How to Pick the Right Smartwatch for You

By Staff Reporter - 18 Jun '19 11:22AM
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The wearable tech market has exploded since Apple first released its pioneering Apple Watch back in 2015. Now, the market is flooded with smartwatches of every kind, color, and make, from manufacturers large and small alike.

Apple, along with other big tech competitors like Samsung, are still leading the charge in the smartwatch industry. But everyone's looking to get a piece of that sweet fashion tech pie. From fitness-oriented companies like Fitbit to big fashion houses like Fossil. What all of this means, is that there are a lot of smartwatches out there; each one catering to a different lifestyle and different fashion styles.

So how does a person even begin to choose? It's simple really, just have a look at the thorough buyer's guide below.

What Does a Smartwatch Do?

These powerful new accessories are paving the way for future wearable tech, and they get more advanced by the year.

Besides telling the time, naturally, a smartwatch is like a tiny, fully realized computer on a person's wrist. It's like having a smartphone strapped to one's arm. Smartwatches come with a broad spectrum of handy apps and features. It all depends on the owner's needs - and budget, of course.

A Perfect Fit: How to Choose a Smartwatch

Smartphone Compatibility:

Many smartwatches are incapable of functioning properly without connecting to a smartphone. But they don't just work with any brand or model either. For instance, Apple watches only work with other Apple devices. Others function entirely separately from a smartphone.

This should be taken into consideration when choosing a smartwatch.

Display and Design:

While fashion sense arguably plays a significant role in choosing a smartwatch, it's other design features are also important. Most people can get away with a little bit of rain splashing on their non-water resistant watch. But those who love to go mountain biking, kayaking, or do other extreme outdoor sports will want to consider something more durable.

Next up is the watch's ecosystem. Some watches come with a non-changeable UI, specifically those that mostly function as fitness trackers and not much more. But plenty of the high-end watches can download different interfaces from an app store. It's a good idea to have a look at the ecosystems they have on offer, as some offer more and better choices than others.

App Support:

Fully-fledged smartwatches support a variety of useful apps that can be downloaded from different app stores, depending on the device.

The usefulness of an app will depend on the needs of the user, but some common apps that most smartwatches support, include:

-Music apps like Spotify, Pandora, or Deezer

-Weather apps

-News apps

-Maps apps

Capabilities:

This is where the spectrum of what makes a good smartwatch really widens up. Some of the high-end smartwatches offer dozens of great tools and convenient features. But they're kind of useless if the watch's owner isn't planning on utilizing them. So choosing a smartwatch is as much about what it doesn't need to do as what it should be able to do.

Here's a list of handy features that smartwatches can include:

-Fitness tracking and heart rate monitoring

-Guided workout with rep counter

-Guided breathing and meditation

-Sleep pattern tracking

-Receive and reply to text messages

-Receive and make calls

-Calendar with integrated alarms and notifications

-Voice assistant integration

-Manage & control other IoT devices

-Wallet integration

Battery Life:

Smartwatches need to charge just like any other smart device that's not plugged in. Of course, there are multiple determining factors in a smartwatch's battery life, including how much it's being used. Generally, it's a good idea to check on what other users say about their smartwatch's battery life.

Price:

Price is often a big determining factor when buying any new type of technology. Just like with smartphones, the price of the watch often determines its quality and list of features.

A Final Thing to Think About

Owning a smartwatch comes with many benefits, but in this day and age, it's essential to think about the risks too. Most smartwatches connect to a smartphone and send back data like usage, recordings, and GPS location. All of that means a lot of potential threats from malware and hackers.

Data breaches like the PumpUP fitness app breach are a common occurrence now, and smartphone malware is increasing at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, smartphones and smartwatches very attractive to cybercriminals because they collect a boatload of data. So it's vital that users take the necessary precautions to secure these devices too. Anyone who's planning to get a smartwatch should consider signing up for a VPN service. This will keep their data and location safely locked away from strangers.

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