MWC 2014: Samsung Gear Fit is the latest wrist-based launch

You would be forgiven for thinking that MWC is about the wrist rather than the hand. The traditional mobile phone is here in Barcelona, but increasingly, we're hearing about wrist-based technology that goes with it. Yesterday, we had the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches and today we have the Gear Fit from the same company. But don't go thinking this is all about Samsung.

The Samsung Gear Fit is essentially a health tracker and as such, one in the eye for Apple, which is expected to use health as the key selling point for its upcoming iWatch. Samsung is already here with a device that will certainly sell on looks.

Whether it works in terms of functionality remains to be seen. But the signs are good. Within that colourful strap (or band, which is replaceable) you'll find a curvy 1.8-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with a 432 x 128 resolution and a 210mAh battery, which should be good for three or four days between charges, longer with less use.

Beyond that, there is an accelerometer, pedometer, a heart rate detector and Bluetooth 4.0, the latter able to transfer all the vital statistics about your health and training back to your smartphone, where you can record, analyse or worry, depend on what you see.

But it's not all about fitness. This little device can also keep track of your calls, texts, calendar appointments and more via a series of notifications. So no need to keep checking your phone in the gym - check your wrist. That is of course, if you have a Samsung Galaxy phone. It doesn't work (as yet) with other models. The Gear Fit will have those changeable straps in a choice of black, orange or mocha grey, with the device itself available from 11 April (same day as the Galaxy S5). No pricing available for the UK as yet.

However, if you are thinking of investing, you might want to sit back and wait for the competition to arrive first. With the Sony SmartBand SWR10, that's sooner than you think.

Sony showed off its own smartphone companion back at CES, a SmartBand with removable Core that tracks your wellbeing. So how many calories you've burned today, how well you are sleeping and if you like, when you should wake up for optimal sleep. All of that data syncs with the Lifelog Android app to keep a track of how well you are doing. Just pair it via Bluetooth or NFC to your phone.

Sony is promising that from March (which is only days away), but has yet to confirm a price.

Apple, of course, is the key rival to Samsung in this. We have heard that health will be the key selling point here too, with the company launching its Healthbook software to go alongside the rumoured iWatch, an app that monitors and stores fitness statistics, checks your vital signs and can even remind you to take medication. A doctor in your pocket was how we saw it.

Interestingly, a recent Apple patent points to monitoring via earphones and headphones too, with movements and vital signs monitored through a series of embedded sensors. So Apple could have multiple (or connected) devices later this year. Interesting. Expect more on this as the weeks and months pass.

HTC has also confirmed that a smartwatch is incoming, with HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang stating in an interview that a watch more fashionable than your average smartwatch was on the agenda. HTC is working on battery efficiency for the device and plans to have it on the shelves by Christmas. Beyond that, little is known. But it will be big news.

Finally, if you are after a budget option, you might want to wait for the Huawei Talkband B1, which does have its own unique selling points. First off, the price should be one, with talk of around £80 for this particular band. That's for a smart device which is likely to do the tracking for health and sleep, but also allows you to make calls. Yes, just like the sci-fi movies of old. It also supports both iOS and Android, which opens up the market significantly.

Again, just in prototype mode right now, with an eye on the second half of the year for a launch. It all points to a smartwatch Christmas, especially if Apple gets a device out this year. You'll be out of place at the gym without one by 2015.

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