Tech

Why Buy a Smartwatch?

Why Buy A Smartwatch

Like many people deciding which smartwatch to buy the question that came first for me was why buy a smartwatch at all? After all what’s all the fuss about. To answer this question I reviewed the features and benefits of dozens of smartwatch models available today.

This research enabled me to clearly understand the advantages and disadvantages for me of using a smartwatch. In the following article you will hear why I decided to buy a smartwatch and what to look out for if you decide to take the leap!

After reading if you are considering buying a smartwatch please review our Smartwatch Buyers Guide where we have reviewed ten of the best smartwatches available today.


Common Smartwatch Features and Benefits

Smartwatch features and benefits vary between models but here are some key ones to look out for –

  • Connect your smartwatch to your smartphone for call, message and social media notifications. This functionality is pretty standard in most smartwatch models and has been pivotal to their success.
  • Live a healthier lifestyle with your daily activity automatically tracked and recorded by your smartwatch. Most smartwatches include this functionality although the accuracy of the tracking does vary between models.
  • When it comes to sports and fitness smartwatches come into their own, helping you track your performance in real time, improve your exercise and ultimately achieve better results. The addition of a heart-rate monitor in many models is an additional health benefit.
  • Control your music from your wrist. Many smartwatches will integrate with the music player on your smartphone enabling you to control your music with a touch of your wrist.
  • Contactless payment with many smartwatch models means you can truly go cash-less and card-less and use your smartwatch to complete purchases on the go.

Why Did I Buy a Smartwatch?

The smartphone integration a smartwatch offers was a key factor in my decision to buy a smartwatch. Having most of my smartphone functionality on my wrist enables me to live more efficiently every day, taking calls and messages on the go.

I love how wearing a smartwatch encourages me to live a healthier lifestyle with my daily steps, calories burnt and heart rate all there on my wrist; Because of this I will often look at my smartwatch for the time and make a different decision to go for a walk or to the gym.

I was originally concerned about having to charge a smartwatch every couple of days, however I realised this was only the same as a smartphone and I charge my smartwatch as I sleep each night.

Love Thy Smartwatch!
Love Thy Smartwatch!

Overall I am very happy with my smartwatch and would highly recommend giving one a go!

If you are considering buying a smartwatch please review our Smartwatch Buyers Guide where we have reviewed ten of the best smartwatches available today and break down what to look for when buying a smartwatch.


Can I use my smartwatch when exercising?

Smartwatches come into their own for exercise with nearly all offering a varying degree of data on your performance, from steps taken and calories burnt to advanced analytics and heart rate tracking.

Wearing a smartwatch you become so much more aware of your activity as you can see this every time you look at your smartwatch. This can be a huge motivation to move more and make healthier decisions.

Not only will a smartwatch help you live healthier they can also help you to enhance your performance in exercise by providing real time performance data. Some of the best smartwatches now integrate activity sensors with GPS and heart rate tracking into one device.

A more premium feature in some smartwatches is water resistance which now means you can wear some smartwatches in heavy rain or even in the pool. Do take care though as the level of water resistance varies across models with some offering minimal protection.


How much does a smartwatch cost?

The cost of a smartwatch depends on what you are looking for but there are smartwatch options for all budgets. In my Smartwatch Buyers Guide I have selected what I believe are ten of the best smartwatches available today with options for all budgets.

It’s important to consider what you want from your smartwatch before buying, if its basic smartphone notifications and activity tracking then the majority of smartwatches will deliver this. If you are looking for more premium features such as contactless payment, music app integration, GPS then it’s important to check the model you are considering has this functionality before buying.


Do I need a smartwatch with media playback?

Well this depends on you and what you want to use the smartwatch for. Many smartwatches now offer some integration with your smartphones music player or the ability to download music directly to the watch itself. 

Media Playback Functionality Is an Option
Media Playback Functionality Is an Option

The ability to control your smartphones music player via your smartwatch can be really useful when exercising or packed onto a train. I wouldn’t consider media playback to be an essential smartwatch feature but if media playback is important to you then go for it.


Which smartwatch operating system is best?

There are several prevalent operating systems for smartwatches. Whilst for most people the operating system of their smartwatch will be of minimal interest it is important to understand the degree of compatibility each smartwatch has with your smartphone.

The reason that compatibility with your smartphone is so important is this will determine which of the smartwatch features are available to you. Many smartwatches are compatible with most smartphones however some smartwatches must be paired with a certain brand or model smartphone.  

The main smartwatch operating systems are:

  • WatchOS which is the operating system used in the Apple Smartwatch range. After several versions Apple now has a fantastic platform which has enabled them to create the most functional smartwatches available today.
  • WearOS which outside of an Apple device is the most common smartwatch operating system and is used by many smartwatch brands. This is a stable and functional system but as you would expect cannot match WatchOS for integration with an Apple smartphone.
  • TizenOS which is the operating system Samsung use in their smartwatch models. Tizen offers great functionality with intuitive controls.
  • FitbitOS which you might of guessed is Fitbits offering and the operating system used in their smartwatch range. This is an incredibly stable platform but functionality is more limited than other operating systems.

What else to consider before choosing a smartwatch?

After reviewing ten smartwatches I know each one has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, there are however some key areas that I recommend you consider before choosing a smartwatch.

  • Battery life can vary significantly across smartwatches with some models promising 24 hours and others five days on a single charge. For most people this won’t be a major concern as they will charge as you recharge.
  • Screen size is important as you want to be able to clearly read the display but don’t want a watch that feels too big. Many smartwatches are a similar size but models can vary significantly.
  • Processing power should not be a major concern as most smartwatches offer more than enough power to deliver what is needed to make their features functional.
  • Smartphone compatibility may be the most important factor since to get the full benefit from your smartwatch it must be connected to your smartphone.
  • Customization may be important if you are looking to make your smartwatch unique. Most models offer some customisation but the extent of this varies.
  • Activity tracking is now standard in most smartwatches but the accuracy of the technology does vary across models with more premium smartwatches now boasting features such as GPS and real-time heart rate tracking.
  • Contactless payment known as NFC is far from standard in smartwatches but some of the more premium models have options to utilise this so consider if this is important to you.
  • Media playback is available on some smartwatches in the form of integration with your smartphones media player or by directly downloading music to the watch itself.

What is NFC?

NFC stands for “Near field communication.” Essentially this feature allows a device such as a smartwatch to create a link with another device and transmit data.

NFC can only transmit data at close range and both devices must be within centimetres of each other for this to work. NFC enabled smartwatches allow the wearer to configure the smartwatch to make contactless payments for purchases using only the smartwatch.

NFC Enables Contactless Payment Options
NFC Enables Contactless Payment Options

Picture this you do for a run and you’re exhausted. You decide to stop off for a coffee but don’t have your wallet on you. With NFC you can touch your smartwatch to the card reader and complete the payment.

Not all smartwatches support this feature as neither do all retailers. It is important to consider if NFC is a feature you need before choosing a smartwatch.


Conclusion

If you are considering buying a smartwatch please review our Smartwatch Buyers Guide where we have reviewed ten of the best smartwatches available today and break down what to look for when buying a smartwatch.

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