Android Wear is picking up more OEMs, more styles, and more users every passing day. These svelte wearables take a fairly robust microcomputer and cram it into a wristwatch – an impressive feat when you think about it. Despite all the technological capabilities built-in to these devices, first and foremost they are timepieces. As such, watch faces need to be simple, elegant, and informative. Some are better than others. Here are a few of my digital favorites.
I was happy with the very rectangular Pebble (Kickstarter Edition), until I saw Android Wear and spring for the LG G Watch as soon as it was available – even though I knew I’d be swapping that out with the Moto 360 within a few months. (The things we have to do as tech reviewers, right?)
In my family, I was the first-generation to be reared in the digital age. Other than a few digital alarm clocks, my parents were firmly cemented in the analog world.
Despite being surrounded by analog wall clocks, for some reason I never could grasp the concept of how they worked well enough to tell the time at a glance. As soon as I was old enough, I was rarely seen without a digital watch on my wrist, just so I could know what time it was – without “doing the math” and “figuring it out”. Since then I’ve learned how to read an analog clock, but digital is still so much faster for me.
The digital watch faces that came with the G Watch and the Moto 360 got the job done, but they didn’t have much style, and didn’t include a lot of other information (weather, etc.). My search for the perfect digital watch face for Android Wear began.
Minimal & Elegant
Minimal & Elegant is the face that I’m using on my Moto 360 right now. In addition to being a unique digital face, it can be configured to show the current weather and temperature, day and date, and even the status of the batteries in the watch and phone to which it’s connected.
It’s highly customizable, though doing so has a bit of a learning curve. In addition to gradients, animations, and glow to highlight the current time, this face also includes “Little Worlds”, which places a miniature skyline (or other artwork) across the bottom of the watch, disguising the Moto 360’s “flat tire”.
If you want a big, bold look with colors that you can customize to your liking, AllText HD is a great option. The time takes center stage, with the current weather conditions tucked neatly under the minutes. Below that you’ll find the date and day, while up top is the battery level. Though hourly “chime” and “watch disconnected” vibrations are included, I don’t run this face with these options on.
AllText HD is US$0.99 in the Play Store.
If you’re used to the way Timex and others have laid out their watches, Military Digital may very well be the watch face for you! With day, date, time, weather, battery state, and customizable colors, this watch face makes your smart watch look more like a traditional digital timepiece that virtually any other face I’ve seen.
Weather Watch Face
The first watch face that I put on my LG G Watch (and later my Moto 360) was Weather Watch Face, which is very similar to the face that I’d used on my Pebble. It’s simple and elegant, with big digits, day and date, and the weather. Since its release the developer has added all sorts of options: 3-day forecast, high/low temperatures, pressure/humidity, colors, and more.
This face is free, but you’ll need an in-app purchase if you want to unlock the “pro” features. I have, but my son (who now wears my G Watch) is perfectly happy with the features available in the “free” version.
Weather Watch Face is available in the Play Store.
There are a lot of other standalone digital watch faces, and even more that additionally require Facer or Watch Maker to be installed. These are my (current) top picks.
I’m curious about what you’ve got on your watch (and why). This time around, let’s limit the comments to (1) digital watch faces that (2) are stand-alone (no Facer or Watch Maker faces). Head down to the comments and let us know what faces you’ve got on your watch, why you picked them, and which is your all around favorite!