Smartwatch – Complete buying guide to smartwatch

Smartwatch – here is what you need to know about smartwatches for men

Smartwatches have been around for a long, long time, their foray into the mainstream is only recent. With the companies, Samsung, Apple, Asus, Huawei, and many several others are working day and night to improve their watches and truly make the experience a lot better.

The best smartwatch is the one that is compatible with your smartphone and your needs. Here is what you need to know before buying a smartwatch.

Smartwatch – built-in features

From the big names such as Apple and FitBit to traditional watchmakers like TAG Heuer and Fossil, dozens of companies are creating smartwatches that deliver notifications, apps, and more to your wrist. Although features and design vary, smartwatches can help save you time and keep better tabs on your health.

Many smartwatches have built-in fitness features, such as heart rate sensors and GPS. The Fitbit Versa, for example, is marketed as a health-focused device rather than as smartphone replacement.

Some smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4, even work independently of a phone, but most are designed as companion devices. How do you decide which is the best smartwatch for your needs and budget? Here is a quick guide.

Smartwatch – things to consider when buying a smartwatch

Here is the most important thing to consider first:

Smartphone compatible:

Don’t buy a smartphone without confirming that it is compatible with your smartphone. For example, Apple Watches only works with iPhones. Google Wear OS platform and Samsung Tizen watches will work both on Android devices and iPhones, but with fewer features for iPhone that is you use them with your Android device.

Pick your features wisely

Pick a smartwatch with a heart rate sensor and GPS to track your runs, or if you are a fitness buff. You may have other features that you need such as steps counter, speed, distance, and maybe some sleep tracker as well. Features such as these could be useful if you are into fitness and want to keep track of your heart rate, how much time you spend walking or running and how far you came. These data will displayed on your phone, this is to ensure that you see your fitness data perhaps for improvements and so on.

Battery life

Pay attention most specifically to the battery life of the smartwatch of your choice. Hybrid smartwatches that look more like analog timepieces tend to have the longest battery life, but they don’t have touchscreens.

Check the watch band

Make sure that the watchband is easy to replace or it comes with easy interchangeable strap options, as you may easily get tired of your current strap you can easily swap it out with a new one. Or if the band starts to brittle due to excess exposure to sweat, oil, and heat. Some like to have different straps lying around so they can change the look of their smartwatch in an instance. Some smartwatches are great for the fancier occasions where the strap is replacement with a leather watch strap.

Selection of apps and design

Most importantly when you choose a smartwatch rather than an ordinary analog watch, make sure the compatibility, design and other features are useful for you.

Smartwatch – OS and Device compatibility

Because most smartwatches are designed to serve as companions to your smartphone, device compatibility is very important.

Here are different OS and smartwatches to choose from:

Tizen-powered smartwatches

smartwatch Tizen-powered smartwatches

Samsung Gear S3 – works well with both Android handsets as well as iPhones, however, they are easier to use with Samsung smartphones. Here are the top 7 Tizen powered smartwatches:

  1. Samsung Gear S3
  2. Samsung Gear Sport
  3. Samsung Gear S2
  4. Samsung Gear Fit2
  5. Samsung Gear 2
  6. Samsung Gear Fit
  7. Samsung Galaxy Gear S

Wear OS

smartwatch Wear OS

Android Wear 2.0 which rolled out in early 2017, brought a slew of new features to smartwatches, including advanced fitness-tracking features, support for Google Assistant and the ability to install apps directly on the watch itself. Google rebranded its smartwatch platform from Android Wear to Wear OS in March 2018 to reflect its cross-platform compatibility. All you have to do is download the Wear OS to connect the watch to a smartphone. Here are some of the most popular Wear OS smartwatches:

  1. Skagen Falster 2 – What is most surprising about the Falster 2 is that it’s so light despite all the new tech that it packs inside. Skagen deserves praise for managing to, somehow, squeeze more tech into less space in less than a year.
  2. Fossil Q Venture HR – The Q Venture HR is a Wear OS that combines elegant design with must-have functionality and is every bit as stylish as its predecessor. It also boasts long-awaited tech upgrades to match its main rivals.
  3. TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 – Another one for those in the market for a luxury smartwatch, this Swiss Made 45mm beauty is available with titanium, ceramic and 18K rose gold finishes. It will also provide you with a modular design, which essentially means you are free to switch out the electronic watch with a traditional mechanical TAG module such as the Calibre 5 or the chronograph Tourbillon Heuer 02-T. Mixing up the lugs, straps, and a buckle is also an option, with 56 different versions available at launch. There is an Intel Atom Z34XX processor powering performance, 4 GB of storage memory and battery life of around 24 hours. There is also a built-in Wi-Fi and GPS to give it standalone smart, NFC, to let you make payments from the wrist and water-resistant up to 50 meters

iOS smartwatches

smartwatch iOS smartwatches

Not surprisingly, the Apple Watch only works with the iPhone. The preinstalled Apple Watch app for the iPhone is where you will find the watchOS App store. There, you can install the watch versions of your favorite iOS apps or find new ones. The store features everything from games to fitness-tracking apps to extensions of your most-used productivity apps so you can get Slack notifications or see Trello cards. Buy this only if you have an iPhone, otherwise, it will just be another digital watch for you.

Smartwatch – display

The display is very important for smartwatch without a proper display you will not be able to see the apps, notifications and everything else. Nearly all smartwatches now available use a colorful LCD screen or AMOLED display, which lets you view photos, apps, and other content in richer color, and tend to be brighter. The trade-off is the shorter battery life, though watchmakers are improving the device’s efficiency.

Color displays use so much power that many watches turn off their screen while they are asleep, so you can’t even see the time without waking the device. LCD displays tend to be thicker than OLED ones, which is why Apple developed its first OLED display for the first-generation Apple Watch, to make it as think as possible. Samsung created the first OLED, the Galaxy Gear, in 2013.

Smartwatch – interface: button vs touch

On the surface, opting for a touch screen on your smartwatch would seem to be a no-brainer. Still, it can sometimes be difficult to target items on a smaller touch display, and some of the gesture-based interfaces are not intuitive. Wear OS does a nice job of presenting card-based notifications you can easily dismiss with a swipe, but there is a lot of swiping involved to get to other apps and options within apps. The latest update lets you switch between cards with a flick of your wrist.

Smartwatch – design, and personalization

Smartwatch – design, and personalization

The better smartwatches offer a choice of straps and/or the ability to swap them out for a third-party option. This is important if you want to personalize the look of your smartwatch. Most smartwatches today offer plenty of customization options before purchase. For instance, you pick the band color and material, as well as face color, finish, and size for such watches as the Moto 360 and the Apple Watch.

One of the strong points of smartwatches is their ability to be customized and while a lot of the customization happens on the software side, with the ability to swap in unique digital faces, you can change the hardware to your liking as well. Since the release of the first Apple Watch and its numerous wristbands, we have seen what a huge difference a strap can make, just compare the rubberized sports band with the Milanese Loop and you will see what we mean.

You have to check if your smartwatch is compatible with all the watch bands.

Step one to finding your new smartwatch band is doing a bit research to see if you can indeed swap the strap out. If you are content to purchase another, standalone band from the smartwatch manufacturer, you should be good to go.

Keep in mind most smartwatches will need a strap that is 22mm wide. That measurement refers to the distance the holes on the watch where the spring bar fits in. Here are smartwatches that have the option to customize your straps, to give you an idea of what each one allows for in terms of swapping straps.

Smartwatch bands– Wear OS

There are several smartwatches running Google’s Wear OS software, and many of them can work with third-party watch straps. There are even some official watch strap partners for Wear OS devices, including E3 Motorcycles, Worn & Wound and Clockwork Synergy. Additionally, the MODE snap and swap watch bands are directly available through Google Store and are compatible with Wear OS watches from ASUS and Huawei. Google says most Wear OS watches use the industry-standard 22mm bands, so pretty much any watch strap should work. That means owners of Asus Zenwatch, LG G watch, and Moto 360 and more can get creative with their smartwatches.

Smartwatch bands– Apple Watch

Especially since more versions of the smartwatch have been released, there are many Apple Watch bands to choose from, including options in various sizes and materials. That said, there are several reasons why you might want to consider a third-party band. Maybe you want to purchase the entry-level model and buy another band elsewhere to cut down the cost or maybe none of the Apple’s option appeal to you. Luckily, there are several campaigns promising to offer other watch bands to Apple Watch owners. You can check out Monowear store, which offers a number of options priced under $100.

Smartwatch – features, and benefits

The capabilities and features of smartwatches are as varied as the devices themselves. Some are geared toward activity and fitness tracking, and as such, carry features specific to their focus like heart rate monitor, GPS, calorie and activity tracking, sleep monitoring and many more.

A smartwatch should be a suitable fit for your needs and your lifestyle. One thing to remember is that smartwatches are a lot like smartphones when it comes to choosing one. In fact, a lot of the elements you should look at when purchasing a watch are the same you should look at when you are picking out a new smartphone.

Here is a list of features and benefits you should look:

  1. Notifications

One of the reasons you want a smartwatch is that you can receive notifications on your watch if you are unable to get your phone from your bag. Such as when you are in an important meeting and browsing on your phone is frowned upon. So naturally, you will look for a smartwatch that is compatible with your smartphone to be able to sync your data and display notifications.

  • Display

Just like smartphones, every smartwatch has a different display. Some of them include a full touchscreen with brilliant color, while others may have a simple black and white screen. Furthermore, there are varying ways to receive notifications and alerts on said screens. For instance, some watches will only display icons for the most recent notifications while others will display the entire message associated with an alert.

  • Battery life

The battery life of some smartwatches last half a day while others can last over 1000 days at a time. Power cycles depend on the features supported, how often the watch is being used and how big the internal battery is. That is why rated battery life is something you will want to look at when picking out a smartwatch. Do you need the watch to last a full day until you get home from work?

  • Calling features

There are 2 levels of utilizing this feature, it is either using your smartwatch to make calls by asking, for instance, Apple Watch Siri to make a call on your smartphone or using the device as a remote to answer incoming calls on your smartphone. The second level of doing this is on a cellular smartwatch that can come with a speaker, microphone, and a network connection to make a call without your smartphone.

  • Music playing features

Offline music playback features are not yet very prominent on smartwatches, however, it is a great benefit for individuals who need a phone-free experience when going for a workout or outdoor activities. Also, prospective users can either control their smartphone’s music player and use their watch as a remote or pair the watch with Bluetooth headset and listen to music from the watch through a headphone.

This is a very convenient feature when doing sports and not wanting to bring a smartphone. Users can store their music on a cellular watch or related device so they can stream over the network.

  • Health and fitness features

Smartwatches usually come with integrated functionality we often used to have on our fitness trackers. Health-related benefits such as tracking your activities, sleep quality and time, heart rate, and overall health and fitness level. Here are some of the following fitness features you should note regarding health and fitness features:

  • ECG – it is also known as an electrocardiogram and is a feature that is beginning to be available on some certain smartwatches such as the Apple Watch Series 4. This feature delivers more precise heart rate measurements and gives more data for detecting incoming heart-related issues.
  • Sleep hours and quality – if you haven’t heard of sleep trackers before, then this one is for you. This feature is possible with an integrated heart rate, gyro, and accelerometer monitors on the watch. Different manufacturers use different algorithms for tracking your sleep time and quality of it with varying degrees of success. Most smartwatches today, especially the ones that offer an overall health tracker comes with sleep tracker options as well. This only means that you have to wear your watch while you sleep.
  • Blood pressure – this one is entirely a new feature for many smartwatches. It first came available on the Omron HeartGuide in the mid-week of January 2019. This very watch received FDA clearance for its Oscillometric blood pressure feature.
  • Heart rate – most of the smartwatches today often come with heart rate monitors that can measure the individual’s heart rate from the wrist, and for all, you know measuring your heart rate comes with many perks. It lets you track your heart rate during your workouts making you keep in a zone that is increasing your overall fitness level.
  • Emergency SOS – this feature is an extra feature available at least for the Apple Watch, it lets you call for assistance from your watch
  • Sports features – new smartwatches let you initiate activity tracking for your swimming, cycling, runs, walks, and many more. The Garmin brand is prominent for its multisport smartwatches, and they come with highly precise measurements on sports activities and are worn by professional athletes.

Smartwatch – pricing

With the exception of budget devices from no-name brands, most smartwatches will cost between $100 for older devices such as Moto 360, all the way up to $1600 for the TAG Heuer Connected. You will find most smartwatches in the $200 to $500 range, depending on features and accessories. For instance, Apple Watch Series 3 starts at $329 for basic Aluminum case and silicone band without built-in GPS, but the cost is north of @1349 for the ceramic case with GPS. You need to decide what combination of form and function works best for your budget.

Here is a list of top 10 most affordable smartwatch in 2019:

1.     Fitbit Versa Lite – $129.95

2.     ticWatch E2 – $159.99

3.     AmazFit Bip – $79.99

4.     Garmin forerunner 30 – $127.26

5.     Polar M200 – $119.95

6.     Apple Watch Series 3 – $199

7.     Samsung Galaxy Watch Active – $197.99

8.     Samsung Gear Sport – $159.99

9.     Asus Zenwatch 3 – $229

10. Fossil Gen 4 – $272

Smartwatch – conclusion

Now, these were the important things to consider when buying a smartwatch, the guideline above is for you to use when you are in search of the best smartwatch for you. As we all know the smartwatches are the hot trending gadget nowadays and everyone is looking for them.