It seems like everyone and their mother has some kind of a smartwatch these days. Before you go out and buy one here are 15 questions every potential (and existing) owner is asking about smartwatches.
What Is A Smartwatch?
Smartwatch of today is basically a smartphone that you wear on your wrist like a normal watch. While early models could perform basic tasks, 2010s smartwatches have more general functionality closer to smartphones, including mobile apps, a mobile operating system and WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity.
Smartwatches have the most functionality when paired with smartphones.
Do You Really Need A Smartwatch?
If you have survived this long without one, then no, you don’t need one. The same question can apply to a normal watch. Do you need to wear a watch that only tells the time in the age when we are surrounded by screens ranging from monitors to mobile phones and you can know what the time is in a second. Still, plenty of people wear watches as status symbols, as fashion accessories or just because they look great. All of these are valid reasons for a person to wear a watch.
Now, smartwatches have the added functionality to tell you who’s calling or texting without taking out your phone. You can even answer a phone, pay at the till, know your blood pressure and much more that we are covering below.
As always, it’s a personal choice, you might not need one, but it would still be nice to have one.
Is A Smartwatch Worth It?
A Smartwatch will certainly be worth every penny if you plan to use as many features it offers as possible. If you want to use only a few features than you probably don’t need it. If you are fitness-oriented then opting for a cheaper fitness tracker instead of a smartwatch might be a better idea.
Like the way smartwatches look and have the money to buy one; sure, go ahead and grab one. There’s no sense talking into you anyway 😉 Just don’t forget that most smartwatches still need to be charged every day.
How Does A Smartwatch Work?
Like other computers, a smartwatch may collect information from internal or external sensors and it may control, or retrieve data from, other instruments or computers.
What Are The Advantages Of A Smartwatch?
The biggest advantage for me is notifications. Seeing them on my watch without having to take the smartphone out of the pocket or a bag is a lifesaver.
Answering the calls is another advantage in my book.
If you’re an avid fitness or sports enthusiast or even a casual one, a smartwatch and it’s fitness tracking capabilities will help you further your goals. Endomodo and Strava are two super popular fitness tracking apps that work on smartwatches. Following a training program or heartbeat rate is really easy.
Customising your watch face is another advantage. With normal watches you are stuck with the same look forever witch can be a good thing if you really like how it looks. But, with a smartwatch, the advantage is that you can change the look every day if you want to. It can look as professional or as goofy as you want it to. Heck, you can even change the bands on most of them.
Smartwatch can even take you through the boarding process on the airport faster. You can scan your boarding pass directly of the smartwatch screen.
Using apps directly from your smartwatch is another advantage. They might have limited capabilities because of the screen size but there’s the added capability of using your voice to control or at least open and close them.
How Do I Choose The Right Smartwatch?
Before buying a smartwatch, the most important thing is to check your smartphone compatibility with it. As I already said before, you will be using your smartwatch in conjunction with the smartphone to get the most out of it.
If the look of the smartwatch is important to you and it most probably is, opt-in for the smartest looking one. See if the bands can be swapped and if there’s plenty of watch faces to choose from.
Battery life is in the top three concerns you should think about. There are smartwatches out there that don’t need to be charged every day or at all. Then again, if you don’t like wearing your smartwatch at night, you might as well charge it.
How expensive your future smartwatch is going to be is a biggy if you don’t have deep pockets. Do not spend too much money on an expensive smartwatch if you are not going to use its features. There are good looking alternatives that are not going to break the bank.
Have a favourite app or apps you like to use and would like to use it on your new smartwatch? Make sure it’s capable of running and optimized for a smartwatch.
Does A Smartwatch Need A Sim Card?
Most of the mainstream smartwatches do not need a sim card. They connect to your smartphone and get most of the information from them. Always check before buying if you’ll need a sim card. There’s a great selection of both types of smartwatches on the market. It will only depend on your taste. Our next question is connected to this one;
Can Smartwatch Work Without A Phone?
It sure can. The question is – is it worth it. The Apple Watch Series 3, Series 4 and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch, offer cellular connectivity for a premium and can function on their own. The downsides are that you have to pay for it with a network plan from your carrier and the battery life. You’ll be lucky to get through an 8-hour workday if you stay connected to a mobile network the entire time. But there is no chance a smartwatch can completely replace a high-performing smartphone.
Is My Mobile Phone Compatible With Every Smartwatch?
Unless your smartwatch is a standalone device, the short answer is no.
Android-based smartwatches do work with Android-based smartphones and iPhones. That’s why Google renamed Android Wear OS to only Wear OS.
Apple’s Watch will not work with Android-based phones, unfortunately. Only iOS devices.
To check if your phone will work with the Wear Os, visit https://wearos.google.com/wearcheck
How Long Do Smartwatches Last?
The battery is still the weak point of most of the smartwatches in the market. One or two days or even less is a normal smartwatch battery duration. The fact is, no feature-packed smartwatch is going to last for weeks if you use all the features non-stop.
Smartwatch batteries are not very different from your smartphone’s. GPS and heart rate monitoring are the biggest battery consumers. Bluetooth connectivity by default takes a chunk out of your smartwatch and smartphone battery although the Bluetooth 4.0 is pretty efficient now.
There are a few smartwatches with longer battery life – namely the Garmin Vivoactive series and others.
Can You Text On A Smartwatch?
You certainly can. The easiest way would be to use Siri or Google Assistant. They will use voice recognition technology to help you to quickly and easily send an SMS, WhatsApp or Viber message. Simply activate your virtual assistant and tell them to send a message to someone from your contact list with the content of the message. Couldn’t be faster or easier. No need to type it up.
Can You Talk On A Smartwatch?
Making calls with your smartwatch is more useful than it sounds. The number of smartwatches that allow you to make phone calls is surprisingly small but getting bigger by the day. Standalone smartwatches are your best bet for making phone calls and if that feature is really important to you, make sure you check before you buy one.
Is A Smartwatch Waterproof?
Most of the new smartwatches come with waterproof functionality and can be used for swimming. The standard waterproof rating for them is 5 ATM which means they can go up to 50 meters underwater. The manufacturers specify if the smartwatch is suited for use only in a swimming pool or open waters as well.
Waterproof or water-resistant?
These two terms are responsible for more customer confusion than the blue dress.
What you are looking for is waterproof. Water-resistant is regarded as the lowest level of protection and essentially means that something is designed to make it difficult for water to infiltrate. Waterproof means something is impervious to water regardless of how long it is submerged.
Can I Wear A Smartwatch In The Shower?
If you have a waterproof smartwatch then yes. Water-resistant is already a slippery slope. I would make sure I read the smartwatch manual and specifications, as well as user reviews online.
What Is The Best Smartwatch?
I can’t simply choose one smartwatch as it’s not that cut and dry. Instead, here are my top smartwatches on the market at the moment. It will be updated in the future.
Samsung Galaxy Watch
The latest and greatest smartwatch to come from the South Korean juggernaut. It comes in two sizes – 42 and 46 mm. It comes with a phenomenal four-day battery life even when you’re using it extensively. That is a great benefit for all prospect smartwatch buyers.
Other features of this Tizen OS powered smartwatch are:
- rotating bezel used for navigating the menu
- great design
- bright and colour-rich display
Apple Watch 6
This is the best device you can get if you own an iPhone. There aren’t many huge upgrades over the Apple Watch 5, but the main change is that it comes with an always-on display now.
Apple Watch SE
Apple Watch 6’s little, but still very capable brother. Choose this one if you want to spend less money than on the 6 Series.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
It is more affordable than the leading Apple Watch. It’s certainly not a cheap smartwatch, but when compared to the original RRP of the Galaxy Watch you may prefer to opt for this version that’s remarkably similar.
The Fossil Sport is a top-end watch with a lower price tag. It features GPS, a lightweight – yet premium – design and at least two days of battery life from a single charge. It doesn’t have any unique features, but the overall package of the Fossil Sport may be the best watch for you. Especially if you don’t like Samsung’s Tizen OS and would like to have the Wear OS from Google instead.