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Jo Whitchurch, of John Lewis Cheadle, shows off smartwatches...
WANT to keep track of notifications without constantly checking your phone, follow a map by glancing at your wrist or track your fitness?
If the answer is yes to any of these, a smartwatch is a great piece of tech.
A smartwatch acts as a discreet window into your smartphone, with its own apps and games to keep you from constantly gazing at your phone.
Like smartphones, different smartwatches run on different operating systems (OS), with different apps available.
These OSs include Android wear from Google, and Tizen from Samsung, with Apple due to release a watch with Watch OS later this year.
So why would you want one? Well, they are...
Receive notifications from your favourite social networks, read and reply to emails and text messages by dictation, and keep an eye on your agenda for the day with ease.
There are apps for helping you navigate to a location on a map or easily track down friends and family.
You can even use your smartwatch as a remote to control music playback or the camera on your smartphone.
As something you’ll want to wear all day, design is important.
Early smartwatches took on large, rectangular designs that looked akin to strapping a small computer to your wrist.
However, as they’ve evolved, manufacturers have begun to put just as much emphasis into the look as the functionality, with new, more stylish designs emerging.
Offerings from Motorola and LG have done away with the rectangle, going for a more discreet, classic circular watch face, while Asus’ ZenWatch manages to blend a curved rectangular watch face with a level of style and sophistication found in the best watches.
More functionality can be unlocked through the design of the watch.
Many devices include monitors and sensors that will help track your activity, that pair with an app to give you real time, easy-to-understand progress on your fitness.
Others, like the Samsung Gear S can stand on their own without a smartphone, letting you make calls, send messages and access the internet thanks to built-in aerials.
The majority of watches on the market are compatible with Android smartphones (and even the Gear S requires a Samsung device to set it up for the first time), while very few will work with iPhones or Windows phones.
The next big thing
The life of the smartwatch is still in its infancy, so we can expect these to get more advanced over the next couple of years, as they become the next musthave devices.
Smartwatches are a great way to feel like a trendsetter, so tap into an always-connected future.
For more information, see in store or visit www.johnlewis.com.
From top: Samsung Gear S, Tizen, 4GB (£329.95); Motorola Moto 360 smartwatch, Android wear (£199); LG G watch R smartwatch, Android wear (£219.95); Asus ZenWatch smartwatch, Android wear (£199.95)