As the smartwatch market expands, more and more models are becoming available to the consumer. Some smartwatches function primarily as health and fitness trackers, others as personal organizers. The majority of smartwatches remain tethered to smartphones, although some newer designs can function independently from other devices.
But how do you find the right smartwatch for you? In the following article, we’ll cover five basic tips that’ll help you make the right purchase.
First and foremost is the issue of compatibility. It’s rare that a smartwatch will be compatible with every kind of smartphone, so bear this in mind when researching your purchase. Apple’s watches, rather predictably, work only with iPhones for example. Depending on the set up of smart phone and watch, you may find that you have limited functionality with certain apps or features. Android’s smartphones are marginally more device-friendly than Apple, and have a wide range of apps, but it really does pay to check.
Generally speaking, in-built GPS is not a common feature in smartwatches, but it can make a huge difference to the general usability of your watch. All fitness tracking apps and programs require GPS to track important health metrics like distance run, speed, and so on, so if you want a smartwatch primarily for health reasons it’s an important thing to have. A lot of watches still rely on a smartphone connection for GPS, so if you’re really after smartwatch for health and performance tracking, it’s well-worth opting for one with in-built GPSs.
Style & Design
At the risk of stating the obvious, a smartwatch is something you wear and as such is as much about fashion as it is functionality. For that reason, you should really consider whether or not a smartwatch will match your taste or style. Given the explosion of the smartwatch market, consumers no longer necessarily need to turn to tech companies for a good smartwatch, with their clunky designs and shiny displays.
If you want a smartwatch that looks more like a watch than a gadget from Star Trek, check out the ranges from big name watch manufacturers, who are beginning to utilize more and more technology into their products. Plus, smartwatch technology is even being incorporated into traditional luxury watches, so there’s no need to settle for the limited range of designs offered by the big tech companies. Mechanical watch manufacturers Tag Heuer are getting in on the act to supplement their existing range with a smartwatch line – Connected. These hybrid watches boast a much longer battery life (see below) than their tech heavy rivals and look the part too.
It’s a shame that this is still a key consideration given the advances that have been made in other areas of smartwatch development, but most smart watches have a terrible battery life. There are a few hopeful specks on the horizon such as self-charging batteries, which are definitely something get excited about.
However, very few smartwatches can go longer than 24 hours without a recharge, which, when you think about it, is a pretty shoddy state of affairs. What kills the battery life of most watches is the display. LCD screens and AMOLED displays look great, but likely mean that you’ll have to take your watch off at night.