Smartwatches are becoming more predominant and are already replacing traditional watches.
They are becoming smarter – like smartphones – and offer superb features that let you do several things conveniently from your wrist.
There are several reasons why you should buy a smartwatch. You can use it for a lot of things like viewing notifications at a glance, picking calls from your wrist without pulling out your phone, using it as an activity tracker during your workout, and using NFC for mobile payment.
Whether you want to buy your first smartwatch or your next one, this guide will help you in choosing the watch of your dream that fits your lifestyle.
The Operating System (OS)
The first thing to look out for in a smartwatch is the operating system. Since most smartwatches are dependent on smartphones, your choice should have a compatible OS with your smartphone.
Some of the operating systems include Android Wear, Tizen, Microsoft Band 2, and Watch OS. While the first 3 are compatible with Android and iOS operating systems, watchOS only works with iOS (iPhone). And it’s known to be clean, fast, and consistent. Microsoft Band 2 also works with windows phones.
Some Android phones also work with the Watch OS, but you won’t enjoy the full functionalities you’ll get with iOS devices. This isn’t surprising since Watch OS is owned by Apple Inc.
Smartwatches last up to 2 days or less between charges. The battery life depends on the capacity and other factors like the display and duration of use.
Consider how many times you’re willing to charge your battery a day when buying your watch. Some only last for a few hours due to features like phone calls and internet connection.
It’s quite better to buy a watch that has USB charging port for ease of use. This way, you can easily charge your device with your android charger even if the charger that comes with it isn’t within your reach.
Some more sophisticated ones come with wireless chargers, which can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your lifestyle.
Display matters a lot as it’s the first thing you’ll always set your eyes on when you look at your watch. The display types vary from LCD (Liquid-Crystal Display) to OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) to AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode).
LCDs are bright and are very good for outdoor purposes but consume more power. They produce images on the screen using backlights.
OLED screens can display single-color, multi-color, or full-color while AMOLED is only a full-color screen. They produce rich colors with high contrasts and operate without a backlight. This makes them consume less power than LCD screens.
Newer and more sophisticated watches are designed with fortified glasses like the Corning Gorilla Glass that can handle wear and tear and is dust and scratch resistant.
Interface (Touchscreen or Button)
No doubt, touchscreen always wins when it comes to smartphones these days. This is also the case in smartwatches. But there’s little difference when it comes to convenience.
While smartphones sport large screens that are suitable for big fingers, smartwatches have small screens that make selecting options uneasy for big fingers.
Button-operated watches help you navigate and select options with the use of buttons. But this is becoming a thing of the past as most manufacturers have started to do away with buttons. There are models that combine both features.
Some touchscreen watches arrange your apps such that you can easily access your frequently used apps with one or two swipes without having to search around all the time.
This is the ability to customize your device to suit your desire. Check out for watches with removable straps that allow the use of a third-party strap – if you get tired of using the same thing all the time.
The straps are available in different materials: rubber, leather, aluminum, and silicon among others.
The size also matters. Early generation watches sport large straps but the new ones are slimmer and, in most cases, more beautiful.
Comfort, design, and durability also matter. Make sure you choose a smartwatch that has the kind of quality, color, and design that you desire. Black is my best color when it comes to things like this because it matches all outfits.
The features a smartwatch offer determines how much fun and functionalities you’ll enjoy.
Some only display notifications and buzz you on your wrist when you have calls, emails, texts, or other pieces of information. Advanced ones allow you to connect to your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to receive incoming calls, reply text messages, emails, and other notifications while your device is within range.
More recent ones allow you to insert your SIM card and actually make calls with your smartwatch on your wrist. They have internet access that enables you to synchronize your phone and use your watch in place of your phone from a far range. This way, you can leave your phone at home and still pick calls wherever you are.
But this feature consumes power and drains battery quick. So, it isn’t a feature you can continuously rely on for several hours without having to charge your phone from time to time.
Some smartwatches can also be used as activity trackers. They have pedometers for measuring steps, accelerometer for speed, and barometer for blood pressure. They monitor heart rate, sleep rate, and calorie gain or loss.
Also, look out for water-resistant devices but make sure you confirm its level of resistance. Some are only resistant to splash and few drops while others are resistant to up to certain meters in water.
Other Things to Consider
Your budget plays an important role in your choice of a smartwatch. Go for basic and low-cost ones with reasonable features if you’re on a low budget. A high-quality device with premium features should do if you have enough money to spend.
Customer reviews are also very important. It’s wise to learn from the experiences of others. Search for user reviews to know if a particular choice is worth the money.
Read reviews about other products produced by the manufacturer in a case where you can’t find any review on a particular model probably because it’s a newly launched device or for some other reasons.
Author’s Bio: Fouad is a freelance ecommerce copywriter and the founder of a consumer tech blog in Nigeria, where he offers useful information in the tech world.