Customization is a core part of Android Wear‘s appeal, both in the ever-expanding selection of watches you can choose from and in the diverse range of designs you can use for your watch’s face.
And you know what? Both areas are equally important. Sure, you need to have hardware you like in order to enjoy Android Wear — but having a watch face you love can really take your Wear experience to the next level. Being able to customize and change your watch’s face is a big part of what makes a smartwatch special, after all. And when it comes to Android Wear, there’s no shortage of excellent options available.
However finding the right face isn’t always easy. With the oodles of designs out there, you actually have to take the time to buy and try a bunch if you want to uncover the cream of the crop.
Well, fear not, my friends, for I’ve done the dirty work for you. After much exploration and experimentation, here are 3 Android Wear watch faces that stand out to me as being particularly exceptional.
1. Minimal & Elegant ($0.99)
I love this design’s simple and elegant vibe, with its two rows of animated numbers and the subtle yet impactful “glow” animation it displays every time you activate your watch’s screen.
Most important of all, although, I love the many ways Minimal & Elegant lets you take control and customize how it looks. Within the face’s settings in the Android Wear app, you can change all sorts of details about the design to make it suit your style or mood — everything from fonts and colors to what text and information is shown above and below the main clock.
The design has a couple of fun advanced options, too: You can opt to set up a “Colors Scheduler” that’ll automatically change the colors of your watch face based on the time of day, and you can add “Little Worlds” — things like city scapes or lineups of Android robot silhouettes — onto the face’s lower end. That creates a neat effect on the Moto 360 in particular, as it turns the watch’s sometimes-awkward “flat tire” bottom into a cool-looking feature.
2. Pujie Black ($1.39)
Pujie is hands-down one of the most polished, practical, and customizable Wear faces I’ve encountered. As I’ve written before, the face lets you personalize practically every detail of your Wear watch’s appearance — everything from the presence or absence of hands to the size and style of numbers, on-screen text, and minute markings.
The Pujie face features three customizable indicators that can show things like the weather, your watch and/or phone battery levels, and the current time in alternate locations. You can choose to include calendar events as well, with an optional center-of-watch hotspot to view a list of upcoming events. And slick animations all throughout the design go a long way in elevating the Wear experience and making it extra delightful.
3. Skymaster Pilot ($0.99)
Skymaster’s classy design manages to combine the style of a traditional watch with the function of a smartwatch — all without getting overly busy or cluttered, as many watch faces tend to do.
The face gives you up to four dials that can display the date, the weather, your watch’s battery status, and the time in any alternate time zone. And aside from those dials, you can customize the face’s color along with the logo text. You can also play with the hand style and control how dim the display’s ambient mode will go.