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Wearables

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VentureBeat: Google's smartwatches are built by LG, have digital crowns, will launch February 9th

In the most detailed report regarding Google's upcoming smartwatches yet, Evan Blass of VentureBeat says that LG will be the manufacturer of the devices, which are scheduled to launch on February 9th, the day he previously said Wear 2.0 would launch. Sales will commence the next day in the US, with international rollouts following throughout February and March. Blass confirms that our original renders of the watches are accurate.

They will be called the LG Watch Sport and Watch Style, meaning the names contain no Google branding. The Sport will have a 1.38" display, while the Style will be 1.2" across.

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Android Wear 2.0 is launching in early February

Google was supposed to release Android Wear 2.0 last fall, but there were... issues. Specifically, feedback for the developer preview was quite negative. Google decided to reassess and pushed the release to early 2017. After a few more dev previews, here we are. Google has notified developers that Wear 2.0 is coming in a few weeks, so they had better get their apps ready.

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Looks like the women's models of the Huawei Watch are getting discontinued

We knew this time would come. By all appearances, the Huawei Watch models geared for women are on their way out the door into the nether. Whether the pages don't exist anymore or the item listings show discontinued/limited stock, the story is pretty clear.

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Casio's new rugged Android Wear watch will launch in April with Wear 2.0

Most Android Wear watches can take a splash, but knock them around and they might not hold up very well. Casio's first Android Wear device was an exception with its MIL-STD-810G rating, and the second one will be much the same. The WSD-F20 will be built to last, and it'll be running Android Wear 2.0 when it comes out around April. It won't be cheap, though.

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Samsung Gear S3 review: A good smartwatch, but probably not enough to win over smartwatch skeptics

Let's get this out of the way first: smartwatches have not been the big sellers that many technology firms were hoping they would be. Android Wear is stumbling, and even Apple is having trouble convincing its rabid fans to pony up $300 to $1000 on a wearable device. Samsung has taken a long and winding road through the land of wearables, having released an Android-powered smartwatch before Android Wear existed, then adopting Android Wear ever so briefly, then diving into its own Tizen-powered watch ecosystem.

That's where we are now—Samsung is making its own smartwatches running Tizen, but unlike earlier devices, the Gear S3 works on all Android devices.

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[Deal Alert] Fitbit Flex on sale for $49.99 ($20 off) via Amazon, but it won't ship right away

Okay, smartwatches are a bit of a tough sell right now, at least until Google shows us its vision for Android Wear early next year. In the meantime, fitness trackers are still a good wearable bet. The Fitbit Flex is on sale at Amazon today for a mere $50, but it won't ship right away.

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Google confirms it will launch two smartwatches early next year, but they won't be Pixel-branded

Speaking to The Verge, Google's product manager for Android Wear Jeff Chang confirmed the company will launch two smartwatches next year with Android Wear 2.0. Five months ago, we revealed that Google was undertaking such a project, with the device codenames being Angelfish and Swordfish. Later, we showed renders of what the hardware could look like.

Chang also confirmed to The Verge that Wear 2.0's final developer preview will be released in January, and should add support for Android Pay and Google Assistant, two major features that have been high on the list of requests from Wear users. Interestingly, Chang says the watches will not be Google-branded, but branded by the manufacturer, who is apparently a previous Wear partner.

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[Deal Alert] Grab a refurbished Samsung Gear S2 Classic for $130 ($220 off) on eBay, T-Mobile version only

Smartwatch fans, we have a deal for you today courtesy of eBay. You can grab a refurbished Gear S2 Classic for $129.99, a whopping $220 off! It is worth noting that this is only for the black T-Mobile version, but it is still a fantastic price for the watch.

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[Deal Alert] Grab an Asus ZenWatch 2 for up to $50 off at Best Buy today only, plus $25 off with Visa Checkout

The Asus ZenWatch may be growing a bit old at this point, but it is still a capable performer. Today brings us a few deals on the last memorable square Android Wear watch, but most notably is the offering from Best Buy. You can score some versions of the watch for $100 today only, but you'll get the additional $25 off if you use Visa Checkout. An effective $75 for the ZenWatch 2 is not bad at all.

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Fitbit just paid $40 million to kill Pebble, hammering another nail in the smartwatch's coffin

You will hear many things about today's Pebble acquisition by Fitbit - that it was about software, firmware, engineers, intellectual property, or simply that Pebble was unable to continue on as it existed. The one examination you should take to heart, though, is that Fitbit just straight up wrote a check to kill a competitor. There's really not any other way to slice this deal from Fitbit's end: Pebble was competition, even if not necessarily in a big commercial sense these days, and this was an easy way to smother a company that had hogged much of the wearable limelight.

Fitbit even goes so far as to make expressly clear that they are not acquiring any assets or personnel related to Pebble's hardware division - only its software and firmware teams, and some intellectual property.

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