Apple's long-awaited move into the smartwatch market last month with the unveiling of its Apple Watch may have finally piqued many people's interest in the gadgets. They've been available for a while now, but it's only in the last few months that designers have finally managed to figure out a balance between making them useful, stylish and practical.
Hopes are high that Apple's Watch will breathe new excitement into the sector. The launch may not have offered anything particularly revolutionary, but many people will be expecting the brand's trademark eye for design, quality and attention to detail will propel the tech into the mainstream.
But if you're eager to get your hands on one of the gadgets, you're out of luck, as they won't be hitting shelves until next year. However, if you're one of those people that has to have the latest stuff now, there are a range of high-quality alternatives that you'll be able to go out and buy ready for Christmas.
So with this in mind, here's our pick of the very best smartwatches that will be available in the UK ahead of the holiday season.
Motorola Moto 360
Unquestionably one of the more stylish options out there, Motorola's Moto 360 hits UK shelves this month and will cost £199 from sellers like O2, Amazon and Tesco. It's already gone down well with reviewers, who've praised its fantastic stainless steel build quality, stunning round-faced design and overall sense of luxury.
Running Android Wear, which has been custom-made for smartwatches, you can pair the device with any phone operating Android 4.3 or later and the integration of tools like Google now means its easy to manage everyday tasks on your wrist.
Another new arrival to these shores, the Pebble Steel with be available from O2 from this month for £179 – along with its cheaper cousin the Pebble, at £99. From a project originally birthed on Kickstarter, the Pebble brand is now one of the most advanced smartwatches around, with more than 4,000 bespoke apps including health and fitness trackers, music controllers, sleep monitors, and much more.
Unlike the Motorola, which you'll have to charge every night, the Pebble Steel's low-power e-ink display can give you up to a week's usage, while crucially for many people, you can hook it up to both Android and iOS phones – making it a great choice for Apple fans who can't wait until 2015.
LG G Watch
Another Android Wear-based system that could tempt many people is LG's G Watch. This is a more affordable option than the Moto 360 – at £159 – and while its design isn't as eye-catching as Motorola's (in truth, it's more than a little dull), it makes up for this with decent specs that can easily keep up with most mid-range smartphones.
Its 280 x 280 display offers surprisingly sharp colours and, with the optional 'sleep' mode enabled, it'll give you a reasonable battery life, which the charging cradle can replenish quickly. If you favour substance over style, this may be the choice for you.
Sony SmartWatch 3
The third iteration of Sony's primary smartwatch effort launches in the UK on October 23rd and will set you back around £180 for the sport version – with a stylish metal edition coming with a slight premium that takes the price up to £215.
It also offers a few ideas not seen elsewhere, such as a micro-USB charging capability that means you should be able to keep it powered up anywhere, without the need for a bespoke cradle or case that will inevitably get lost or broken. Tools like GPS also make it a great accessory for fitness fanatics, while the watch itself can also be completely popped out of the strap, which Sony says may allow it to be hooked up other devices in the future.
As tech brands go, Asus isn't a name to get people excited in the same way that Apple might, but it's been quietly turning out quality products for years now, and its ZenWatch seems to be no exception. It's set to arrive before Christmas with a mid-range price tag of around £160.
Another Android Wear-based offering, the gadget distinguishes itself with a slightly curved screen and a stylish leather strap, and while its 1.6-inch screen is smaller than some of its rivals, it still manages to offer good resolution and sharp images. It also comes with some unique features such as a Find my Phone app, which makes any smartphone linked to it ring – great if you're always misplacing your handset.