In this day and age of digital advancement and ever-changing smartphones, a wristwatch has become a bit … obsolete. Why would you need something to tell you the time when your phone is perfectly capable of doing that? As smartphones have evolved, so have wristwatches, to the point that they are now smartwatches to keep up with the intelligence of smartphones.
To answer the question “ Should I buy a smartwatch? “To answer, let’s look at what smartwatch usage means for today’s generation? And what are some of the key features and benefits of a smartwatch to make it worthwhile for you.
What is a smartwatch?
A smartwatch is a wearable device that is designed to be worn on the wrist. Like smartphones, they use touchscreens, offer apps, and often record your heart rate and other vital data.
What can smartwatches do?
Most smartwatches – regardless of whether they are intended for everyday use or for special purposes – offer a number of standard functions:
- Tells you the time: this feature will never really go out of style and while it’s the most basic feature of the smartwatch, it’s by no means the most interesting.
- Notifications: Smartphones display notifications to let you know about important events or activities. The types of notifications differ; Devices connected to a smartphone can simply mirror the phone’s notifications to your wrist, but other smartwatches display notifications that only a wearable can provide. For example, the latest Apple Watch has a fall sensor. If you fall while wearing the watch, it will recognize your subsequent movement. If it detects no movement and you do not respond to the smartwatch’s prompts, the watch will assume you are injured and alert the authorities on your behalf.
- Apps: Aside from showing notifications from your smartphone, a smartwatch is only as good as the apps it supports. App ecosystems vary and are tied to either the Apple or Google environment. Smartwatches with a special purpose, such as hiking or diving, usually support the apps they need for that purpose without the ability to add other types of apps.
- Media management: Most smartwatches that are paired with smartphones can manage media playback for you. For example, if you’re listening to music on an iPhone using Apple’s AirPods, you can use your Apple Watch to change the volume and tracks.
- Answer messages with your voice: Modern smartwatches that run either the watchOS or the Wear operating system support voice dictation.
- Fitness Tracking: If you’re a hardcore athlete, a dedicated fitness band is probably a better choice than a smartwatch. However, many smartwatches have a heart rate monitor and a pedometer to keep track of your training sessions.
- GPS: Most smartwatches have a GPS that allows you to track your location or receive location-specific notifications.
- Altimeter: Many smartwatches can be used as altimeters. This is good news if you enjoy hiking, skiing, or other mountain activities. A smartwatch can usually give you precise information about how high you are.
- Contactless payment system: All large companies have now made it possible to use your smart device as a payment method. Google, Samsung, Apple, Fitbit, and Garmin all have “Pay” apps that allow you to swipe your device over the reader (like a credit card) and settle your bill.
- Good battery life: Modern smartwatches have batteries that get you through the day with normal use and still have a little bit of juice left over. The battery life varies; the Apple Watch typically lasts for 18 hours on a single charge with normal use, while other smartwatches can last for several days.
Different types of smartwatches
By and large, smartwatches occupy two niches in the wearables market.
First, a generic smartwatch – like the Apple Watch and most Google Wear devices. They were developed to replace mechanical wristwatches and are heavily dependent on smartphones. Imagine they are an auxiliary device for your smartphone that you wear on your wrist.
The other niche includes specialty smartwatches that are meant for special use cases. These models often offer a more rugged version of a fitness tracker.
Examples of these specialized smartwatches are:
Hiking Watches: Designed for long-distance travel, they have solid battery life, GPS tracking and navigation, basic vital signs, and weather forecasts. Often they are particularly robust and are protected from bumps, falls, dust and water.
Diving watches: With these watches, you can go swimming and diving without any problems.
What are hybrid smartwatches?
Hybrid smartwatches are watches that have the traditional look and feel of a watch, but they offer limited smartwatch features, albeit mostly.
What’s the difference between a smartwatch and a Fitbit?
Fitbits are fitness trackers that have similar features to smartwatches, but they focus on fitness-oriented features and often don’t have the advanced features of smartwatches.
Are smartwatches worth the money?
If you’ve never used a watch like this, I bet you’re almost convinced by now! From my experience, I can say that if you are a fan of mobility and ease of use, there is nothing better than a smartwatch to stay “connected”.
If you are convinced of the advantages, I would advise you to check which smartwatch is right for you. The best smartwatch is not always the perfect one for everyone. To help you make your choice, we have created an overview page on which we introduce some of the best smartwatches and fitness trackers. You can take a look here .