Smartwatches are one of the most sought-after consumer products right now. Today the world is filled with high-quality smartwatches to choose from and a few key players have put themselves into the front.
But some people still wonder what are these smartwatches which portray to be a smarter alternative to a traditional watch. So chances are if you are reading this guide you are already in the market to buy a smartwatch. But due to such popular demand, the smartwatches present in the market are not the same and each one has a different set of features. So today we will help you figure out what are the right features you should be looking at when searching for a new smartwatch to buy.
With brands like Oppo and RealMe doing their names in the wearable industry, users now have more options than earlier. The display has become a crucial factor in smartwatch buying decisions. In premium smartwatches like Apple and Samsung, you can find OLED displays. But with more affordable choices from companies like RealMe, Oppo, and Xiaomi you will more than often see LCD screens. In many of the mid-range smartwatches, you can also get an AMOLED display which is a better deal than LCD screens. While LCD displays might offer a poor battery life compared to OLED or AMOLED that are power efficient and will provide better readability indoors as well as outdoors.
2. OS and App Selection
Before starting off with the app selection, you need to decide which smartwatch OS you would like to opt for. If you own an iPhone which runs on iOS then you can go for any smartwatch but the best compatibility comes with the Apple Watch series. And in case you own an Android smartphone that you can choose from any smartwatch except the Apple Watch as it is not compatible with Android.
Smartwatch can be a rather small device but it has the capacity to run thousands of apps designed for it. You can find apps like WhatsApp, Uber customized for the smartwatch platforms. Apple Watch supports lots of popular apps and Samsung with their own Tizen OS seems to be catching up with the wave. Even Google has Wear OS which supports many of the apps optimized for smartwatches. Therefore you should buy a watch that offers support for many of the apps that you use every day.
We recommend getting any smartwatch powered by Google’s WearOS if you own an Android Smartphone and go for Apple Watch in case you own an iPhone. This setup will provide maximum compatibility and minimal hiccups.
3. Fitness tracking
Activity tracking is the biggest reason why people turn to smartwatches. It is the all-time purpose timepiece that locks your first steps, calories, and workouts and most of today’s wearables even have a heart rate monitor as well.
Many of the smartwatch manufacturers also include a GPS onboard which is very useful for tracking your outdoor runs or evening walks. Swimmers will also want something water-resistant and with most of the smartwatches today come with an IP rating and you can easily take them in the pool.
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Smartwatches from companies like Garmin are more fitness-focused and offer extra features like heart rate variance tracking, auto exercise detection, recovery time estimation, onboard maps, and more. Over the years tracking has also become more advanced and thankfully smartwatches from Apple and Fitbit can now estimate blood oxygen levels as well as measure ECG.
But most affordable smartwatches will not include features like ECG and oxygen tracking so if you are keen on collecting health data like that then you will have to pay a premium price to manufacturers like Apple and Samsung.
4. Battery life
Battery life remains one of the popular features that most users complain about but there is a lot of improvement in this area recently. You can expect 2 days of battery life from smartwatches like Apple and even Wear OS devices. Watches using the Snapdragon wear 3100 processor support an extended battery life feature that allows you to get up to five days on a single charge. Other devices with fewer features can last 5 to 7 days but that includes most of the fitness trackers available in the market.
Many of the smartwatches coming out today support faster charging. For example, Apple promises that the new Apple Watch Series 7 watch can go from 0 to 80% in just 45 minutes which is 33 % faster compared to the series 6 watches. The new OnePlus watch is even speedier and can go from 0 to 43% in just 10 minutes of charging.
Smartwatches also make it easier to stay notified about your latest communication alerts such as text messages and missed calls. In just one glance you can check who has been calling or texting you without picking up your smartphone. Some watches allow you to send short pre-set replies which are predefined from your wrist in case of text alerts. Other premium smartwatches such as Apple and Samsung provide you with the option to make calls to anyone or pick up calls even with your phone off.
Many of the smartwatches also include features like NFC that lets you pay for things without carrying your wallet. How it works is you just have to save your credit or debit card information and you can hold your smartwatch to an NFC reader to pay for a cup of coffee or sandwich in a cafe. It is important to keep in mind that different watches use different payment methods like Apple watches use Apple pay, Wear OS devices use Google pay, while the Fitbit and Garmin smartwatches have their own versions called Fitbit pay and Garmin pay.
Similar to many consumer electronics, the budget and pricing is a deal-breaker for many. Manufacturers like RealMe and Oppo offer very good entry-level options in a very affordable price range. If you are looking for something better in the mid-range then companies like Fossil and Fitbit have good watch options there. When it comes to premium watches Apple Watch Series 7 is the latest from the company which is a good overall smartwatch and you can also check out the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 which is the latest offering from Samsung in the Android smartwatch category.