The top 5 smartwatches of 2014

There was an explosion of wearable devices coming on to the market in 2014, particularly from smartwatches.

With 100 million smartwatches expected to be in use worldwide by 2019, according to Juniper Research, brands from Sony to Samsung are battling to become number one in the wearable space. But all this will change once Apple launches its watch in March this year.

CNBC looks at the top five smartwatches of the year, recommended by analysts.

Samsung Gear S

Samsung's foot sped up its wearable development this year with the release of the Gear S – the South Korean company's sixth smartwatch in just over a year. From making calls to replying to texts, this is the closest thing to strapping a smartphone to your wrist. And the health features are pretty advanced too.

Moto 360

Smartwatch makers have been trying to straddle the line between being fashionable and being functional. The Moto 360 looks like a real watch and even comes in a champagne gold color. But it is let down by the Android Wear operating system it runs on.

Sony Smartwatch 3

Sony's Smartwatch 3 boasts a simple design. The attractive feature is the built-in GPS which can allow you to leave your phone at home, go for a run, and still sync up your exercise data. But the device falls short of being a one-stop-shop for fitness-tracking lacking advanced health features.

LG G Watch R

LG's smartwatch is another one that has tried to look like a proper watch. It has some interesting apps and a heart rate monitor, but not much else to differentiate it from its competitors. Like the Moto 360, Google's Android Wear operating system leaves it feeling slightly clunky.

Pebble Steel

The Pebble was one of the original smartwatches which came into existence after a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2012. But the latest iteration – the Pebble Steel – has failed to keep up with some of the more advanced competitors and comes across as quite rudimentary.