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Shopping for wearables: What you need to know

The wearable market is getting smaller. Fitbit bought Pebble, Jawbone has pivoted away from consumer trackers, and other companies (such as Motorola) have put their smartwatch plans on hold. But there's still a wide variety of smartwatches and trackers to choose from. Here's how to find the right one.

Android or iPhone?

That still matters, to a degree. The Apple Watch works with iPhones -- and only iPhones. Android phones work with Android Wear. Samsung's Gear S2 and S3 watches work with Android phones, too. Both Android Wear and Samsung watches pair with iPhones, but in a more limited way that is nowhere as good as what the Apple Watch offers. Fitness bands tend to work cross-platform, but not always.

Does charging a watch annoy you?

Many premium smartwatches still have battery life of two days or less between charges. The Apple Watch, Google's Android Wear watches, and Samsung's Gear S2 and S3 are high-maintenance, and need daily or every-other-day charging. Are you ready to live with that?

If so, the Apple Watch, Samsung Gear S3 or an updated Android Wear 2.0 watch might be worth a try. Pebble's long-battery smartwatches still exist, but Pebble's sale to Fitbit and Pebble's uncertain watch future as a platform means we don't recommend current models anymore.