As Samsung's Galaxy Gear commercial illustrates, the desire for a truly smart wrist-worn device is as old as the electronics industry itself. We've lusted after smart watches for so long that we've melded the two words into one utopian noun: a smartwatch. 2013 has been an undeniably good year for smartwatch enthusiasts. From the successful Kickstarter project that gave birth to the Pebble to Samsung and Sony's most sincere efforts to commercialize the category, the buyer's choice has never been wider. And that trend's only set to continue, with Nokia, Google, Apple, and Microsoft all actively eyeing the wearable device category.

Even as we keep advancing toward the end goal, however, much progress remains to be made. Prices are still too high for most consumers, functionality and battery life are too limited, and designs are a little bit too large and macho to be appealing to a truly wide audience. As Ian Drew, now executive VP at ARM and formerly a senior manager at Intel, told The Verge recently, smartwatches are still in the pre-iPod era of their development. That’s not to say that the tech industry is just waiting for Apple to show the way, but the definitive, trend-setting device that everyone tries to either beat or emulate simply hasn’t materialized yet. While we wait for someone, anyone, to deliver the ultimate smartwatch, what can the best devices available today tell us about perfecting the smart wrist-accessory?