Hands-on: Martian voice control watches still conceal their smarts, now come in beaucoup styles

19 pictures

Martian's updated voice control watches will ship in a variety of styles, with different looks aimed at both men and women (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)

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Before Android Wear brought its own native voice control to the wrist, the Martian watch tapped into iPhones' and Android phones' voice control, acting much like a Bluetooth headset. This year the company is back with a new line of voice-control watches, sporting a wide selection of designs – including some from Guess.

The new designs are stylish, offering several options for each gender. There are blinged-out models that would make a pop diva proud, along with more understated affairs that would be at home in a business meeting or a party. The new designs are split into two groups: stainless steel and nylon composites (plastic).

Staying true to the Martian brand, these are smartwatches that do well at hiding their smarts: they sport analog displays, with only a long horizontal screen (with 96 x 16 resolution) revealing their smartwatch natures. Rather than putting tiny smartphones on the wrist, the company's goal is to make traditional timepieces smarter.

The functionality is the same as it is on other Martian watches. One recent change to the platform, though, is that the vibration patterns that we first saw in the budget-friendly Martian Notifier (to help discern between different kinds of alerts) are now on the voice-control models – including the old ones from a couple of years ago. The most recent update also lets you scan your phone's playlists and dismiss notifications with a quick tap.

Martian hasn't revealed exact prices or release dates, but the new models will be coming sometime this year. The company also says that the updated watches should fall somewhere around the same point as the first-generation voice control timepieces (which, when not on sale, ring up for US$300). Though Guess will set the pricing for its models, Martian says it believes those too won't fall too far from that $300 mark.

For a closer look at the new models' looks, you can browse our image gallery, and for more on their functionality (which is largely the same as it was when we reviewed it), you can revisit Gizmag's review of the original Martian voice control watch.

Product page: Martian Watches

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