Smartwatches seem to be all the rage these days with companies coming out with new models every month! Even in things like design and strap or bezel quality, you get a wide range of options to choose from. Not to mention the underlying features, hardware, and software which can also vary greatly.
Although a few companies have been exploring the “one size fits all” approach when it comes to smartwatches, needs, budget, and purposes vary greatly from customer to customer. This is why it becomes important to know the various types of smartwatches.
After this, you can choose the model or type of smartwatch that best suits your purpose and fulfills your requirements. To help you with this task, we bring to you this article where we discuss the types of smartwatches in the markets and discuss in detail how each type is different from the rest.
But before we do that, let us delve deeper into understanding what exactly are smartwatches.
What is a smartwatch?
A smartwatch is basically a portable device that can be worn on the wrist like traditional watches, only that it is ten times advanced, better, and ‘smart’. Smartwatches usually use touch screens. However, you can choose to not have touch screens, too.
Smartwatches do the job of tracking your steps, heart rate, pulse rate, help you take calls, manage music, predict weather and also navigate using the internet! The initial Apple watches and Wear watches by Apple and Google respectively increased the popularity of smartwatches.
What do smartwatches do for you?
Most smartwatches are good for daily usage (General use or Wear smartwatches) while some smartwatches serve better for specific usage (Flying, Hiking, Diving, or Fitness smartwatches) and offer features suitable for that particular feature.
- Manage app notifications
- Help you accept/reject your calls without looking at the phone
- Help you navigate
- Provide you with GPS features
- Give you special app access
- Manage your media
- Answer messages
- Provide you with voice assistance
- Track your fitness
- Measure pulse and heart rate
- Give sedentary warning
- Alert you of emergency situations
- Give weather forecasts
- And much more!
A very brief history of smartwatches
Digital and analog watches have been around for several years now, even decades. However, in the 2010s, people were introduced to smartwatches which were traditional watches but with features like smartphones.
Companies like Apple, Samsung, and Google were one of the pioneers in this technology and made these watches popular increasingly. Pebble introduced its first smartwatch in 2013 which sold more than a record 1 million units and became a rage.
Gradually, companies like Garmin and Suunto started working on the technology and releasing specialized smartwatches which too, blew up and opened the door to more specialized watches with more robust features and solid developments.
Types of smartwatches
Let us now discuss the types of smartwatches that are available in the markets today.
1. Apple smartwatches
Smartwatches designed by Apple. They are on the costlier side but they come with great features for iOS customers to enjoy. The efficiency of the apps is also very good and they are capable of providing you with high-quality data.
2. Wear smartwatches
Smartwatches that are designed by the many vendors in the markets like Google are called wear smartwatches. They are cheaper as compared to Apple smartwatches.
3. Tizen smartwatches
Tizen is a popular smartwatch operating system and smartwatches using this operating system are called Tizen smartwatches. They are proprietary operating systems designed by Samsung for its Galaxy series of smartwatches.
4. Hiking smartwatches
Hiking smartwatches feature very strong battery lives and come with features that travelers would love. GPS, navigation, tracking, weather forecast, protection from bumps, scratches, water, dust, and sweat make them a popular choice for people who stay on the go.
Moreover, these all-weather smartwatches also withstand the sun’s glare and other harsh conditions to serve you. Watches like the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus are good examples of this type of smartwatches.
5. Diving smartwatches
To use a diving smartwatch, you will have to connect your first-stage regulator to a Bluetooth transmitter. These watches are strong, durable, and water-resistant. An example of this kind of smartwatch is Garmin’s Descent Mk1.
These watches offer depth data, countdown features, temperature information, and other essential data that you may require.
6. Flying smartwatches
Flying smartwatches are a niche in the market of smartwatches but they do have a considerable number of customers. Watches like Garmin’s D2 Delta PX and other smartwatches offer a range of features like pulse measuring, a logbook, navigation, GPS as well as weather details apt for flying.
7. Hybrid smartwatches
Hybrid smartwatches are watches that look like traditional watches but have some features of smartwatches. These watches usually have an analog screen and have amazing battery life.
Perfect for people who do not want full-fledged smartwatches with lots of functionalities and like to keep things a little old-school, these watches come with a sensor, processor, and some tracking features to help you stay aware.
8. Fitness-focused smartwatches
Fitness-focused smartwatches are designed to even for the so-called “fitness freaks” who want to monitor every small infographic regarding their bodies, heartbeat rates, pulse rates, workout routines, and changes according to their workout plans. Fitbits are the most common examples of smartwatches focused on fitness monitoring.
These watches have a slim aesthetic that does not interfere with even hardcore workouts. They are also made of lighter materials to aid comfort. They also have hands-free features that other generic smartwatches do like receiving calls, messages, and other app notifications without having to look at your phone again and again.
9. Budget smartwatches
If you are not really willing to spend a lot of your hard-earned money on smartwatches, you can go for budget-friendly smartwatches that are cheaper than general smartwatches and do not burn a hole in your pockets.
They can be available from a starting price of about 4,000 rupees and are widely available with the starting features of smartwatches. Although they do not perform a lot of functions, they can track your daily fitness and come with decent battery life. They can last you weeks after a single charge!
10. Luxury smartwatches
As the name itself suggests, luxury smartwatches are designed exclusively for people looking for high-end technologies in their smartwatches. Some brands that manufacture smartwatches like this are Swiss watches, Frederique Constant, Tag Heuer, and many more.
These smartwatches have a log of features that general wear smartwatches do but you pay this hefty price for the high-end look that these watches have as well as the affinity to a particular brand.
11. Specific smartwatches
Along with all these types of smartwatches, one also gets smartwatches that have been designed for specific purposes with extra features to support that specific end. Some examples of these specific smartwatches are:
- Golf smartwatches
- GPS smartwatches
- Smartwatches for mountain climbing and hiking
- Smartwatches for rowers
- Smartwatches for mountain biking
- Smartwatches for skiing
These specific smartwatches tend to be more expensive than the other general use smartwatches but they are definitely worth the aid they provide in that sport if you are passionate enough about it.
What is the difference between a smartwatch and a Fitbit?
People mostly confuse smartwatches with Fitbits, thinking that all smartwatches are designed to keep track of your activities and monitor your health. However, this is not the case. Although many smartwatches do come with some basic fitness tracking, they cannot be called fitness smartwatches.
The difference lies more on the aesthetics of the smartwatch. Fitbits are smartwatches too but they are mostly oriented towards fitness and focus on this aspect fully. They lack other features that may be present in smartwatches.
On the other hand, smartwatches feel and look like traditional watches with proper bezel designs and more advanced features. Fitbit’s look more like bracelets and do not have full-color screens like smartwatches.
If you are in doubt whether the smartwatch is a Fitbit, you can check the manufacturer’s website or look up the model in the company’s brochure to see if it is a smartwatch or a Fitbit.
Now that you know the differences between the various types of smartwatches, we hope that it is easier for you to zero down on a smartwatch which is appropriate for you. Good luck shopping!