For a smartwatch to be considered a smartwatch, the minimum requirement is that it must be able to show you the time – this might sound obvious but in the age of modern technology it’s often the most logical aspects of tech that we sometimes overlook.
Although features and designs vary, smartwatches can help to save you time and keep better tabs on your health. Most have built-in fitness metrics, such as a heart rate sensor. Some can act as an extension of your phone, while others are marketed as health-focused devices.
Top-tier smartwatches from Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit are essentially miniature phones that wrap around your wrist. They run pint-size apps, let you control your smartphone remotely, and are capable of phone-like tasks such as tracking your run around a park, storing music, and even making phone calls through a tiny SIM card.
However, if you are new to the fitness scene or want to buy a smartwatch, you may want to pay attention to the rated battery life when shopping around. Hybrid smartwatches that look more like analog timepieces tend to have the longest battery life, but they don’t have touchscreens, so it's best to keep this in mind.
With options for sporty people, runners, and those on a tight budget, there's a lot to think about when buying a smartwatch.
Smartwatches might also require pairing to a smartphone for the notification functionality. It’s important to understand that not all smartwatches will work with all smartphones.
Most smartwatches are compatible with an Android or iOS device, or, in some instances, both. Some have their own operating systems and will only work with specific devices of the same brand. Others might be compatible with a select variety of operating systems. Since smartwatches are devised to accompany your smartphone, you’ll want to be sure it’s compatible with your phone's existing operating system.
It’s important to choose a smartwatch that you’ll feel comfortable wearing every day. Additional features will vary from device to device, so you’ll want to think about how you’ll be using your smartwatch in your daily life.
Huawei shares some tips on what to keep in mind when buying a smartwatch:
If your devices are going to keep up with your fast-paced, always-active lifestyle, they need to interact seamlessly with one another. Syncing and interconnectivity issues simply won’t do. You need devices – laptops, tablets, smartphones and wearables – that work as one, with each updating the others as you complete or set certain tasks.
It’s not always possible to have your phone with you but you still want your watch to be accurate. A watch must have independent connectivity which is achieved through a standalone, eSIM-enabled communication system. This means that your watch can stay connected even when you are doing outdoor activities or at times when you find it inconvenient to carry your smartphone.
If you live an active life, a watch must offer several workout modes including professional workouts, outdoor and indoor workouts. Within these workouts, the devices should offer extensive fitness tracking, monitoring every aspect of your progress you might be interested in.