The Smartwatch has made its way into homes across the globe, and more and more people are discovering the many benefits that come with owning and wearing a Smartwatch. The device on your wrist is no longer restricted to telling time, and instead, you can get a variety of useful features that will make your everyday life easier.
Get your Smartphone notifications directly to your watch, so that you never have to miss an important call or text ever again, keep track of your health by monitoring your heart rate and a number of daily steps, use GPS to navigate and much more.
Our Guide to Buying a Smartwatch
Before you are ready to start looking for a Smartwatch, there are a few things to know that can help you both in your search and in the decision-making process.
What Is a Smartwatch?
While many are perfectly aware of what a Smartwatch is already before they set out to buy one, there are also some of us that aren’t quite up to date. A smartwatch is a device that sits on your wrist like a regular wristwatch, tells time the way you would expect a wrist to do, but that also has a variety of other features that you might associate more with a smartphone. Some of these products will look just like a regular watch, except for the digital smart screen, while others will have more of a distinct look to them.
Smartwatches can be paired with your smartphone, and while most still require this to function fully, there are also smartwatches than can be used also without a compatible phone. The point of this is to sync everything that happens on your phone with your watch so that you can see incoming telephone calls, text messages, and notifications.
This is beneficial for example when you drive and can’t (and shouldn’t) take your phone out, when you exercise (there are watches that can even be used when swimming) and when you simply prefer to take a quick look at your wrist instead of taking your phone out.
How to Know if a Smartwatch is Right for You
There are so many reasons why you might want to switch out your old wristwatch for a smartwatch, and it is easy to think that perhaps it isn’t something that you need when you have never had one. It is true what they say – you can’t really miss something you have never had, but what if a smartwatch could make your life easier?
It could be hugely beneficial for someone with a busy lifestyle, where missing a phonecall could be catastrophic, but also for a senior citizen who wants easy access to some important apps and more. A phone is easy to misplace, but a watch stays securely on your wrist, and most can easily be worn 24/7 without discomfort.
Anyone who is curious about these impressive gadgets can get one and enjoy its functions, as there are numerous ways you can adapt it to your lifestyle and have it cover your requirements and needs in terms of features. Most people who do end up purchasing a smartwatch ends up liking it a lot more than they thought they would.
Shopping for kids? Try one of the best smartwatches for kids.
This does not apply to all products, but for the most part – smartwatches are designed to work as an extension of your smartphone, which means your phone can be paired with your watch for it to pass on important notifications and calls. So, what do you need to check before you purchase a product?
You need to make sure that the watch of your choice can be paired with your current cellphone, or you will end up buying something you won’t be able to use. Most well-known brands are compatible with both iOS, Android and Windows phones, but this is not a guarantee, and worth looking into first.
There are also some watches, such as certain Samsung watches, that can be used with both iOS and Android, but that have additional features for those with an Android device. The Fitbit Versa is another example of products where the features differ slightly depending on your phone operating system because while they offer almost exactly the same of everything – those with an Android phone can also send Quick Replies to any texts or messages that show up on their watch.
Type of Display
Technology has advanced rapidly, and most newer smartwatches now have color screens – either an AMOLED display or an LCD screen, and it is this that makes it possible to view social media notifications, pictures and more. This has made the smartwatch a lot more useful than before, and it has become significantly more than just a device to tell time.
The only downside to these technological advances is that it tends to reduce the battery time compared to a watch without a color screen, but for those who are used to smartphones – this will not come as any surprise. Basically, you give up some battery time for better features and improved technology.
Touch Screen vs. Buttons
There are smartwatches with touch screens, just like you would expect to find on a smartphone or a tablet, and this is what many people choose to opt for simply because it sounds like the most high-tech option. Who wouldn’t want a watch with a touch screen? Before you do get your touchscreen watch, however, consider the following.
If you plan to use yours for sports and physical activities, it can sometimes be a little tricky to navigate between the different functions and applications while in movement. Here you could instead benefit from button controls or a watch that has both. The Apple watches have made sure to have both a colorful touchscreen, side button, and crown.
If you are unsure of what would be right for you, start by considering what kinds of activities you plan to use it for. If instead, you will mostly be using it to keep up with your smartphone notifications – the touchscreen is definitely a better choice for you.
Customization & Design
Once you start looking for a smartwatch, you will quickly realize that there are many different choices you have to make, and one of those is what you want your watch to look like. You will have to make a decision in regards to the shape of the case and the dial, where the most common shapes are either round or square, There are also many different colors and watch straps, and you can pick a watch where the strap can be changed, and that way it is almost like having a new watch after a while!
If you are one of those who easily tire and get bored with wearing the same thing every day – get one with removable straps. You will also want to consider the strap material; a stainless steel bracelet is heavier than other materials, but many will agree that it looks slightly fancier, and might be better suited for formal settings.
Nylon straps are lightweight and come in many different colors, resin straps are easy to clean and leather is extremely durable. Neither is better than the other, and it depends on what you prefer.
You will also have the option to chose apps for many smartphones, and there might be a feature that allows you to pick out the notifications you find relevant enough to show up on your screen.
Fitness Tracking Features
One of the things that have people interested in Smartwatches is the option to receive smartphone notifications, but smartwatches are so much more than that. They are ideal for athletes and for those who work out and do exercise, as many have features like heart rate monitor, GPS, registration of data like how many steps you take per day, the distance you move, sleep patterns and much more, and you are also likely to find smartwatches with altimeter, to accurately inform you of how much higher or lower you have moved from a certain pre-set point (such as sea level).
Watch Faces & Apps – What Are They?
Which apps you can download to your smartwatch depends mostly on the product, as not all apps are available for every smartwatch. The Apple Watch is known for having a very large selection of apps that you can download directly in your watch, and you can have all the apps you use for your workouts, calculator and other necessities, but also apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Uber. This is not meant to replace your smartphone in any way, but to instead be a practical addition for you to easily keep up with everything that goes on on your phone.
Not all watches have the same battery time, and you can find products with batteries that last anything from a few hours, and up to 25-30 hours and more. The best way to get an idea when it comes to battery time is to look up the products you are interested in on the internet, read through the product descriptions and make an educated choice based on the information you find.
If you will be spending most of your time inside, in a place where you can easily charge up your watch, then perhaps battery time won’t be as important as it is for those who use their smartwatch for fitness tracking and sport. As you can see, it always comes down to what your watch will be used for, and it is crucial to have a basic idea of this already before making a purchase.
For those potential buyers who are swimmers, and who hope to wear the watch for fitness tracking when swimming and snorkeling, it is obvious that you need a product that is water-resistant, or else it won’t be of much use for your planned activities. Here is some food for thought though – everyone can benefit from a water-resistant watch, even if no swimming will be taking place. Why? Because you never know what could happen.
You could get caught in heavy rain during a run, accidentally drop your watch in the sink or in the toilet when you take it off (you would be surprised by how often this actually happens), you might spill something on it, etc. etc. With this in mind, you always want to make sure that a smartwatch is at least somewhat water-resistant, but just keep in mind that water-resistance isn’t necessarily the same as a product is waterproof.
Fit, Size & Comfort
The watch of your choice shouldn’t just look great, but it should also feel comfortable while you are wearing it. The whole idea of a watch like this is for you to be able to wear it every day – sometimes also at night if sleep tracking is something that interests you, but how can you do that if it isn’t comfortable?
Now, the comfort of a watch is determined based on a few different things, such as the material of the wristband or the bracelet, the total weight of the watch and the size of the case. A very large case might not be the ideal choice for someone with very thin wrists, so make sure you pick a watch that fits you both in style and size.
Just like with most products – price can vary quite greatly. Not all smartwatches on the market are good or even worth their price, and that is why it is always a good idea to check out reviews for the best smartwatches, along with customer reviews before you make a decision.
Many quality products can be a little pricier, especially if they have many features that you aren’t really finding on cheaper alternatives, and this is a time when it can be worth it to spend a little bit more on a premium device. The smartwatch is a mini-computer after all, and the best ones are built to last.
A smartwatch is a great way to update the watch you already have, even if you have never had one (or even tried one) before. It gives you easier access to many of the things you would usually do on your smartphone, and the market has exploded in recent years with fantastic products designed to suit all kinds of people, personalities and preferences. Take a big step into the new era of mindblowing advanced technology, and let it aid you in your everyday tasks.