A smartwatch might not seem very essential to most people at first but once you buy it, you cannot do without it. A smartwatch is way more than just a gadget. It is like a personal assistant which helps you get things done without even touching your phone.
However, with the range of options available in the market these days, it is easy to get confused as to which model one should go for. Purchasing a smartwatch becomes difficult with the price also ranging from 7,000 rupees to a lakh!
To help you out with buying these smartwatches and to make things simple for you, we bring to you a handy guide to purchasing smartwatches. Let’s look at the features you need to look for in a smartwatch according to your needs.
Table of contents
- Smartwatch Buying Guide : How to pick one?
- Phone compatibility and Operating Systems
- Display type or screen type
- Touchscreen screen or touchless screen
- Customization, design and personalisation options
- App selections
- Price of your smartwatch
- Battery life
- Music options
- Near Field Communication (NFC)
- Communication options
- Some of the best smartwatches in the market
- How well does it keep track of your fitness?
- Does it work well in all weathers?
- Some quick tips that might help you
Smartwatch Buying Guide : How to pick one?
We will tell you about all the useful points before buying any smartwatch.
Phone compatibility and Operating Systems
Smartwatches are specifically designed so that they sync with your device and keep you updated about your activity and records. For this, you need to ensure that the smartwatch is compatible with your phone.
This means that you have to ensure that the two gadgets connect and sync your data efficiently. For example, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 3 is compatible with most Android as well as Apple devices. However, Apple Watches only works with iPhones.
Some smartphones connect and sync with mobile phones but provide fewer features with that particular phone model which limits the smartwatch’s full potential.
For example, Google’s Wear OS platform works well with both, Android smartwatches and iPhones but with Android phones, they give you lesser features than Apple.
Display type or screen type
Most smartwatches come with LCD and AMOLED displays while OLED screens also stand as a popular choice in the market of smartwatches. LCD screens tend to be delicate but brighter, more colorful, and better in comparison to other screens. They are also cheaper.
On the other hand, if you are ready to invest in costlier displays and smartwatches, you can easily get an OLED display which is the top screen technology in the markets today. With crisp and sharper displays on a very thin screen, these screens win the race.
Screens are an important part of your smartwatch wearing experience so to ensure that you have a better viewing and tracking experience, it is important to invest in a good screen. The screen can also affect the battery life of your smartwatch so be wary of the choice you make.
Touchscreen screen or touchless screen
Who knew smartwatches come with touchless options as well, right? Well, they do and although it may seem very obvious that a touchscreen is better than a touchless smartwatch on a lot of levels, touchless smartwatches have their own pros.
It can be difficult to select items on a touchscreen as there is only so much space on the screen to do any activity without sometimes pressing the wrong options because the graphics kind of overlap. Moreover, some gesture-based actions are not intuitive so you might face problems with that.
This is where touchless smartwatches come to the rescue where if you have a good button response, you can get things done more efficiently than touch screen watches. Apple opted for a combination of both these features which is a good option to eliminate indecision.
Some smartwatches also come with other innovative functions for the user interface like a rotating bezel to choose from various options.
Customization, design and personalisation options
Top-rated smartwatches offer a range of bands as well as dial options to choose from and replace after they get damaged from normal wear and tear. A variety of straps and their colors are important if you want to personalize your smartwatch’s look and add a personal touch to its look.
Brands that do not offer a strap change option are less likely to interest buyers. This is as, once the watch straps break or get damaged anyhow, they are completely useless. Now, this is no good reason to let go of a gadget that can potentially replace your fitness trainer!
Owing to this customer preference, most brands today offer a lot of choices when it comes to strap and dial options. It is a no-brainer that comfort trumps style. So go for straps that are not extravagant but do the job well – holding the watch together.
The slimmer and smaller, the better!
The app support on watches is increasing day by day and more and more apps are emerging that are compatible with smartwatches and make your task even simpler for free!
In this field, Apple watches trump the market of smartwatches as they are not only compatible with most apps but also track your activities for you very efficiently. Google’s Wear OS also supports thousands of apps.
With app support, you can book things, call for rides, track your fitness and get much more accomplished with their help. So, it is important to narrow down what purpose it is that you want your apps to serve you and choose a model accordingly.
Price of your smartwatch
A budget is very important when it comes to buying smartwatches! The first step is to identify for what purpose you need a smartwatch and then decide a budget for it. Look for the smartwatch that gives you maximum features in that price range while also meeting all your demands.
A super expensive smartwatch without the desired applications and functionalities that you want is as good as waste for you. Smartwatches range from the price of around 7,000 rupees to over one lakh rupees.
As is obvious, Apple smartwatches are more expensive than their contemporaries depending on the model you go for but people who trust the brand will still invest in it as it also runs far more efficiently than other smartwatches.
That is not to say that smartwatches like LG Watch Sport, Fitbit Charge 4, Huawei Watch 2, Samsung’s Tizen, and Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 are no good as models.
The battery is one of the most important features of your smartwatch. The battery life will determine how hassle-free the wearing and tracking experience of the smartwatch is going to be. Most smartwatches with colored screens have a battery life of 1-2 days between charging.
Watches with voice capabilities last even lesser than colored screen watches. An Apple smartwatch lasts about 18 hours maximum on a full charge. Most smartwatches use wireless charging which is also very convenient.
As wires are unnecessary hassles and add nothing to the device, you can avoid them. Instead, you get a charging puck with your smartwatch which charges your watch as it lays flat on it.
Who does not like music while driving, jogging, and running errands? Smartwatches come in handy to complete this wish of yours by storing music locally and pairing it with your earbuds so you can enjoy your favorite melodies without having to use your phone time and again.
Smartwatches that do not come with local storage compensate for this feature’s absence by having in-built music controls. All you have to do is pair your buds and you are good to go.
Near Field Communication (NFC)
NFC or Near Field Communication is the ability of your smartwatch to make payments without you having to use your wallet. While some people may be hesitant to trust their smartwatch with their money, one should know that payments are made by apps like Google Pay and PayTM just like smartphones.
So, one can rest assured and pay easily by just holding their smartwatch up to an NFC reader and make payments without any hassles. This is made possible by the NFC chip that lies inside the watch. All the latest smartwatches are increasingly incorporating this technology into their models.
With the help of app alerts, calling options, and text management, smartwatches help a great deal in ensuring hassle-free communication.
Just one glance down on your smartwatch and you are caught up with all the latest developments for which you do not even have to take your phone out again and again. The same goes for text alerts. Calls can be attended to directly from the smartwatches.
Some of the best smartwatches in the market
- Apple Watch Series 6
- Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 3
- Fitbit Versa 2
- boAt Xtend smartwatches
- Fitbit Sense
- Garmin Vivoactive 4
How well does it keep track of your fitness?
Activity tracking is a very important feature of smartwatches as some people buy smartwatches just to keep track of their fitness. A good smartwatch should at least keep a track of your steps, calories and monitor your workouts. Most smartwatches today also come with a heart rate monitor.
Along with these features, GPS on board, heart-rate-variance tracking, recovery time estimation, acceleration detector, auto-exercise detection, onboard maps, and many more features also features you need to keep in mind if you are buying a watch to track your fitness.
One of the best smartwatches for fitness purposes is the Fitbit and some Apple watches. Some smartwatches can even measure ECGs. But the more the features, the pricier these models become. If you want to collect your data, you will have to pay for it as well.
Does it work well in all weathers?
When it comes to battling weather and becoming a good all-weather smartwatch, there are several requirements that a smartwatch needs to fulfill. The most basic of them is that the screen should be bright enough for you to be able to see it in the broad daylight when the sun is at its brightest.
Moreover, if the smartwatch comes with a water-resistant or waterproof body, then it can survive the rain, sweat spills as well as splashes and still serve you well. A dust-proof body also protects it from the weather’s wear and tear.
The screen should also be tough enough to not break. A strong watch with a fragile screen is of no use.
Some quick tips that might help you
Some smartwatches come with their own special apps that, when connected to your smartphones, can work very efficiently and conveniently. You can work by syncing your device with the smartwatch and it will work without any hassles.
Smartwatches often come with sensors that are built-in in them which help them keep track of activity or alert someone in times of emergencies. Accelerometers, barometers, fall detection, heart rate monitors, and more keep track of you and your surroundings.
Smartwatches that come with wireless technologies like NFC help you make payments through your smartwatch.
If you are a fitness enthusiast and want to monitor your health as well as activities, invest in a fitness smartwatch-like Fitbit. These smartwatches not only come with GPS but also heart rate sensors and step counters to keep track of your activities accurately.
Pay very close attention to battery details from the manufacturer while buying a smartwatch. The battery life might actually be shorter than what is mentioned on the packet, so invest in good, trustworthy companies.
Hybrid smartwatches with analog displays have the longest battery lives but they lack touch screens, so stay vigil and aware of these particular features.
Ensure that your smartwatch is compatible with your phone or it will simply be a waste of money. Try to pair the smartwatch with your smartphone before choosing it and see if it works efficiently.
Ensure that you do not have any allergies to the material used in the smartwatch’s bands. Also, ensure that the band fits you well and the buckle works properly. Invest in smartwatches for which you can find buckles and straps easily in case they get destroyed with wear and tear.
You may find yourself giving a lot of importance to the app selection in the smartwatch but that is a secondary factor. Ensure compatibility, design, and other basic features before you stress over app selection.
We hope the descriptions of these features help you identify what you need in your smartwatch. We also expect this buying guide to be of great use to you once you step into the market for smartwatches. Good luck shopping!