normal use, up from 14 days on the normal GTR 2. Likewise, the GTS 2e will last 14 days, compared to 7 days on the GTS 2.
Case materials have been slightly downgraded and there’s no Bluetooth calling. But the price will certainly appeal.
The price tag of $139.99 saves $50 on the fully GTS/GTR 2, with barely any material sacrifices and better battery. Sounds like a win/win to us.
Honor Band 6
We already knew about the Honor Band 6 ahead of CES 2021, but it saw a global release with an extremely attractive $35 price tag that’s piqued our interest.
It uses a smartwatch-style design, with the features and price of a fitness tracker.
The screen is a 1.46-inch AMOLED display, which is huge for a fitness band, and boasts 14 days battery life with 10 days “heavy use”.
It’s also water resistant up to 50 metres making it suitable for swimming and showering.
It uses Huawei’s TruSeen 4.0 optical heart rate monitor and has 10 sports modes built in. And that TruSeen sensor will also support blood oxygen measurements.
With such a big build and case, we’re expecting decent battery life from the 180mAh battery.
Fossil Gen 5 LTE Touchscreen Smartwatch
Fossil unveiled its first LTE connected smartwatch at CES 2021, and the company revealed it had been working closely with Google to offer the best experience.
The Fossil Gen 5 LTE Touchscreen Smartwatch an upgrade of the flagship Fossil Gen 5, which is set to launch with Verizon for $349.
Behind the scenes it runs a Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and the latest Wear OS software on board.
We’re fans of the Fossil Gen 5, so an LTE edition is great news. However, with the extra cost and limited features of Wear OS (lack of music streaming apps for example), LTE will always be niche.
Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR
Skagen got a new hybrid smartwatch, and it uses the advanced technology from the Fossil Hybrid HR range.
The Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR uses an E-ink display to show off data such as notifications, activity goals and things like weather and timers. When you’re using smart features, the hands will move out of the way as not to obscure your view.
It comes in 42mm and 38mm sizes, making it unisex, and there are six case and strap combos depending on individual style.
You get two-weeks of battery life and fast charging, which bags you 80% charge in just 50 minutes.
On board is a heart rate monitor, sleep tracking and step counting, and it features workout-tracking modes with automatic detection of exercise. You can even use connected GPS from a paired smartphone.
We love Skagen design, so mixing in this rich array of smart features already makes it one of our favorite hybrid smartwatches. And the $195 price tag isn’t shabby either.
Michael Kors Gen 5E Darci
We saw two new Michael Kors smartwatches at CES 2021, as the Fossil brand embraces the Gen 5 technology from its parent company.
The Michael Kors Gen 5E Darci ($395) brings the bling with a pavé two-tone, seven link bracelet and 43mm stainless steel case.
Inside is the stock internals you get on Gen 5 devices. with Snapdragon Wear 3100 running the show.
It shares the Fossil Gen 5E spec sheet with a 1.19-inch AMOLED display and 4GB memory. It retains NFC, a speaker, and a quoted 36 hours of battery life
It’s also worth shouting out the sportier MKGO ($250) uses a silicone strap and 43mm aluminium case, but doesn’t hold back from adding a serious dose of sparkle to the bezel.